The Fish Market - Palo Alto

4.3
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114 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Palo Alto, California, is one of the 6 locations of The Fish Market restaurant. Open since 1976, the Fish Market features a spacious dining room, a bar and lounge area and an oyster bar. The Fish Market serves lunch and dinner daily.

Fresh seafood dishes fill the extensive menu at The Fish Market. Crispy fish tacos, dijon crusted tilapia and the famous dungeness crab cioppino are all dinner options. The signature Ducketts' Bucket is a must try item for anyone who enjoys steamed shellfish. Happy hour specials are featured daily to enjoy with a classic Bloody Mary. Bring home freshly caught fish from the retail market within the restaurant.
What 114 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.3
service
4.0
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DB
New Mexico
38 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Everything seafood. Liked the simple preparations. Good value.

JU
Kansas City
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Unfortunately, we were seated in a nice quiet area and the next party was seated right beside us. Many many tables were available. The party seated next to us were obnoxious and very foul-mouthed.

M
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The seafood is outstanding. The noise level is a bit too much.

JW
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is always fresh and delicious. The desserts are great also. I also love the fresh fish market and the soups they have to go.

BK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Good, dependable sea food dishes. A bit stingy on side dishes.

r
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 3

I have heard about Fish Market from friends who enjoy it, and was shocked at how it has either deteriorated, or is just poorly managed.
Always a bad sign when you see a prominent HELP WANTED sign at the entrance, but boy do they need help. Service was slow, inattentive, not at all knowledgeable, and very poorly trained. Food waits were long despite light crowd.
I am a chef, and eat a lot of sea food in the Bay Area and elsewhere, so:
"Signature" Cioppino was lukewarm and mediocre, you can get much better at the Whole Foods buffet!
Large portion, but the worst I have had in any restaurant. Edible, not good at all.
Wife's trout was very good, but served with a cherry tomato salad that was chilled and tasteless, in peak cherry tomato season!
Oysters and caesar salad were fine.
If you prioritize low prices and decent portions over quality and service, you will be fine here.

PP
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sea Bass from Ecuador. Where else can you get that? MIso glazed Salmon. Excellent fresh fish dishes. My party of 4 turned into 7 and they were able to seat us. Great food and a fun time for old friends to meet. Santa Clara Fish Market is also good food and a nice atmosphere.

CR
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We got 2 entrees that were under-cooked, the Fish Market took them back to the grill to make these entrees excellent. Service was excellent.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Kid entering college

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e
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

Large salad with prawns was just okay -
Too much lettuce overflowing in the plate. Less salad on same plate would have been better.
Restaurant was quite slow and we had to get up and find someone to take a bill.
The worst was one of the servers had filthy nails - his hands looked like the hands of a car mechanic - black grime under his nails. I lost my appetite. Fish Market days may be numbered

F
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 5ambience 2

Very bland preparation. Halibut over cooked. No flavor in rice. Tomatoes and basil were tasty. Sourdough bread and butter was best part of meal.

J
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Good BUT not as good as years ago!
We have been going there since 1976.......year they opened, I believe.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday luncheon with friends.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

The fish sticks are terrible, dry and flavorless. Of all things to get wrong, why something so simple?

LD
New York Area
9 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

Charming exterior that reminds you of Nantucket. The service was attentive and friendly. The food was ok but not outstanding and the ambience has a bit of a wagon wheel red lobster feel with captains chairs and paper bibs. We split the tuna poke with wonton chips to start. We each had two glasses of wine ($10-12 each). Entrees averaged in the mid 20s. I had the lime shrimp tacos (two, maybe two shrimp chopped up with shredded cheese) and my friend had the small cioppino. Not a lot of seafood in the seafood entrees. Coffee was good. Total for two was around $125. Lots of competition around but it has a neighborhood feel and there is a back room for large parties.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very good quality food.

CW
Portland
15 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

It’s Palo Alto so you expect it to be pricey but also expect it to be good. We both ordered Petrale Sole and if it was Petrale, something we aren’t certain of, it was tough, dry and very small portion. I would not recommend it.

MM
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Quick service and solid fresh seafood! Glad we rediscovered The Fish Market. Love the crab seafood salad...

NW
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food and service. Friendky. Parking can be difficult. The best fish I have had anywhere in the world. Love the place!

AJ
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Seating in the alcove was quiet. salad was generous. Grilled black cod was very good.

