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Embarcadero bound and looking for seafood

hungryscotsman Apr 13, 2009 09:57 AM

Will be staying down near the Embarcadero in the summer and during our time there will be celebrating my daughter's 19th birhtday. She is a seafood fiend. Given the exceptionally dubious reputation of Fisherman's Wharf, where would you recommend within walking distance/nearby? Not necessarily looking for upscale/fine dining - although interested in that too.Cuisine also up for grabs. I am however looking for spankingly fresh fish, and if I can get value for money ( seeing the current exchange rate for the poor old British Pound) then that would be a bonus! Thanks in advance for any thoughts you have.

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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: hungryscotsman Apr 13, 2009 10:03 AM

    In that general area, Bar Crudo, Hog Island Oyster Bar, and Sam's Grill.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      Robert Lauriston RE: Robert Lauriston Apr 14, 2009 09:21 AM

      Oops, after April 25, Bar Crudo will be moving to 655 Divisadero, which is halfway across town.

    2. b
      balabanian RE: hungryscotsman Apr 13, 2009 10:16 AM

      Hog Island for sure (in the ferry building). Anchor and Hope is also very tasty, south of market off 2nd street (on tehama, i think)

      1. Ruth Lafler RE: hungryscotsman Apr 13, 2009 10:19 AM

        For value, check out the happy hour oyster specials at Hog Island (Monday and Thursday).

        For spanking fresh seafood, you should have at least one meal in Chinatown, where the seafood will be live until you order it. I like Great Eastern as slightly less expensive and more reliable than R&G Lounge. Actually, my number one rec would be to have lunch at Bow Hun and order the seafood salad (seems expensive, but a half-order is a half banquet size order and will feed four easily). That and a claypot rice dish will be a nice lunch for three or four.

        Here's a discussion of Bow Hun (watch out for the dual menus!):


        5 Replies
        1. re: Ruth Lafler
          Ruth Lafler RE: Ruth Lafler Apr 13, 2009 10:35 AM

          Here are some links. I think many people don't realize that when you follow the link, the restaurant's page contains links to all the other threads where the restaurant is linked, plus a collection of threads where the restaurant is mentioned. It's a good way to read a lot of different information and opinions about a restaurant in one place (especially now that the site search engine is wonky again).


          Sam's Grill & Sea Food Restaurant
          374 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94104

          Bar Crudo
          655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

          Hog Island Oyster Bar
          Ferry Building,, San Francisco, CA 94111

          Great Eastern Restaurant
          649 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

          Bow Hon
          850 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108

          1. re: Ruth Lafler
            rworange RE: Ruth Lafler Apr 16, 2009 08:43 AM

            My only thought against providing the links as you have, by directly linking, is that it makes places less and less effective for finding real info. Instead of real reports being linked, it is working more like a twitter file of people just saying 'go to xxx' with no real useful info about the places. Doesn't really matter at this point since places has been junked up with these types of links.

            Anyway, has anyone been to the Waterfront lately? Supposedly they have a new chef and were trying to do new and better things. Here's the link to the Place record.

            Anywhere you go in SF, be sure to ask what fish is fresh and local. What is the point of eating salmon from Scotland, for example.

            i really would argue against the Crab House at Pier 39 or any Pier 39 restuarant. Crab House is part of a chain and ok, but they have cooks there and not chefs. Visitors like it. The view is great. However a crab at Crab House and a crab at a really good restaurant are two different things. Scoma's in Fisherman's Wharf does have stellar fresh seafood. They have their own fishing fleet. However, their sides are very mediocre and the prices are way too high.

            Another thought is a little birthday excursion. Take a ferry to Sausalito and a cab to Fish. It is a California seafood shack. The tables are outside on the bay. The atmosphere is casual but the food isn't. It is top notch and local, though on the expensive side. Cash only. Here's the link to the place record which will give the website and some linked reports.

