San Francisco has long been a key port city on the West Coast, and as a result we’re lucky to enjoy some of the freshest seafood in the country. Here are our favorite seafood restaurants in San Francisco where you can make the most of Dungeness crab season, dine on fresh briny oysters with mignonette sauce, and enjoy the ocean’s local bounty prepared by expert chefs.
When it comes to San Francisco seafood, it’s important to be mindful about the environmental impact of your choices. Many Californians keep an eye on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, which publishes comprehensive guides to help consumers choose the most sustainable seafood options. Consider checking it seasonally so you can make informed decisions about what to order.
Scoma’s is an SF seafood institution that’s spent 50 years at Pier 47 in Fisherman’s Wharf, and even has its own fishing boat for crabs and salmon. It started out as a small coffee shop for local fisherman, eventually evolving into a full waterfront restaurant preparing delicious meals from the day’s catch. Some of the most popular menu items include the “Lazy Man’s” Cioppino and Dungeness Crab Louis. We also love their Fisherman’s Special, which includes an entree and a glass of wine or beer for just $20 — watch our Instagram reel to learn more.
📍 1965 Al Scoma Way, San Francisco
2. Sotto Mare
Although many locals consider it one of the best seafood restaurants in San Francisco, North Beach‘s Sotto Mare has always retained its humble neighborhood charm. Slide into a seat at the old-school counter and be prepared for a raucous dining area packed with historic photos, mounted fish, and nautical decor. The “Best Damn Crab Cioppino” is the restaurant’s star menu item and frankly a non-negotiable choice, but you’ll have a hard time deciding between the many authentic Italian seafood dishes including crowd-favorite seafood linguine and lobster ravioli.
📍 552 Green St, San Francisco
It’s hard to beat this iconic waterfront patio location at the base of the Bay Bridge. This stylish restaurant serves delicious sustainably-sourced seafood under the eye of Chef Parke Ulrich, including a huge oyster selection with delicious choices from across the West Coast. Some other popular menu items include the chilled Dungeness crab, shellfish bisque, and oven roasted red snapper. Order a glass of champagne and enjoy panoramic views from the patio, or take a seat in the aquarium room for an elegant indoor dining experience next to two towering fish tanks.
📍 399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco
4. Hog Island Oyster Co.
This wildly popular seafood restaurant at SF’s Ferry Building is a no-brainer for delicious oysters, hand-crafted cocktails, and excellent waterfront views. They don’t take reservations so the wait can get pretty long on weekends, but if you’re lucky enough to snag a table, you’re in for the best local catch fresh off the boat. In addition to this Ferry Building location, Hog Island runs seven more outposts across the Bay Area serving their own sustainably-farmed oyster varieties from Tomales and Humboldt Bays.
📍 Ferry Building 11A, San Francisco
5. Swan Oyster Depot
There’s something about an old-school seafood counter that lends some extra enjoyment to a fresh fish meal. Anthony Bourdain himself once called Swan Oyster Depot his “happy zone,” and people flock to this Polk St. location for flavorful New England-style clam chowder, Sicilian sashimi, fresh oysters, and bountiful seafood salads. The restaurant has been a no-frills gem in Nob Hill since 1912, so its reputation brings long lines — consider arriving early and be willing to roll with the punches.
📍 1517 Polk St, San Francisco
6. Hook Fish Co.
Savor the best sustainably-sourced fish at this laidback outpost just a few blocks from the beach. The simple menu tastes even better in the small-town environment of the Outer Sunset, tapping into some serious nostalgia for anyone who grew up on the California coast. Place your order at the counter for flavorful seafood burritos, grilled fish tacos, beer-battered fish and chips, and raw albacore poke. Even on a foggy day, it’s hard to resist such a cheerful patio setup with a tray of fresh fish in hand.
📍 4542 Irving St, San Francisco
7. Thanh Long
In 1971, the An family opened San Francisco’s first Vietnamese restaurant in the Outer Sunset. Over four decades later, the family business has spread to additional locations throughout California, but their humble SF storefront continues to be a local favorite. Thanh Long specializes in roasted Dungeness crab served whole in a buttery garlic sauce with generous spices. Be sure to pair it with An’s famous garlic noodles, either on their own or topped with colossal royal tiger prawns.
📍 4101 Judah St, San Francisco
8. Woodhouse Fish Co
Tuck into indulgent New England-style seafood at Woodhouse Fish Co. Locals swear by the flavorful clam chowder, expertly-prepared Dungeness crab available seasonally, and massive loaded lobster rolls with Kennebec potato chips and slaw. Stop in on a Tuesday for “$1-ish oysters” or check out the daily specials, which could be anything from grilled Monterey Bay squid to local halibut. Bear in mind that Woodhouse recently closed its Market Street location, and is now only open on Fillmore for walk-in dining.
📍 1914 Fillmore St, San Francisco
9. Anchor Oyster Bar
*Temporary closed for seismic retrofitting Jan. 11 – Feb. 22, 2024.
Anchor Oyster Bar is a humble authority on seafood in San Francisco, even earning Bib Gourmand status from the coveted Michelin guide. Diners have pulled up a seat in the tiny Castro restaurant since 1977, and the restaurant even claimed an official Landmark Legacy award courtesy of the City of San Francisco. You shouldn’t miss out on Anchor’s signature cioppino with mussels, crab claws, and clams; but the raw oysters and steamed shellfish are also outstanding.
📍 579 Castro St., San Francisco
10. Bar Crudo
Bar Crudo opened on Divisadero in 2005 as a modern raw bar serving sustainable oysters and shellfish from Prince Edward Island, Washington, and Mexico. Indulge in elegantly-presented raw seafood including the popular arctic char with horseradish creme fraiche, striped bass with fennel cream and mint, and chili pepper cod ceviche. Don’t forget to order a cup of steamy seafood chowder with fish, shrimp, mussels, squid, and bacon.
📍 655 Divisadero St, San Francisco