Bread and crab dish from Boudin

The Guide to
San Francisco's Best Seafood

From Dungeness crab to cioppino, from clam chowder to oysters on the half-shell, explore the top seafood spots in San Francisco.

San Francisco's prime location between the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay makes it a hotbed for quality seafood. Here, our fishing traditions run deep. Since the days of the Gold Rush, San Francisco's markets and restaurants have been supplied with catch from fleets of boats around the bay and newly arrived fishermen from all over the world. Three generations of fishing vessels have graced the waters of Fisherman's Wharf, supplying locals and visitors with the holy trinity: Dungeness crab, king salmon, and oysters. Today, you can find long-standing restaurants serving heaping bowls of cioppino and chowder alongside newcomers experimenting with raw dishes and fusion cuisine. There's something for everybody.  

Here’s our list of the best seafood in San Francisco.

240 California St

Tadich Grill

This list has to start at the beginning. That means 1849, the year San Francisco grew from a gold nugget, and the year Tadich Grill came into being. Serving fresh seafood along with an array of other options, Tadich is a no-nonsense type of restaurant. The spotless white uniforms are a dead giveaway. Come in to get the cioppino, and stay for the history. You are in the oldest restaurant in California and in the city that invented the dish you are about to devour. What to eat: seafood cioppino.

Eat at Tadich Grill
2809 Taylor St.

Sabella & La Torre

A staple in Fisherman's Wharf, Sabella & La Torre has been serving up crab since 1927. It opened as a small stand and was sold to a new owner after World War II. The business now spans two stands, an outdoor restaurant and bar, and a crab-shipping business. Inside, the restaurant is charming and homey, dimly lit with old-school booths and banquettes. They are open seven days a week from 12 to 8 p.m. What to eat: clam chowder in a bread bowl, seafood louie, crab cakes. 

Eat at Sabella & La Torre
400 Jefferson St.


There’s nothing better than a bowl of cioppino with a stunning waterfront view of San Francisco Bay. Cioppino’s signature dish consists of Dungeness crab legs, clams, mussels, snapper, calamari, and shrimp stewed in a savory tomato broth. Yes, their signature dish is so good they named their restaurant after it. What to eat: cioppino, clam chowder.

Eat at Cioppino's

Fog Harbor Fish House

Who doesn't want to eat 100% sustainable seafood served with a side of the Golden Gate Bridge? Get a window seat at this family-owned institution to enjoy beautiful bay views with your meal. Fog Harbor's menus are ever-changing depending on what catch is in season. What to eat: baked oysters, garlic roasted dungeness crab.

Eat at Fog Harbor Fish House
1517 Polk St.

Swan Oyster Depot

A place not short on accolades, Swan Oyster Depot is an institution in San Francisco and has been made wildly popular to out-of-towners by food critic Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain has been quoted as saying, "If god made anything better, he kept it for himself." Be prepared to wait 30 to 45 minutes for an elbow-to-elbow seat with strangers. People have come from the farthest reaches of the country to suck down fresh clams and oysters at this tiny marble countertop. What to eat: combo salad.

Eat at Swan Oyster Depot
1475 Polk St.


Not in the mood for crab in the traditional sense? Head over to Crustacean in Nob Hill for their take on crab. Their menu of Euro-Vietnamese cuisine is imaginative and delicious; so delicious that this restaurant has a "secret kitchen" that only family members and trusted chefs can enter. Drunken or roasted crab is what to get here, along with a side of their famous garlic noodles. What to eat: The roast crab and garlic noodles.

Eat at Crustacean
1 Ferry Building

Hog Island Oyster Company

The freshest oysters in the Bay Area are at Tomales Bay, where the Hog Island Oyster Farm is located. If you can't make it all the way up there, Hog Island Oyster Company in the Ferry Building is an excellent second option. Along with freshly shucked oysters, you get a gorgeous view of the bay. They also have fantastic cocktails to go with their ever-changing, seasonal menu. What to eat: hog Island sweetwater or atlantic.

Eat at Hog Island Oyster Co.
631 Kearney St.

R & G Lounge

Hidden away in Chinatown, R & G Lounge is the perfect spot to have your Chinatown experience and get your crab fix. This space has two levels: a downstairs with more casual decor and a formal upstairs. Along with all the Chinese classics, they serve up crab in eight ways. Try it deep fried, steamed in white wine, or even covered in black bean sauce. With any combination of crab and garlic, we're in heaven. What to Eat: salt and pepper crab.

