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cheap to moderately priced non-touristy seafood in SF?

hello foodies.

I am looking for cheap to moderately priced seafood restaurants in SF. I am trying to find some good places that aren't anywhere near Pier 39. Any suggestions?

thanks for the help.

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    1. Can you put a number on your price range?

      There are lots of Vietnamese and Hong Kong Chinese restaurants with great cheap seafood.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I wouldn't call Sam's cheap, but one of my favorite meals is a plate of sand dabs swimming in melted butter...with or without the ubiquitous boiled potato.

            1. re: OldTimer

              I would also recommend Sam's (Pine Street). It is a classic old SF seafood house, not nearly as touristy/crowded as Tadich (which is also very good). You should be able to have a nice dinner there for under $40 per person. Stick to the daily specials or have you fish simply grilled.

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I would also recommend Plouf. While classically San Francisco should you be bringing in out-of-towners, the food (specifically seafood) is very good.

            1. re: Tatum

              You mean "not classically SF," right? Plouf is quite French.

          2. well, I would say price range anywhere up to about $30-40 a person. These are friends that aren't that adventurous taste-wise, so I would have to say the less ethnic the better...unfortunately. More basic american-kinda grub.
            thanks again!

            1 Reply
            1. re: blankpower

              North Beach Lobster Shack
              Woodhouse Fish Company
              Bar Crudo

            2. 4 neighborhood seafood places to consider are:

              Alamo Square Seafood Grill, 803 Fillmore St.
              Hyde Street Seafood House, 1509 Hyde St.
              PJ's Oyster Bed, 737 Irving St.
              Pacific Cafe, 7000 Geary Blvd.

              1 Reply
              1. re: DavidT

                I think it is Hyde Street Seafood and Raw Bar. We love it. Ask for Johnny for your waiter.

              2. Do people still like Swan Oyster Depot? I have been meaning to try it when in town sometime.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Alice Q

                  Swan Oyster Depot is still well regarded, although there are some dissenters. However, they only serve lunch and it could not be considered a "restaurant," as they serve such a limited menu.

                  1. re: DavidT

                    We loved Swan's. A bit of old SF, for sure. Be sure to get the right things there, and you'll have a great time. Very convivial and fun. And you'll become immediate friends with the folks you are sitting so close to at the belly-up bar!

                2. Dissenters on Chowhound, you don't say! :-) I guess it is just basically a lunch counter. I always stay with a friend who lives just up the hill on California, but we never seem to make it down there. It might be a good option though if that is what the OP is looking for. What do they serve? Is it just basically oysters and clam chowder?

                  As far as other seafood places - I have also been to Tadich and Sam's and they are very good and a "real SF experience" - but also kind of pricey and a bit formal. Of the two I personally think Tadich has a slightly nicer atmosphere.

                  If I were looking for casual seafood, I would probably head down to the Ferry Building for Hog Island Oyster Co. or the other seafood place there - a friend of mine reviewed it recently in his blog

                  Bar Crudo also gets rave reviews from Sam, who is an SF blogger: www.becksposhnosh.blogspot.com

                  Another option is Spengers, across the bay in Berkeley near the 4th Street shops - also an old time favorite. (I used to live in the E. Bay)

                  I also have to say, I avoided the Fisherman's Wharf "tourist traps" for the longest time, but a couple of years ago I had lunch at Fisherman's No. 9 after a trip to Alcatraz, and I loved it. It's definitely a cliche, but the crab was extremely fresh, the beer was icy cold and the view was fantastic. Just a thought!

                  Those neighborhood places mentioned above sound good as well - that's what Chowhound is great for, finding those out of the way places you wouldn't otherwise know about!

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Alice Q

                    Hog Island rocks.

                    Avoid the chowder at Swan's. Get oysters and crab, and ask them to put the sauce on the side with the crab. It's not the best cocktail sauce, and they ladle it on. But the crab and oysters are fresh as can be.

                    Nothing better than a dozen or four at Swan's, with several tall, frosty glasses of Anchor Steam on tap.

                    1. re: uptown jimmy

                      Thanks for the tips! I am going in April, so maybe I'll make it this time...

                      1. re: Alice Q

                        if you get to hog island just before 5pm on mon and thurs, you can take advantage of the $1 oyster happy hour. with the oysters, the killer view and the acme bread you get, this is definitely one of my favorite ways to kill an hour in Frisco.

                    2. re: Alice Q

                      'Another option is Spengers, across the bay in Berkeley near the 4th Street shops - also an old time favorite. (I used to live in the E. Bay)"

                      Yes, Spengers used to have it's charm, but it was sold, redone, reorganized, and is still nothing special. If your friends are old fashioned, go to Sam's or Tadich. Whatever they tried to do for Spengers was a complete waste. It just is nothing special.

                      1. re: hangdoggie

                        That's too bad - it's been awhile. Thanks for the warning!

                        1. re: hangdoggie

                          The food at Spenger's got so bad that the place went out of business. It's actually better since McCormick & Schmick took it over, but it's hit or miss whether your food will be properly cooked. I think raw oysters and fish & chips are safe bets.

                      2. try Catch in the Castro

                        1. BY far the best Pacific Cafe on Geary- Free Wine while you wait(and you will)
                          Shrimp salad and great fries with meals. Awesome Oysters

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: mustardgirl

                            I think the secret of Pacific Cafe's success is that after an hour of drinking "free" wine people are too buzzed to care that the food's mediocre by SF standards.

                            Why anyone would wait in line there with all the great Chinese seafood nearby is beyond me.

                          2. The petrale sole at Sam's is the best.

                            1. PPQ Dungeness Crab Island on Clement @ 25th Ave.

                              1. I liked Joey and Eddie's Pescheria in Noe Valley. We had two of the specials last time we were there, one of which I think about often: halibut fin sauteed with bread cubes and garlic.

                                1. I like Alamo Square Seafood Grill...not too pricey. make a reservation.