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6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco

My fondest memories of our travels always include the best dishes and desserts that we ate at each city.  This applies to our recent trip where we found 6 amazing places to eat in San Francisco.  I was so excited for this 3-day trip because I LOVE seafood! ♥  San Francisco has the best clam chowder and fish & chips I have ever eaten!  To my surprise, we also discovered non-seafood eats that were to crave for!

Read the post below to see which restaurants and food shops made it to my list of 6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco.

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco:

1.  Tadich Grill

Location: 240 California St.
Price: $25-$40 per meal
*Minimum food charge: $11.75/seat

Known for being the “traditional, authentic San Francisco restaurant,” Tadich Grill is one of the oldest restaurants in San Francisco.

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco Tadich Grill
It has been serving high-quality seafood dishes since 1849.
6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco Tadich Grill
The restaurant has a distinct, classic look with its long brown tables and servers dressed in white coats and aprons.

We didn’t make any reservations but a long line soon formed after we were seated.

It was highly recommended that we order Tadich Grill’s signature dish, the famous Seafood Cioppino ($32.50). 

So, we did!  It is the most delicious seafood stew I have ever tasted! ♥  It was a LARGE serving of the freshest scallops, prawns, mussels, crabmeat, white fish, clams, and bay shrimps!  Each seafood was cooked in perfection and were in excellent quality in terms of size and freshness.  It’s unbelievable how much seafood they could serve in one dish.

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco seafood cioppino Tadich Grill
Seafood Cioppino

Could this get any better?!

Yes, it could.  The toasted garlic bread that came with the Seafood Cioppino was sooo good!  It was crunchy on the outside, soft in the inside, and has the right amount of garlic and butter/oil.  I enjoyed dipping it in the rich, hearty tomato-based broth of the Seafood Cioppino!

It’s no wonder Seafood Cioppino kept coming out of their kitchen every several minutes.  It’s the dish you definitely must eat!  It’s worth every penny.

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco seafood cioppino Tadich Grill
We were lucky that we got the best seats in the restaurant (next to the kitchen). Our server was very kind, he even tied my bib on!
For a different seafood approach, we also ordered a Halibut Florentine Baked Casserole with Cheese Sauce and Spinach ($25). 

The cheese sauce was creamy and rich in flavor.  The halibut was also in excellent quality – a thick fillet of fresh fish!  It was also perfectly cooked and seasoned.  Although I very much prefer the Seafood Cioppino because of all the flavors and texture in one dish, the Halibut Florentine was still an excellent baked casserole!

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco Halibut Florentine Tadich Grill
Halibut Florentine (Cheese Sauce and Spinach)
2.  Hog Island Oyster Co

Location: Ferry Building, The Embarcadero
Price: $14-$20 per meal

I have been searching for the best clam chowder ever since I tried one in Seattle’s Pike Place Chowder.  So, before arriving in San Francisco, I researched for clam chowder tips.  We always have only few days to try the best food in the city so every meal counts!  I encountered several reviews recommending NOT to eat the clam chowders in Fisherman’s Wharf.  There are many stalls in the area selling clam chowder but try not to settle just anywhere.

We didn’t want to take the risk so we chose the restaurant with rave reviews, Hog Island Oyster Co.

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco Hog Island Oyster Co Ferry Building Embarcadero
They do not take reservations but the long line was worth the wait! This was already 1:45 PM.
6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco Hog Island Oyster Co Ferry Building Embarcadero
Oyster Bar
We ordered the much-awaited Hog Island Manila Clam Chowder ($14).  

Oh my…  This is the best clam chowder I have ever eaten.  Its flavorful broth tasted like clams and bacon simmered in butter yet it was very fresh, light and creamy.  I liked its thin consistency, different from the typical thick broth.  We asked the server to split the clam chowder into 2 servings since we also ordered oysters.  Each half-serving was loaded with fresh sweet clams, bacon and potatoes.  Around a pound of sweet Manila clams might have been used for a full serving of clam chowder. 

Our server was kind enough to refill the bread.  It tasted so good when dipped in the warm, delicious chowder.  We finished the clam chowder down to the last drop!  Yummy!!!

