Catch this! If you’re on a constant search like I am for tasty cioppino, head to Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing, Monterey County, for delicious seafood using old-world family recipes.

Phil’s Fish Market, in the heart of an enriched marine area with sport fishing and a wetland preserve, is a scenic side trip from the touristy Monterey wharf. This relaxed, fun restaurant features endless varieties of fresh fish, pasta, salads and locally grown artichokes.

As I walked up to the counter and ordered my cioppino, I knew I’d be coming back to try other selections on the big menu. I filled my glass from the soda fountain and sat at a long wooden table to enjoy local music coming from the patio area. The server brought my huge bowl of cioppino, and later Phil himself came to my table and engaged in lively conversation while my friends ate fried calamari, sardines and chowder.

Phil and Judy DiGirolamo have been the owners of this famed restaurant for 27 years and featured on Food Network TV. They proudly won the cioppino “throwdown” featuring celebrity chef Bobby Flay — it’s that good!

Phil’s Fish Market: 7600 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing. (831)633-2152,

Published December 2009:
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