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18 Fresh Seafood Restaurants in San Francisco

Where to feast on sweet oysters, the king of salmon, and prized Dungeness crab

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San Francisco is a major port city, surrounded by ocean and bay, and the seafood tradition runs deep. This city has salty old-school restaurants that go back one or two centuries, from oyster counters to woodfire grills, and more recently, the city by the bay has continued to attract bold and modern fish restaurants, several from star chefs. Many prominently feature the local holy trinity: oysters, king salmon, and Dungeness crab, a seasonal treat that truly deserves its own map when in season. But year-round and across town, here are the freshest seafood restaurants in San Francisco.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Fog Harbor Fish House

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Situated in a prime-time spot on Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf, Fog Harbor attracts throngs of tourists, but it’s still a really fun seafood feast. Tie on a bib for sourdough bread bowls brimming with clam chowder and piled with lump Dungeness crab meat. The restaurant offers a big outdoor space with views of the bay and bridge, not to mention the background music of seagulls and sea lions.

Seafood platter at Fog Harbor Fog Harbor Fish House

Scoma's Restaurant

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Scoma’s is a seafood institution, literally sitting on the dock of the bay since 1965. Longtime regulars love the warm leather and wood interiors, where they slide into a favorite booth, and chat with servers who have been there for decades. Scoma’s is known for old-school cioppino, strong Manhattans, mixed grill platters, and more.

Dungeness crab at Scoma’s Scoma’s

Sotto Mare

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The Italian-American classic in North Beach talks big fish game with “the best damn cioppino in San Francisco,” as well as a big hearty menu filled with pasta, risotto, and sand dabs. Its tiled dining room crammed full of memorabilia is the ideal place to strap on a bib and dig into San Francisco’s favorite stew.

Portofino

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There’s no shortage of great Italian restaurants in North Beach, but when it comes to seafood, Portofino earns special praise. The small casual restaurant crouches on Grant Street and cultivates an old-school vibe, in a good way. There’s no website and the best, freshest options are the ones scrawled on the hand-written menu board. Order from the chalkboard list and you’ll be treated to dishes like roasted sardines; whole steaming branzino laid atop a medley of tender vegetables; and squid ink pasta tangled up with chunks of swordfish, saffron, and veggies.

Lauren Saria

Atelier Crenn

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Both of celebrity chef Dominique Crenn’s restaurants are famously free of meat (at least, the natural kind) and the full tasting menu at her three-Michelin-star stunner Atelier Crenn features plenty of seafood. The pescatarian meal might feature an artful geoduck and stone fruit tart with dry ice streaming around its delicate folds, or a creamy spot prawn tartare crowned with various seaweeds for an extra briny boost. You’re guaranteed to experience all the trappings of a world-class dining experience here — flawlessly warm and professional service, surprising and delightful beverage pairings, and an elegant atmosphere worthy of any special or celebratory occasion. 

Hog Island Oyster Co.

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The big oyster farm that supplies many star restaurants around town is worth the drive up to the picnic tables in Marshall, but it also has a seafood restaurant in the Ferry Building. The classic order is a dozen of their famed sweetwater oysters, but they also have creamy clam chowder and thick grilled cheese.

Oysters and caviar from Hog Island Hog Island Oyster Co.

R & G Lounge

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R & G Lounge has been a Chinatown classic since 1985. It’s not exclusively a seafood restaurant, but it’s known for the live crab with salt and pepper, a deep-fried golden icon of Chinese-American food in San Francisco. And there are plenty of other fish on the menu, including prawns with honey walnuts, steamed sea bass, and whole lobster.

Crab at R & G Lounge R & G Lounge

Estiatorio Ornos a Michael Mina Restaurant San Francisco

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In mid-2021 San Francisco’s most prolific chef and restaurateur Michael Mina flipped his FiDi flagship restaurant into Estiatorio Ornos, an upscale Mediterranean restaurant that draws inspiration from his Greek heritage and Aqua, the seafood restaurant where he launched himself to stardom more than two decades ago. A fish sommelier will walk you through menu options that range from grilled sea bass to phyllo-crusted sole. 

