Where to Find Seafood Beyond Fisherman's Wharf
When visitors think of seafood in San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf is a top-of-mind destination. While Fisherman's Wharf is famously known for its fresh seafood cuisine (and rightfully so), there are plenty of places outside of the Wharf that will impress your palate just as much. Here are 15 spots you can indulge in all of the crab, clams, and oysters in the city.
Original Joe's (601 Union St.)
With a deep history and sense of tradition, Original Joe's has been a mecca for locals and tourists alike. When the Italian-American restaurant first opened in 1937, they had just 14 stools and a counter. Today, Original Joe's has cemented themselves as the place for a quintessential San Francisco dining experience. Elegant yet laid-back and welcoming, you have all sorts of delicious Italian seafood options here.
What to eat: Joe's Filet of Sole and the calamari steak.
Pesce e Riso (1224 Grant Ave.)
An Italian restaurant with a surprising Japanese twist, Pesce e Riso, which means "fish and rice", creatively weaves elements of two great cuisines. Chef and owner Joe Lin, a sushi chef, opened the restaurant after falling in love with Italian food while traveling through Tuscany. If you want to try a unique take on seafood that's been prepared with the utmost care, go to Pesce e Riso! The quaint, friendly setting and excellent service will make your time all the more memorable.
What to eat: risotto (wild Gulf prawns flavored with Japanese curry), king salmon, and tempura with Monterey squid.
Swan Oyster Depot (1517 Polk St.)
A true seafood heaven, Swan Oyster Depot has a line out of the door pretty much any time it's open. This no-frills restaurant focuses on freshness and flavor, and it's evident the moment you even get near the door. The oysters and clams are so good that they attract folks from all parts of the world. When Anthony Bourdain would come to San Francisco, he made a point to stop at Swan Oyster Depot.
What to eat: oysters and clams and more oysters and clams (come hungry!).
Thai Spice Restaurant (1730 Polk St.)
Eat some of the best Thai food in San Francisco in a casual, festive, and spacious atmosphere. Featuring specialty entrees alongside traditional favorites, Thai Spice Restaurant brings flavor to every dish, with a wonderful homemade curry paste and lots of great spicy sauces.
What to eat: crispy calamari, seafood noodle soup, and panang salmon
Tadich Grill (240 California St.)
Founded in 1849, Tadich Grill is California's oldest restaurant and has been one of San Francisco's best places for seafood since the Gold Rush. Savor quality seafood and cocktails as you enjoy a classy dining experience.
What to eat: seafood cioppino.
Waterbar (399 Embarcadero)
With panoramic views of the bay and the San Francisco skyline, Waterbar presents guests with an epic scene for a seafood dinner. Sit down in this sleek, modern restaurant, and choose among an assortment of sustainably-sourced seafood. The freshness will impress you.
What to eat: chickpea battered squid, wild white seabass, and roasted shellfish platter (for groups).
Waterfront Restaurant (Pier 7)
An award-winning eatery with breathtaking views of the water and Bay Bridge, Waterfront Restaurant serves fresh seafood and California cuisine in a modern, elegant setting. Waterfront Restaurant has effortlessly become a top choice for celebrities, foodies, and anyone looking for an exquisite meal by the Bay.
What to eat: baked oysters, whole crab, and Waterfront cioppino stew.
Farallon (450 Post Street, 4th Floor)
Specializing in coastal cuisine, Farallon's Chef/Owner Mark Franz puts a modern twist on classic seafood dishes. Using fresh seafood from local waters, Farallon has put together an exciting menu that will delight your taste buds. Walk into the luxurious dining area, and get ready to feast.
What to eat: caviar (Farallon's White Sturgeon), pan roasted lingcod, and any of the iced shellfish.
M.Y. China (845 Market St., 4th Floor)
Impeccable service, impressive design, and a variety of flavor-filled dishes make M.Y. China a wonderful place to eat Chinese seafood. Order up, and watch the chefs in action as they prepare your dish. You can even see champion noodle dancers pull giant balls of dough as they pair your squid ink snap noodles with seafood.
What to eat: spicy seafood dumplings, salt and pepper calamari, steamed lobster, and honey-glazed walnut shrimp.
Tratto (501 Geary St.)
For lovers of Italian cuisine, especially seafood, Tratto is a must-stop. The rustic decor and casual, communal-style seating will win you over. Eat fresh seafood prepared with as little manipulation as possible, as well as seasonal vegetables, pizza, and house-made pasta and sausages.
What to eat: red trout and baby octopus.
Anchor & Hope (83 Minna St.)
Housed in a former mechanic's garage, Anchor & Hope has become the go-to fish house and oyster bar in the SoMa neighborhood. The nautically-themed design and warm environment will impress you right away, and make dining there a unique experience.
What to eat: sea urchin, lobster roll, and oysters.
Mission District & The Castro
Anchor Oyster Bar (579 Castro St.)
Operated by the same owner since 1977, Anchor Oyster Bar has long been a neighborhood favorite in Castro. The menu boasts all sorts of sustainably caught fish and shellfish, including crab and shrimp. At this no-frills oyster bar, the welcoming staff and easygoing atmosphere get you in the proper mood to chow down on some (or lots of) seafood.
What to eat: as many oysters, clams, prawns, mussels as you can devour.
Curio (777 Valencia St.)
Want a seafood feast? Curio, an eclectic space with live music and well-crafted cocktails, has a menu that revolves around shareable and crave-worthy classics. Chef Mario Tolentino has even gone further with amazing creations like BBQ bacon-wrapped shrimp. The brunch offers up an incredible selection of both seafood and non-seafood dishes, as well as a buzzing atmosphere. Reserve your table in advance.
What to eat: a shellfish tower (12 oysters, 12 shrimp, 6 little neck clams, and tuna tarter).
Spruce (3640 Sacramento St.)
Experience a traditional caviar service and top-of-the-line fish at Spruce, a distinguished restaurant in the historic Presidio Heights neighborhood. Spruce also has a massive selection of wine and spirits to pair with your food. For a more intimate experience, book a private dining room in advance. Sit back, relax, and have a meal to remember.
What to eat: Alaskan halibut, Loch Duart salmon, and caviar.
Bar Crudo (655 pisadero St.)
This hip, casual raw bar features the best clam chowder in the city and a wildly popular $1 oyster happy hour. The bar also serves up grilled octopus, roasted branzino, cod tacos, and other delectable fish preparations. If you want to have drinks and laughs with friends as you eat lots of seafood, few establishments in San Francisco—or anywhere—compare.
What to eat: seafood chowder and oysters.