San Francisco's Best Seafood Restaurants
Looking for fish, shrimp or oysters? This guide has got you covered.
Recognized for its rich bay and coastal culture, San Francisco has emerged as a top destination for seafood lovers and is filled with venues that take pride in serving a range of delicacies, freshly plucked from the ocean. In this guide, we take a look at some of the best seafood restaurants in San Francisco.
We highlight places like Swan Oyster Depot, dubbed by some as the "greatest raw bar on Earth", and the iconic Sam’s Grill & Seafood Restaurant, one of SF's oldest and most treasured dine-outs. This article is based on recommendations from World of Mouth experts including Hani AlMalki, Marcia Gagliardi, and Virginia Miller. So read on and discover San Francisco's best seafood spots below.
Angler, a Michelin-starred restaurant, specializes in seafood and game dishes, all cooked over an open fire. The menu, inspired by local produce, changes daily to reflect the peak flavors of the season. With a relaxed yet classy ambiance, the restaurant also offers a comprehensive wine list with a focus on wines from Burgundy, Napa, and Sonoma.
Seafood heavenAngler is run by Joshua Skeenes and the team behind Saison. A seafood-centric restaurant focused on live-fire cooking with a great wine list.I love to start with a bottle of Pliny, some local oysters while I'm checking in the menu.Do not miss the grilled Radicchio with Radicchio X.O sauce, wonderfully smokey flavour and super tasty. Prawns or tuna from the grill and to finish the meal a Soft Serve Sundae. That's a great way to start the CA-trip.
Swan Oyster Depot is a family-run seafood restaurant known for its fresh oysters, crab, scallops, and raw fish. It's recommended to try their off-menu items like the crab back and crabsanthemum, paired with a slice of sourdough bread topped with crab fat, olive oil, and vinegar. Be sure to check out their Sicilian sashimi and the popular combination salad, but remember, they have unusual operating hours.
The Greatest Raw Bar on EarthYes, you have to wait in line. Everyone waits in line at Swan Oyster. It is family run and they serve some of the best oysters, crab, scallops and raw fish you will ever have. Make sure to order a plate of Sicilian sashimi. Note: they have strange opening hours.
Ernest is a San Francisco-based restaurant that offers an eclectic menu filled with delicious meals. They offer a special "let the kitchen cook for you" menu for $95, which includes many popular dishes and the option to add uni and jamón serrano toast. Open from Wednesday to Sunday, 5:00 - 9:30pm, Ernest provides both reservations via Resy and walk-ins at their bar.
Let the kitchen cook for you for an absolute feastFor $95, you should choose the “let the kitchen cook for you” menu, which covers many of the greatest hits on the eclectic and delicious menu. It’s worth paying the supplement for the uni and jamón serrano toast, isn’t it always?
Le Fantastique is a seafood restaurant known for its wide variety of French wines and vintage vinyl music. The menu features a diverse range of dishes, including cured and aged raw fish served sashimi style, shokupan bread with a lobster thermidor dip, and Opah fish slices with Welsh onion broth. With its blend of elegant and casual ambiance, Le Fantastique offers a distinct dining experience centered around incredible bites, fine wines, and classic music.
Incredible bites, champagne, white burgundy and vinyl music. It's just something unique.Le Fantastique is just something unique - it was one of my top openings of the year last year. Some might not consider it a full meal, as there’s a lot of cured and aged raw fish sashimi style. Chef Robbie Wilson shows his great love of Japan, of music and many other things. The drink list is three pages of white, burgundy and champagne and one page of reds. He's got a little room in the back with beautiful aged fish that’s served in delicate presentations. His incredible version of shokupan, the Japanese milk bread he makes with sourdough, so with a San Francisco nod, is served with a foamy lobster thermidor dip. Or slices of Opah fish and a Welsh onion broth and smoked vinegar. It's more about the incredible bites, the champagne, the white burgundy and then the vinyl music with vintage McIntosh speakers. Really elegant and chic with a fine dining element to it, even though it's casual. It's not quite like any other spot.
Sam's Grill & Seafood Restaurant, established in 1867, is renowned for its fresh and seasonal seafood dishes. The place is known for its classics including the Celery Victor, a chilled celery salad with a spicy garlic-chili marinade, and other seafood delights like Cioppino, petrale sole, Hangtown fry, and crab or shrimp Louie. With a well-selected range of international wines, private booths, and a comfortable outdoor patio, this restaurant, one of the oldest in the U.S., remains a favorite among locals.
