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What's to eat in San Pedro?

My wife and I will be in San Pedro on Saturday afternoon. As long as we'll be in that neighborhood, I figured we should sieze the opportunity to eat anything good down that way. Do you have any can't-miss grocery stores, takeout places, or restaurants in San Pedro? I'm assuming there must be something tastier than the Whale & Ale and Papadakis down that way...

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  1. I lived in San Pedro 15 years ago -- back then, there was a great take-out fried chicken shop called Slavko's. It has to still be there as it was 50+ years old back then (just to see the giant, antiquated fryers is worth the trip!). Grab yourself a picnic from there and don't forget to add some of the massive, plum-sized olives!

    6 Replies
    1. re: Carrie 218

      Yes, I do think this is still there-- on Pacific. The sign is really cool-- looks like graffiti art. :)

      1. re: Carrie 218

        Just recently got around to trying this. Delicious chicken, if a little greasy for my taste. I was excited to find that they prepare roast goose, duck, and other delicacies on 24-hour notice; I know where I'll be getting my holiday dinner.

        1. re: Tony Miller

          As promised, I got a roast goose from Slavko's for a birthday celebration a couple of weeks ago. Came with yam puree and a nice dressing with apples, sausage, and cornbread.

          Not the best goose I've had (both of which were in Germany), but good. Big hit with the guests. It was cooked with an orange glaze. Spit-roasted, it had the fat rendered out (can be a serious problem with goose), might have been a trifle overdone. All dark meat, slightly chewy, with the sweet glaze for flavoring.

          I think my search for great goose is over now.

            1. re: torty

              Too late, his goose is cooked (and eaten). ;-D

              1. re: torty

                It was pretty spendy. The goose + the sides (yams & dressing) was about $130. Estimated 12 lbs, fed six with leftovers for days.

                Jim @ Slavko's charges by the pound -- don't remember how much -- and an additional charge for cooking it. The sides are separate too.

                He said that they get the geese from Canada, and that they were scarce this year. I first talked to him ~ Dec 1 and reserved the bird then; actually had it cooked on the 9th. He said that was the only one he would have before the end of the year.

        2. I have heard about San Pedro Fish Market and Restaurant being a wonderful place for fresh fish at fair prices. To be honest I have not been there myself.
          1190 Nagoya Way
          Berth 78
          Ports O'Call Village
          San Pedro, CA 90731
          310-832-4251

          3 Replies
          1. re: SIMIHOUND

            I have been told, but have not confirmed, that the San Pedro Fish Market and Restaurant is owned by the same people who run Fisherman Outlet Market in L.A. Whether or not that is true the Fish Market has been my fav place, since my Dad first took me there decades ago, to by fish and the outdoor seating (perfect ambiance -- like a movie set/scene of a wharf -like lunch place) is a perfect place to enjoy a fresh fish meal. The only reason I go to the Fisherman Outlet more often is because it is closer, but being down near the water adds to the ambiance of the San Pedro Fish Market. After lunch it is nice to walk-off the big meal by walking around the shops at Ports O'Call or to visit the fireboat station nearby and look at the boat through the windows.

            Fisherman Outlet Market
            529 S Central Ave
            634-G3
            (213) 627-7231

            1. re: SIMIHOUND

              Been there many times, kids love it.

              It really is seafood chaos as soon as you walk in. Along the long wall is a full seafood case, but behind it is an assortment of bins with the catch of the day. Ive see grouper, shark, Monkfish - all kinds of good stuff in there. Across the way is a separate section for shellfish - its totally hit and miss for prices - but if you get a good day for lobsters, dig in. Grab an assortment of fish and shellfish and have the guys behind the counter clean your fish (follow what everybody else is doing), take below to the lower deck area - they will grill or fry your selection, add some serious bread, potatoes and onion. I usually only visit the full service counter below (fish and chips, corn dog, etc) for the kids - but they do have some interesting food.

              My only warning is that with harbor can be a stinky place, and the Market can get pretty crazy and dirty. Only good thing about kids in diapers - endless supply of wet wipes.

            2. BUSY BEE SANDWICHES, BABY!!!!

              -----
              Busy Bee Market
              2413 S Walker Ave, San Pedro, CA 90731

              13 Replies
              1. re: Normal Garciaparra

                What kind of bread do they have? Also, what do you think is the best sandwich there?

                1. re: JeetJet

                  I've only tried the Italian sammich. This was a couple years ago...but Busy Bee is a Pedro institution!

