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A Look at South County's Best Seafood Markets

One of the best things about living on the Rhode Island shoreline is its access to freshly-caught seafood.

South County's oceanfront location ensures that fishing boats head out daily and return with fresh catches to sell at local markets.

Most towns have a seafood shack or market where you can grab swordfish, tuna, cod, haddock, flounder, sea bass, mussels, clams, bluefish, and lobster caught that day.

Here's a look at some of South County's most popular seafood markets. You're sure to visit at least one of these shops after buying a home here.

The Fishery in Westerly

Spindrift Village, a strip mall on Route 1 just outside of downtown Westerly, is home to The Fishery. This seafood market is a bit of a throwback, as owner Mike Pugliese fillets the fish right in the shop as it's delivered. The result is fresh seafood that keeps customers returning time after time.

It's also worth noting that Pugliese has over 40 years of experience selling fish. He's the former owner of Sea Well Seafood in Pawcatuck and returned to the industry after selling the business because he loves it so much. 

The Fishery isn't the largest seafood market, nor does it have the most comprehensive selection. Still, its commitment to securing and selling the freshest seafood in South County makes it worth visiting.

Ocean Catch Seafood in Wakefield

The downtown Wakefield area is full of outstanding restaurants and shops, including Ocean Catch Seafood. This market enjoys a convenient position on Kingstown Road, just off Main Street, and is part of the Quo Vadis Shopping Center.

Upon arrival, you'll immediately see that Ocean Catch has a wide variety of seafood options, including prepared items like smoked salmon, crab cakes, and shrimp salad. Those items are in addition to the fresh seafood that you can take home to cook yourself.

Ocean Catch boasts the largest selection of fresh seafood in Rhode Island, so if you're searching some something particular that's caught in New England's waters, there's an excellent chance you'll find it here.

Ferry Wharf Fish Market in Galilee

The fishing village of Galilee is full of waterfront seafood markets, including Handrigan Seafood, Narragansett Bay Lobsters, and KJ's. Wandering through this area will give you access to various seafood options, but perhaps none is better than the Ferry Wharf Fish Market.

Lobster is the specialty at this shop, as you can buy live items to cook at home. They also have freshly-caught salmon, tuna, cod, haddock, and flounder, to name a few, in addition to clams, oysters, and mussels.

The seafood at the Ferry Wharf Fish Market is so fresh that you can watch them taking fish off the boat, making this shop an excellent option if you find yourself in the southern part of Narragansett.

Gardner's Wharf Seafood in North Kingstown

There's a waterfront seafood market in Wickford called Gardner's Wharf Seafood that also deserves some attention. This venue enjoys a beautiful location beside the Wickford Town Dock, overlooking Wickford Harbor.

Once inside, you'll find a great selection of freshly-caught seafood that boats drop at the dock behind the building. Available items include clams, steamers, oysters, lobster, cod, haddock, halibut, salmon, and tuna. They have smoked fish, too.

In addition to the seafood market at this location, there's also Chevy's Shack restaurant. As a result, you can order fantastic menu items like clam chowder, clam cakes, lobster rolls, fish and chips, fried scallops, fish tacos, and cheeseburgers. If you're looking for lunch while picking up some seafood for later, Gardner's Wharf is the place to do it.

Sea Well Seafood in Pawcatuck, CT

Venturing mere steps outside of Rhode Island, on the Connecticut side of the Pawcatuck River, is Sea Well Seafood. While you'll have to cross state lines to get here, this shop is closer to downtown Westerly than The Fishery and has a great selection of fresh seafood from which to choose.

The assortment at Sea Well Seafood is significant, as they have tuna, monkfish, swordfish, halibut, squid, steamers, clams, scallops, and live jumbo lobster. In fact, you'll find pretty much anything you can imagine here, making Sea Well a one-stop seafood shop.

It's worth mentioning that there could be a bit of a line to get into Sea Well Seafood because its central location makes it a trendy venue for locals.

Enjoy the Fresh Seafood

If you're a seafood lover, South County Rhode Island is one of the top places in the country to live because there are markets everywhere. No matter where you buy a home in this area, you're never more than a few minutes' drive from one of these great shops, and you're sure to figure out your favorite one pretty quickly.

Boats head into the ocean every morning from South County and return with the daily catch. Living here allows you to buy this fresh seafood whenever you wish, just another perk associated with moving here.


Published January 8, 2021 in Local Information, Exploring South County