A seafood-centric “surf” complement to North County’s Tip Top Meats, an old world European deli, market and restaurant, has finally landed in Carlsbad. Top Choice Fish Market and Eatery, newly soft opened in an adjacent space, features a fish market that’s open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and a casual counter-service food menu served starting at 11 a.m. Working directly with local fisherman and seafood purveyors, the fish market stocks everything from whole fish to fish filets, shrimp, oysters and more; there will also be tanks of live lobster, crab, trout and sea bass available for purchase.
At Top Choice’s deli counter, diners can pick up smoked and pickled fish, fish kebabs, ceviche and more to enjoy at home or order dishes to be eaten at a handful of tables. The current soft opening menu includes fish and shrimp tacos, clam chowder, fish and chips and the Showcase Fish Platter, which enables diners to choose their pick of fish from the market and have it baked, grilled or fried for $5 over the sticker price of the fish; it’s served with optional finishing sauces, including lemon butter or horseradish marinade and two sides. An expanded menu, which includes fish burgers, homemade bouillabaisse and fish-topped salads, plus sandwiches ranging from New Orleans-style po’ boys to a Minnesota-style seafood Reuben, will soon be available along with beer and wine.