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco Hog Island Oyster Co Clam Chowder
Hog Island Manila Clam Chowder (half-serving)
Our other order was the Grilled Oysters with BBQ Bourbon Chipotle Butter Sauce ($14 – 4 pcs/order).  

It was divine!♥  You’ve got to order this too!  The Hog Island Sweetwater oysters were big and fresh.  Its sauce has a sweet, buttery and smoky flavor.  It’s mildly spicy with a hint of garlic.  It’s totally delicious, it would be a sin not to sip the leftover sauce!  

My only regret was not ordering their raw oysters.

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco Hog Island Oyster Co BBQ Bourbon Chipotle Butter
Grilled Oysters with BBQ Bourbon Chipotle Butter Sauce

I’m glad we waited to eat here.  Hog Island Oyster Co is definitely one of the places to eat in San Francisco if you’re craving for oysters and clam chowder!

3.  The Codmother Fish & Chips

Location: Fisherman’s Wharf
Price: $6-$13 

I’m not really a big fan of fish & chips because the batter is usually too thick or the fish is too small for my preference, but since it’s a favorite of Mr. C, I had to find a good fish & chips restaurant and include it in our itinerary. 

The Codmother Fish & Chips is a food truck located in a small area in Fisherman’s Wharf.

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco The Codmother Fish and Chips

We ordered its famous Fish & Chips ($9.95), upgraded it to Crazy Fries with Baja Sauce (+$2.50), and Deep-Fried Oreos ($3)!

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco The Codmother Fish and Chips Deep-Fried Oreos Crazy Fries with Baja Sauce and Garlic
Fish and Chips (Crazy Fries with Baja Sauce and Garlic) and Deep-Fried Oreos

Unlike the usual fish & chips, their batter is thin, crisp and not greasy.  Just the way I like it!  You could easily taste the fresh fish as you bite through the perfect batter.  It was delicious!  The fish was flaky and succulent.  Aside from its tartar dip, we also tried putting vinegar (available in every table) onto the fish and it complemented the taste.

We were unable to finish the Crazy Fries because it was too heavy but we really enjoyed the Baja Sauce with garlic.  It was unique and has a lot of Mexican flavors.

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco The Codmother Fish and Chips
This is reason why The Codmother Fish & Chips is one of the places to eat in San Francisco.  This is, hands down, the best Fish & Chips I have ever had!
7 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco The Codmother Fish and Chips Deep-Fried Oreos
The Deep-Fried Oreos were fantastic!  It melted right into my mouth.

*Tip: It’s better if you order a side of Baja Sauce ($0.75) instead of upgrading the Fish & Chips to Crazy Fries.  The portions are large even for 2 people.

Sun Basket 3 Meals Free

4. Taqueria Cancun

Location: 2288 Mission St.
Price: $7.50-$10.50
*Cash only

This is the cheapest meal we’ve had in San Francisco but it’s also one of the largest servings.

Although it’s a long commute from where we stayed (Fisherman’s Wharf), it was convenient for us to get our dinner from Taqueria Cancun.  Its late closing hours accommodates our itinerary.  Our itinerary always ended late because the sites we went to were either too far or needed a lot of time.  I was also interested to see the Mission District and know why the area is known for its Taquerias.

After a whole day of walking, our huge appetite tempted us to upgrade our orders from regular burrito ($7.50) to Super Burrito ($8.50) to, eventually, the BURRITO MOJADO or A BIG ONE ($8.75).  Each burrito comes with free chips and salsa.  The Burrito Mojado is like a regular burrito but it has green salsa, spicy Mexican salsa, melted cheese, and sour cream.  Best of all, it’s smothered with enchilada sauce!  

6 Amazing Dishes You MUST Eat at San Francisco Taqueria Cancun Mojado Burrito
Burrito Mojado (A BIG ONE)

We ordered Lengua/Beef Tongue Burrito and Carnitas/Fried Pork Burrito.  The Burrito Mojado really is “A Big One!”  It was huge and packed with fresh ingredients.  I liked the Carnitas better because it’s more flavorful and there were chunks of meat.  The Lengua, although delicious as well, was chopped too small for my preference.  The burrito was very satisfying to eat especially when dipped into the enchilada sauce, melted cheese and sour cream! ♥

5. Ghirardelli Square

Location: 900 North Point St.
Price: $4.25-$8.95

Ghirardelli Square is the chocolate house I’ve been dreaming of when I was a kid!  

