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May 29, 2009 10:41 AM

Clam Chowder - Pier 39

My sister is coming into the city - taking some her pre-school students to Pier 39 for a field trip. She wants to meet up for lunch - and she wants clam chowder....because she's at Pier 39. Oh boy.... I almost feel bad asking this question on here 'cuz Pier 39 is such a tourist trap...and to local SF'ers, not really the best place for fabulous food......BUT: What's the BEST clam chowder you've at at Pier 39. I trust you guys. If there is nothing you can think of - just lay it on me and I will accept defeat.

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  1. I have this place on my to-try list ... Chowder's

    Red or white clam chowder is made from scratch as are the salad dressings, tartar sauce and cocktail sauce. The fried fish has a coating made from sourdough breadcrumbs

    It gets lots of positive reviews on yelp and the fact they make the chowder from scratch seems a plus.

    Please report back if you try it. Actually it would be great if you reported back wherever you go.

    4 Replies
    1. re: rworange

      Went to Chowder's! Thanks for the suggestion! I got the red, my sister got the white - both in sourdough bread bowls - $6.95 each. The white was definitely the go to - creamy, good amount of clams in each bite, well seasoned. The flavor of the red pretty much tasted like tomato and italian seasoning - with little bits of chewy chunks. Didn't have the clam flavor that I desired. I think what I'd want to do next time is get a half and half. *Would that be a sin?* I like the lightness of the red - and the tartness from the tomato but breakup the richness of the creamy white.

      We also had the fried zucchini w/ ranch sauce which was really yummy. Lightly breaded strips of zucchini, not drenched in grease. The ranch was rich and creamy - tasted like Barney's curly fries ranch.

      I also saw someone eating the fried fish sandwich..I might have to try that next time.

      1. re: kachoo

        Thanks so much for reporting back. Nice they give the option of half and half. I'm on the white chowder team so red has always been a sin ... though I do like the red chowder at Fish in Sausalito.

        39 Pier # 121, San Francisco, CA

        1. re: rworange

          Although P39 and FW are tourist traps, the two things that they do well are NE Clam Chowder and Dungeness crab.

          1. re: baron45

            Is there another place for good clam chowder?

            Scoma's got some national attention a few years ago, but it is just average. Boudin's is glop ... canned glop. Don't remember if I had the courage to try it elsewhere. Chowder's was on the radar for making it from scratch.

    2. The original comment has been removed