How one local chef has found a new, delicious niche in challenging times


In a word, Joshua Shapiro is enterprising. He has always been up to something, whether it’s as a chef working in fine-dining kitchens, managing hotel sustainability programs, or as a private chef. Most recently, Josh was the general manager at Liberty Public Market in Liberty Station, overseeing operations and advising and assisting more than 30 independent, local businesses. He was also building a catering company as a side project, until everything came to a halt and the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of businesses and the cancellation of all kinds of events and gatherings.

“I wanted to be proactive and stay safe and legal, so we pivoted. We created Reel Street Eats to take three of our favorite restaurant-quality ceviche recipes out onto the streets and to the people at local farmers’ markets,” Josh says.

Reel Street Eats’ ceviche dishes are fresh, flavorful and they sell out fast. The fish is top quality, sourced from local fishermen. There are three ceviche dishes (two raw, one cooked) featuring fish caught off the San Diego coast, bought directly from the fishermen, and served as quickly as humanly possible. “On the boat yesterday and on the plate today,” as Josh puts it. The vegetables, juices—all the ingredients—are fresh, and every order is prepared in full view of the eager customer. A bell is rung each time another lucky guest is served.

“My team and I like to talk to our guests about how we source our fish and other ingredients,” Josh explains. “So many communities have been impacted this past year, and local restaurants, farms, and fishermen are among the hardest hit. I wanted to get back to my culinary roots, serving great food that is honest, accessible, well handled, and packed with flavor. I’m glad I’ve found a way to be part of my community and local food system during these challenging times.”

The response to Reel Street Eats has been over-whelmingly positive and they sell out at the farmers’ markets on most days. “We sell out because our ceviche is that good, plus it’s a necessary part of serving the freshest local fish,” Josh says. “When you buy our ceviche, nothing is left over from yesterday’s market. The food was sourced, prepped, and served just for you. It’s a difference you can taste, and it’s a big part of what makes this San Diego’s best ceviche!”

This spring, in addition to the farmers’ markets, Reel Street Eats is planning some pop-up partnerships with local breweries and spring festivals. They’re also rolling out a preorder function on their website, so keep watching reelstreeteats.com for details and follow @reelstreeteats on Instagram.

Justice Photography
Justice Photography
Justice Photography
Justice Photography


Mainstreet Oceanside Farmers’ Market
Corner of Pier View Way & North Coast Hwy
Thursdays 9 am to 2 pm

North Park Thursday Market
30th & North Park Way
Thursdays 3 pm to 6:30 pm

Vista Farmers’ Market
325 S Melrose Dr
Saturdays 8 am to 12 pm

La Jolla Open Aire Market
7335 Girard Ave
Sundays 9 am to 1 pm