            1. re: rworange
              Ruth Lafler RE: rworange Apr 16, 2009 09:49 AM

              Good point about cluttering up places. But still, when someone pulls up the places record they can see at a glance someone linked this restaurant to someone who was looking for stuff around the Embarcadero.

              1. re: rworange
                ellenjean12 RE: rworange Apr 16, 2009 11:32 AM

                you're probably right re Crab House-- like i said, had to eat there cuz of the touristing parents :). Do you have a recommendation for crab? normally i just eat it when i visit home- old school Chinese style- fresh crab from Ranch 99, steamed/ boiled w/ ginger slices in vinegar on newspaper.

                1. re: ellenjean12
                  rworange RE: ellenjean12 Apr 16, 2009 12:43 PM

                  I'm not a fan of Dungeness crab. However, R & G always gets favorable mentions. I like the crab house restaurant group for what it is. I've eaten at most of their restaurants and the food is always similar. It is just that there are better versions elsewhere. They do a decent job of mussels.

          2. e
            ellenjean12 RE: hungryscotsman Apr 13, 2009 11:36 AM

            In case you have to visit Fisherman's Wharf/ Pier 39, I actually would recommend The Crab House at Pier 39. Ate there when taking my visiting parents around sightseeing and we really enjoyed the crab chower and roasted crab.

            Crab House At Pier 39
            39 San Pier, Francisco, CA 94133

            1. PegS RE: hungryscotsman Apr 14, 2009 02:39 PM

              Not a popular choice, I know, but for a blow-out seafood dinner there's always Waterbar too.

              399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA

              1 Reply
              1. re: PegS
                Ruth Lafler RE: PegS Apr 14, 2009 03:09 PM

                Yeah. Pretty expensive, though, and reports have been that the food is weaker than it's sister, Epic Roasthouse, next door.

                Speaking of expensive, I know the pound is down vis a vis the dollar, but I think you'll still find restaurants here pretty reasonable. I was really shocked last time I was in England (2005) how expensive the restaurants were (and not just in London). Of course the prices there include tax and tipping is different (at least tipping is more straightforward here). But still, it was approximately pounds to dollars (i.e., something I would expect to pay five dollars for would be five pounds).

              2. b
                bernalman RE: hungryscotsman Apr 14, 2009 04:49 PM

                Right on the Embarcadero, at Pier 1 1/2, just north of the Ferry Building, is La Mar Cebicheria. Peruvian seafood. Perhaps not exactly what you are looking for, but quite good, and different from what you would get at home. Ask for seating on the covered patio, right on the Bay. Not cheap, though.

                1. d
                  DavidT RE: hungryscotsman Apr 14, 2009 05:13 PM

                  The Tadich Grill (260 California Street) specializes in seafood and is the oldest restaurant in SF. It is similar to Sam's Grill in its classic ambience and decor. It is a large and busy place. They do not take reservations. I would recommend going for lunch before noon or after 1:30pm and going for dinner before 6:00pm or after 8:30pm. I would ask for whatever fish is fresh that day and have it grilled or sauteed. They also serve a tasty cioppino, which is a local dish of a seafood stew in a tomato broth.

                  1. s
                    SteveG RE: hungryscotsman Apr 16, 2009 01:40 PM

                    At the Saturday Ferry Plaza farmer's market, which is probably a must-visit if you're into food, I love the oyster poor boy sandwich from the Hayes Street Grill prepared-food stand, which usually also has other seafood items. The fresh-shucked oysters or oysters by the dozen from the adjacent Hog Island stand are also hard to beat. I don't think any other stands sell prepared seafood, but Shogun Fish has excellent raw stuff, some of which is sashimi grade. Last year I got some sashimi grade hokaido scallops, and it was all I could do not to eat them out of the bag before getting home.

                    1. h
                      hungryscotsman RE: hungryscotsman Apr 20, 2009 12:13 AM

                      Hey, everyone - thanks to all who contributed to this thread - much appreciated and more than one idea that we'll be taking up when we get to SF. Cheers

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