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A white ceramic platter with scallop crudo topped with slices of mango. Gab Bonghi

Where to Eat the Freshest Seafood in Philly

The essential Philly spots for raw bars, tinned fish, and perfectly cooked fillets

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Philly is rich with steak, burgers, and barbecue, but what about meals from under the sea? Sure, most neighborhoods have a great sushi joint. Until 2008, the Walnut Street landmark Striped Bass boosted the city’s fish cred, but for a while there, seafood destinations were few and far between. Lately, we’re seeing more restaurants — notably Vernick Fish, Kensington Quarters, Bloomsday, and Nick Elmi’s forthcoming Lark — shift their focus to fish. Maybe it’s for environmental reasons, maybe it’s to satisfy an ever-growing population of diners eschewing meat — more likely, it’s because waters both near and far offer diverse and delicious ingredients. Follow this map to find great Philly fish, seafood towers, and so much more.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Clam Tavern

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339 E Broadway Ave
Clifton Heights, PA 19018
(610) 623-9537
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On an unassuming corner in Delaware County, the Original Clam Tavern throws it back with a menu straight out of the 1960s. Find broiled flounder, stuffed shrimp, fried oysters, and crab-topped everything. Baked clams with a dot of ketchup on each middleneck are a favorite at this come-as-you-are spot. A full bar features some sweet specialty cocktails.

2. Seafood Unlimited

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270 S 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 732-3663
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Heard of the seafood joint at 20th and Spruce? It’s been there for 50 years. Seafood Unlimited started out in 1971 as a fresh fish market and transitioned into a restaurant a couple decades ago. Look for the mermaid with a martini sign and head inside for jumbo shrimp cocktail, fish sandwiches, seafood pasta, fried combos, and much more. Oysters go for a buck at happy Hour and there’s a full bar, plus an Isaiah Zagar mosaic.

3. Vernick Fish

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1 N 19th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 419-5055
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When Greg Vernick does something, he does it right. Known for his eponymous Rittenhouse destination, the chef — who rose through the ranks in the Jean Georges empire — opened Vernick Fish at the new Comcast Technology Center in 2019. It’s his love letter to the Jersey Shore cuisine he grew up eating, but with elevated ingredients, technique, and presentation. Vernick Fish is a decidedly elegant experience with diners enjoying the likes of scallop crudo, squid ink tagliatelle, and swordfish milanese amid plush seating, mood lighting, and quality beverages. Don’t miss the broiled ‘oysters Philadelphia’ that masquerade as a hoagie with genoa salami, provolone, crunchy brioche, and broccoli rabe.

A full grilled fish on a platter with cucumbers, being held by two hands and shot from above. Gab Bonghi

4. Oyster House

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1516 Sansom St
Philadelphia, PA 19102
(215) 567-7683
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A Center City mainstay since 1947, Oyster House remains at the top of its game. Third-generation owner Sam Mink has kept the space inviting with regular refreshes, while the menu leans classic. This is the spot for shrimp cocktail, clam chowder, seared scallops, and grilled fish — plus a buzzy Tuesday through Friday happy hour. Oyster House also has one of Philly’s best gin selections, for those who like a cold martini with their raw bar.

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5. River Twice

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1601 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148
(267) 457-3698
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James Beard-nominated chef Randy Rucker considers his East Passyunk destination “seafood focused.” His ever-changing tasting menu always features a few carefully sourced and prepared fish dishes, like amberjack poached in juniper butter and a chirashi bowl with local scallops and trout roe. A few additions to the menu include Sweet Amalia oysters, uni, and caviar.

Mike Prince

6. Pinefish

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1138 Pine St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(267) 519-2850
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In Washington Square West, Pinefish draws in neighbors for well-executed seafood in a casual, friendly atmosphere. Crispy skin salmon with spinach and Parmesan cream is a go-to, as are mussels and lobster mac and cheese. The restaurant went big on outdoor seating during the pandemic and now offers attractive, colorful streetery booths.

7. Pearl's Oyster Bar

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51 N 12th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 964-9792
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Who doesn’t like an old fashioned oyster bar? For 40 years, Pearl’s has been a place for locals and tourists to dig into classic seafood dishes like Maryland crab soup and fried flounder. The Reading Terminal Market eatery also offers modern takes like crab mac and cheese and a salmon burger.

