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Best "Local" Seafood Restaurants in Bay Area? Coming from a distance and need FIX!

I'm completely deprived of my first love—fresh seafood—while living in the midwest.

Looking for any "local" eateries which provide any of the following: delicious oysters, muscles, crab, clam, abalone, scallops, geoduck, squid, octopus, etc. What am I missing?

As long as it's fresh and consistent, I'm all ears for suggestions...

"Dives" are fine, general stores are fine, low, medium, high end restaurants are fine, food trucks are fine. Want to avoid fried. Even a groceries/markets American or ethnic are fine as I may have kitchen facilities.

Thoughts? Please provide name and location. All advice appreciated.

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  1. Hog island if it isn't still closed when you come.

    Hog & Rocks

    Bar Crudo (though can be inconsistent)

    Skool (slow service)

    1760 had a good a mount of seafood on their menu.

    Sf actually isn't a huge seafood town. Not sure if it's sustainability reasons or there just isn't that many true local species.

    3 Replies
    1. re: goldangl95

      Passionfish in Pacific Grove would fit the sustainability bill. Good choice of Skool. We think of Koi Palace as a seafood house.

      1. re: BoneAppetite

        Passionfish is 120 miles from San Francisco.

      2. re: goldangl95

        the locally caught seafood varies with the season of course, and many SF restaurants that feature seafood have a significant part of their menu based on stuff that's flown in [on an oyster selection for example, one or two varieties offered will be local, several won't be]. wild abalone is local enough, but so rarely seen in licensed eateries it isn't realistically worth considering. one place that consistently has a number of choices that are locally sourced (and explicitly noted on its menu) is Fish in Sausalito. generally speaking for the present, the Dungeness crab with the season waning might not even be very local now, but the petrale sole or sand dabs will be (herring or sardines are often a good bet as well). other stuff will be dependent on getting accurate info on the source from the restaurant.

      3. Anchor Oyster Bar
        Bar Crudo
        Hayes St. Grill
        Hog Island Oyster Bar (closed for remodeling?)
        Sotto Mare
        Yank Sing (dim sum, lunch only)

        1. Should you go up to visit Sonoma Cty, Bravas Tapas in Healdsburg makes a terrific octopus dish, lightly dusted with Ceylon cinnamon. We eat octopus often and theirs is so far the best we've had. Amazing concept/execution.
          Bravas Tapas
          420 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448
          (707) 433-7700/also OpenTable

          One of my niece's favs is:
          La Mar Cebicheria
          Pier 1 ½, the Embarcadero, SF.
          Website & menu: http://lamarsf.com/

          2 Replies
          1. re: jaiko

            if you're trekking as far as Healdsburg, Mateo Granados gets his seafood directly from fishermen/gatherers and boats he supports.

            1. re: moto

              Heck, if going north then fresh & bbq'd oysters along the Marin coast are a must.


          2. Plouf (on Belden Alley, SF) specializes in mussels, serving them with a variety of sauces.


            Tadich Grill and Sam's Grill (both in the Financial District) are SF's two "old-school" seafood houses. Your best bet at either is to have the sand dabs or have the fresh fish of the day simply grilled.

            1. Fish in Sausalito (recent thread here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/966670


              They do it about as local as it gets around here, which means sourcing from individual fishing vessels along the West Coast and only serving sustainably-caught species. The quality is first-rate.

                1. Is there absolutely no love for Farallon? Have many fond memories, and plan to take my son there when we're in town later this month.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: pikawicca

                    Thread was asking about local seafood, not just seafood generally. Farallon appears to source from all over (Maine, New Zealand, Hawaii, Alaska, the Mediterranean, etc.). Not the same as "catch of the day" stuff coming off local boats.

                    Truth is that you can't find many of those true "locally-sourced only" places in the Bay Area (except for some of those mentioned above). It's not like in some other parts of the country (Louisiana and the Carolinas come to mind) where you can go to seafood places where everything they serve is from local boats that are catching everything in a 100-mile radius.

                    1. re: mikeh

                      The opening post says "completely deprived of fresh seafood in the Midwest" so it doesn't sound like local is that big a requirement.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        And 'local' seafood really narrows down the choices to sardines, salmon, dungeness crab, oysters, etc.

                        1. re: ckshen

                          Depends on how you define local. Here's a discussion of what's local:


                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            right. and fish swim a long way anyway, unlike 'locally grown produce'.

                        2. re: mikeh

                          >>"Truth is that you can't find many of those true "locally-sourced only" places in the Bay Area (except for some of those mentioned above). It's not like in some other parts of the country (Louisiana and the Carolinas come to mind..."

                          Tony's Seafood Restaurant in Marshall used to put out true "locally sourced" seafood. Until he got caught anyway...

                        3. re: pikawicca

                          I've had the impression for some time that Farallon was more about showy and that better seafood can be had elsewhere. This thread provides a great list.

                          We loved Bar Crudo and think Plouf is good and Belden Place is always a fun experience. I've heard good things about Fish - steve h ate there while renting a houseboat in Sausalito last summer. He also loves the oysters at Zuni.

                          1. re: pikawicca

                            OK, let me bite. I really like Farallon. I haven't been there in about a year, but that's mainly because its sister restaurant Waterbar is closer to where I live.

                            The price point for entrees seem to be about $5 (give or take) higher at Waterbar than at Farallon, but I guess that's the cost of the views.

                          2. This article about a unique abalone farm underneath the pier in Monterey mentions Michael Mina, Coi, Commis and Saison as customers:


                            1. Koi Palace has plenty of seafood prepared Chinese style.

                              If you are willing to go out of the way, Yum's is a small shop in Newark does crab in various cantonese/ asian style very well, and cheaper. R&G in chinatown is also fine, they are more of a banquet type restaurant.

                              Oysters you can consider heading to an oyster farm around Marshall and Pt Reyes in Marin County and feast on oysters whose freshness cannot be beat. I love grabbing a baguette and cheese, sit on a picnic table and shuck away. Weekends can be insanely crowded. In the city there are also many places to have oysters.

                              Sun Fat in the Mission district in SF also has tons of varieties of live oysters in circulating salt water tanks (i.e. very fresh). They have varieties like Kusshis and Shigokus that are harder to find elsewhere. With that said, its a seafood market so you have to take the oysters back with you and shuck them somewhere. and Kusshis and Shigokus are not from the bay area.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: ckshen

                                Zuni probably has the best selection of oysters in a restaurant.

                                1. re: ckshen


                                  Lovely! Especially with the Chinese style recommendations as Dim Sum is also something I need a serious fix of.

                                  Love the idea of fresh direct from oyster farm and we'll be staying in that area for a few days. Keep talking... I'm all ears!

                                2. Yuet Lee for crab, clams, etc.

                                  Also Chez Panisse always has a fish or seafood item on their menu and you can be assured it will be treated with respect and handled perfectly...not to mention the superior sourcing they enjoy. You can go upstairs which is easier.

                                  Tonight they're serving: buttermilk-fried petrale sole with red coleslaw.

                                  3 Replies
                                    1. re: ML8000

                                      Chez Panisse gets most of their seafood from Monterey Fish, which also supplies Hayes Street Grill, Zuni, and Oliveto.

                                      1. re: ML8000

                                        I'm a big fan of Yuet Lee; I was driving past it last night and thought I saw it was closed, chairs up on the tables. (It's open late, closed on Tuesdays.) I could not find a website for them but found the phone no and called it and got a recording that they are on vacation until Wed. Mar 26.

                                        Here are reviews from Trip Advisor: