Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco is a mecca for foodies, filled with delicious restaurants and attractions. Whether you’re looking for a savory clam chowder in a bread bowl or a sweet treat, Fisherman’s Wharf has something for every foodie. In this blog post, Ryan Bluestone will cover the top restaurants and attractions at Fisherman’s Wharf area, as well as where to find the best sweet treats and few fun sights while strolling along the wharf. From seeing the trolley cars depart to enjoying views from back alleys filled with amazing art to the offshore sight of Alcatraz Island, you won’t want to miss out on all the best sights that Fisherman’s Wharf has to offer.
Top Restaurants At Fisherman’s Wharf
There’s no doubt that Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Bay Area. With so many restaurants to choose from, it can be hard to decide which one to try. Luckily, Ryan Hunter Bluestone is a local foodie who loves to try places old and new, and he’s put together a list of some of his favorites here at Fisherman’s Wharf. From seafood restaurants to Italian eateries, there is something for everyone in this area.
If you’re looking for a more casual meal, and want some pizza, while San Francisco is not known for Pizza, Ryan Hunter Bluestone recommends checking out Square Pie Guys or The Pie Hole. Square Pie Guys is the call here, as the Detroit style chain offers something new to the California pizza scene with its rectangle shaped thick style of pizzas. At the edges of their pizza the cheese gets dark and crispy and the dough stays soft and decadent and fluffy. Don’t forget dessert there. A must-get also is Square Pie Guys’ famous monkey bread, a pizza type dough dipped into a brown sugar and butter mixture, baked up like pillows, and served with seasoned ricotta and black berries, all topped with caramel sauce.
One of Ryan Bluestone’s very favorite restaurants at Fisherman’s Wharf is in Ghirardelli square courtyard, Palette Tea House, which has outstanding dim sum and more. Start with an assortment from their famous dumplings including their famous Black Swan puffs which are fried to look like black swans. Be sure to order the Palette soup dumpling sampler – a table sharable treat of dumplings of multiple colors. The show continues as they bring your various dipping sauces on a dish that looks like an artist’s palette.
For a more when-in-Rome style of dining experience, Seafood abounds up at the Wharf. It’s the food of choice. Ryan Bluestone’s favorites are Scoma’s with its own pier, Sabella & La Torre or the Franciscan Crab. All three restaurants offer high-end seafood dishes that will leave you wanting more.
Just to the West of the main Fisherman’s wharf, is Pier 39, a destination of its own, although considered part of Fisherman’s wharf area. Along the Embarcadero, this two-level pier is filled with foodie delights of its own. There’s top notch seafood, and some of the best in the area, like Pier Market Seafood and Fog Harbor Fish House, down to more casual but also excellent spots like The Crab House at Pier 39. Whether you’re looking for a seafood feast or simply want to take in some snacks, souvenirs and beautiful views, or perhaps the sights and sounds of the dozens of sea lions barking, Pier 39 is definitely worth a stroll!
Of course, no trip to San Francisco and to Fisherman’s Wharf would be complete without at least one stop, or more, at the famous Boudin Bakery, known for their Clam Chowder, served in their famous sourdough bread bowl. There are several Boudin locations, with the original right on Fisherman’s Wharf and one of the other very popular outposts over to the East at Pier 39. Their sourdough bread is world famous, and for good reason. The flagship sight at Fisherman’s Wharf also has a bakery where they demonstrate their methods and tell of the bread’s history. But the true treat of course is their excellent New England style clam chowder, served in a bowl made of that sourdough. The outside remains nice and chewy while the inside soaks up some of that amazing soup. Tear into the lid of the bread bowl and dip away until the bowl is eaten or until you can eat no more. It’s one experience that you should have before leaving San Francisco.
Another favorite, yet much less famous, of Ryan Hunter Bluestone is a local food trailer called The Codmother. Opened in 2011, by owners from England, they have brought their fish and chips recipe across the pond and serve truly outstanding, crispy fish and chips and even delicious fish street tacos.
If you’re looking for something different than seafood, Ryan Bluestone also loves two down and dirty chains that just can’t miss. Fisherman’s Wharf is San Francisco’s only location for In & Out Burger. Ryan Bluestone says always get the double double with animal fries – – but get them extra crispy is the key. Also unique in San Francisco, Krispy Krunchy Chicken has one of the few stand alone locations in Fisherman’s Wharf. Most are in a gas station location if you have caught the wave of popularity of this southern fried chicken chain with its super crunchy chicken and honey biscuits. What a great way to snack while you walk the wharf and take in some sun and salt air.
A story about Fisherman’s Wharf is not all seafood in every chapter, mind you. Ryan Hunter Bluestone loves all things Italian food, and there’s a gem way up in Fisherman’s Wharf.
While there are many great restaurants in San Francisco, Fior d’Italia claims to be the oldest running Italian restaurant in all the United States. Heck it’s been running in San Francisco for 136 years although not in the same spot as it’s moved about town over its history. They specialize in North Italian fare and fresh pasta. While it’s not literally on the Wharf, but near, it must be included on Ryan Bluestone’s list of favorite spots.
Treat Yourself To a Sweet Treat
Some of the best foodie items at the Wharf however are not seafood or full restaurants but rather sweet treats, according to Ryan Hunter Bluestone. If you’re looking for a special treat, consider trying one of Fisherman’s Wharf’s many chocolate specialties. From mocha truffles to molten chocolate cake to souffle, these treats are sure to satisfy your cravings! For those who love sweets but don’t want anything too heavy or complicated, try some Baklava or Swedish delights – both are made with layers of rich pastry dough filled with sweetened fruit and nuts.
The sweetest and most famous of course would be Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop in its own square, Ghirardelli Square. A real treat for the nose as well as the taste buds, this actual Chocolate manufacturer , and shop, has been in San Francisco since way back in 1849. It’s certainly a tourist favorite. You can stop in for a free sample, sometimes they even give you a liquid chocolate taste says Ryan Hunter Bluestone, or sit for longer and have a famous, huge ice cream sundae like the Earthquake with it’s eight scoops of decadent ice cream, and all the toppings! Be sure to walk the large shop and grab some chocolates to go too.
The Baked Bear has become a real favorite quickly in San Francisco. Decadent cookies and ice creams of many kinds are used to mix and match and create the ultimate cookie ice cream sandwiches. Cookies are baked daily and new recipes come out all the time. With over 10 ice creams and 10 cookies, changing all the time, there are so many great combinations to make! Try them all!
Two other favorites to grab and go are The Crepe Cafe, at Pier 39, and Trish’s mini donuts along the Embarcadero. Both are excellent sweet treats to share as you and family or friends walk along the waterside, see the sights and take in some fresh air. If you’re in the mood for something savory but still on the go, try a hot dog or gyros or falafel from one of Fisherman Wharf’s many street vendors. These affordable yet filling snacks are perfect if you’re on a budget but still want something tasty and nutritious.
Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco is a must-see destination for any true foodie. From unique seafood dishes to sweet treats to savory bites, to of course the best sourdough and chowder from here to New England, there is something for everyone here. Fisherman’s Wharf has it all. Plus, you can combine your delicious meal with some of the top attractions in San Francisco, such as Pier 39 and Alcatraz Island. So don’t delay – Ryan Bluestone suggests you plan your trip to Fisherman’s Wharf today and get ready to enjoy the best that San Francisco has to offer!