Podcast #50: Chatham Fish Pier and Nickerson Fish and Lobsters

Nickerson Fish and Lobsters
Chatham Fish PR, Chatham MA 02633

May 22nd was the first day of the season for Nickerson Fish and Lobsters, the premier boutique seafood retailer and wholesaler in Chatham, Massachusetts, which resides on the famous Chatham Fish Pier, only 50 feet from the docks where the fishing boats bring in their catch. Over Memorial Day weekend we had the rare privilege of eating the best fresh seafood a single consumer will find anywhere on the Atlantic coast, and talking to Tom Riley, the proprietor of the business, as well as local Lobster and Scallop fishermen.

Click here to listen to the Chatham Fish Pier and Nickerson Fish and Lobster podcast (58 min running time).

Click here for a hi-res Slide Show.

Click here to watch a Flickr Video of how to properly crack a lobster.

Click here to watch a Flickr Video of some very aggressive seagulls.

Related News Article: 5/31/08 — 60,000 lbs of Lobsters destroyed in Boston Fire

Chatham, MA. The center of the universe for Lobster and Scallops on Cape Cod.

The Chatham Lighthouse.

Nickerson Fish and Lobsters, in Chatham, Cape Cod MA. One of the oldest and most reputable seafood purveyors in the entire country. Situated directly on the Fish Pier, it is only 50 feet away from where the Lobster Boats and the Scallop Trawlers leave and return from their daily fishing trips. Nickerson buys directly from the source (and in the case of scalloping, it has its own boat to fill some of the demand) and has a huge seawater tank with sand filtration system to keep shellfish at the absolute apex of freshness.

Scallop and Lobster boats on the Chatham Fish Pier, at around 7:30am, just before leaving for the day.

If you’re craving lobsters, you’d best not click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below.

A scallop trawler.

Nickerson primarily supplies the best of the local Cape Cod restaurants, but they also ship anywhere in the country.

Tom Riley, proprietor of Nickerson. Tom is the 3rd generation owner of the business, which was established in 1952 by the Nickerson family. Since purchasing the company he has completely rebuilt the premises and installed lot of modern enhancements to ensure freshness and quality of his product.

One of the several massive filtered salt water holding tanks for shellfish. These are mussels and clams that have been harvested only hours before.

Dry Pack Sea Scallops being stored in the walk-in on ice. They don’t get any better than this. We took 2lbs of these guys back to our condo unit and made a hell of a dinner with them.

When I saw these guys opened up I got the same feeling that Colombian drug lords get when they know they are dealing in restricted merchandise. This stuff goes only to the very best restaurants on the Cape.

Pan Seared Sea Scallops over Corn, Pepper, Shallot and Oyster Cracker stuffing with Brazilian Sour Orange reduction, cooked in our condo.

Nickerson Chowder and Fry Chef Ricky Lee.

Sashimi grade bluefin tuna, caught off the Cape Cod coastal waters. Tom is cutting me a taste here — this stuff is absolutely heavenly.

Tom steaming us up a pair of 4lb Chatham lobsters for lunch.

Scallop Fisherman Jim Berdstram.

Lobster Man Sam Lucarelli.

Fried Belly Clams and Haddock, fresh from the Nickerson fryulator.

You can eat your Fish and Chips from Nickerson right on the Fish Pier overlooking Chatham harbor.

Can’t beat the view.

This wise guy and his friends will show up if you start picnicking on the pier.

I prefer this perspective.

Lobster Nirvana. Pretty much every lobster experience going forward is going to be downhill after this one. BTW – we brought the salad with us, it was our only side.

Does it get better than this? I think not.

13 Responses to Podcast #50: Chatham Fish Pier and Nickerson Fish and Lobsters

  1. Kalyn says:

    Great post! I think you’ve really captured the New England seafood experience.

  2. Christine says:

    You guys found it on your own! Good job! Senior moment here!

    Get the portable clambake…

  3. Margie says:

    Good Lord, that made me hungry! And here I am landlocked with only moderately decent seafood available. Maybe we should start thinking about a coastal vacation…

  4. Nina W. says:

    Rachel, you look great!!!

  5. Rachel Perlow says:

    Thanks Nina. I think there will be some more pictures of me in upcoming posts. Of course, I gained back 2.5 lbs this week. There’s a fresh pot of tomato lentil soup on the stove right now, “back in the saddle again…”

  6. Melissa says:

    Never met a lobster that I didn’t immediately fall in love with .. your trip and resulting photos were, if I might be so bold, positively orgasmic!

  7. Don says:

    I entirely agree with Melissa, the scallops look wonderful as well!

  8. Kimi says:

    No fair! I was in Chatham for the first time last summer and fell in LOVE with the town. I think I took about 100 pics at the fish pier. Your post made we want to go there now, but also brought back the life of the wonderful time we had there. Did you go to the Impudent Oyster or Brewster Fish House, two of my all time favorite restaurants. Thanks for the fantastic post!

  9. Big Bear says:

    Man if I ever get up to Massachusetts I am definitely going to try this place!

  10. karen young says:


    Wonderful deminstration…the fine art of preparing a lobster for the dinner table…great job.

    The Canadian version isn’t alot different…LOL

    Long time no see.

  11. George Brooks says:

    I used to work at the fish peir in 1965, when Willard Nickerson ran the fish market. Way back then they had the best sea food, because they bought day boat fish direct from the peir. I am going to retire in 2 years and I am going to spend my summers on the Cape I was wondering maybe of working at the fish market for the summer?

    George Brooks

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