Sometimes you just get a hankering for something fishy - whether that’s oysters, shrimp, crab cakes, or even just some fried fish - and you can’t think about anything else until you get it. If you’ve found yourself in that metaphorical boat this week, look no further. Bordering the water has its perks, after all. If you’re hoping to get your hands on some of the tastiest seafood in San Francisco, these are some of the best (and most sustainable!) seafood restaurants in the area.
Depending on what kind of seafood you’re in the mood for, it doesn’t always come at the most affordable price. At GiftYa, they understand that going out to get some delicious seafood - especially seafood like oysters and lobster and crab - isn’t always feasible when you’re operating on a tight budget. That’s why they’ve put together a list of seafood restaurants near you and the opportunity to take a chunk out of your final bill with their e-gift cards. Order one for your favorite seafood fanatic today!
Pier 39, The Embarcadero, Ste A-202 | Fisherman’s Wharf | fogharbor.com
Pier 39 is home to some of the best seafood in all of San Francisco, but the seafood restaurant that started it all was Fog Harbor Fish House - a top-rated San Franciscan classic that has been around for over forty years now.
When you dine via their outdoor seating, you can take in some of the best views in the entire city as you overlook the Golden Gate Bridge. While you’re at it, be sure to gorge yourself on their homemade sourdough bread, which is made fresh and in-house on the hour.
Here at Fog Harbor Fish House, they believe in sustainable fishing and they’ve put that to practice with the seafood that they serve up for you every day. Not only are they serving you up some of the most delicious seafood in the area, but they’re doing so while being careful to make sure that they aren’t endangering any of the nearby fish species.
Working closely with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Program, the folks here at Fog Harbor are careful to make sure that their fishers don’t bring back any more than the quota of non-endangered fish that they need for a day.
“The food was delicious and the service was great! I absolutely love seafood! I ordered the spicy shrimp appetizer (can't remember exactly what it was called) and it was SO good and spicy! - Yelp Review
552 Green St | North Beach/Telegraph Hill | sottomaresf.com
As far as backgrounds for restaurants go, the history here at Sotto Mare Oysteria & Seafood is something to be remembered. The building where it sits now was originally built back in 1919, where it started out as a winery and cigar store during prohibition.
It then moved on to become two different family-run Italian restaurants over the years. In between then and now, it fell into the hands of the University of San Francisco’s baseball coach until it was bought in 2003 and restored to its original design when the blueprints for the building were found.
Today, it operates as two restaurants built into one. Incorporating two restaurants side-by-side with a banquet hall on the lower level, today’s Sotto Mare functions as a dual Oysteria and seafood restaurant to help satisfy whatever seafood cravings you’ve been having.
“This is the best seafood I've ever had in the SF area...Every single dish was so delicious and fresh!! I also have to mention their excellent customer service!” - Yelp Review
318 Columbus Ave | North Beach/Telegraph Hill | bettyloussf.com
Seafood restaurants don’t always have the best reputation for being family-friendly in that way that really makes you feel like you’re dining out with your family. Many seafood places lean more on the side of upscale - which is fine if that’s what you’re looking for.
If you’re looking for a great place to bring the whole family for a night of seafood-loving fun, however, Betty Lou’s Seafood & Grill is definitely the place to be here in San Francisco. They’ve curated an environment that is perfectly fun and relaxed and where they’ll treat your family like their own.
With a head chef who hails from Mexico and a slight Italian influence to their cooking, this seafood will be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. Tuck in for some of the most original fusion of cuisines when you get your seafood fix this week.
“How have we never found this place!? Food is so fresh, perfectly cooked, and the service was impeccable!!!!!! Thank you so much for everything, we will see you soon. Highly recommended!” - Yelp Review
1517 Polk St | Nob Hill | swanoysterdepot.us
Oysters aren’t for everyone, but for the people who can’t get enough of them, they’re still pretty particular about where they get their oysters from. If you’re looking for one of the best places in San Francisco to find some oysters, look no further than Swan Oyster Depot.
As a bit of a hole-in-the-wall place, you might not think that Swan Oyster Depot would have some of the best oysters in the city upon first glance, but just wait until you’ve had the opportunity to taste them.
This particular oysteria is set up as a very small diner. With only sixteen stools set up at their oyster bar for their seating options, you’ll want to get there early if you plan on eating in the restaurant. If you’d like to take them to go, that’s a perfectly viable option as well!
“Smoked salmon! Next time I'm just going to grab a pound of that to go and run...Diner style counter seating, really nice staff I was lucky enough to come while there was no line.” - Yelp Review
1914 Fillmore St | Lower Pacific Heights | woodhousefish.com
Lobster and crab are usually the kinds of seafood that you’ll see featured on menus across the east coast. While it’s not uncommon to see some out in California, it’s certainly uncommon to see Maine style lobster rolls or crab cooked up the way you’d find it in Baltimore.
Here at Woodhouse Fish Company, that’s exactly what you’ll find. If you don’t have the chance to make a trip out to the east coast to get your hands on some of this grub in the places where it was born, Woodhouse is your go-to.
Whether they’re serving up lobster rolls or fresh crab or fish tacos, you’re definitely going to find something here that you enjoy. Don’t forget to ask for some extra lemon!
“Wow this place is delicious. Fish tacos are to DIE for, and would get them 10x over again. I'd like to try the Maine style lobster sandwich next time...Highly recommend this place if you're in the area.” - Yelp Review
240 California St | Financial District | tadichgrillsf.com
What’s the best indication of a phenomenal restaurant? Well, one that has withstood the test of time, of course! Tadich Grill is the oldest restaurant that has been continuously run - in not just the city of San Francisco, but also the entire state of California!
The restaurant itself has been around since 1906, bouncing around from location to location throughout the San Francisco area, but it has been in its current location since 1967, and they have no intentions of moving around from now on!
You can find a wide array of seafood favorites here. From cold crab to calamari to crab cakes to oysters, we’re sure you’ll find something on this menu to satisfy your seafood cravings. Don’t forget to ask about their bread pudding at the end of your meal!
“We were served complimentary bread and butter and jumped right into our entrees. This has to be one of the best cioppino I've ever had, haha. Is it dramatic to call it life altering?” - Yelp Review
655 Divisadero St | NoPa | barcrudo.com
If you like seafood, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you like your fish on the side of raw. If you do enjoy raw seafood such as oysters and sushi, however, you definitely won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to sample the menu at Bar Crudo.
For the past fifteen years, they have been serving up some of the most pristine oysters in the area - as well as coming up with new and creative ways to present and garnish the raw fish that they serve up on the side.
While it may have started out that way, they don’t only do raw seafood these days. You can find a wide array of other tasty options, such as seafood tacos (where they’ll actually cook up the seafood for you), and even some options that are devoid of seafood altogether!
“The squid here as well as the pasta is to die for. I feel like the pasta they use is freshly made because it's jammed packed with flavor. I love getting a simple rose here to top off my dinner.” - Yelp Review
Living so close to the water means that there is no shortage of seafood restaurants around San Francisco, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you know where to start looking. These are some of our favorites. Let us know which one had your new favorite seafood dish in the comments below!