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“Recommend” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Fish Market

The Fish Market
3150 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306
+1 650-493-9188
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Ranked #19 of 273 Restaurants in Palo Alto
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: American, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Doing business
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Our first restaurant has been a Palo Alto institution since its doors opened in 1976. With the brand new addition of an oyster bar, cocktail bar and lounge area, there are now even more ways to experience this unique restaurant. The expansive retail market remains a popular stop for local residents seeking to take home the finest in fresh fish.
Irving, Texas
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Recommend”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

My two teenaged grandsons and I enjoyed this place. It had a wide variety of seafood not just the local Pacific fare I expected. When you first walk in you see a beautifully presented fish market counter loaded with fresh fish offerings. We all ordered something very different: crab cioppino, rainbow trout, and clam chowder. The cioppino is an Italian style meal loaded with various seafood drenched in their homemade marinara sauce. This place is far and away better than Red Lobster and just a little bit pricier. We ate a a few other seafood places but like this one the best. I suggest you download their menu to see what all they have to offer.

  • Visited June 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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251 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    114
    32
    14
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
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English first
Longmont, CO
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“They sure know how to cook fresh fish here”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2011

We are big fans of the Fish Market in San Diego, so when we traveled recently to Northern California, we couldn't resist going to the Fish Market in Palo Alto. We were very pleased that the same excellent quality of fresh fish found in the restaurant in San Diego was present in the one in Palo Alto.
Three of us ordered the fresh swordfish, which was terrific, and one of the kids ordered the shrimp and scallop skewer. The swordfish was perfectly cooked and the serving size was fairly large compared to the size of other fish entrees we've had in area restaurants. The choice of sides at the Fish Market is always a difficult decision, as they have a very good selection and they are all good. Our favorites are the basil tomatoes, red potatoes, veggies, and rice.One fun aspect of the Fish Market is that they also sell fish at the front of the restaurant, so you can check out what is fresh before your meal and how the fish looks. It's always nice to see what you will be getting before you order. We would have bought some fish to cook, but were not staying long in the area. It looks like a great place to buy fresh fish.
Our children have graduated to adult entrees, but I would also add that the kids menu is very good and diverse, and this restaurant would appeal to fish-lovers of all ages.
The restaurant is fairly noisy - but the excellent food makes up for it.

  • Visited August 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Over-priced sub-standard quality fish.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2011

Came in on a weekend afternoon, plenty of tables, we were seated and our order taken immediately. Bread was hard as a rock. No matter what type of fish you order, it all comes with their "mesquite" sprinkled-on marinade. All the fish was prepared the same way, and pretty much tasted the same - bland. Texture was low-quality. And they charged $22 for seabass and $26 for salmon. Total rip-off. Service was haphazard and inconsistent. Best part of the whole meal/experience was the au gratin potatoes, that's their saving grace. I wouldn't recommend this place for anything else other than the au gratin potatoes.

  • Visited May 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Detroit
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Mediocre”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2011

After years of visiting the area and not stopping at the Fish Market in large part due to poor reviews on Trip Advisor, we decided to go there because they close later on week nights than some other places in the area and we just wanted a quick and reasonable, decent fish dinner.

We were not looking for the best, just adequate, on the level of Red Lobster, and still were disappointed.

My ono was way overcooked - dry and chewy, and my wife's butterfish was a little under done (and yes, I know when fish is properly cooked). One of my side dishes was tomatos with basil - hard to mess that up, right? The tomatoes were cherry tomatos cut in half, very small ones at that. Ought to have fresh tomatos in California in July, wouldn't you think?

I try to find what is positive in the places I go. Service was good enough for our needs that night. The menu has extensive offerings, and maybe we should have ordered something more in the mainstream, but the preparations were simple. It should not hard to get it right.

For you seafood lovers, it rates below Red Lobster.

  • Visited July 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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Maple Grove, Minnesota
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Fresh on Display”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2011

Nice little casual spot with fresh fish on display (See my photos). A party of four and we were all satisfied. I had the blackened salmon and it was great. Good wine selection and good service. No wait on a Tuesday night. I would recommend this spot and would return on my next trip to Palo Alto.

  • Visited July 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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