Best Seafood Restaurants in Philly

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As you stroll down the vibrant streets of Philadelphia, your senses will be bombarded with many enticing aromas, and suddenly, you catch a whiff of the unmistakable scent of fresh, perfectly cooked seafood. It draws you in, and you can't resist. Philly's seafood scene is calling your name! 

In a city full of culinary treasures, seafood is still one of those things you should definitely move to the top of your list of food to seek out in Philadelphia. To help with that, use this article as your treasure map, guiding you to the city's finest spots to indulge in the freshest, most delicious seafood. 

Every hour is happy hour when you’re in Philly. From date nights to brunch to late-night snacks, the deets are below!

The Freshness Factor: Seafood in Philly

Now, let's set sail on the story of seafood in this city. With its prime location between two rivers — the Delaware and the Schuylkill — Philadelphia has long been a hub for fresh, locally-sourced seafood. 

From the bustling seafood markets in the city's early days to the fantastic range of seafood restaurants that exist today, Philly has never lost its maritime charm. In fact, its long history with seafood dishes is one of the most interesting and long-running aspects of Philadelphia’s food scene. 

For instance, Philadelphia’s streets have been home to oyster vendors selling fresh catches from their carts going back to the beginnings of the United States — by 1881, Philadelphia boasted an impressive 379 oyster bars. So if you’re looking for fresh seafood, Philadelphia has you covered.

Location, Location, Location

What's the big deal about freshness, you ask? Well, when it comes to seafood, freshness is king. Fresh seafood not only tastes better — sweet, succulent, and bursting with flavor — but it's also a nutritional powerhouse. Brimming with lean protein, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, it's a fantastic choice for a nutritious meal.

Due to its unique location, it benefits from a variety of seafood from both the Atlantic Ocean and local rivers. This means the city's chefs have access to an array of fresh, high-quality ingredients they masterfully turn into culinary masterpieces. Whether it's classic clam chowder from Clam Tavern in Clifton Heights or fried fish tacos from Seafood Unlimited

 a decadent lobster roll, or an innovative fusion dish, it's all about the quality of the ingredients that start off in the water, make their way to the city, and end up on your plate.

Excited yet? Good! Because we're about to reveal some of Philly's finest seafood establishments — the places where delicious dreams come true. Grab your napkins, folks — we’re about to list off the best seafood restaurantsPhiladelphia has to offer.

Oyster House

First on our culinary voyage is the majestic Oyster House at 1516 Sansom St. — a place that needs no introduction to Philly's seafood aficionados. Nestled in the heart of the city, the Oyster House has been a beacon for seafood lovers since the 1970s. 

Here, the Mink family's passion for seafood is almost palpable. You'll find an eclectic mix of classic and contemporary dishes that never fail to impress. Ever tried a New England clam chowder that warms your soul? Or a lobster roll that transports you straight to the coast of Maine? Grilled octopus vs. shrimp cocktail? 

Why pick? Just do both.

How about an oyster po' boy that takes comfort food to a whole new level? Oyster House is where your seafood fantasies turn into reality. And hey, let's not forget the ambiance. Think maritime elegance meets city chic — it's an atmosphere you won't forget in a hurry.

Little Fish

Next up, we're making a beeline for Little Fish — an establishment that's shining bright in the City of Brotherly Love. Tucked away in the Bella Vista neighborhood, this intimate spot is all about bringing the ocean to the heart of Philly. 

The menu changes daily, reflecting the freshest catches of the day. You'll know you've hit the jackpot From the first bite, whether it's their sublime scallops or the perfectly cooked monkfish.


Now, let's switch gears and head to Morimoto for a Japanese twist on our seafood journey. Owned by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, this restaurant serves up a seafood symphony in the form of its exquisite sushi and sashimi selections. 

From toro (fatty tuna) that melts in your mouth to the freshest uni (sea urchin), every piece is a testament to the chef's artistry and the ocean's bounty.

Want more sushi? Head to Center City (124 S 15th St Philadelphia, PA 19102, to be exact) to Ocean Prime. It’s part sushi, part grilled seafood, part steakhouse, all amazing. Entrees that will change your life include teriyaki salmon, twin lobster tails, and filet mignon.


Our next stop? Estia, which is a Mediterranean oasis in the middle of Philadelphia. Here, the fresh fish is flown in from Greece and cooked whole on a charcoal grill. 

Whether you choose the Royal Dorado, the Red Snapper, or the Lavraki, each Greek dish is a simple, flavorful preparation masterclass. It's a truly immersive experience that will leave you dreaming of Aegean beaches.


