Founded in 1891 at the base of what used to be McFadden Wharf, the Dory Fishing Fleet and Market is a beachside fishing cooperative located on Newport Pier. A registered historical landmark, the Dory Fleet is considered the last beachside cooperative of its kind in the United States.
The History of Dory Fleet Market
The Dory Fleet Market was started when an enterprising fisherman decided to start marketing his catch directly to the public rather than go through wholesalers. Shortly after, a group of dory fishermen subleased a section of beach property from the McFaddens, who had been issued a lumber operations lease by Southern Pacific Railroad. By 1902, the group had built a marketplace on the north side of Newport Pier.
Today, the unique market continues to offer unique Old World Charm as it reflects an era when life was simpler. It is for this reason that the Newport Beach Historical Society recognized the fleet as a permanent local historical landmark in 1969.
Exploring the Dory Fleet Market
In 1989, dory fishermen and their families rebuilt the fleet to add more amenities while retaining its original charm. The current area includes a boardwalk as well as fishermen’s lockers, wooden stands for weighing and selling fish, and dory boats. Open five days per week, the market offers a diverse array of fish, crab, spot prawns, sea urchin, snails, sea cucumbers, spiny lobsters and more.
To ensure you get the seafood that you desire, it is best to arrive at the Dory Fleet Market early in the morning. Each day, the fishermen launch their boats at around 2:00 am and return anywhere between 6:00 and 9:00 am with their catch for the day. The crab are often sold out by 8:00 am, with the fish selling out shortly after.
Arriving at the Dory Fleet Market
The Dory Fleet Market opens each day at 5:30 am, but you can arrive at 3:30 when the lines are often starting to form. The hours for the Dory Fleet Market are:
• Wednesday through Friday: 6:30 am until Noon (Fish Only)
• Saturday: 5:30 am until Noon (Crab and Seafood)
• Sunday: 5:30 am until Noon
It should be noted that the market closes once all of the goods have been sold. New visitors who arrive mid-morning often think they arrived on a day when the market wasn’t open, when it actually was open just a couple hours earlier and simply closed early because all of the fish, crab and other seafood has been sold. Arriving early will give you the best chance of getting the fresh food you desire. While the lines may be long, they do move quickly. To speed up the process, the line on the left is for crabs and the fish line is on the right.
The Dory Fish Market is located at 2111 W. Oceanfront in Newport Beach. Parking is available in metered spaces that do not go into effect until 8:00 am, which means you will not have to pay for parking unless you remain in the area until after 8:00 am.