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A plate with tinned fish served with a baguette, greens, salt, and butter with a cup of beer on the side.
The tinned fish options at Maiden Lane can be bought for a picnic in the park or eaten at the bar.
David Neimanis/Eater NY

13 Places to Crack Open Tinned Seafood in NYC

From restaurants-gone-retail to Spanish tapas bars, some of the top spots in NYC to find tinned seafood

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The tinned fish options at Maiden Lane can be bought for a picnic in the park or eaten at the bar.
| David Neimanis/Eater NY

What started as an early-pandemic move to stock pantries eventually forged a pathway for fulfilling world travel fantasies for those that developed a taste for collecting tinned seafood, also known as conservas. Premium quality tinned seafood is by no means a new cultural revelation, but forbidden travel to the Iberian Peninsula certainly was during much of the pandemic.

Over the past two years, there has been an influx of unique global tinned seafood products being imported to the U.S. for the first time, new North American tinned seafood producers popping up, and retailers selling artistically designed tins of seafood preserved at peak freshness like never before.

The primary new retailers are restaurants that pivoted their businesses in the wake of shutdowns, offering to stock pantries with gourmet provisions and pantry staples. Fortunately, many of these restaurants are still stocking their shelves with the likes of sardines, mussels, and squid to grab on the go, while others that were already serving tinned seafood have dialed up and improved their conservas menus, giving diners and drinkers something to enjoy on site. Here are some recommendations on where to buy and eat tinned seafood around NYC.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Teitel Brothers

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Take a walk down Arthur Avenue in the Bronx’s Little Italy and pay a visit to this family-owned business since 1915. There’s a selection of sardines, and more importantly, Sicilian anchovies — a staple in Southern Italian cooking — perfect for topping pizzas, melting into a sauce, or for whipping up a classic Caesar dressing. While not tinned or jarred, one of their more unique products are the loose, salt-packed anchovies that are sold by the pound.

Despaña Gourmet Queens

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Originally a chorizo factory, this Jackson Heights institution has been importing Spanish specialty food products since 1971. The store carries some unique brands that represent a vast breadth of Spain, including Cabo de Peñas from Galicia, Don Bocarte from Cantabria, and Agromar from Asturias — many establishments around town source their conservas from Despaña. In 2006, the company opened an offshoot location in Soho, where there’s a boutique grocery store and tapas cafe that hosts one of the city’s largest selections of Güeyu Mar products.

Mercado Little Spain

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For those in need of a crash course on Spanish eating, Mercado Little Spain is a good start. The lower level of this Hudson Yards space includes legs of jamon iberico, creamy gazpachos,, churros, and porrons flowing with wine. While tinned fish doesn’t serve as a focal point here, it’s worth stopping by the small central shop and picking up both José Andrés and Mercado Little Spain branded conservas. At $19.95, Mercado Little Spain branded cockles might be some of the cheapest in town.

Dover Street Market New York

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Look beyond the stylish displays of clothes at Dover Street Market to find Rose Bakery, a counter service cafe, resembling something in between a grocer and an art museum cafe. The low-key spot features a nice selection of tinned seafood that upon purchase will be served on a platter with accoutrements.

Maiden Lane

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Maiden Lane might be the closest thing New Yorkers can find to a classic Southern European conserveria, but in its own very New York way. Directly across from Tompkins Square Park, the bustling corner is home to its own Tin Shop. The selection features a nice blend of reasonably priced European and North American tinned seafood products, from sardines to razor clams. Tins can be purchased to pop at home, in the park, or consumed at one of the bar’s sidewalk tables. Diners can also wash their seafood down with a $4 draft beer or $25 bottle of wine.

Huertas

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For a more refined and traditional Spanish conservas experience, stop by the East Village tapas and pintxos bar and gaze toward the conservas menu. With everything from budget friendly offerings by Patagonia Provisions (yes, it’s from the outdoor clothing company) to more extravagant selections like grilled tuna neck from Güeyu Mar, there is something for everyone. This is a great way to experience conservas in the way that many Spaniards do — alongside a glass of sweet vermouth.

Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

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The quaint restaurant known for its cured meats and Italian fare doubles as a marketplace with gourmet provisions under its Alimentaria Pantry section. Customers have to walk through

a dining room of indulgent diners to grab some premium tins by the likes of Güeyu Mar and La Brujula.