L
Sacramento
17 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

They were able to accommodate a large party on short notice. Food was good. Small, but nice wine selection. Very enjoyable.

AK
Central Coast
11 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delighted to find Alaskan Halibut on the menu. It was excellent.

GA
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

This was my first time dining at The Fish Market. I ordered the mesquite grilled salmon which was fresh, and perfectly prepared however, I was underwhelmed by the side of seasonal steamed vegetables. My dessert of upside down apple pie (with a walnut brown sugar-cinnamon crust) a la mode didn't disappoint; it was delizioso! I will definitely be returning to try out other menu favorites soon. Two thumbs up for The Fish Market!

OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Food was amazing, they accommodated my mussels allergy well none of my food touched!

j
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Walked in and had no wait before being seated. Very busy night with having to wait until someone pulled out of a parking space before I could park. Service was excellent and our orders were delivered as requested with no issues. Food was great. Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a quality seafood dinner.

JA
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This is a go-to for us when we come to town to visit family. The food and service are always top-notch.
If noise level could be addressed- then it would be our dead favorite! Glad to see places are finally realizing this is an issue for people!

SW
Detroit
4 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So fresh and Good!

LC
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Service was terrific — even with a server in training. Fish dishes are hearty, but nothing to write home about. Very limited options for the vegetarian in our group. Too noisy for conversation without shouting and repeatedly asking, "huh"? Fish Market is great for a tasty, fill-you-up meal. Just don't count on conversing with your table-mates.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Loud, sashimi wasn’t fresh, server wasn’t knowledgeable and couldn’t offer vegetarian options for my guest.

P
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Nice old-fashioned restaurant. You can really get fish there (in contrast to many other maritime-themed restaurants). Some items surprisingly highly priced.

OT
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Dinner with my wife while out of town to celebrate friends’ 5th anniversary. Food was drop dead fabulous. Very noisy which makes wearing hearing aids a challenge. Overall a very nice experience.

R
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 2

I made reservation with the notation that this was a Birthday of a friend. They said they were unaware. When I went to pay I mentioned to the waitstaff person who said she would bring a chocolate silk pie, which was hard as a rock.

I accidently gave two credit cards which she assumed we were paying for our meal separately. When the bill came back it reflected such. BUT there was only one credit card. she became frantic and called the manager to intervene. He went to investigate the loss of my other credit card. They found UNDER the desert bar. He gave me his card and said if the charger showed up on the two separate cards contact him by phone. I had the meal put on one card with a tip and gave it to him.

I had a pasta dish which did not live up to it's description (Angelina Pasta). I only a small portion of it and no restitution was offered.

S
San Francisco
75 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I don't think I have enough to say about The Fish Market...it is always excellent and we can count on it for good service, delicious food meal!

m
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Busy restaurant, make reservations. We were seated promptly with the waiter right behind. Gave us time to look over the menu and was back to take orders. Orders arrived quickly. I would have liked another glass of wine but he never came back around. Bus staff kept water glasses filled. Food was good and fresh.

LE
Baltimore
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This has been our GoTo seafood restaurant for the past 25 or so years. It’s a little expensive, but very enjoyable.

SF
San Francisco
37 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Always love the Fish Market. We used to go there all the time. With all the new restaurants opening in the area, we have not been there for a while. But it never disappoints. Food is still great and service is always good. Best of all, the price is still good. We love the fish market!

OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

David was great! He was very attentive to us especially with a busy restaurant. Will request his section next time we go!

m
San Francisco
65 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

noise level: not energetic, just really noisy.;
food: i had fresh mahi/mahi and it was horribly oily/greasy even though I asked them to use very light oil. also my meal was lukewarm.
service: we had to flag down a waiter to get any help after nearly 10 minutes after our arrival.
too bad because our previous visit had been way better.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

I always like the Fish Market experience, but this time I was disappointed that even though it was only 6:30pm on a Saturday, they had already run out of Salmon and also my second choice fish. I ended up with the last piece of swordfish. Seems they should have more supply and wouldn’t run out so early in an evening. Also, I’d say the fish was cooked too much, such that it was a bit dry.

The server and front desk service was excellent. It was really the issue with their supply of standard fish choices that ran out early and a secondary cooking issue.

LN
Philadelphia
24 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

This was a favorite but no longer. Sword fish looked like and tasted like it came from my freezer. Scoop of tuna on lettuce with 2 cherry tomatoes and onion was not impressive and over priced. Over quality did not equal price or service.