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San Francisco fish suggestions, moderately priced?

I'll be traveling in a few weeks to San Francisco with a person described as a fussy eater who likes fish.
I'm not sure but I believe that rules out most ethnic cuisine and probably sushi.
Can people suggest places that have good fish with entress less than $20?

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    1. re: DavidT

      I've eaten at Alamo Square Seafood grill before and loved it. I totally spaced that one. Thanks for reminding me.
      The one time I ate at Scoma's the line was ridiculously long, especially for the quality. Maybe I should try Spenger's again. I haven't been there since the kids reopened it, mainly because I haven't heard good things. It was a long-time favorite though.

      1. re: SteveTimko

        The most of the daily lunch specials at Sam's Grill (Bush Street, SF) are usually under $20.

        1. re: SteveTimko

          Are the Spenger kid's really involved or is it just a name front for McCormick and Schmick’s?

          1. re: wolfe

            The last I heard it was the Spenger kids. That may have changed. Union issues and stuff Chowhound probably doesn't want us to go into.

          2. re: SteveTimko

            I see a lot of bad reviews for Alamo Square Grill on another Web Site. Has anyone eaten there recently?

        2. The locals will likely have more info, but as a frequent visitor I've got a few suggestions...

          Woodhouse Fish in Pacific Heights is a casual, neighborhoody place. The halibut are biting in the bay at the moment, and they do it simply and well.

          Bar Crudo should be re-opened by now. Fantastic fish, brilliantly presented. They serve small plates that cost $12-15, so it's a relatively economical place to have a light dinner, but you can do some serious damage to the budget if you show up with a big appetite. And although they have chowder and cooked dishes, the focus on raw fish might be offputting to a fussy eater.

          For something really safe, you might consider the prix fixe lunch at Scoma's. Yes, I know, it's on Fisherman's Wharf. Cringe. But they do a good job with simply-prepared locally-sourced fish (they have their own boats). And you can't complain about a cup of chowder, the catch of the day, and a dessert for $25, especially when valet parking is included.

          1. I'l 2nd the Woodhouse Fish recommendation and note they also have a Market Street location that is convenient to transit.

            Another place to consider is Pacific Catch. Some specials may push the $20 envelope, but most of the menu is well below that. They also have two locations.

            Does fussy/no-ethnic rule out all Asian options? There are a number of pretty straight-up Asian seafood options that work for my fussy eaters.

            Woodhouse Fish Company
            2073 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114

            Pacific Catch
            1200 9th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122

            Pacific Catch
            2027 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123

            Woodhouse Fish Company
            1914 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA

            1. I'll third the Woodhouse Fish rec.

              1. Another vote for Alamo Square. I used to visit pretty regularly (not for a while tho') and was always delighted with the food and prices. It is one of my husband's favorite resto's. Careful preparation, quality ingredients, good sized portions and a good looking space.

                1. Anyone been to "Weird Fish" and have a comment?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: ns1

                    Went tonight and had the 3 piece fish and chips, cod, $13, It was good and my wife had a mango fish taco, tilapia, $5, she liked it ok. Kid had rice and beans she said they were too spicy, she's 3 1/2, she at my chips, a nice mix of sweet and regular potatoes. Drinks seemed a little on the high price side. Also had a nice tofu sweet potato goat cheese app.

                    I swore after the first time I went there right after it opened I wouldn't go back because I ordered what on the menu was listed under fish, trout. Thought $9, that seems like a good price. I was very disappointed when the server brought me a filet of trout, 1/2 of a trout about 4-5" long on a plate by itself. I walked to cancun and got a burrito for desert.

                    All in all I really want to like this place and like their sustainable menu, but it won't be a regular destination for me. If I need my fish and chips fix I will stick to the Edinborough Castle.

                    1. re: trespinero


                      Weird Fish
                      2193 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                      1. re: trespinero

                        I'd agree about Weird Fish- gave it a try when it first opened and haven't gone back since tilapia is not my favorite fish. I'd recommend Nick's Crispy Tacos- great fish tacos, great atmosphere, great price.

                    2. I'll fourth the Woodhouse. Bar Crudo is pretty close to sushi, depending on what picky eater means. What about Tadich? You can cable car to it, it's been around for a million years, they do Sand Dabs well, and it's known for it's sourdough bread which is apparently slightly better than sourdough made by the same bakery for other restaurants.

                      Also Swan Oyster Depot is amazing.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: CharlieShagbark

                        Maybe you have the answer...just what is amazing about Swan? Is fresh fish so unusual in San Francisco? Swan may be the most uncomforatble and overpriced food vendor in the city. Don't you know that they get their seafood from the same purveyors as everyone else? If a crab is cooked daily, how does it get any fresher than other places? I like Swan. When I lived in the neighborhood, I ate there 2-3 times a week. But nothing special about fresh seafood, and nothing is cooked on the premises.

                        1. re: OldTimer

                          It's funky, expensive and "nobody goes there anymore because it is so crowded."*
                          *Y. Berra

                          1. re: wolfe

                            Its crowded because there are only TWELVE SEATS.

                      2. Have not been, but heard good things about Cafe Maritime. adam

                        Cafe Maritime
                        2417 Lombard Street, San Francisco, CA 94123

                        1. Pacific Cafe on Geary and 34th is always great and reasonable.

                          1 Reply
                          1. yes, swan oyster depot is just counter seating. and I thought they were mostly cold salads?

                            there is also hyde street seafood house and raw bar. their specialty is en papillote.

                            Pacific Cafe is way out there and isn't stellar and doesn't take reservations, but they serve you free wine whilst you wait.

                            1. great grlled fish daily at Park Chow. Someone can really grill fish there ~$16-18