A Miami Market Where the Fish Fly

By Brett Anderson.

MIAMI – Customers traveling by foot or convertible will hear Plaza Seafood Market shortly after it comes into view. The rhythmic thud of long, heavy knives cracking fish spines, landing hard on a cutting board, grows louder when you reach the parking lot, provided there are no motorcycles revving nearby, drowning everything else out.

The sounds of half-shouted Spanish, car horns and crushed ice being shoveled over mutton snapper mingle with the chopping after you enter the compact, one-room market. It’s on a stretch of Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood known as Little Santo Domingo, where fish cutters have been butchering whole fish for home cooks at Plaza Seafood since the early 1990s.

Today, when so many of the city’s food businesses are hamstrung by closings and restrictions related to the coronavirus, the market is busier than ever, seven days a week, as it continues to foster community around fresh seafood. Though it’s housed in a low building, with face masks and social distance required, breezes blow through the many doors and windows, and much of the business transpires outside.

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