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May 22, 2012 07:49 PM

Hog Island Oyster Farm **OR** Tomales Bay Oyster Co?

Which is the better pitstop when driving north from San Francisco?


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  1. Depends on what you mean by pitstop and which days. Weekdays are much easier than weekends at both. I personally prefer the oysters and picnic area at HI but using it requires a rezzie and $5pp fee. TB's picnic area is 1st come, 1st served but it gets mighty crowded from all the people who are trying to avoid paying at HI.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rubadubgdub


      This is a weekday activity. Don't try it on the weekends. It's too crowded.

    2. I believe one of them shucks for you and the other doesn't...which may factor into decision making (I could be wrong though).

      1. I don't think either shuck for you, but HI from my understanding, at least provides the knives to do so.

        I'll be driving up on a Friday early-afternoon and planning a small clambake (and oyster picnic!) for only two. I don't mind paying a $5 table fee, especially since HI provides the shucking instruments.

        I'm more interested in the freshness and quality/taste of the oysters and clams.


        2 Replies
        1. re: OliverB

          I haven't been to HI, but I've been to Tomales twice and both times they provided a knife when asked. I think the first time we paid a deposit for it and the second time they just gave it to us to use. The oysters were great, but we enjoyed the first time so much more because it was a weekday and not crowded vs. unbelievably crowded the second.

          1. re: OliverB

            At HI, we grill the Manila clams for a taste sensation.

          2. Hog Island shucks for an extra fee. I'm not sure but I recall the price of the res being deducted from the oysters we bought. Love it there. I go a lot. I prefer the atmosphere by far to that of Tomales.

            1. Just went to TBOC for the first time a couple weeks ago and then we stopped by HI on our way home as a comparison. My impression was that TBOC is good if you bring your own stuff (wine, cheese, bread, cooking supplies, shucking supplies, etc) and HI is good if you don't bring your own stuff since everything you would want is available for sale. HI seemed like there was less seating, but they do have valet parking.

              2 Replies
              1. re: hummy

                To clarify, are you saying HI now sells wine, cheese, bread? I haven't been in a while for the reason Eugene mentions, but I only remember hot/cocktail sauce, lemons, and ice as being for sale.

                1. re: rubadubgdub

                  The HI website notes they sell all of the above now. Smart move.