An old-school SF seafood experience.A local’s secret for some the best seafood in town, Sam’s Grill is a quintessential SF experience. Established in 1867, Sam’s opened in this Belden/Bush location in 1946, and it feels like some of the servers have been here that long. They may be serving old-school dishes, but everything is so fresh and seasonal. (No frozen veggie medley out of a bag on the side here.) Owner Peter Quartaroli brought on culinary director David Gingrass a few years ago to update the menu, presentation, and sourcing—not too much, but just right. Things aren’t overpriced, they’re here to feed locals, and lunch is busy busy. Just ask Da Mayor—Willie Brown has his front table four days out of the week here. Try the Celery Victor, an SF original: it’s a poached and chilled celery salad with a spicy hit from the garlic-chili marinade, perfect with white anchovies. Cioppino, petrale sole, Hangtown fry, crab or shrimp Louie, and Green Goddess salad are other SF classics here. Enjoy some well-selected international wines, thanks to wine director Lance Tolaio. Here’s to Sam’s, the fifth oldest restaurant in the U.S., and one of SF’s finest gems. They also have private booths and a well-outfitted outdoor patio.
Oma San Francisco Station offers a casual dining experience with a Tokyo subway station ambiance, located in the heart of Japantown. This eight-seat sushi counter specializes in omakase, a popular Japanese dining style where guests entrust the chef with the meal selection, promising a variety of fresh and exciting flavors. Aside from top-notch sushi and sashimi, they also serve an assortment of carefully prepared Japanese hors d'oeuvres, ensuring each bite is a memorable experience.
Tiny Oma San Francisco Station feels like eating sushi in a Tokyo subway station.
Oma's eight-seat sushi counter has a Tokyo subway station vibe tucked away in a corner of SF's charming Japantown mall. It's casual, with a top-notch fish selection to a small sake collection. It’s an omakase-only (tasting menu) format and a quirky, fun experience with quality nigiri.
Sasa Japanese Restaurant is a casual yet quality sushi spot tucked away upstairs in the charming Japantown mall. The restaurant offers a fine balance of exquisite fish sourced from Japan's legendary Toyosu Market, served in proper nigiri and maki rolls at a price point below many Michelin-starred sushi bars. A must-try dish includes the divine scallops from Hokkaido in a scallop roll with snow crab and cucumber, made creamy with Kyoto white miso aioli.
My "secret" more affordable, casual but still quality sushi spot in SF.
Hidden upstairs in SF's charming Japantown mall, casual Sasa strikes a fine balance of exquisite fish from Japan’s legendary Toyosu Market (formerly Tsukiji) in proper nigiri and maki (rolls), but a midpoint price below many of the city’s tiny Michelin-starred sushi bars.
Must try: divine scallops from Hokkaido in a scallop roll with snow crab and cucumber, creamy with Kyoto white miso aioli.
KEN, a small, intimate sushi bar, provides a traditional multi-course Omakase experience, serving Edomae-sushi with a twist of Chef Ken's creative touches. The menu is meticulously prepared with ingredients sourced directly from Tokyo's Toyosu market and local San Francisco produce, ensuring an authentic sushi experience. With over 18 years of experience, Chef Ken Ngai, formerly of Michelin-starred Kusakabe, offers high-quality nigiri and hand rolls wrapped in first-harvest Ariake nori seaweed.
Tiny, intimate sushi bar transports to Japan on SF's Divisadero St. Chef Ken Ngai took over tiny KEN early 2021 after over 15 years working closely with Mitsunori Kusakabe at SF's Michelin-starred Kusakabe. Quality is high with his nigiri (think Hokkaido bafun uni) and items like hand rolls wrapped in first-harvest Ariake nori seaweed.
Looking for more restaurant recommendations to
? Get the World of Mouth app for free and discover expert recommendations to over
destinations, curated by top chefs, food writers and sommeliers. From street food to fine dining and well known institutions to hidden gems, World of Mouth is your ultimate insider's guide to the world's best restaurants.
The Best Natural Wine Restaurants in New York
Discover the best restaurants for natural wine in New York City.
The Best Local Restaurants in Lisbon
Experience Lisbon's finest local restaurants with our expert-curated guide.
The Best Natural Wine Restaurants in London
Wondering where to have natural wine in London? This is your resource.