We were really hungry, tired, and wanting to cheer ourselves up. After all it was Christmas Eve, so we headed down to Fisherman's Wharf, a short walk from our hotel.
I had always wanted to try the Dungeness crab that San Francisco is famous for. On entering the restaurant, it was like stepping into and old gangster movie, the guy that served us looked and talked like an old goon, but actually came over quite nice.
I had the Dungeness Crab, my wife had steak, and we both had Clam Chowder for the first time. I was still so hungry that after my Crab which was small with hardly any meat in it (not an athletic crab that's for sure), and a small bowl of Clam Chowder which was OK, not great, I then had to order a steak to feel I had eaten something.
The hole place seemed dated and expensive, although we did have a few things on the menu, and I would say it was just OK, I wouldn't return though.
This is what is known as an icon. Fisherman's Grotto #9 was the first sit down restaurant on the Wharf, 1935, and is still one of the best with the old world charm and great seafood dishes. One of the bars, the Grotto Tavern, is also a highlight with the beautiful mural size painting of Venice on the back bar. Johnny, who is a fixture at the bar, can make any cocktail you desire and can fill you in with colorful conversation of San Francisco. It was a pleasure spending two separate times in the bar with the ever smiling Johnny, barman extraordinaire. Always time for a libation before a great meal.
There are separate dining areas at Fisherman's Grotto #9. Outside covered patio to watch the tourists walking by, inside, the Venetian Room, for a view of the boats, and upstairs, the Florentine Room, for the gourmet in all of us and a fabulous view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay.
Favorite Dish: I love fried calamari and it is done to perfection at Fisherman's Grotto #9. By the way, the #9 comes from the original stall number given the the Fisherman's Grotto on the Wharf. Back to the food. There are so many seafood selections from appetizers to main courses and I was only able to try a couple of them. The Crab Cioppino was a meal all by itself and delicious. I tried the Crab Cakes and they were "fresh, yes", as Famous TV chef Gordon Ramsey would say. Mussels Bordelaise reminded me of Amalfi and the quick lunch of mussels I enjoyed there. Overall a wonderful dining experience in San Francisco at Fisherman's Wharf. Oh, I must tell you I had one lunch and one dinner here. You didn't think I would eat all I mentioned at one sitting.
When is Fisherman's Wharf, where else to eat San Franciscan Food than is the Fisherman's Grotto! I admit that the prices are sort of touristy but still nothing can demean the ambiance here! Whether dungeness crabs, clam chowder in sourdough bread, lobster tails, shrimp cocktails, etc. still pack a wallop!
Favorite Dish: everthing!, clam chowder (although I admit, the calm chower of Ivars in Seattle are better), the dungeness crabs!, crawfish and more with the view of the bay. Makes me want to to to Mythbusters like Jamie Hydenman or Adam Savage!
This place is located at Fishermans Wharf, at the end of a row of similar restarants, with waiters haranging people to come in to eat in their restarant. We went inside and upstairs to eat and when we were seated, had a look at the menu, which consisted mainly of fish or shellfish. I am allergic to shellfish so asked the waiter if the fish dishes were prepared at the same place that the shellfish dishes were prepared. He assured me that they were prepared in another place but said that it was right beside the shellfish but should be okay.
I ordered catfish with lemon butter and my husband ordered seafood chowder in a bread bowl.
The catfish was okay, it was edible, but I wouldnt say it was amazing. It came with a small selection of vegetables but nothing else.
The seafood chowder was also okay, but was far too much with the bread bowl also and my husband left a lot of it.
Later on, I wasn't feeling too good, my stomach was quite queasy, so I wasnt sure if this was to do with the food or if it was just a coincidence.
Favorite Dish: no comment!!
I might be wrong, please correct me if you see from the picture that this is not Fisherman's grotto. But it was somewhere close to Fishermans Wharf, and the "dish" was Clam Chowder in sourdough bread. Delicious! And the best part of it was eating the bread afterwards :-) The ambience was nice, too.
(one of the) great seafood restaurants in SF.
History of this one goes back to the 30's and some of the waiters look like they've been around as long as the restaurant itself...but great food!
Favorite Dish: I only had one dish there and that was the Clam Chowder, which was excelent.