A round can of tinned seafood wrapped in paper.
Walk through Il Buco’s dining room to find a stellar selection of tinned seafood.
Giada Paoloni/Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

Formaggio Essex

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With its squeaky clean aesthetic, the new Essex Street Market is host to counters, shelves, and kitchens full of specialty comestibles. At Formaggio Essex, the cheese selection gets all the attention but don’t forget to check out the tinned fish selection. Here, there’s a wide array of tinned seafood from around the globe, including New Hampshire’s own Gulf of Maine Conservas Bluefin Tuna, one of the few regional offerings out there, and one of the few retailers carrying it in the city.

A wooden shelf filled with a variety of tinned fish.
A selection of tinned fish from Formaggio Essex.
David Neimanis/Eater NY

Dimes Market

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This LES establishment has taken a more roundabout approach. The space has an almost disorienting charm, like an obscure modern apothecary, or a fictional bodega from a Wes Anderson film. Toward the back of the shop there is a charming display of tinned seafood offerings with a focus on the newschool players like Scout and Fishwife.

Mekelburg's

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Beyond hearty sandwiches and craft beer, Alicia and Daniel Guevara are dishing out some premium tinned seafood for retail — from La Brujula to Pinhais, a once uncommon brand of old school Portuguese sardines. With an abundance of natural wine, beer, spirits, crusty bread, artisanal crackers, and pickled accoutrements, it’s a one-stop shop for a lazy tinned fish meal.

A metal shelf lined with a variety of tinned fish.
Mekelburg’s selection of conservas.
David Neimanis/Eater NY

Ops has carved out a space in Bushwick as a haven for its natural wine-drinking, sourdough pizza-eating clientele. It is no secret that natural wine and pizza are a popular pairing, but tinned fish can also seamlessly work its way into that kinship. In fact, wine importers are well positioned for securing European specialty goods. So it was an easy choice when Selections de la Viña, one of the city’s premier natural wine importers, started importing Güeyu Mar products that the folks at Ops would start adding seafood to their wine orders.

Saint Julivert

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At chefs Alex Raij and Eder Montero’s Cobble Hill favorite, the couple are carrying the highbrow brands like Zallo, Güeyu Mar, and Ramón Peña. Customers can be prepared to spend anywhere from $18 to $50 per tin. A reminder despite the possible sticker shock: The roughly 120 grams of world-class seafood can be consumed just about anywhere and requires no cooking.

Greene Grape Provisions

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Fort Greene’s gourmet provisions retailer seems to carry good everything, meaning it should come as no surprise that they have carved out a premium tinned seafood collection. There’s a solid variety of North American and European tins, which can be paired with some bubbles  from their wine shop next door.

Teitel Brothers

Take a walk down Arthur Avenue in the Bronx’s Little Italy and pay a visit to this family-owned business since 1915. There’s a selection of sardines, and more importantly, Sicilian anchovies — a staple in Southern Italian cooking — perfect for topping pizzas, melting into a sauce, or for whipping up a classic Caesar dressing. While not tinned or jarred, one of their more unique products are the loose, salt-packed anchovies that are sold by the pound.

Despaña Gourmet Queens

Originally a chorizo factory, this Jackson Heights institution has been importing Spanish specialty food products since 1971. The store carries some unique brands that represent a vast breadth of Spain, including Cabo de Peñas from Galicia, Don Bocarte from Cantabria, and Agromar from Asturias — many establishments around town source their conservas from Despaña. In 2006, the company opened an offshoot location in Soho, where there’s a boutique grocery store and tapas cafe that hosts one of the city’s largest selections of Güeyu Mar products.

Mercado Little Spain

For those in need of a crash course on Spanish eating, Mercado Little Spain is a good start. The lower level of this Hudson Yards space includes legs of jamon iberico, creamy gazpachos,, churros, and porrons flowing with wine. While tinned fish doesn’t serve as a focal point here, it’s worth stopping by the small central shop and picking up both José Andrés and Mercado Little Spain branded conservas. At $19.95, Mercado Little Spain branded cockles might be some of the cheapest in town.

Dover Street Market New York

Look beyond the stylish displays of clothes at Dover Street Market to find Rose Bakery, a counter service cafe, resembling something in between a grocer and an art museum cafe. The low-key spot features a nice selection of tinned seafood that upon purchase will be served on a platter with accoutrements.

