If you are receiving SNAP benefits, which used to be known as Food Stamps, and enjoy fish, crab, oysters, and other seafood, you might be wondering “What are the seafood places that accept EBT near me?”
Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards are used to issue benefits to those enrolled in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP).
Seafood is one of the staple items you can buy with EBT. You can use your EBT card to buy seafood at popular seafood markets across the U.S., as well as at your local grocery stores, of course.
It’s good to know if there are any fish markets near you that accept EBT cards so you can purchase fresh-caught seafood to enjoy at home!
That’s what today’s post is all about.
Below, I’ll outline the top seafood markets that accept EBT payments. And, in case you don’t happen to live near one of these markets, I’ve also included a list of grocery stores that accept EBT where you can get seafood, including in-store and online.
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What is an EBT card?
An EBT card is a debit card that SNAP-recipients can use to pay for eligible purchases at authorized retailers. It has a security PIN and a magnetic strip and functions much like a regular debit card does.
The difference is that while you can use your regular debit card to purchase anything you want at the store, provided you have the funds to cover the cost, EBT cards can only be used to purchase items that are SNAP eligible. This means that there are some items you can’t buy using EBT. I’ll cover which types of items you can purchase below.
Can I Use EBT at Seafood Places Near Me?
Short answer: Yes, you can buy fresh, frozen, and packaged seafood items with your EBT card. You can purchase items like shrimp, lobster, fish, crab, mussels, and oysters using your food stamps. Many seafood markets accept EBT, as do grocery stores.
Because EBT cards can’t be used to purchase hot or prepared foods, you won’t be able to use your food stamps at seafood restaurants. However, some states have a Restaurant Meals Program that allows elderly, homeless, and disabled SNAP recipients to purchase food at SNAP authorized restaurants using their SNAP EBT cards.
Sadly, you won’t really find many seafood places that actually participate in this program. Make sure you read my list of fast-food restaurants that accept EBT if you do want to use your food stamps to buy hot and prepared meals through the Restaurant Meals Program.
What can you buy with an EBT card?
As I said earlier, not all items are SNAP eligible. Your EBT card can only be used to purchase eligible items. This includes fresh seafood, fresh-caught fish, and many other seafood items.
Here’s what you can buy with your EBT card…
- Breads and cereals, like pita bread, rye bread, tortillas, pasta, bagels, and rice.
- Cold sandwiches
- Cooking oils, like olive oil and vegetable oil
- Dairy products, like cheese, milk, and almond milk.
- Desserts, like ice cream, cookies, or brownies
- Fruits and vegetables (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- Non-alcoholic beverages, such as soft drinks, like Sprite and Pepsi, and energy drinks like Red Bull.
- Other foods such as snack foods
- Pork products, like chops, sausages, bacon, and tenderloin.
- Poultry products like chicken and eggs
- Red meat, like steak, ribs, and ground beef
- Seafood, such as fish, shrimp, shellfish, and lobster.
- Seeds and plants that produce food for the household to eat
- Snack crackers
What can’t you buy with an EBT card?
Food stamps are designed to help pay for those staple food items and non-alcoholic drinks.
Here’s what you can’t use your EBT to purchase:
- Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
- Foods that are hot when sold.
- Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from water, and animals slaughtered prior to pick-up from the store).
- Non-food items, such as:
- Cleaning supplies
- Paper products
- Pet foods
- Hygiene items
- Vitamins, medicines, and supplements.
Seafood Markets that Accept EBT
As you may already know, many grocery stores sell seafood, so this can be a good place to pick up fish, shrimp, and other items. But, seafood markets are also a great option, and many of them do actually allow you to purchase items with your EBT card.
Seafood places come in handy when you want to purchase fresh-caught fish, shrimp, or lobster near you with SNAP benefits.
Below, we list the top 4 seafood markets that take EBT.
Boston Public Market
- Location: Boston, Massachusetts
- Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 8 am to 6 pm and Sunday 10 am to 6 pm.
- What it offers: At this indoor, year-round marketplace, you’ll find seasonal, locally sourced food from Massachusetts and New England. This includes seafood as well as fresh produce, meat and poultry, eggs, dairy, baked goods, specialty items, crafts, and prepared breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.
John Yi Fish Market
- Location: Inside the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Opening hours: 8 am to 6 pm.
- What it offers: Here, you’ll find a selection of farmed and wild-caught fish and shellfish, sushi-grade tuna and salmon, and live lobsters.
