6 great places for deliciously fresh fish
Cockles and mussels, alive alive oh! Fresh fish crowd the markets every day, while fishmongers are to the coast what beer is to the pub. But the fishmongers themselves have long stopped being ‘just’ shopkeepers; they’ve turned into top chefs who are out to surprise their customers every day with delicious little treats.
The façade tells it all: Fish for Foodies. Indeed, Mare Nostrum aims to be more than just your everyday fishmonger, resolutely choosing the best fish for hobby chefs who know what they want, namely things they can find nowhere else, like ray liver and ray caviar and a whopping fifteen kinds of oysters during the season.
Address: Mare Nostrum, Strandlaan 321, 8670 Koksijde-Oostduinkerke, www.marenostrum.be
This fishmonger is only a stone’s throw away from the port and fish market of Zeebrugge. The lovely, large, open-plan shop has made a name for itself as a buyer of first-class fish and seafood, with friendly service and staff who are always prepared to give sound advice. Ready dishes on offer include real classics like home-made shrimp soup and the most unctuous shrimp croquettes.
Address: Westhinder, Vismijnstraat 20, 8380 Zeebrugge
This fishmonger has a great reputation too. Hardly surprising, because its owner Wilfried van Elverdinghe continued the long family line of fisherman and is a fish trader who has been buying and selling fish for 40 years. He knows how to care for fish, on board and on the quay, so his customers like to pop in for a delicious seafood platter, fish fondue or gourmet.
Address: Vishandel Gaetane, Kaai 35, 8620 Nieuwpoort, www.vishandelgaetane.be
Fishmonger Depaepe welcomed its 5th generation when Anneke Van Troyen and her husband Kristoffel joined the business back in 2009. It’s definitely the place to come for a real sea banquet of periwinkles, home-cooked whelks and prawns of for their fresh shrimp croquettes which they make according to their very own age-old recipe.
Address: Vishandel Depaepe, Knokkestraat 20A, 8300 Knokke-Heist, www.vishandeldepaepe.be
Fresh fish every day is this fishmonger’s speciality. After all, owner Norman grew up knee-deep in fish, with a past in the fish market and a father who owned fishing boats. Now, though, he buys his fish directly from the source, specialising in French whelks and char from Iceland.
Address: Vishandel Simonne, Van Maerlantsstraat 26, 8370 Blankenberge
What originally started out as a wholesale business has now made a name for itself as a fishmonger, following the seasons and supplying guaranteed fresh fish and seafood. Though customers can also come for fish dishes like cold platters, soups or the shop’s famous sushi box.
Address: Vishandel Luk, Groentemarkt 14, 8400 Oostende, www.vishandel.net