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Braun Seafood Co. (Photo credit: Nicole Schwartz)

The North Fork’s maritime setting ensures that every day can be a beach day, no matter the season. More importantly, it’s a seafood lover’s oasis, with a bountiful supply of fresh catches waiting to be devoured. Those wise enough to choose one of these North Fork seafood spots over a big-box chain are rewarded with the makings for the most memorable clam bakes, lobster bakes and dinner parties with the freshest fish this side of the Peconic.

The question is: Where to go?

A handful of local markets make a worthy case for the best catch, but you can argue that all five of these North Fork seafood markets take the (crab) cake. When cravings call for fresh fish, drop one of these top North Fork seafood markets a line.

Jermaine Owens of North Fork Seafood. (Photo credit: Danielle Cullen)

North Fork Seafood, 2495 Peconic Lane, Peconic, 631-905-1123

A favorite at farmers markets like the East End Food Market in Riverhead, North Fork Seafood is a dock-to-dish delight started by Greenport native Jermaine Owens, whose father was a fish cutter, in 2020. The fish is plucked from local waters. Fast favorites have included cod and sea bass. Fish can be ordered online and is available for pickup.

Braun Seafood Co. in Cutchogue (Photo credit: Nicole Schwartz)

Braun Seafood Co., 30840 Main Road, Cutchogue, 631-734-6700

A North Fork — nay, Long Island — standard-bearer, George Braun and his wife opened Braun Seafood in 1928. Braun Seafood Co. has gone on to become one of the region’s largest and oldest seafood distributors. Now headed by Ken Homan, whose father, Jim, bought the market from the Braun family in 1961, Braun Seafood is a juggernaut that offers catering, wholesale, a new food truck, a kitchen menu and a market. Find fresh and frozen seafood, like the Peconic Bay scallops that have become local staples over the years, raw boats with oysters and lobsters and more curated picks from the pros.

Southold Fish Market. (Photo credit: Cynthia Manwaring-Cusati)

Southold Fish Market, 64755 Route 25, Southold, 631-765-3200

Peruse the market for seafaring fare that you can cook yourself seven days a week. Not in the mood to fire up a stove or shuck an oyster? The kitchen at Southold Fish Market is open every day (except Tuesday) for dine-in and takeout. Fresh twists on classics like sesame-seared tuna tacos and salmon grilled cheese and savory soups like lobster bisque make for fuss-free meals.

Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market. (Photo credit: Randee Daddona)

Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market, Bootleg Alley, 37 Front St., Greenport, 631-477-6992

This hip, happening and seasonal watering hole in Greenport is celebrating a decade in business. Shucked oysters and local brews are available to be enjoyed in-house. You can also can take home oysters plucked from the waters around Shelter Island — a market is also available for those who prefer to shuck themselves.

Commander Cody’s on Shelter Island. (Credit: Randee Daddona)

Commander Cody’s Fish Shoppe, 41 Smith St., Shelter Island, 631 749-1851

A throwback experience if there ever was one, Commander Cody’s Fish Shoppe relies more on freshness than frills and flash. Yet the coastal classic menu, with food ready for clam bakes and lobster rolls, continues to draw crowds for dine-in, takeout and market browsing. Land-locked types also adore the spot for its BBQ fare, like chicken, making it a versatile place for households where the crowd is split between “surf” and “turf.” Save room for dessert — Commander Cody’s often stocks treats like cookies and ice cream designed to help you punctuate a cool summer soiree. The market is open every day from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (except Wednesday when it closes at 6 p.m.). The kitchen is open every day except Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.