Buying Guides

Best Seafood Delivery Services

Enjoy deliveries of fresh or frozen seafood

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Raw sliced tuna steaks on crushed ice

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Freshness counts with seafood and the big win with home seafood delivery is cutting out the middleman. Unless you’re very close to the source, nearly all seafood is frozen; what you get at the grocery store is often thawed. But, when you buy frozen seafood directly from a supplier, you control when it’s thawed.

The other upshot to seafood delivery is its quality. Grocery store seafood can be underwhelming in selection and quality. However, many seafood delivery services work directly with fishermen, so they get choice picks that used to be only be available to restaurants.

The third plus with seafood delivery is increased transparency. Many services give lots of information about where and how the seafood was caught or farmed, plus details about the fishermen themselves. And increasingly, seafood delivery services are sustainability-focused, navigating the confusing waters of what’s good for you and the planet so you don’t have to. Keep reading for more about the best seafood delivery services.

Best Seafood Delivery Services of 2021

Best Overall: Sea to Table

Sea to Table

Sea to Table

Why We Chose It: This company has a user-friendly combination of selection and flexibility, all with a focus on supporting American fisheries.

What We Like
Boxes can be one-time orders or subscription
Easy-to-navigate website
Eco-packaging for shipping; seafood is wrapped in paper, not plastic
Good choice for those wanting variety of American, wild-caught seafood

What We Don’t Like
“Kits” are not meal kits, but seafood selections
Few non-seafood extras

Sea to Table offers coast-to-coast, wild-caught American seafood. The clear and informative website provides a description of every item and lists not only its source, but a short summary of why it’s sustainable. Plus the portions come labeled with thawing, prep, and cooking instructions. All of this certified B corporation’s seafood is flash-frozen and arrives at your address in eco-friendly packaging.

Any seafood item or kit can be ordered one-time or made into a subscription, so you don’t have to commit to subscribing to a full box. There is a large selection of kits—which aren’t meal kits, but rather themed selections of seafood. The Kosher Kit includes only finfish; the New Englander has redfish, scallops, and skate. Don’t want a whole box of seafood? Order salmon, whitefish, scallops, shrimp, or lobster tails in the quantity that works for you.

The price of some kits can seem steep, but they come with plenty of servings and you can use them at your convenience.

Best Community-Supported Fishery: Sitka Salmon Shares

Sitka Salmon Shares

Sitka Salmon Shares

Why We Chose It: With Sitka Salmon Shares, you’re directly supporting small-boat fishermen in Alaska.

What We Like
Works directly with Alaska’s small-boat fishermen
Insulated tote bags for shipping can be returned for reuse
Blast-frozen fish is sashimi-grade and can be eaten raw

What We Don’t Like
Those who want a bigger variety of seafood may tire of the selection
Limited customization

With a community-supported fishery, you buy a “share” of the season’s catch; what you get is what they bring in (it works a bit like a CSA box of produce from a farm). With Sitka Salmon Shares, you choose the size of your box, as well as the content, to some extent: There are all-salmon boxes, shellfish-free boxes, and white fish boxes. Deliveries are monthly during the season (April–December for most shares)—which is not ideal for those who want year-round deliveries, and you can cancel at any time.

But for those who want a direct connection with sustainable, wild-caught seafood, this is a good choice. Sitka Salmon Shares also carries its ethos into its other practices. The shipping packaging uses plant-based, biodegradable foam instead of styrofoam, and the insulated tote bag can be sent back for reuse.

Best for Fresh Fish: Oceanbox

Oceanbox

Oceanbox

Why We Chose It: For those who want a subscription that delivers fresh fish, Oceanbox offers predictability and minimal decision-making.

What We Like
Browse options by saltwater, omega-3, low fat, and freshwater
Text confirms delivery of package
“Dock to door” in three days

What We Don’t Like
Origins of tilapia offerings unclear
Less flexibility for meal planning

Frozen fish isn’t convenient for everyone. For those who value fish that's never been frozen, or just can’t be bothered to thaw it, consider Oceanbox, which promises fish that goes from “dock to door” in three days.

Oceanbox offers shrimp, scallops, and finfish. Choose a small (four servings), medium (eight servings), or large (12 servings) box. Then choose your preferred delivery frequency (weekly, biweekly, or monthly). For convenience, each portion is individually packaged.

Since the fish is fresh and seafood is best consumed sooner rather than later, you’re locked into making it soon after receiving your box. However, you can always freeze whatever you aren't able to prepare.

Best Diversity: Fulton Fish Market

Fulton Fish Market

Fulton Fish Market

Why We Chose It: One of the most well-established fish markets in America, Fulton Fish Market offers an unparalleled selection.

What We Like
Options for subscription or one-time orders
Many choices for subscription box combos
Free two-day shipping on orders over $99

What We Don’t Like
The abundance of choices may be overwhelming for some
Information on sourcing is clearly displayed, but you may need to research deeper for sustainability

The Fulton Fish Market is an institution in New York City that offers subscriptions on top of its multitude of seafood offerings from around the world. Searching for uni roe or baby octopus for a special recipe? Fulton has it. Want a cool variety of seafood delivered to you? The shop does that, too.

