Fresh seafood is part of the culture here. No matter where you live, there’s a great place to buy seafood and have it cooked on-site to eat or bring it home for your own platter. Each of the many places to choose from has its own character and charm, as well as reputation for tastes. Some have been in operation for decades and continue to enjoy a fine reputation for safe, delicious seafood from our shores, as well as beyond.
Here’s a quick trip around Jacksonville featuring just a few of the down-home and revered, mostly retail places which make Jacksonville a great place to live by the sea.
2485 Monument Road, 32225
People have been going here for years and swear by their fresh, varied selection. You get a smile from the staff and can often go on out with a recipe for your lobster or soft-shell crabs which will please even a discerning palate. They have a great reputation for quality, too. Call ahead; they will wrap it up, and you will save yourself some time. They are often very busy with customers who won’t go anywhere else for fresh seafood.
“I love Atlantic Seafood because I can reserve my crab legs. Not just any crab legs, but the biggest, freshest snow crab legs ever. Not only that, it is one of the only places you can get fresh Mayport shrimp this time of year!” – Mary Fisher
120 3rd St, 32250
You know a seafood hot spot is a place of greatness when there’s a long line of people, no frills, picnic table seating, and you can pick out what you want to eat and have it cooked on the spot – or take it home. You’ll see people in t-shirts and flip flops on bikes or limos coming in to pick out dinner, have it cooked on site or take it home. From oyster shooters to Florida lobbies when they’re in-season, fried soft-shell crabs to oyster po-boys, this is a family style buy it to go or sit and eat a feast kind of place.
“They cook the shrimp in bay seasonings, leave the tail if you like or take it off the shell. Each morning the shrimpers bring in their fresh shrimp. Also fresh fish comes in early and is superb. Best seafood in town. I love it. Take out or eat in. Yummmmm!” – Dr. Diane Jacobsen
1790 Mayport Rd, Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
Roland is a family name synonymous with Mayport and excellent seafood – and that’s a reputation that started more than 80 years ago. From Portuguese blood rooted in Atlantic Beach, the Roland name has been around for a long time, and the reputation for quality seafood stands tall in the shadow of what once was a flourishing fishing village named Mayport. Some remember the Roland trawlers and big-time fishing boats tied up at the mouth of the St. Johns River when Mayport was in full swing as a place for beer and fresh Mayport shrimp, the real thing. Three generations enjoy a fine reputation and work hard for their future by bringing customers the best from the sea, sometimes unique enough for die-hard clients to come all the way from Orlando to get “loaded up” with the fare.
“I grew up on Roland Mayport shrimp and never looked back!” – Cam Brown
4378 Ocean Street, 32233
This seafood restaurant and market is known throughout N.E. FL. It’s a place to sit and enjoy a cold brew as you watch big cargo ships come so close you can almost hear the captain give his orders. Belly-up to this seafood market and pick out what you want to take home. The fresh stock of daily seafood is placed on ice, or you can cross the street to buy big bags of shrimp and load them up in your car, truck or camper – people stock up here. Family owned and operated for more than a half century, generations have come here to buy fresh shellfish and fish. Oysters, lobsters, tuna, snapper, mussels, crab and more – it’s all here. Located in historic Mayport Village, which traces its roots back to May 1, 1562, Safe Harbor is a place to see and be seen, as well as to buy and eat fresh from the sea and take it home – open every day but Monday.
“We have recently discovered Safe Harbor in Mayport. The staff is super friendly and helpful. The seafood is fresh and reasonably priced. In addition to the fresh seafood market, they have a restaurant serving delicious lunch & dinner. Very yummy! Their Mayport shrimp is to die for!” – Terry Hoffmann
5069 Soutel Drive, 32208
Please know there are a lot of places to buy good seafood in greater Jacksonville, but this one stands out as a place to sit down and eat in Northside. Mattie’s on Main Street is here to stay.
“Seafood Kitchen at the Beach & Mattie’s on Main St.” – Shomari Gloster
Mandarin & Orange Park
11610 San Jose Blvd. 32207 or 730 Park Avenue 32073
Sometimes you might find a bull gator hung up by the door, already skinned and for sale, sometimes enough clams by the pound to make your whole neighborhood a bake. A mainstay for seafoodaholics, Fisherman’s Dock serves up fresh seafood to families and restaurants in two convenient locations. Family roots come deep from the Louisiana bayou, and, generations later, those roots are mixed with passion and purpose as the family and workers share their personal vision about clean water to customers and vendors as much as they can. With partners in Boston and Miami, they offer a full selection of fresh items daily, including a push-out of a tweet to let customers know what just came in. Quality and sustainability – they talk it and walk it.
“Hands down – The Fisherman’s Dock. I know the owners really well, and they are all about serving the best seafood, providing excellent customer service, and giving back to the community. They also provide the seafood to many of N.E. FL’s finest restaurants, which should tell you something about the quality of the seafood they sell. Oh yeah, and they have donated all of the oysters and seafood to the St. Johns Riverkeeper Oyster Roast for over a decade!” – Jimmy Orth
San Marco/San Jose
5043 San Jose Boulevard, 32207
Noted executive chef and fishmonger, Didier Busnot can prepare a 95% boneless, poached Scottish salmon on a platter for your party or give you a fine selection of fresh seafood, such as shrimp, snapper and stone crabs, to cook for yourself. Didier’s corner shoppe is a landmark in the neighborhood. People are greeted by the French-accented proprietor, who is eager to share his decades of experience and knowledge of seafood preparation, as he offers fresh, delicious, hand-picked choices from the sea. He has dedicated years to ensuring his loyal customers have the finest seafood available, paired with great conversation, including recipes to take home and a free, fresh lemon. This is a “must stop” place for seafood lovers.
“I’ve learned all about seafood from Didier, and appreciate his guidance – love to make my Low Country Boil with his ingredients, too!” –John Mulrain
And, of course, “there are other ways to enjoy seafood – go direct to the owners of the boats at Mayport!” – Richard Mette
“Wine Cellar for grouper. BJs Bar & Grill for salmon.” – Bill Basford
“Shrimp Shack on Blanding is by far the best for traditional seafood. Corky Bells on 17 and Seafood Express on St Johns Bluff are next. But for the truly best experience in a more upscale setting, Blue Fish in Avondale is unbeatable.” – Chad Burns