Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
Oct 9, 2013 07:36 AM

Seafood Restaurants

We are visiting the SF area and looking for a good seafood restaurant with fresh local seafood. Any suggestions for restaurants that are not in the touristy area of the wharf?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This has been discussed here often before. The Tadich Grill and Sam's Grill are the two "old-school" SF seafood houses. Both are in the Financial District, away from the wharf.

    Tadich is the bigger of the two and likely attracts more tourists. But plenty of locals eat there as well. If you use the Search feature in the upper right-hand corner of this page, you will be able to find a good number of comments on both places.

    1 Reply
    1. hayes st. grill has great local seafood, and isn't at all touristy.

      perhaps a bit nursing-home feeling, but in a good way.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dustin_E

        Hayes Street Grill is certainly in the mode of Tadich & Sam's. It has now been open long enough to be considered "semi-old school!"

      2. Not necessarily local seafood but Skool. Maybe Bar Crudo. Hog Island if all you want is oysters.

        1. At the upper end
          Anchor Oyster Bar

          18 Replies
          1. re: chefj

            At the lower end (that's more my end) Yuet Lee or Sotto Mare. But keep in mind that this time of year not much will be local. Aside from crab and salmon there isn't a huge local fish harvest from our bay and ocean. Try the sand dabs.

            1. re: little big al

              There is Yellow tail, Black Cod, Sea Urchin, Squid, White Sea Bass, Albacore,Sword Fish etc......
              Salmon is now coming from more northern points than CA now.
              Dungeness Crab season is closed right now.

              1. re: chefj

                Yes to all those. I've been posting about the weekly delivery from my community supported fishery, Local Catch Monterey Bay, which sources fish mostly from Monterey Bay but also from as far south as Santa Barbara and up to Eureka. If you look at the collapsed view of the thread, it's easy to scan the first line which states the catch each week.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Very cool.
                  Luckily I get weekly list from my suppliers that keep me abreast of what s from where.

                2. re: chefj

                  I don't think Yellow Tail or Swordfish are local. They like warmer waters. Are local boats going down south to get them?

                  I would add Halibut and Striped Bass to the local scene.

                  1. re: Civil Bear

                    It's unusual, but I've definitely had swordfish caught off Monterey the last couple years.

                    I made my fishmonger swear on a stack of bibles that the catch was local!

                    1. re: Civil Bear

                      Local as California. Have not seen any CA Halibut for at least a week.

                      1. re: chefj

                        I'm pretty sure there's no commercial fishery for striped bass. Only farmed.

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          I did not say there was, but the farmed stuff is awful, muddy tasting.. I grew up near the Chesapeake and the farmed stuff does not taste like Wild Striper at all.

                          1. re: chefj

                            the farmed striped bass isn't really the same species as the wild. they're both related to perches, but the farmed variety is a perch hybrid. you can see a subtle difference in the shape of the heads between the two species.

                          2. re: Melanie Wong

                            Striped Bass are a transplant here and really good, but no commercial fishing.

                        2. re: Civil Bear

                          California yellowtail amberjack (not to be confused with Japanese amberjack = hamachi) is one of the most delicious local fish available commercially.

                          California swordfish is on the Seafood Watch "Best Alternative" list.

                          Any local striped bass would be farmed. Wild would be Atlantic.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Not saying it's never been done, but I have never heard of yellowtail being caught locally. I have caught plenty of wild stripers though.

                            1. re: Civil Bear

                              I'm talking about commercial fish.

                              Whether yellowtail is local depends on how you define local.


                            2. re: Robert Lauriston

                              I always thought Japanese amberjack = kanpachi. No?

                              1. re: vincentlo

                                The Japanese name for California yellowtail (Seriola lalandi) is hiramasa.

                        3. re: little big al

                          Monterey Market's twit feed is a good source of information on what local fish are currently available:


                          So is Ports Seafood's daily list (though it has a lot of other stuff too):


                      2. Thank you for all of the great suggestions!