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco Ghirardelli Square Chocolate

It has 2 buildings in the North Point location, Original Chocolate Factory and Ghirardelli Chocolate Marketplace, both with heaps of assorted premium chocolates and Sundae Bar.

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco Ghirardelli Square Chocolate
Ghirardelli Square – Original Chocolate Manufactory

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco Ghirardelli Square Chocolate

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Sundae
Sea Salt Caramel Sundae

Ghirardelli is famous for its sundaes with handmade hot fudge but since I’m a HUGE fan of milkshakes, my favorite was the Nob Hill Chill.  It’s the ultimate chocolate milkshake.♥  It was sinfully delicious!!  It has 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream blended with their thick, decadent hot fudge and topped with semi-sweet chocolate chips.  It was very rich and creamy, I love it!

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Nob Hill Chill
Image from Ghirardelli

*Tip: A long line of dine-in customers usually forms at the first building, Original Chocolate Manufactory.  If you want to skip the line or you want to enjoy a more peaceful ambiance, you can check the other building, Ghirardelli Chocolate Marketplace.

6.  El Porteno

Location: Ferry Building
Price: $2-$6

We found El Porteno while we were walking around the Ferry Building.

P1080180 logo

I ordered the Jamon Y Queso (prosciutto with Fontina cheese).  It tastes great!  The crust is flaky.  The cheese was super gooey.  The prosciutto complements the cheese BUT its quantity was not enough.

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco Port of San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace El Porteno Empanada

While its main attraction are its empanadas, the real winner for me are its Alfajores!♥  

Those are the best Alfajores I have ever eaten.  The delectable caramel filling has the right amount of sweetness.  The shortbread cookie crumbles with every bite.

6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco Port of San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace El Porteno Alfajores
Dulce de Leche Alfajores

Both Dulce de Leche and chocolate-covered Alfajores taste amazing!!♥  I can’t decide which one is better.  With the Dulce de Leche alfajores, I can feel the powdered sugar and shortbread cookie melting into my mouth.  I can also easily distinguish the taste of the perfect caramel filling without the chocolate cover.  The chocolate-covered alfajores, on the other hand, had a good-quality chocolate coating.

7 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco Port of San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace El Porteno Alfajores
Alfajores Covered in White Chocolate and Milk Chocolate
For more travel tips on San Francisco, check my recent post on 7 Fascinating Sights to See in San Francisco.
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16 thoughts on “6 Amazing Places to Eat in San Francisco

    1. Thanks Samantha! You’ll love San Francisco! The sights are gorgeous and food is delicious. 🙂

  1. Great work! I love your suggestions! I’ll definitely check them out when I’m in San Fransisco! 🙂

  2. Everything looks so yummy. I’ve been telling my husband I wanted to visit San Fran for years. Food motivates him, so I have to share this post with him

    1. Your husband will enjoy San Francisco, especially if he likes seafood! I enjoyed eating everything in this list. Food is also a huge motivator for me and Mr. C. 🙂
      I hope you get to visit San Francisco soon. Don’t forget to visit Alcatraz!

  3. No kidding! I had to rush throught the last photos because my mouth is sooo much watering! I’m wishing I could be now in SanFran or ANY place near the water to have any kind of seafood! If I would choose just one dish from this post, it would be definitely the seafood stew. You gave me a great idea for lunch. I’m going hunting for (frozen, oh well…) anything from the sea! 😛

    1. Sorry about that! I’m not really a big fan of vegetables but I’ll include some in my future posts when I get to eat a very delicious, mind-blowing vegetarian dish. 🙂

  4. Yes yes yes to Ghirardelli square! Absolute must go to every time I visit SF. Though I’m a huge fan of the little clam chowder stand near Pier 39. If it’s still there. It’s been a while.

    1. I love Ghirardelli and its Nob Hill Chill!! Can you still remember the name of this little clam chowder stand? 🙂

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