Portland Fish Market
- Location: Portland, Oregon
- Opening hours: 10 am to 7 am
- What it offers: Here, you’ll find fish, such as Albacore tuna, black cod, and halibut, shellfish, such as octopus legs, mussels, clams, shrimp, and oysters, and house-smoked seafood, such as salmon, scallops, and trout.
Saltwater Seafood Market and Fry Shack
- Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
- Opening hours: Monday, closed, Tuesday to Friday, 9 am to 7 pm, Saturday, 8.30 am to 6 pm, and Sunday, 9 am to 4 pm.
- What it offers: Here you’ll find a wide range of fresh and frozen fish and shellfish, such as blue crabs, catfish, clams, cod, rainbow trout, salmon, shrimp, snapper, scallops, and live lobster.
Seafood Places that DON’T Accept EBT
Most seafood markets and restaurants in the United States don’t take EBT sadly.
Here’s a list of seafood places that DON’T accept EBT:
- 4th Street Shrimp Store
- Andria’s Seafood Restaurant & Market
- Arthur Treacher’s Fish and Chips
- Atlantic Seafood Market
- Bahama Breeze
- Bonefish Grill
- Bubba Gump Shrimp Company
- Captain Ds Seafood
- Carolina Meat & Fish Co.
- Conrad’s Crab & Seafood Market
- Crab Cake Cafe
- Crab Cake Café
- Crab Pot ATL
- Crabby Bil’s
- Jersey City Fish Stand
- Joe’s Crab Shack
- King’s Fish House
- Legal Seafoods
- Long John Silver’s
- Mac’s Seafood Markets
- McCormick and Schmick’s
- McGrath’s Fish House
- Milwaukee Public Market/St. Paul Fish Company
- Monahan’s Seafood Market
- Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen
- Pappas Seafood Co.
- Red Lobster
- Rockfish Seafood Grill
- San Pedro Fish Market
- Santa Monica Seafood Market & Café
- Shells Restaurant
- Paul Fish Company
- The Crazy Crab
- The District Fishwife
- The Lobster Place Seafood Market
- Truluck’s Seafood Steak and Crab House
Buy Seafood with EBT from these Grocery Stores
Sadly, there aren’t that many seafood markets that accept EBT as a payment method. That’s why you might want to consider grocery stores for buying seafood instead.
If you don’t live near one of the markets on our list, you can instead pick up fish and shellfish, like salmon, shrimp, and cod at many grocery stores. And, the best part is that there are a TON of grocery stores that accept EBT!
You can get seafood at these grocery stores that accept EBT:
- BJ’s Wholesale Club
- Food Lion
- Giant Eagle
- Sam’s Club
- Trader Joe’s
- Whole Foods
- WinCo Foods
Order seafood online from grocery stores that accept EBT
Previously, food stamps could only be used to pay for purchases in-store. So, if you wanted to shop for groceries, like seafood, online, you weren’t able to use your EBT card to pay for your items. Fortunately, that’s not the case anymore.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) now has a pilot program, called the SNAP Online Purchasing Pilot, which allows people who get SNAP benefits to use their EBT card to purchase groceries online from participating retailers in select states.
So, if you don’t want to have to head out to the store, and want the convenience of ordering seafood online, then this is such a great program.
With the program, you can pay for your online grocery orders with a valid EBT card in full or in part, from some stores in participating states.
Make sure you check out my list of grocery stores that accept EBT online (delivery or pick up!). The post offers a list of states that are currently participating in the SNAP online purchasing pilot, and which grocery stores accept EBT online in each state.
Buying Seafood with EBT: Summary
SNAP benefits help people like the homeless, those with disabilities, the elderly, and those on a low income, with the cost of food and drink items. EBT cards make it easy for you to access your account benefits, allowing you to use your card like a regular debit card to make purchases at approved retailers.
There are a few seafood places that accept EBT cards. This includes Boston Public Market, John Yi Fish Market, Portland Fish Market, and Saltwater Seafood Market and Fry Shack.
If you don’t live near one of the seafood markets on our list, make sure you try your local grocery store instead. Many well-known grocery stores that sell seafood, like Whole Foods, Giant Eagle, and Costco, accept EBT. Some even allow you to order seafood online using your EBT card.
Hopefully, this post helped you out if you’ve ever wondered, “Are there any seafood places that accept EBT near me?”