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Jan 27, 2009 05:46 AM

Best place to buy fresh fish in Philly?

Hi Philly Chowhounds!

I am visiting friends in Philadelphia for the weekend and we have decided to make bouillabaisse. I am wondering where I can find the freshest fish in the area. Is there a great fish market or should I stick to Whole Foods? What about H-Mart?

My friends live in Elkins Park, so anywhere within a 45 minute drive would be fine.


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  1. The absolute best place to buy fish in Philadelphia is at Ippolito's at 13th and Dickenson in South Phila (about 5 -7 minutes from I95) They are the retail store of the supplier of most of our restaurants, Samuels and Son. If you are looking for any specialty items call 24 hrs in advance and they'll get it for you.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Bigley9

      This is a good question as I have been wondering the same thing. We had gotten fish at the Reading Terminal Market, but lately it is has not been as good or as fresh. Is there anywhere in the center city area (we don't get down to the South Philly Area) besides RTM that has good fresh fish?

      1. re: YoccosFan

        You could try DiBruno's, but otherwise, I'd stick to Whole Foods.

        As much as it pains me to say that.

    2. The H-Mart in Elkins Park has excellent fresh fish, often at half the price of Whole Foods. The H-Mart usually has a pretty good selection. It's definitely worth checking before trying Whole Foods. Between those two, there's no reason to head all the way down to South Philly.

      1. don't bother with whole foods, it is too expensive and in my ex-life as a fishmonger experience, the quality has improved but it is not worth it.

        ippolito's is your best bet, rtm is very good too and otolith is great (but VERY limited) if you have time to defrost flash-frozen, sustainably gathered seafood. ippolito's should get you eveything you need, call them in advance (as someone else suggested) to get your food stuff in. not sure if they can get scorpion fish though, i never asked...

        3 Replies
        1. re: mazza3

          otolith looks like it is expanding - just walked by and a large wall has been taken out. i wonder if that means more products. they definitely will not ever carry everything, though - only sustainable products. the business model definitely favors sustainable over selection, FWIW.

          1. re: rabidog

            I like Johnny Wu fish market at the Terminal. Always fresh. Good prices.

            1. re: hollyd

              I think you mean John Yi - Eat Fish Live Long

        2. Under the C at the Comcast Center (17th and JFK) is excellent if you are in Center City. Only open until 5 PM on Saturday though, and closed Sunday.