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Apr 17, 2008 08:36 AM

(Philadelphia) Snapper Soup

Is snapper soup a specialty of the Philadelphia area? I am moving to Philly this year and was told about it. At first, I assumed it was (red) snapper - the fish. Then I found it is turtle! I presume that this type of turltle is not on the endangered species list - right? Where do they get the turtles from? Are they local? Where can you get the best snapper soup in Philly? Thanks, hounds.

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  1. Interesting timing. This was just in the paper.

    1. When I was a kid, my family spent summers at our place in Ocean Gate, New Jersey. My memories include hometown-style Fourth of July parades, picking wild huckleberries, crabbing from the pier at the beach or the "duck pond" and trying snapper soup for the first time. I wasn't especially interested in trying it, but did because my dad ate it. For me, snapper soup from a can just doesn't cut it. Hadfields Seafood on the 202 (Wilmington) used to sell it back in the 80's... No idea if they still do. Some very decent snapper soup could be had at the Townhouse Restaurant in Media, PA as well.

      1. The Llanarch diner. Might not have that spelled right. At the intersetion of Rt 1 and Rt 3 in Havertown, Pa Just outside the city. Best snapper soup I have ever had. Been getting it there since I was 5, like 1964. Old school good. I have had snapper soup all over the world and this is the best. I dont live nearby anymore but whenever I make it to Philly I go there for 3-4 bowls

        1. Another note, when I was a young boy we lived near the bay marsh's on the jersey shore, there were old men that lived in shanties in the marsh's and in the winter they would go thru the marsh's, poking in the mud with long poles listening for the thud of dormant snapping turtles shells. They would reach in in and pull them from the mud. I'll always remember there hands and the missing fingers from a not so dormant snapper. I don't think they had Workers Comp then

          1. Snapping turtles are most decidedly not endangered and can be a bit of a menace if you mess with them. In any event there usually isn;'t much turtle in the soup LOL. Pine Valley Golf Club has the best snapper soup IMO.

            3 Replies
            1. re: gfweb1

              The Sansom Street Oyster House has always had great Snapper Soup. Now it's reopened (simply as The Oyster House) and the Snapper Soup is better than ever. This thing is loaded with turtle meat too.

              And don't forget that it should be served with sherry on the table.

              Sansom Street Oyster House
              1516 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19102

              1. re: barryg

                Agreed - the snapper soup at SSOH is better than before. It's not muddy and has loads of turtle meat. I've been told they make a batch every day, so it's really fresh.

                1. re: TT2

                  In terms of SSOH,
                  Disagree. Without a roux it tastes very light and less flavor. It is different and more aromatic but really brothy...too light. I really miss the old OHs Soups but overall the menu and Oysters are outstanding. Lobster roll needs a real New England roll and less dressing or none as a proper NE Lobster roll was intended to have.
                  Soft Shell Po Boy Rocks!!