                  1. re: Normal Garciaparra

                    Normal, I went there today and could not make up my mind so I ordered the torpedo, they were pre made and I think I had made a mistake. The hot sandwiches looked better, at least from the steam table. My torpedo was ham, provolone, salame and lettuce with allot of drippy runny mayo and somewhat wilted lettuce. Do the make this sandwich fresh? There must of been 15 on the counter. Perhaps I will try again want to keep an open mind but was in Palos Verdes and took the drive. In fact I only ate half and threw the other half away..

                    1. re: Foodandwine

                      Busy Bee is best for hot sandwiches. For torpedos in San Pedro, A-1 Italian Import market makes them better. No mayo, just a very simple bit of vinegar and oil, and the lettuce is always fresh.

                  2. re: JeetJet

                    The bread they use is called an "Ischia Roll", after the island of Ischia. It is available at the local italian bakeries. I posted below regarding the bread a few weeks ago.

                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/421619

                    Try the BBQ pork at Busy Bee. Messy and yummy. For a killer sandwich, I prefer the eggplant from A-1 Market on 8th Street.

                  3. re: Normal Garciaparra

                    Scheduling vaguaries and some other interruptions to the plan meant that we had to get a quick, late lunch on Saturday. We went to Busy Bee because it was around the corner from where we were. The line was long, but it moved pretty quickly. I got the turkey pastrami. It was good, but not crazy good. They use a real soft white Italian roll for the sandwiches, which means they soak up a lot of the juices. That's good. However, I would not put this up there with the best sandwiches I've eaten. Good, but not among the best. Not sure why it's such an institution. Perhaps I've been spoiled by Bay Cities?

                    1. re: glutton

                      Me too -- Monday at 3, long line of blue collar guys, but service was brisk. Tried the meatball and Torpedo sandwiches, and thought they were both pretty good but in no way remarkable. Conservatively seasoned, I would say.

                      1. re: Tony Miller

                        Try the meatball + sausage sandwich aka "Donato's Pick" at Big Nick's in San Pedro. Great stuff and my favorite meatball/sausage sandwich in the city

                        1. re: Ernie

                          Tried "Donato's Pick" the other day. Enormous! I ate one half for lunch, and my wife made two meals out of the other half. It's also so big around that you can't put it into your mouth -- I ended up eating it with a knife and fork.

                          Very good taste, though. Thanks for the reco.

                          1. re: Tony Miller

                            Glad you liked it! Thanks for taking the time to report back. Yes, Big Nick's portions tend to be enormous but somehow I am able to eat the whole thing LOL

                      2. re: glutton

                        Aaahh Glutton, turkey pastrami is an anomaly. Their strenght lies in the meatball, sausage, bbq turkey and bbq pork - my favorite. Place is an institution because Pedroites won't go to SM for a sandwich. But I know people from Santa Barbara and Carlsbad that come up to Pedro for Busy Bee. I guess it's what you grew up with. I have clients who work on Colorado in Santa Monica that beg me to bring up Busy Bee for in-house lunch meetings. Sort of a drag because I like to go to Bay Cities since Busy Bee is a 5 min. drive down the hill from my house! There is room for every taste.

                        1. re: glutton

                          The Poor Boy at Bay Cities is a KILLER Sanwich, just had the torpedo at busy bee, what a mistake!! see above post to normal..

                        2. I was recently in the San Pedro area, and I noticed many Mexican restaurants. I was unable to stop in, but I wondered which one was really good, given that there were so many choices. Another thing I noticed-- a small, hole-in-the-wall, shack-like Vietnamese place. Has anyone been there?

                          Nam's Red Door Vietnamese
                          (310) 832-4120
                          2253 S Pacific Ave
                          San Pedro, CA 90731

                          1. There's a diner near the 22nd street landing called Canetti's. It was once featured in a pbs series on diners. Great? no. BUT decent, nice atmosphere and I liked the fish and chips i had there.
                            Papadakis Taverna is still decent although itsounds like you don't care for it.
                            CANETTI'S SEAFOOD GROTTO
                            309 E 022ND ST
                            SAN PEDRO
                            90731

                            PAPADAKIS TAVERNA
                            301 W 006TH ST
                            SAN PEDRO
                            90731

                            I've heard good things about
                            RINCON ESPANOL
                            79 BERTH POC
                            SAN PEDRO

                            But I haven't been so I can't recomend it.