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Where to Eat and Drink in Fisherman’s Wharf for Non-Tourists

Here are the gems worth visiting on the water

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Tourists flock to it in throngs, for good reason. And while locals may harbor mixed feelings towards the neighborhood, Fisherman’s Wharf contains plenty of hidden gems worth visiting, whether you live in the Bay Area or are traveling to it. From dim sum to fish ‘n’ chips and caviar to surf and turf, here is how to eat and drink well in San Francisco’s biggest tourist trap.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Palette Tea House & Dim Sum

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900 North Point St b201
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 347-8888
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Yes, there’s excellent dim sum to be had in the Fisherman’s Wharf area, right in the heart of Ghirardelli Square, from the team behind Koi Palace and Dragon Beaux. Tourists or not, the Instagram-savvy crowd is almost certain to order a steamer of the multi-colored xiao long bao (soup dumplings) and, why not, the fried taro puffs crafted to resemble black swans. But you can also rely on Palette’s pedigreed dim sum chefs to put out solid versions of all the classics, from har gow and barbecue pork buns to pan-fried radish cakes.

2. Buena Vista Cafe

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2765 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 474-5044
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The Buena Vista has that old-time charm that only comes with century-old bars. (It has existed in San Francisco since 1916.) Here, the famous Irish Coffee has been a thing since it was first concocted in 1952. Allegedly, they’ve served the exact same recipe of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and aged cream ever since. Obviously it is delicious if it’s lasted this long.

3. Gary Danko

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800 North Pt
San Francisco, CA
(415) 749-2060

This longtime fine-dining institution near Ghirardelli Square continues to offer four-course tasting menus to-go, which include the restaurant’s famed risottos as well as decadent desserts. When it reopens for dine-in, head to the bar and order a la carte from the menu: the cheese cart, trio of creme brulee, and souffle are all best in class. Level up with caviar service, which is decadent and traditional.

Chocolate souffle
Gary Danko

4. Cafe de Casa

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2701 Leavenworth St
San Francisco, CA

Cafe de Casa is a sweet little Brazilian-owned cafe tucked over by the Holiday Inn. Come for all manner of Brazilian street food: acai made with guardana, classic pastries like enroladinho (coconut bread filled with cheese), and coxinha (breaded dough filled with shredded chicken and cream cheese). Other highlights: pour-over coffee and seriously spicy housemade hot sauce.

5. In-N-Out Burger

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333 Jefferson St
San Francisco, CA
(800) 786-1000
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Enjoying the distinction of being the only In-N-Out within San Francisco city limits often makes this location the sole reason for locals to go to the Wharf. It’s a constantly bustling environment, filled with hungry tourists from all over the world, and locals from all walks of life. Check out a typical afternoon at California’s favorite burger chain, and head down for a double double.

6. Scoma's Restaurant

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1965 Al Scoma Way
San Francisco, CA
(415) 771-4383
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Literally sitting on the dock of the bay, Scoma’s is a San Francisco gem. It’s been around since 1965. They have their own fishing boat for salmon and crabs. And they’ve upgraded their cocktail program and menu quite a bit. If you’ve got to have a sit-down fancy-ish dinner somewhere on Fisherman’s Wharf, this is the place. (Check out the making of their “lazy man’s cioppino” here.)

7. Surisan

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505 Beach St
San Francisco, CA

San Francisco’s Korean food scene has only recently started to improve, but if you are craving pajun, jook, or bibimbap, this spot has solid California-fied versions of all of the above. Owners Steven and Jiyeon Choi — who also own Kitchen Story, Sweet Maple, and a few other Bay Area neighborhood staples — have created a very decent American-style brunch (including popovers, sweet-spicy “Millionaire’s” bacon, and super-thick blueberry-stuffed French toast), with several Korean-inspired offerings in the mix.

8. Tanguito

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2850 Jones St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 577-4223

Tanguito is about the last thing you’d expect to find in San Francisco’s most notorious tourist trap: an Argentinian food truck (slash empanada counter) that serves some of the area’s tastiest and most reasonably priced food. It’s best known for its flaky, Argentinian-style baked empanadas and its massive, chimichurri-topped burger (low-key one of the better burgers in the city), but you can also grab a seat in the little covered dining area and enjoy a heartier sit-down dinner — say, a grilled steak over saffron rice.

9. The Codmother

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496 Beach St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 606-9349

England-born Suzanne Acevedo knows her way around a fryer. She founded this humble trailer in 2011 because she missed the fish ‘n’ chips from her homeland. Now she’s serving some of the best food on the Wharf, and some of the best fish tacos in San Francisco.

10. Krispy Krunchy Chicken

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2660 Mason St
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 800-8637

One of the few stand-alone Krispy Krunchy locations that isn’t embedded inside a gas station convenience store, this Southern-style fried chicken chain has been a welcome addition to the Wharf. Well-seasoned, unfailingly crunchy skin — hence the name — and sweet honey biscuits are the hallmarks here.

11. Fog Harbor Fish House

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39 pier
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 421-2442
Visit Website

Fog Harbor is a tourist trap to be sure, but with its prime spot on Pier 39, large outdoor dining space boasting views of the bay and bridge, and over-the-top seafood feasts, it offers a fun time for everyone. Tie on a bib for sourdough bread bowls brimming with clam chowder and piled with lump Dungeness crab meat, its specialty, and go big with lobster tails, a whole Dungeness crab, or surf and turf.