Eat at R&G Lounge
Pier 43 1/2

Franciscan Crab Restaurant

This neon-lit, nautical-themed restaurant on Pier 43 1/2 is easy to spot. Built in the late 50s and recently remodeled, this mid-century eatery has 20-foot windows that offer panoramic views of the bay. Franciscan Crab Restaurant only buys Dungeness crabs that are two plus pounds to ensure ample meat and serves them on a sizzling platter with butter sauce. You'll certainly need a bib if you dine here. What to Eat: mussels and roasted crab.

Eat at the Franciscan Crab Restaurant
655 Divisadero St.

Bar Crudo

A favorite among locals, Bar Crudo is a raw bar on Divisadero with incredible oysters, salads, and, of course, crudo. They also have an extensive beer list and killer happy hour menu. Aside from their fantastic raw options, their clam chowder is heavenly and a must-order. What to eat: seafood chowder, uni toast, and Hokkaido scallop. 

Eat at Bar Crudo
Pier 47


Once a little coffee shop on the pier in 1965, Scoma’s has become a force of buttery goodness today. There’s butter sauce, and then there’s Scoma’s butter sauce. Perfect for dipping their famous crab cakes or drizzling on their perfectly cooked petrale sole and halibut. Scoma's is also a significantly sized, making it great for  large groups. This place has been family-owned for three generations and has an active fish receiving station on its pier where you can watch boats drop off their catch. What to eat: shrimp and scallop alla gannon. 

Eat at Scoma's
1914 Fillmore St.

Woodhouse Fish Co.

Bright and inviting, Woodhouse Fish Co. is a casual neighborhood spot on Fillmore St., serving quality seafood in a New England-style atmosphere (think red-checkered paper mats). The clam chowder and sourdough bread are a match made in heaven, and the Crab Melt should be on your list for next time. What to eat: lobster roll.

Eat at Woodhouse Fish Co.
Up-close image of lobster roll with a side of fries
2824 Jones St.

The Codmother Fish & Chips

A place both locals and tourists can agree is delicious. Founded by a UK native and San Francisco tour guide in 2011, the Codmother serves up an authentic English fish and chips on the wharf. This stationary food truck near Ghirardelli Square not only cooks up amazing fish and chips, but also has great Baja fish tacos and chowder. What to eat: standard fish and chips

Eat at Codmother's
4101 Judah St.

Thanh Long

Want a locals-only experience and a reason to go to the Outer Sunset? Opened in 1971, this is hailed as San Francisco's first Vietnamese restaurant. The owner, Helen An, was honored by the Smithsonian in 2019 for bringing Vietnamese cuisine to America. Inside the restaurant, it feels like a party, full of people celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, or reunions, all enjoying the succulent pepper-coated roast crabs. Than Long is definitely a special occasion meal. What to Eat: roasted crab and garlic noodles. 

Eat at Thanh Long
579 Castro St.

Anchor Oyster Bar

With great food comes great competition. In light of Swan Oyster Depot’s long lines, many imitators have come onto the scene, but none of them have been held in the same regard - except Anchor Oyster Bar. Since 1977, they have been serving fresh, sustainably caught fish, shellfish, crab, and delicious, prepared seafood dishes from their Castro locationWhat to eat: clam chowder.

Eat at Anchor Oyster Bar
295 Terry Francois Blvd.

ATwater Tavern

Just steps away from the ballpark, ATwater Tavern is the perfect venue for to suck down oysters on the halfshell. The waterfront location features two levels of indoor and outdoor dining with incredible views of Oracle Park, the San Francisco Bay and the downtown skyline. What to eat: ATwater Cioppino.

Eat at ATwater Tavern

Dan Rosenbaum Headshot
Dan Rosenbaum

Dan is the Vice President, Global Marketing, at San Francisco Travel. San Francisco has been his home for over a decade (that makes him a local, right?). On the weekends, you can find him with a cup of craft coffee in hand, a playlist of good vibes, a growing list of books to read, or out at the city's hottest new restaurant or bar.

夕暮れ時のゴールデン ゲート ブリッジと色とりどりの空、前景にサンフランシスコ湾。
SF とのつながりを保つ