Katie’s Seafood Market
1902 Wharf Rd., Galveston, 409-763-8160
At Buddy Guindon’s small market on Galveston’s Pier 19, the Gulf-caught fish on offer was likely caught specifically for the store, often by his own family. If Guindon seems more polished than your average fisherman, chalk it up to his second career on TV—he even shot a reality-show pilot.
1841 Richmond Ave., Houston, 713-526-2351
Stephen Berreth’s retail and wholesale operation supplies top restaurants—from Hugo’s and Underbelly to Reef and Uchi—with local fish, offering usual suspects such as snapper and oysters along with more uncommon selections like porgy and amberjack. How do you know it’s fresh? This is one of few local markets with the federal permits required to unload boats of fresh seafood directly onto its trucks.
3815 Westheimer Rd., Houston, 713-386-1700
As part of the giant, San Antonio–based H-E-B chain, this is no mom-and-pop seafood store, but that just means that the Gulf seafood selection is as huge as the rest of the outsized gourmet market. Look for exotic local species at this sustainability-focused counter in Highland Village such as black drum, but also some of the freshest red snapper and redfish around.
Champions Seafood Market
16740 Stuebner Airline, Spring, 281-370-6688
For 14 years, owner Joselu Gonzalez has considered it his duty to educate customers about fish, both local and from afar. Ask for him at the counter, and he’ll share his recipes for Gulf varieties including cobia, tripletail and candy-pink queen snapper.
302 Waterfront Dr., Seabrook, 281-291-0339
Many of the markets on the Seabrook strip are Vietnamese-owned, with shrines intended to bring success to their stores, but the Buddha statue presiding over this one has chubby hands stuffed with dollar bills. His largesse is reflected in the market’s comprehensive offerings, from fresh-caught octopus and squid to oft-overlooked species such as Spanish mackerel and buffalo fish.
510 11th Ave., Seabrook, 281-474-3899
Baybrook’s and Golden Seafood are also great options among Seabrook’s offerings, but we’re partial to this petite, underrated spot with a sandbox-like tank that invites shoppers to grab their own live blue crabs. Bring your gloves or you might get pinched. Or go to Rose’s across the street, which has a
The Woodlands Seafood Company
25186 I-45 North, Spring, 281-367-3474
A rainbow of former sea dwellers occupies the vast cases here, with one devoted solely to shrimp of all sizes. Head next door to the store’s adjacent restaurant Crabby Daddy Seafood & Steakhouse to try the ultra-fresh Gulf grouper cooked to your liking, though we recommend it fried in a light cornmeal crust.