OLD CLAM HOUSE, Bayview, San Francisco

Had dinner at the Old Clam House tonight for my very first time. Apparently the whole menu has been updated, by the new owners who took over about 7 years ago, so I’ll never know how bad (or good) it really was, but it was great tonight. As for ambiance, it is old school but not decrepit, and the (small) crowd on a chilly Thursday night seemed very local and not at all hipster.

Everyone gets a complimentary shot glass of savory crab broth - really nice on a cold night. Plus, they had the heaters on full blast and it felt great in there, very cozy.

I had a basil martini. nicely done - tart, with an herbal note – to start.

My friend and I split an order of their roasted cheesy chorizo bread, which I fully expected to be merely a thick slice of cheese toast with chorizo on it for $5.99. HELL NO. it was literally half a loaf! Freshly baked (on site) bread, smothered in a cheesy chorizo sauce, roasted on an iron plate, so the edges got all omfg gooey and crispy and fantastic. I could totally see myself whiling away an afternoon drinking beers/cocktails/Veuve (yes, they have it!) and scarfing down loaves of that amazing bread. Fantastic. Because it was so big, we each ordered a salad, and even that we could have split.

Because it’s the season, everything that has crab on the menu features fresh Dungeness crab meat right now. We each got a Crab Louis, which had eggs, avos, olives, beets, onions (too strong for me) - so yeah, maybe some things you don’t expect on a CL, but it was all really good with the fresh sweet crab, and their really on-point dressing. I’d get it again.

While it’s not the old school place you might have once known, it still feels like an old, homey place, not pretentious in the least, with what appears to be the same local clientele, but with updated, fresher food. The menu is huge, and had non-seafood items on offer, too.

What a great little neighborhood gem. I’m kicking myself for not having been before, and can’t wait to try more things on the menu.

Old Clam - fish breath basil martini


Revised old school is cool.

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Cheesy chorizo – sounds like a character in a Walter Lantz cartoon.

How much was the Crab Louie?

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$12.99 for salad, then add your protein (crab, shrimp, chicken) $9.99 for crab. so, $23.00.

I have not been there for a few years, but when I ate there, they served clam broth.


good to know they kept that tradition!

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I’m so glad you posted this. It was a cozy place for appetizers and drinks on New Year’s Day. My son’s girlfriend has just moved to Bayview and neither of them know the area very well. I love the building, with the tin ceiling and old photos. The drinks were good and the cheesy bread certainly was cheesy. (Also fried calamari – fine.) I’d like to go back for dinner.


“Old” is apt. It’s the second oldest extant SF restaurant (after Tadich).


that’s wonderful! glad you liked it.

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