8. Anastasi Seafood

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1101 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 462-0550
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Italian Market shoppers may know Anastasi as one of Philly’s best seafood stores, where customers line up to order raw fish from the busy counter. Come night time, though, the fishmonger becomes a casual sit-down restaurant. The menu is a bit of a throwback, offering clams casino, oysters Rockefeller, broiled fish, garlic bread, and fried combos with a little of everything — and sometimes that’s exactly what you’re looking for. Mixed drinks and beer are available too.

9. Kalaya Thai Kitchen

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764 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 385-3777
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Kalaya’s chef-owner Nok Suntaranon brings the heat to her intricate seafood dishes. Her celebrated Thai restaurant in the Italian Market offers scallop and crab curries, lemongrass soup with jumbo river prawns, fried monkfish in turmeric sauce, and more options that run from mild to very spicy.

Mike Prince

10. Tai Lake

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134 N 10th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 922-0698

Cantonese-style seafood takes center stage at Tai Lake. The Chinatown restaurant gets rave reviews for its steamed oysters, shrimp dumplings, lobster with ginger and scallion, fried jumbo shrimp in a creamy mayo sauce, clams with black bean sauce, and salt baked squid with chili. With a huge menu (that also includes meat and vegetarian dishes), picky eaters and the adventurous alike are satisfied here. No wonder it’s been going strong since 1988.

11. Little Fish BYOB

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746 S 6th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 455-0172
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Some places just nail it every time and — when it comes to seafood — Little Fish is one of those restaurants. The Queen Village BYO offers just two dozen seats, sometimes making it a tough reservation to get. That’s because Philly’s hospitality community and those in-the-know regularly visit Little Fish for Alex Yoon’s ever-changing, Asian-influenced, carefully sourced menu. Having cooked at Le Bec-Fin, San Francisco’s Michelin-starred Benu, and Mirazur in the French Riviera (considered one of the world’s best restaurants), Yoon knows his way around seafood — from raw to perfectly seared.

12. Sid Booker's Shrimp Corner

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4600 N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19140
(215) 329-4455
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Up Broad Street, Sid Booker’s keeps it simple with butterflied fried shrimp by the half dozen or dozen, plus a few sides. The casual, long-running spot is popular among the late night crowd looking for satisfying food after a night out. Look for the neon sign and bring cash.

13. Bloomsday

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414 S 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(267) 319-8018
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The freshest seafood is one thing. Internationally sourced tinned fish is another and that’s where Bloomsday excels. The all-day café and wine shop offers half a dozen or more conservas at a time. This isn’t your mom’s canned albacore. From high-quality Spanish bluefin tuna belly to Norwegian blue mussels and Canadian lobster, tinned fish comes packed in olive oil or sauce to preserve their briny goodness. They’re served charcuterie board style with bread and accoutrements.

14. Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti

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212 Walnut St 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 238-0499
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Old City’s airy, blue-and-white hued Positano Coast has long been a popular spot for coastal Italian fare. The raw bar features oysters, chilled lobster, and shrimp cocktail, while cooked dishes include grilled octopus, diver scallops, spaghetti and clams, crab cakes, whole fish, and more. A new outdoor sidewalk cafe grew the restaurant’s seats by 160 during the pandemic — it features exotic plants, huge umbrellas, heat lamps, and live jazz on Fridays.

Tito Perez

15. The Olde Bar

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125 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 253-3777
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Dollar oysters have become rare, but the tradition lives on during happy hour at celebrity chef Jose Garces’ Olde Bar. His Old City restaurant — in the historic building that once housed Philly icon Bookbinders — is actually all about seafood. Find lobster four ways — including pot pie and corn dog — along with crab and corn chowder, crab claws, tuna frites, halibut, scallop pasta, and more. A couple of other nearby spots with great raw bars include The Wayward in Center City and Old City’s Royal Boucherie — both offer seafood towers.