Maiden Lane

Maiden Lane might be the closest thing New Yorkers can find to a classic Southern European conserveria, but in its own very New York way. Directly across from Tompkins Square Park, the bustling corner is home to its own Tin Shop. The selection features a nice blend of reasonably priced European and North American tinned seafood products, from sardines to razor clams. Tins can be purchased to pop at home, in the park, or consumed at one of the bar’s sidewalk tables. Diners can also wash their seafood down with a $4 draft beer or $25 bottle of wine.

Huertas

For a more refined and traditional Spanish conservas experience, stop by the East Village tapas and pintxos bar and gaze toward the conservas menu. With everything from budget friendly offerings by Patagonia Provisions (yes, it’s from the outdoor clothing company) to more extravagant selections like grilled tuna neck from Güeyu Mar, there is something for everyone. This is a great way to experience conservas in the way that many Spaniards do — alongside a glass of sweet vermouth.

Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

A round can of tinned seafood wrapped in paper.
Walk through Il Buco’s dining room to find a stellar selection of tinned seafood.
Giada Paoloni/Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

The quaint restaurant known for its cured meats and Italian fare doubles as a marketplace with gourmet provisions under its Alimentaria Pantry section. Customers have to walk through

a dining room of indulgent diners to grab some premium tins by the likes of Güeyu Mar and La Brujula.

A round can of tinned seafood wrapped in paper.
Walk through Il Buco’s dining room to find a stellar selection of tinned seafood.
Giada Paoloni/Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria

Formaggio Essex

A wooden shelf filled with a variety of tinned fish.
A selection of tinned fish from Formaggio Essex.
David Neimanis/Eater NY

With its squeaky clean aesthetic, the new Essex Street Market is host to counters, shelves, and kitchens full of specialty comestibles. At Formaggio Essex, the cheese selection gets all the attention but don’t forget to check out the tinned fish selection. Here, there’s a wide array of tinned seafood from around the globe, including New Hampshire’s own Gulf of Maine Conservas Bluefin Tuna, one of the few regional offerings out there, and one of the few retailers carrying it in the city.

A wooden shelf filled with a variety of tinned fish.
A selection of tinned fish from Formaggio Essex.
David Neimanis/Eater NY

Dimes Market

This LES establishment has taken a more roundabout approach. The space has an almost disorienting charm, like an obscure modern apothecary, or a fictional bodega from a Wes Anderson film. Toward the back of the shop there is a charming display of tinned seafood offerings with a focus on the newschool players like Scout and Fishwife.

Mekelburg's

A metal shelf lined with a variety of tinned fish.
Mekelburg’s selection of conservas.
David Neimanis/Eater NY

Beyond hearty sandwiches and craft beer, Alicia and Daniel Guevara are dishing out some premium tinned seafood for retail — from La Brujula to Pinhais, a once uncommon brand of old school Portuguese sardines. With an abundance of natural wine, beer, spirits, crusty bread, artisanal crackers, and pickled accoutrements, it’s a one-stop shop for a lazy tinned fish meal.

A metal shelf lined with a variety of tinned fish.
Mekelburg’s selection of conservas.
David Neimanis/Eater NY

Ops

Ops has carved out a space in Bushwick as a haven for its natural wine-drinking, sourdough pizza-eating clientele. It is no secret that natural wine and pizza are a popular pairing, but tinned fish can also seamlessly work its way into that kinship. In fact, wine importers are well positioned for securing European specialty goods. So it was an easy choice when Selections de la Viña, one of the city’s premier natural wine importers, started importing Güeyu Mar products that the folks at Ops would start adding seafood to their wine orders.

Saint Julivert

At chefs Alex Raij and Eder Montero’s Cobble Hill favorite, the couple are carrying the highbrow brands like Zallo, Güeyu Mar, and Ramón Peña. Customers can be prepared to spend anywhere from $18 to $50 per tin. A reminder despite the possible sticker shock: The roughly 120 grams of world-class seafood can be consumed just about anywhere and requires no cooking.

Greene Grape Provisions

Fort Greene’s gourmet provisions retailer seems to carry good everything, meaning it should come as no surprise that they have carved out a premium tinned seafood collection. There’s a solid variety of North American and European tins, which can be paired with some bubbles  from their wine shop next door.

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