Best Seafood Restaurants in San Francisco

July 15, 2016
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by Zagat Staff

Surf ‘n’ turfers and oyster lovers alike have an abundance of options in the city of SF. 

Hog Island Oyster Co.
Oyster Bar · Embarcadero · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.2

This "sensational" Ferry Building seafooder is a "dream come true for oyster lovers" , now boasting even "more beautiful views of the bay" courtesy of a heated patio; ok, it’s "not cheap" and there’s always a "crowd" , but somehow the staff holds it together with "wit and charm" ; P.S. there’s also a wine-country satellite in Napa’s Oxbow Market.
Bar Crudo
Seafood · NoPa · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.1

"Irresistible" fish dishes – including the namesake crudo sampler – and a bacon-infused clam chowder "guaranteed to blow your mind" lure locals to this "hip" , "raw bar–focused" NoPa seafooder; it’s a bit of a "splurge" and there’s "always a wait" in the "super-small" digs, but "lovely" service, a "well-thought-out" wine and beer list and "happy-hour specials" ( "$1 oysters!" ) enhance the "oceanic goodness" ; P.S. it has a wine country offshoot, Seaside Metal Oyster Bar, in Guerneville.
COI
American · North Beach · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.6

"Food is an art form" at this North Beach leader in Californian-French "culinary mastery" , where patrons savor "cutting-edge" , seafood-centric tasting menus ( "each plate is like a little masterpiece" ) while "being pampered" by "impeccable" servers in a "quiet, refined" setting; the "very high price point" is no surprise, but it’s "worth emptying your wallet" for such a "truly bucket-list type of place."
Farallon
Seafood · Nob Hill · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.7 · Service 4.5

"Fantastical" "undersea decor" sets a "one-of-a-kind" scene for seafood that’s "masterfully prepared" at this "high-end" Downtown "mainstay" that remains "in a class of its own" "after all these years" ; the "top-notch" staff ensures "you’ll feel pampered" , but be sure to "bring a fat wallet" and "expect to splurge."
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana
Peruvian · Embarcadero · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.3

"Ceviche better than Lima's" and "empanadas to die for" anchor the menu at this "fresh and fabulous" seafood spot, the Embarcadero outpost of Gastón Acurio's international empire, where "Peruvian high cuisine" is presented against a "beautiful" waterside backdrop (check out the "awesome views" from the patio) alongside "artfully mixed" cocktails; despite "high prices" for "small plates" and service that – though "well-informed" – can be "overwhelmed by the crowds" , most feel "it's everything you want in a restaurant."
Anchor Oyster Bar
Seafood · The Castro · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.2

This "cute" long-running oyster bar with a "nautical motif" is a "pearl" in the Castro for Boston clam chowder and "simple" seafood "so fresh you'll swear it was made by the Little Mermaid" ; many dishes (such as the "best cioppino" ) are "not cheap but a good value" , and while "seating is tight" in the "tiny" space, the "helpful" staff and "limited" but "nice" list of local white wines ensure the "hungry hordes" leave "happy as clams."
Tadich Grill
Seafood · Downtown · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.3

"Steeped in SF history" , this circa-1849 Downtown seafooder represents "old-school dining at its finest" , with a "damned good" menu highlighted by a "famous" cioppino and "fresh-out-of-the-oven" sourdough bread; granted, it's "constantly packed" and "loud" (plus there are no reservations), but a "vibrant" air, "fun people-watching" and "banter" with the "longtime" staff compensate.