Maine Avenue Fish Market

About a month ago, I received a comment from Jisel on my Eastern Market blog post, saying:

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I was immediately excited, for I was also unaware that DC has a fish market! You see when I was a child, I watched Free Willy (or some other movie about water creatures. I’ve always attributed this to Free Willy though.) and in the movie, there’s a scene at a fish market and people are throwing fish and catching them in newspapers. For some reason, I thought this was the coolest thing ever, and all I wanted to do was to be one of those people, throwing and catching fish all day. Basically, if I was this guy, I’d be a happy camper.

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Of course I do also just enjoy seafood, being the New England-er that I am, so once I learned about the Maine Avenue Fish Market in Southwest, I knew I had to take a trip in the near future. I was surprised to learn that the market has actually been in operation since the early 1800s, but as The Washingtonian explains, it hasn’t had the easiest existence. During the 1960s and ’70s, the original market location was demolished as part of an effort to rebuild the neighborhood, and those running the effort wanted to remove the fish market from its location completely. The vendors realized, however, that their lease gave them the right to their space for 99 years. Therefore, the developers instead relocated the market “as far west of the waterfront as they could,” where it has remained ever since.

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So if I wasn’t motivated to check out the market before, I definitely was after realizing there is so much history to it! And the market definitely lived up to my expectations. Of course, there’s plenty of fresh seafood to purchase, but there are also other food items you can buy and eat right at the market, like crab cakes and various desserts. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to buy anything at the market before I went, but once I got there, it was clear I needed to get something. Boyfriend and I ended up getting some ceviche from the Captain White Raw Bar along with a lemonade, since I had read the lemonade in particular was supposed to be pretty good.

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The lemonade was definitely tasty and refreshing, and I especially liked the ceviche. It was spicier than ceviche I’ve had before, but I’m always a fan of spicy food, so I appreciated the kick. Lucky for us, it wasn’t very crowded in the eating area by the water. There aren’t any chairs, only tables to stand at, but you can tell this is probably for when it gets really busy and having a bunch of chairs would just be impractical. I absolutely loved checking out the fish market, and my only regret is that I didn’t know about it sooner! It’s a fun place to stroll around, grab a quick bite to eat and, of course, purchase some fresh seafood for later. Thanks to Jisel for telling me about the market, and if anyone has other cool DC recommendations, let me know!

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