Decent seafood restaurant by Fisherman's Wharf?

I just started a new job between Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square. I’m being taken out for lunch on Friday and would like to go to one of the seafood houses. I’m sure they’re all touristy to some degree, but are any (particularly the Italian ones) halfway decent?

Nothing comes to mind. If you are willing to take a 15 minutes’ walk, I would suggest going to North Beach for a better selection of restaurants. Sotto Mare, for example is less than a mile away.

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I haven’t been, but I know people who swear by Scoma’s. Pricy, but good quality.

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Similarly, haven’t been to Scoma’s in years.
Again not personally tested, but Waterbar was well reviewed on Check Please. $1.05 oysters at lunch.

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Fish and chips Fridays at Red’s, a streetcar ride away
:cowboy_hat_face: :wink:


In Fisherman’s Wharf proper, I second rec for Scoma’s. Yes, pricey, touristy, but the food and service has been fine-tuned and polished over many decades.

Sotto Mare is also a very good suggestion, a leisurely 20 minute walk, or a quick ride on the 30 Stockton. Our last meal at SM was about a month before the lockdown, best swordfish ever (imo). Actually, the Cioppino and everything else warrants a return visit. Soon.

One of our first post pandemic was at Portofino, an under the radar resto in North Beach. Portofino has been in operation since 1937, and seems to cater to a mostly local clientele. Comfortable heated parklet dining, as well as roomy comfortable indoor. Service was friendly and efficient.

Tender octopus, memorable.

1st Rockefeller in many years.

Roasted sardines.

Tasty fritto misto. Scratched my itch for fried fish.

Second Red’s Java House. Relaxed outdoor seating on the pier, beware of the thieving seagulls.

Pier 23 is also a nice spot for a beer (or three) and good fish n’ chips.

The Eagle Cafe on Pier 39 used to be a Fisherman’s diner in the day. Now a total tourist spot. One of the few places where you can slurp down some fresh briny clams on the half, washed down with a chilled bottle of Pinot Grigio.

Damn, the sun is shining. Might have to stroll down for some. :sunny: :slight_smile:


Scoma and Portofino lovely, but way out of the budget for a new hire lunch. Red’s is too far, as I suspect we’ll need to be back in the office within a reasonable amount of time. I have heard good things about The Codmother fish & chips trailer/truck, but that’ll be too casual–will make a better on-my-own lunch.

Maybe I can make a case for going to Sotto Mare. Or chuck the idea of seafood altogether and brave the line at Buena Vista.

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If you decide to skip seafood, I’ve had nice dim sum lunches at Palette Tea House (although they do have a lot of seafood offerings too). Right in the middle of Ghirardelli Square.


Not Italian, but Supreme Crab is smack dab in your area. Its cajun/creole, with Viet flavored. Prices are reasonable, for seafood in the area, and SF.

Sad that many of the standbys such as Lou’s, Castagnola’s and many others have yet to reopen, if ever.


Every time I’ve been tempted by The Codmother, I’ve been disappointed.


Aw, that’s too bad. Well, there’s also an Argentine trailer/truck around the corner.

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I vote for Buena Vista. Have only been for breakfast and late night for “coffee”, but would easily trust them for lunch.


For seafood houses around FW, seems like you’ve got the idea from responses. Of the super touristy ones, Fog Harbor is the best, they at least try. Palatte is the best restaurant in the area though.

Other places to consider now or whenever:

  • the Argentinian food truck is good and they’re super sweet
  • Surisan for pretty good Americanized Korean
  • Abacá does a nice little breakfast service
  • Cafe de Casa is a cute Brazilian cafe. Their crepe things are weird to me but their various fried pouches are pretty good
  • SF Brewing Co. I think I remember you liking beer so you probably know them already. Not sure about their pretty typical looking bar food
  • Hillstone was a staple for certain lunches and it’s a quick enough walk
  • Fog City the same
  • Freddie’s Sandwiches would feed the whole office more than a few times. Ed is nice but damn do those women pump out the sandwiches
  • R J’s Market was good when you want some time out of the office. Salad bar and hot bar and sandwiches which you can take to eat in Levi’s Plaza
  • McCormick & Kuleto’s — not sure now but used to actually have a decent happy hour. It’s the only time you’d find me in that place but a drink and some snacks at the bar was sometimes needed

And then of course if you jump on the F you can get to Coqueta, La Mar, the FB, etc., pretty quick actually, or at least now before all the tourists come back (or have they already?).


Not quite, but the son of one of the owners of the Portofino from the 70s - 90s opened a new place called Portofino in the last year or so. Sorry, just thought your comment was funny cause where Portofino now is used to be a woman’s clothing store that I used to walk by all the time and even bought a purse for my gf at the time there — no seafood involved.


I’ve been to the Brazilian place just for coffee, which unfortunately isn’t all that good (the light roast is the only one that’s tolerable black). I want to get some of the baked goods because those aren’t easy to find around here.

And yes, all of the tourists have come back. They’re piling back on the F line, which I use to get to and from the Embarcadero BART station.

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Get the Mushroom Black Cod with a side of MBLT

Steph, so where did you go? And?

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Haven’t gone yet. Lunch has been postponed until next week because the company was given free pizza & salad yesterday, as a “thank you” for everyone working to get the shipping boxes sent out for the big annual meeting. (It was called the “truck pizza party”).


Congrats on the new job! And please let us know where you end up. I get my kicks vicariously these days it seems lol. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: But it’s good to know these things and overdue for a visit.


Scoma’s is really good. Old school, the Crab Louis salad is ****.

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