1. Palette Tea House & Dim Sum

900 North Point St b201, San Francisco, CA 94109

Yes, there’s excellent dim sum to be had in the Fisherman’s Wharf area, right in the heart of Ghirardelli Square, from the team behind Koi Palace and Dragon Beaux. Tourists or not, the Instagram-savvy crowd is almost certain to order a steamer of the multi-colored xiao long bao (soup dumplings) and, why not, the fried taro puffs crafted to resemble black swans. But you can also rely on Palette’s pedigreed dim sum chefs to put out solid versions of all the classics, from har gow and barbecue pork buns to pan-fried radish cakes.

900 North Point St b201
San Francisco, CA 94109

2. Buena Vista Cafe

2765 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA

The Buena Vista has that old-time charm that only comes with century-old bars. (It has existed in San Francisco since 1916.) Here, the famous Irish Coffee has been a thing since it was first concocted in 1952. Allegedly, they’ve served the exact same recipe of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, sugar, and aged cream ever since. Obviously it is delicious if it’s lasted this long.

2765 Hyde St
San Francisco, CA

3. Gary Danko

800 North Pt, San Francisco, CA
Chocolate souffle
Gary Danko

This longtime fine-dining institution near Ghirardelli Square continues to offer four-course tasting menus to-go, which include the restaurant’s famed risottos as well as decadent desserts. When it reopens for dine-in, head to the bar and order a la carte from the menu: the cheese cart, trio of creme brulee, and souffle are all best in class. Level up with caviar service, which is decadent and traditional.

800 North Pt
San Francisco, CA

4. Cafe de Casa

2701 Leavenworth St, San Francisco, CA

Cafe de Casa is a sweet little Brazilian-owned cafe tucked over by the Holiday Inn. Come for all manner of Brazilian street food: acai made with guardana, classic pastries like enroladinho (coconut bread filled with cheese), and coxinha (breaded dough filled with shredded chicken and cream cheese). Other highlights: pour-over coffee and seriously spicy housemade hot sauce.

2701 Leavenworth St
San Francisco, CA

5. In-N-Out Burger

333 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA

Enjoying the distinction of being the only In-N-Out within San Francisco city limits often makes this location the sole reason for locals to go to the Wharf. It’s a constantly bustling environment, filled with hungry tourists from all over the world, and locals from all walks of life. Check out a typical afternoon at California’s favorite burger chain, and head down for a double double.

333 Jefferson St
San Francisco, CA

6. Scoma's Restaurant

1965 Al Scoma Way, San Francisco, CA

Literally sitting on the dock of the bay, Scoma’s is a San Francisco gem. It’s been around since 1965. They have their own fishing boat for salmon and crabs. And they’ve upgraded their cocktail program and menu quite a bit. If you’ve got to have a sit-down fancy-ish dinner somewhere on Fisherman’s Wharf, this is the place. (Check out the making of their “lazy man’s cioppino” here.)

1965 Al Scoma Way
San Francisco, CA

7. Surisan

505 Beach St, San Francisco, CA

San Francisco’s Korean food scene has only recently started to improve, but if you are craving pajun, jook, or bibimbap, this spot has solid California-fied versions of all of the above. Owners Steven and Jiyeon Choi — who also own Kitchen Story, Sweet Maple, and a few other Bay Area neighborhood staples — have created a very decent American-style brunch (including popovers, sweet-spicy “Millionaire’s” bacon, and super-thick blueberry-stuffed French toast), with several Korean-inspired offerings in the mix.

505 Beach St
San Francisco, CA

8. Tanguito

2850 Jones St, San Francisco, CA 94133

Tanguito is about the last thing you’d expect to find in San Francisco’s most notorious tourist trap: an Argentinian food truck (slash empanada counter) that serves some of the area’s tastiest and most reasonably priced food. It’s best known for its flaky, Argentinian-style baked empanadas and its massive, chimichurri-topped burger (low-key one of the better burgers in the city), but you can also grab a seat in the little covered dining area and enjoy a heartier sit-down dinner — say, a grilled steak over saffron rice.

2850 Jones St
San Francisco, CA 94133

9. The Codmother

496 Beach St, San Francisco, CA

England-born Suzanne Acevedo knows her way around a fryer. She founded this humble trailer in 2011 because she missed the fish ‘n’ chips from her homeland. Now she’s serving some of the best food on the Wharf, and some of the best fish tacos in San Francisco.

496 Beach St
San Francisco, CA

10. Krispy Krunchy Chicken

2660 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94133

One of the few stand-alone Krispy Krunchy locations that isn’t embedded inside a gas station convenience store, this Southern-style fried chicken chain has been a welcome addition to the Wharf. Well-seasoned, unfailingly crunchy skin — hence the name — and sweet honey biscuits are the hallmarks here.

2660 Mason St
San Francisco, CA 94133

11. Fog Harbor Fish House

39 pier, San Francisco, CA 94133

Fog Harbor is a tourist trap to be sure, but with its prime spot on Pier 39, large outdoor dining space boasting views of the bay and bridge, and over-the-top seafood feasts, it offers a fun time for everyone. Tie on a bib for sourdough bread bowls brimming with clam chowder and piled with lump Dungeness crab meat, its specialty, and go big with lobster tails, a whole Dungeness crab, or surf and turf.

39 pier
San Francisco, CA 94133

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