For one-time orders, stick to the main website. You’ll see seafood bundles for parties, a rotating catch of the day, and a mix of fresh and frozen products.

For subscriptions, go to Fulton Fish Drop. Subscription deliveries are fresh, not frozen, so keep that in mind for meal planning. Let the market curate it with the Try ‘Em All box, or pick your own with the Fulton Faves box. Fulton can even create custom subscription boxes for you.

Best for Seafood and More: Vital Choice

Vital Choice

Vital Choice

Why We Chose It: Those who want seafood in addition to supplements and premium land-grazing meat can enjoy one-stop shopping with Vital Choice.

What We Like
Fresh, frozen, and canned seafood available
Marine Stewardship Council Chain-of-Custody certification
Certified B Corporation

What We Don’t Like 
No surf and turf box subscriptions
Few subscription choices for those who don’t like salmon

Vital Choice has been in the sustainable seafood delivery game for a while. Founded in 2001, it began sourcing Alaska salmon and expanded to include premium seafood from healthy fisheries around the world. All of its seafood is wild-caught. Need a pantry backup? Get some canned fish. It even sells marine supplements such as omega-3-rich fish oils in capsules and other forms, so you can opt for maximum omega power. Vital Choice also works with small-scale farmers to supply land proteins.

Vital Choice also offers one-time orders as well as subscriptions, although the latter is only for seafood. Choose a “Vital Box” of either mixed finfish, finfish and shellfish, or straight-up salmon. Rotating contents include smoked salmon, calamari, and more.

Best for Fresh Oysters: Taylor Shellfish Farms

Taylor Shellfish Farms

Taylor Shellfish Farms

Why We Chose It: This long-standing company raises shellfish sustainably and as operators of several oyster bar locations, knows its raw shellfish.

What We Like
Oysters, clams, and mussels rated “best choices” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program
All the fresh shellfish come from their own farms in the Pacific Northwest
Five varieties of oysters, plus a sampler pack option

What We Don’t Like
Customer chat window continually pops up while browsing website

If you want a raw bar at home for a special occasion, Taylor Shellfish Farms has many varieties of oysters, including samplers so you can try a few in one sitting. Not a fan of shucking? Try the frozen top-off oysters so you can have that half-shell experience with no fear of mortal wounds. If you’re intending to cook with oysters, Taylor sells fresh shucked oysters, too.

There’s more than oysters with this family-owned company that's been in operation since 1890: Taylor sells “tide to table” fresh clams, mussels, and geoducks as well. There is also canned smoked shellfish, such as oysters and mussels.

You can place one-time orders online and live shellfish ships overnight.

Final Verdict

Seafood delivery services can offer restaurant-quality seafood that is far superior to what’s available at the grocery store. They’re able to work directly with fishermen or producers to get fresh fish, and they often process it close to its source. Most seafood delivery services make sustainability a priority and offer plentiful information on their website about their sourcing and species sustainability. If you want more transparency in your seafood choices, they’re a good route to choose.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Seafood Delivery Services Ship Fresh Seafood?

Depending on the company, the fish will either be fresh or frozen. Fresh seafood may be convenient, and in the case of some seafood (oysters for serving raw), necessary. But don’t place too high a value on it. Fresh seafood should be cooked a day or two after you receive it. Frozen seafood preserves freshness and quality and gives you more flexibility in terms of when you plan to prepare it. The companies included here all source the freshest seafood possible, sometimes directly from fishermen, and if it’s frozen, it’s done immediately after processing. 

The companies in this review that offer fresh seafood ship it overnight in coolers with gel packs. Most use eco-friendly packaging.

How Much Do Seafood Delivery Services Cost?

The price depends on the items selected, amount, your location, and frequency. Companies usually give a discount for larger orders. All of the subscription boxes included in this review offer free shipping and multiple sizes and frequencies. For Alaska and Hawaii, additional fees may apply. Fresh seafood needs to be shipped faster than frozen, so delivery for those items may be more.

Are Seafood Delivery Services Sustainable?

Sustainability relates to the seafood in question. If the company starts with an abundant species in a well-managed, healthy fishery, then that’s a good foundation. Narratives with specific details about the fishermen they work also bode well. Since any business can claim it’s sustainable, look for third-party certifications such as the Marine Stewardship Council. Trustworthy companies will also display information on seafood origin (source) and its sustainability status.

Fisheries in America are more regulated than in many other countries, so when a company sources only U.S. seafood, it’s more likely to be sustainable.

Is Farmed Seafood Sustainable?

Some of it is, but a lot is not. Some species, such as oysters, can be farmed so they not only cause no harm to waters, but they help them. Others, such as tilapia, are often imported frozen from other countries where regulations and practices can vary widely. This, unfortunately, gives all farmed seafood a bad rap; ultimately, it depends on the type of seafood in question and its origin. Luckily, a good seafood delivery service will have plenty of information on its website for you. Or you can check with the nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.

How We Chose the Best Seafood Delivery Services

We looked at both subscription and single-order delivery services (some offer both) and also assessed commitment to seafood sustainability, transparency of seafood sourcing and shipping costs, seafood quality, positive customer feedback, variety of products, cost, product packaging, and ease of website navigation.

Continue to 5 of 6 below.