Whole-Roasted fish at Estiatorio Ornos David Varley/Mina Group

Angler opened on the Embarcadero in 2018, as a spinoff from Michelin-starred Saison, and it’s focused on seafood, with some luxurious options and add-ons. Fish picks up big flavor in the woodfire oven and smokers, and there are Parker House rolls with cultured seaweed butter, grilled whole lobster and abalone, not to mention urchin, uni, more.

Waterbar Restaurant

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Sister spots Waterbar and Epic Steak are big restaurants at the foot of the Bay Bridge, and while Epic focuses on steak, Waterbar is all things fish. Waterbar has lots of space indoors and outdoors on a couple of different levels, and the brunch power move is a lobster roll and glass of sparkling wine.

Patio at Waterbar Waterbar

The Anchovy Bar

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The newest restaurant from the State Bird team is an ode to Chef Stuart Brioza’s obsession with anchovies, and when in season, the local little fish are laboriously preserved in house. Year round, there’s also tinned fish from Spain and Italy; oysters, mussels, and clams; and a duo of whipped butters with roe and nori.

Anchovies from the Anchovy Bar The Anchovy Bar

PPQ Dungeness Island - San Francisco

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The legendary Vietnamese restaurant of the Richmond is known for big family-style Dungeness crab feasts, featuring roasted crab and garlic noodles. It’s a fun time for families and larger groups, but there are also a la carte options.

Crab at PPQ PPQ Dungeness Island

KAIYO ROOFTOP

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This tropical rooftop restaurant and bar is the polar opposite of San Francisco’s stuffier seafood destinations, soaring above the city’s skyline and adorned with waving palms. The Nikkei menu marries Peruvian ingredients with Japanese culinary techniques with the result being a vibrant selection of cebiche, tiradito, and sushi — both rolls and nigiri. To complete the vacation vibes, sip one of the almost-tiki-like cocktails. 

A hand holds out a plate of sushi.

Le Fantastique

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Join in on the seafood and wine party of your dreams at this Hayes Valley newcomer from Emily and Robbie Wilson, the couple behind Bird Dog in Palo Alto. Here they’re focused on all things fishy and mostly raw — think a full menu of seven fresh crudo plus caviar-topped eclairs — to be enjoyed alongside a list flooded with French wines. 

Woodhouse Fish Company

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The MacNiven brothers grew up in the Bay, but their two seafood restaurants in San Francisco are New England inspired. Both offer a fresh and casual menu filled with Dungeness crab rolls, lobster rolls, fish and chips, and fish tacos, and the parklet on Fillmore resembles a boat.

Expect absolutely pristine seafood at this Mission District newcomer, which benefits from its close ties to Joe Conte, co-owner of sustainable seafood company Water2Table. Chef Nick Anichini brings experience cooking at three-Michelin-star Atelier Crenn to the restaurant, where he offers both a $125 prix-fixe menu and a la carte options. Anichini aims to let the waterborne ingredients shine through simple preparations like tagliatelle crowned with white sturgeon caviar and bottarga and anchovies served with pan con tomate. 

Hook Fish Co

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Join crowds of Outer Sunset residents and their four-legged friends at Hook Fish Co. for thoughtfully sourced seafood served in burritos, tacos, sandwiches, and atop salads. This is California beach food at its finest, and best enjoyed either on the wooden parklet out front or with your toes in the sand — the restaurant is just two blocks from Ocean Beach.

Anchor Oyster Bar

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Anchor Oyster is a neighborhood classic, holding it down in the Castro since 1977. The cioppino is jammed with mussels and crab claws, and don’t be shy about accepting the bib, it’s a full garlic steam facial. They also sling oysters on the half shell, creamy clam chowder, and chewy sourdough.

Cioppino at Anchor Oyster Anchor Oyster Bar

Fog Harbor Fish House

Seafood platter at Fog Harbor Fog Harbor Fish House

Situated in a prime-time spot on Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf, Fog Harbor attracts throngs of tourists, but it’s still a really fun seafood feast. Tie on a bib for sourdough bread bowls brimming with clam chowder and piled with lump Dungeness crab meat. The restaurant offers a big outdoor space with views of the bay and bridge, not to mention the background music of seagulls and sea lions.