Now, let's dive into Zahav, a gem hidden in plain sight. While this spot is celebrated for its incredible Israeli fare, don't be fooled — their seafood offerings are next level. 

Imagine a sizzling skewer of perfectly grilled shrimp, or the delicate flavors of their whole fish, roasted to perfection. It's a symphony of taste, taking your palate on a journey to the Middle East while giving you the best the ocean has to offer.

Devon Seafood Grill

Stepping into Devon Seafood Grill, it's easy to feel like you've entered an underwater gem. This upscale dining venue, located in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood, combines a chic ambiance with a stellar seafood selection. 

Whether indulging in the shellfish cioppino or diving into a lobster bisque, every dish is a showstopper. Appetizers include mini lobster rolls and blue hill bay mussels. But yes, you are totally valid in wanting to order enough fried calamari to make an entire meal. 

And let's not forget the oyster bar — a stunning collection of briny, sweet, and everything-in-between oysters from across the country. Pair them with something from their wine list, and you're all set for a taste of the good life.

Vernick Fish

Buckle up because we're off to Vernick Fish — a marine marvel in the heart of the city. Headed by Chef Greg Vernick, this seafood restaurant is a nod to classic oyster bars, integrating global flavors into their menu. 

Here, the humble fish sandwich is elevated to new culinary heights, while the raw scallop dish (served with flavors of apple and jalapeno) is a riot of textures and tastes.

We love a BYOB, but we never want to bring our own when it’s a raw bar situation. That’s why we go to Pearl's Oyster Bar in the Reading Terminal Market (51 N 12th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 ,to be specific). The raw oysters are a marvel, but order a salmon burger and a crab cake sandwich too. 


Venturing into the stylish Rittenhouse Square, we find Rouge, an eatery that has been serving up chic dining experiences since 1998. And oh boy, does it impress with its seafood. It's a rendezvous with the ocean's finest offerings.

Indulge in the rich flavors of the Tuna Tartare — so fresh it practically jumps off the plate. Or how about the Pan Roasted Sea Scallops, served with a side of unforgettable truffle vinaigrette? At Rouge, it's all about elevating seafood to a culinary art form. One bite, and you'll be swooning — trust us, it's that good.

Luke's Lobster

Last but certainly not least, let's not forget about Luke's Lobster — a seafood hotspot that originated in the lobster capital itself, Maine, and has since made waves in Philly. Located right in the heart of the city, this laid-back spot is all about delivering the finest, sustainable seafood from the dock to your plate.

The focus here is on simplicity and authenticity, with each dish showcasing the quality and freshness of the seafood. And the best part? You can savor these oceanic offerings knowing you're supporting sustainable fishing. So, next time you're in the city, drop your anchor at Luke's Lobster for a truly unforgettable seafood experience.

The Olde Bar

Our final stop on this grand seafood tour is The Olde Bar, a modern take on the traditional oyster house. Located in the historic Old Original Bookbinder's building, this place oozes nostalgia while serving some of the finest seafood in the city. Here you can sample everything from traditional fried clam bellies to a beautifully tender seared tuna.

Imagine savoring these delicacies in a setting steeped in old-world charm — it's an experience that goes beyond dining, offering a slice of Philadelphia's rich history along with its delicious seafood. It's this blend of the past and the present, the city and the sea that makes this Old City locale a seafood lover's paradise.


So there you have it — our whistle-stop tour of Philadelphia's most irresistible seafood spots. From the homey Oyster House to the chic Vernick Fish, each restaurant offers a unique take on the city's rich maritime offerings. Dishes range from time-honored classics like clam chowder to the fusion of flavors seen in Zahav's Middle Eastern-inspired seafood. Every restaurant is a testament to Philadelphia's love for seafood and its commitment to freshness and sustainability.

Don't take our word for it: It's time for you to dive in! Next time you find yourself in Philly, why not embark on your own seafood adventure? Who knows, you might just find your new favorite dish.

After all, dining out while visiting a new city isn’t really about eating. It's about immersing yourself in the city's vibrant culture, its history, and its boundless enthusiasm for good food. Each bite, each meal, and each restaurant visit is a new story waiting to be discovered. In a city full of culinary treasures, Philadelphia's seafood scene stands out like a pearl in an oyster.


The History of Oysters in Philadelphia | PhillyByte Magazine

Omega-3 Fats - Good For Your Heart | Medline Plus

Oyster House




Devon Seafood Grill


Luke's Lobster

Vernick Fish

The Olde Bar

Ocean Prime

Clam Tavern

Seafood Unlimited

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