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Feb 23, 2007 11:12 AM

FRESH fish market in Philly?

Greetings Chowhound Pennsylvania. I recently moved from DC to Philadelphia. I love to cook fish and other seafood reguarly. I am willing to pay top dollar but am specifically looking for higher end fresh fish markets. I have been to Whole Foods, Reading Terminal and the fishmongers around Italian Market and have left disappointed. I want fish that is firm, that doesn't smell fishy that is shiny and fresh. If its helpful my two favorite places to buy fish in DC were River Falls Seafood in Potomac, MD and Blacksalt in the Georgetown area of DC.

Trust that I have searched through the various other strings on this site and am only now posting my question.

Thanks very much for any suggestions or tips.

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  1. You may want to try Ippolito's, on Dickinson between 13th and Broad. They are the retail arm of Samuels and Son, who sell to most of the city's restaurants. From what I understand, the restaurants get first pick of the Samuels and Son inventory, the leftovers go to Ippolito's. I'm not a huge seafood fan, so my standards may not be as high as yours, but I've always been pleased with the fish I've gotten there.

    1. Absolutely go to Ippolito's. 13th and Dickinson. Yes, it is the retail arm of Samuals and son which supplies all the major restaurants. No, I don't think you are getting seconds, or yesterday's unsold wholesale. They have a great selection, it is wonderfully fresh and they will get you absolutely anything you want in any quantity (even just a pound) with a day or two notice. I had them take an order, call me back, discuss what I wanted, call me back again - for a $15 order. They will also cook anything in the store for you (basic bake, broil, fry)

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bigley9

        FYI - Ippolito's is now labeling all of its seafood with where it was caught. wild or farmed, and the quality of the fishing or harvesting practice (sustainable, Best practice, good practice and poor practice - and yes I have seen poor practice noted). Nice to have the information.

        1. re: Bigley9

          That is kind of awesome - thanks for the info.

      2. Ippolito's is the best in the city. I hope it meets your standards.

        1. I regularly buy fish and seafood from Chinatown. Because the Chinese eat so much fish, it is very fresh and inexpensive. There is one market, Asia Supermarket, where I like to go. The fish are so fresh that they are swimming and they will fillet them or leave them whole for you (sometimes nice for presentation). I love their shrimp ($4 per pound!) and Tilapia.

          The Chinatown markets are definitely not upscale or high end, but if you want incredibly fresh, great tasting and bargain priced seafood, I would highly recommend them. If you are of the mindset that food is better just because you paid more, then Chinatown is not for you.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Main Line Tracey

            I agree. Go to Chinatown or any Asian market where you will see the fish still swimming. They will clean it for you if you don't know how to. It won't be pretty and zen, but the product is fresh. Otherwise, Ippolito's is great. Or, you can go to the Food Depot in South Philly by the Stadium but go early.

          2. If you don't mind the travel, Philadelphia Lobster and Fish in Wynnewood is the best fish market I have been in anywhere. It's in a small strip center just west of the Wynnewood road/Lancaster pike intersection on the right side. If you get to the car dealerships you have gone too far.

            2 Replies
            1. re: racefab1

              I get great sushi-grade tuna from them, and had a wonderful fresh swordfish steak as well. Typically, I do shop the Washington Ave Asian markets in the summer, and 9th street other seasons. As long as I'm allowed to smell the fish, and inspect the gills and eyes, I'm happy.

              1. re: racefab1

                I hate to bust everyones bubble but Pilly Lobster is by far the best in and around the city. It's pricey but it's quality and the fish cutting skills are the best.