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Sep 17, 2009 02:58 PM

Help, Famous hole in wall seafood joint at Fisherman wharf

Long ago someone told me about a hole in wall seafood joint in the Fisherman wharf area where local San Fran people frequent. I am coming to San Fran, and it sounded good to me.

Thanks for any help here.

Any other suggestions on classic, real, genuine San Fran places with great food, and tons of charm?

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  1. it's only a slight overgeneralization to say that local san franciscans do not frequent *anywhere* in the wharf. it's for tourists, not us. that said, rworange did a compilation of restaurants that we can eat at when taking visitors around, as they inevitably want to go to the wharf.

    the usual suggestion for classic genuine san francisco seafood is tadich. both the sand dabs and cioppino are good. you may also find what you're looking for at swan oyster depot or hog island oyster bar.

    1. Swan Oyster Depot is often (incorrectly) thought of as being in Fisherman's Wharf. I'm guessing that's it.

      Also, it semes like Scoma's stands out among the Fisherman's Wharf restaurants, no?

      1 Reply
      1. re: vulber

        Scoma's is considered the best at the wharf, but you get better value (and a true San Francisco experience) at Tadich or Sam's.

        To the OP: No local ever says "San Fran".

      2. You must be thinking of Swan. It's the only hole-in-the-wall seafood place frequented by locals. It's a mile up Polk Street from the wharf. Don't order the chowder, it's canned.

        Swan Oyster Depot
        1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

        3 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Closer to 2 miles, longer if you avoid the hill.

          1. re: wolfe

            It's a mile from Aquatic Park, two miles from Pier [mano cornuto] 39.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              It's on the cable car line. Never mind it's the wrong cable car line.

              But yes, Swan is probably the spot.

          1. re: monku

            Eagle Cafe used to be my go-to spot on the wharf( but not for sea-food,) but years ago it was subsumed by some SoCal corporation and hopelessly effed up. If you need some $20 fish and chips you could try it but the soul got tossed out with the navy caps.

            1. re: monku

              When locals went to Eagle Cafe, it was a diner. I don't think there was any seafood on the menu.

              It was torn down to build a parking garage, but the interior was reconstructed in the tourist-trap mall across the street. It persisted, incongruously, in its original style for many years, but was eventually sold, and except for the name it's now just another branch of the Tin Fish chain.


              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                I thought maybe this was the place the OP was thinking of and no way endorsing it now.
                Way back I rember it being a solid place for a hearty breakafast.

                1. re: monku

                  Yeah, the old Eagle was a classic. But not a seafood joint.