Eddy Marenco

16. Kensington Quarters

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1310 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125
(267) 314-5086
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Though once a meat-focused butcher shop and restaurant, Kensington Quarters went all in on seafood when Nich Bazik took over the kitchen in 2020. Today, the menu centers on catches from the Northeast. Think: Sweet Amalia oysters and Peconic Escargot from Long Island. A new raw bar adds to the atmosphere and shellfish offerings. Don’t miss the bluefin tuna in brown butter and — for a non-seafood option — the fluffy milk bread that Bazik learned to bake from his Korean mother-in-law during the pandemic.

1. Clam Tavern

339 E Broadway Ave, Clifton Heights, PA 19018

On an unassuming corner in Delaware County, the Original Clam Tavern throws it back with a menu straight out of the 1960s. Find broiled flounder, stuffed shrimp, fried oysters, and crab-topped everything. Baked clams with a dot of ketchup on each middleneck are a favorite at this come-as-you-are spot. A full bar features some sweet specialty cocktails.

339 E Broadway Ave
Clifton Heights, PA 19018

2. Seafood Unlimited

270 S 20th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Heard of the seafood joint at 20th and Spruce? It’s been there for 50 years. Seafood Unlimited started out in 1971 as a fresh fish market and transitioned into a restaurant a couple decades ago. Look for the mermaid with a martini sign and head inside for jumbo shrimp cocktail, fish sandwiches, seafood pasta, fried combos, and much more. Oysters go for a buck at happy Hour and there’s a full bar, plus an Isaiah Zagar mosaic.

270 S 20th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

3. Vernick Fish

1 N 19th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
A full grilled fish on a platter with cucumbers, being held by two hands and shot from above. Gab Bonghi

When Greg Vernick does something, he does it right. Known for his eponymous Rittenhouse destination, the chef — who rose through the ranks in the Jean Georges empire — opened Vernick Fish at the new Comcast Technology Center in 2019. It’s his love letter to the Jersey Shore cuisine he grew up eating, but with elevated ingredients, technique, and presentation. Vernick Fish is a decidedly elegant experience with diners enjoying the likes of scallop crudo, squid ink tagliatelle, and swordfish milanese amid plush seating, mood lighting, and quality beverages. Don’t miss the broiled ‘oysters Philadelphia’ that masquerade as a hoagie with genoa salami, provolone, crunchy brioche, and broccoli rabe.

1 N 19th St
Philadelphia, PA 19103

4. Oyster House

1516 Sansom St, Philadelphia, PA 19102
Bondfire Media

A Center City mainstay since 1947, Oyster House remains at the top of its game. Third-generation owner Sam Mink has kept the space inviting with regular refreshes, while the menu leans classic. This is the spot for shrimp cocktail, clam chowder, seared scallops, and grilled fish — plus a buzzy Tuesday through Friday happy hour. Oyster House also has one of Philly’s best gin selections, for those who like a cold martini with their raw bar.

1516 Sansom St
Philadelphia, PA 19102

5. River Twice

1601 E Passyunk Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Mike Prince

James Beard-nominated chef Randy Rucker considers his East Passyunk destination “seafood focused.” His ever-changing tasting menu always features a few carefully sourced and prepared fish dishes, like amberjack poached in juniper butter and a chirashi bowl with local scallops and trout roe. A few additions to the menu include Sweet Amalia oysters, uni, and caviar.

1601 E Passyunk Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19148

6. Pinefish

1138 Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

In Washington Square West, Pinefish draws in neighbors for well-executed seafood in a casual, friendly atmosphere. Crispy skin salmon with spinach and Parmesan cream is a go-to, as are mussels and lobster mac and cheese. The restaurant went big on outdoor seating during the pandemic and now offers attractive, colorful streetery booths.

1138 Pine St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

7. Pearl's Oyster Bar

51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Who doesn’t like an old fashioned oyster bar? For 40 years, Pearl’s has been a place for locals and tourists to dig into classic seafood dishes like Maryland crab soup and fried flounder. The Reading Terminal Market eatery also offers modern takes like crab mac and cheese and a salmon burger.

51 N 12th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

8. Anastasi Seafood

1101 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Italian Market shoppers may know Anastasi as one of Philly’s best seafood stores, where customers line up to order raw fish from the busy counter. Come night time, though, the fishmonger becomes a casual sit-down restaurant. The menu is a bit of a throwback, offering clams casino, oysters Rockefeller, broiled fish, garlic bread, and fried combos with a little of everything — and sometimes that’s exactly what you’re looking for. Mixed drinks and beer are available too.

