Our Story

Citarella has been part of the fabric of New York for over 100 years

Our Story

Over a century of culinary history, and counting. New York and Citarella. We go way back.

Our Citarella family began with Joe Gurrera, affectionately known as “Mr. Citarella.” In 1983, he heard a beloved seafood shop, around since 1912, was for sale. At the time, the shop was small, occupying a spot on Broadway where our West Side location still stands. For Joe, Citarella was a chance to build his love of seafood in this local treasure.


From the start, Joe had a boyhood passion for seafood, a steadfast work ethic and a commitment to his customers for Quality, Value and Freshness. To get them, Joe went to the Fulton Fish Market. It’s a story familiar to most hard-working New Yorkers; waking in the dead of night, Joe would arrive every day to market while the sky was pitch-black, to choose from the freshest incoming seafood and get to the pick of the catch before everyone else. Working until late in the evening, he would sleep only a few hours before everything began all over again.


Thankfully, those efforts paid off. Years of painstakingly honed knowledge gave way to experience, and customers appreciated the fantastic spread of seafood. Citarella is now an epicurean hotspot, with locations in Manhattan, the Hamptons and Connecticut, featuring our dazzling selection. Our customers not only come from our local neighborhoods, but visit our stores from all over the world. In a city known for gastronomic pleasures, it is a great honor.


Our amazing selection is due to our unparalleled access to freshness. We’re a major player at the New Fulton Fish Market in Hunts Point, NY.  Over 30 years ago, Joe purchased wholesale seafood company Lockwood & Winant to eliminate the middleman and offer the freshest seafood, with an eye to the culinary trends of New York. With the additional logistical muscle, this allowed us to offer an even larger selection and maintain our now 40-year relationships with generations of wholesalers and fishermen who appreciate dependable partners in business. In 2007, we opened Meat Without Feet, a seafood supplier to leading restaurants, building a reputation with chefs for consistency and reliability. It’s also launched a niche hobby amongst bloggers for spotting our whimsical-looking trucks!


Our passion for food is matched only by our desire to share our products with you. In 2014, we opened a new store in Southampton, NY, and in 2015, our beautiful market in Greenwich, CT opened with what customers have been asking for: our very first wine shop right next door!


Getting hungry? Join us, and experience some of the tastiest delicacies of the world. Our commitment to Quality, Value and Freshness can be felt throughout our Citarella family, now over a hundred years old.


Shop online, or stop by any of our locations and you’ll experience exceptional customer service, provided by our no-nonsense crew of veteran fishmongers and knowledgeable staff. You might even run into Joe himself!