Seafood platter at Fog Harbor Fog Harbor Fish House

Scoma's Restaurant

Dungeness crab at Scoma’s Scoma’s

Scoma’s is a seafood institution, literally sitting on the dock of the bay since 1965. Longtime regulars love the warm leather and wood interiors, where they slide into a favorite booth, and chat with servers who have been there for decades. Scoma’s is known for old-school cioppino, strong Manhattans, mixed grill platters, and more.

Dungeness crab at Scoma’s Scoma’s

Sotto Mare

The Italian-American classic in North Beach talks big fish game with “the best damn cioppino in San Francisco,” as well as a big hearty menu filled with pasta, risotto, and sand dabs. Its tiled dining room crammed full of memorabilia is the ideal place to strap on a bib and dig into San Francisco’s favorite stew.

Portofino

Lauren Saria

There’s no shortage of great Italian restaurants in North Beach, but when it comes to seafood, Portofino earns special praise. The small casual restaurant crouches on Grant Street and cultivates an old-school vibe, in a good way. There’s no website and the best, freshest options are the ones scrawled on the hand-written menu board. Order from the chalkboard list and you’ll be treated to dishes like roasted sardines; whole steaming branzino laid atop a medley of tender vegetables; and squid ink pasta tangled up with chunks of swordfish, saffron, and veggies.

Lauren Saria

Atelier Crenn

Both of celebrity chef Dominique Crenn’s restaurants are famously free of meat (at least, the natural kind) and the full tasting menu at her three-Michelin-star stunner Atelier Crenn features plenty of seafood. The pescatarian meal might feature an artful geoduck and stone fruit tart with dry ice streaming around its delicate folds, or a creamy spot prawn tartare crowned with various seaweeds for an extra briny boost. You’re guaranteed to experience all the trappings of a world-class dining experience here — flawlessly warm and professional service, surprising and delightful beverage pairings, and an elegant atmosphere worthy of any special or celebratory occasion. 

Hog Island Oyster Co.

Oysters and caviar from Hog Island Hog Island Oyster Co.

The big oyster farm that supplies many star restaurants around town is worth the drive up to the picnic tables in Marshall, but it also has a seafood restaurant in the Ferry Building. The classic order is a dozen of their famed sweetwater oysters, but they also have creamy clam chowder and thick grilled cheese.

Oysters and caviar from Hog Island Hog Island Oyster Co.

R & G Lounge

Crab at R & G Lounge R & G Lounge

R & G Lounge has been a Chinatown classic since 1985. It’s not exclusively a seafood restaurant, but it’s known for the live crab with salt and pepper, a deep-fried golden icon of Chinese-American food in San Francisco. And there are plenty of other fish on the menu, including prawns with honey walnuts, steamed sea bass, and whole lobster.

Crab at R & G Lounge R & G Lounge

Estiatorio Ornos a Michael Mina Restaurant San Francisco

Whole-Roasted fish at Estiatorio Ornos David Varley/Mina Group

In mid-2021 San Francisco’s most prolific chef and restaurateur Michael Mina flipped his FiDi flagship restaurant into Estiatorio Ornos, an upscale Mediterranean restaurant that draws inspiration from his Greek heritage and Aqua, the seafood restaurant where he launched himself to stardom more than two decades ago. A fish sommelier will walk you through menu options that range from grilled sea bass to phyllo-crusted sole. 

Whole-Roasted fish at Estiatorio Ornos David Varley/Mina Group

Angler

Angler opened on the Embarcadero in 2018, as a spinoff from Michelin-starred Saison, and it’s focused on seafood, with some luxurious options and add-ons. Fish picks up big flavor in the woodfire oven and smokers, and there are Parker House rolls with cultured seaweed butter, grilled whole lobster and abalone, not to mention urchin, uni, more.

Waterbar Restaurant

Patio at Waterbar Waterbar

Sister spots Waterbar and Epic Steak are big restaurants at the foot of the Bay Bridge, and while Epic focuses on steak, Waterbar is all things fish. Waterbar has lots of space indoors and outdoors on a couple of different levels, and the brunch power move is a lobster roll and glass of sparkling wine.