1101 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

9. Kalaya Thai Kitchen

764 S 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
Mike Prince

Kalaya’s chef-owner Nok Suntaranon brings the heat to her intricate seafood dishes. Her celebrated Thai restaurant in the Italian Market offers scallop and crab curries, lemongrass soup with jumbo river prawns, fried monkfish in turmeric sauce, and more options that run from mild to very spicy.

764 S 9th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

10. Tai Lake

134 N 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Cantonese-style seafood takes center stage at Tai Lake. The Chinatown restaurant gets rave reviews for its steamed oysters, shrimp dumplings, lobster with ginger and scallion, fried jumbo shrimp in a creamy mayo sauce, clams with black bean sauce, and salt baked squid with chili. With a huge menu (that also includes meat and vegetarian dishes), picky eaters and the adventurous alike are satisfied here. No wonder it’s been going strong since 1988.

134 N 10th St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

11. Little Fish BYOB

746 S 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Some places just nail it every time and — when it comes to seafood — Little Fish is one of those restaurants. The Queen Village BYO offers just two dozen seats, sometimes making it a tough reservation to get. That’s because Philly’s hospitality community and those in-the-know regularly visit Little Fish for Alex Yoon’s ever-changing, Asian-influenced, carefully sourced menu. Having cooked at Le Bec-Fin, San Francisco’s Michelin-starred Benu, and Mirazur in the French Riviera (considered one of the world’s best restaurants), Yoon knows his way around seafood — from raw to perfectly seared.

746 S 6th St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

12. Sid Booker's Shrimp Corner

4600 N Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19140

Up Broad Street, Sid Booker’s keeps it simple with butterflied fried shrimp by the half dozen or dozen, plus a few sides. The casual, long-running spot is popular among the late night crowd looking for satisfying food after a night out. Look for the neon sign and bring cash.

4600 N Broad St
Philadelphia, PA 19140

13. Bloomsday

414 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

The freshest seafood is one thing. Internationally sourced tinned fish is another and that’s where Bloomsday excels. The all-day café and wine shop offers half a dozen or more conservas at a time. This isn’t your mom’s canned albacore. From high-quality Spanish bluefin tuna belly to Norwegian blue mussels and Canadian lobster, tinned fish comes packed in olive oil or sauce to preserve their briny goodness. They’re served charcuterie board style with bread and accoutrements.

414 S 2nd St
Philadelphia, PA 19147

14. Positano Coast by Aldo Lamberti

212 Walnut St 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Tito Perez

Old City’s airy, blue-and-white hued Positano Coast has long been a popular spot for coastal Italian fare. The raw bar features oysters, chilled lobster, and shrimp cocktail, while cooked dishes include grilled octopus, diver scallops, spaghetti and clams, crab cakes, whole fish, and more. A new outdoor sidewalk cafe grew the restaurant’s seats by 160 during the pandemic — it features exotic plants, huge umbrellas, heat lamps, and live jazz on Fridays.

212 Walnut St 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19106

15. The Olde Bar

125 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Eddy Marenco

Dollar oysters have become rare, but the tradition lives on during happy hour at celebrity chef Jose Garces’ Olde Bar. His Old City restaurant — in the historic building that once housed Philly icon Bookbinders — is actually all about seafood. Find lobster four ways — including pot pie and corn dog — along with crab and corn chowder, crab claws, tuna frites, halibut, scallop pasta, and more. A couple of other nearby spots with great raw bars include The Wayward in Center City and Old City’s Royal Boucherie — both offer seafood towers.

125 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19106

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16. Kensington Quarters

1310 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

Though once a meat-focused butcher shop and restaurant, Kensington Quarters went all in on seafood when Nich Bazik took over the kitchen in 2020. Today, the menu centers on catches from the Northeast. Think: Sweet Amalia oysters and Peconic Escargot from Long Island. A new raw bar adds to the atmosphere and shellfish offerings. Don’t miss the bluefin tuna in brown butter and — for a non-seafood option — the fluffy milk bread that Bazik learned to bake from his Korean mother-in-law during the pandemic.

1310 Frankford Ave
Philadelphia, PA 19125

Related Maps