San Francisco’s touristy waterfront is full of fun and food, and since Dangerous Dan and I were in the city for an entire week, we were able to hit up multiple spots right on the water!
Fisherman’s Wharf is where all the tourists go – there’s food, gift shops, (giant) seagulls, and it’s where most of the cruise tours depart from. There are a whole bunch of restaurants at the wharf, all lined up in a row. It was hard to decide which one to eat at because they all served pretty similar foods at similar prices. We had no particular thought process; we ended up just choosing a restaurant at random!
We ate the classic clam chowder in a sourdough bowl at No. 9 Fishermen’s Grotto. We enjoyed our meal out on the patio, watching tourists run away from the vicious seagulls trying to snatch a bite of bread. I enjoyed the soup, although Dangerous Dan thinks it maybe comes from a can (preposterous!). The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was how soggy and wet the bread became at the end of our soup. It was yucky to touch and kind of cold!
On a separate day, we decided to have lunch at The Codmother Fish and Chips. The truth is, I only chose to ate at this place because of the name. I can’t resist a cheesy pun! We ate a classic fish and chips (and also shrimp!) at this food truck. There is a bit of seating, but the location is nestled between souvenir shops and doesn’t provide a nice view of Fisherman’s Wharf. If you’re not afraid of birds, I’d recommend taking the food out to the picnic tables that are closer to the water. Either way, The Codmother in the area and it’s pretty tasty, so it’s not a bad place to stop for a bite!
Down the street from Fisherman’s Wharf is Pier 39, an outdoor shopping centre with unique shops and sea lions! This was a fun place to visit – it had a carnival/fun fair-type feel to it, which I enjoyed! (I had to fight off my churro cravings and that was very difficult!)
Dangerous Dan and I enjoyed a fancy-ish dinner at Fog Harbor Fish House, which is on the second floor of Pier 39. Crab cakes, mussel fries, and a delicious mixed grill with salmon, shrimp, and Pacific cod. The mussel fries were soaked in a delicious garlic aioli that I wanted to drink straight from the bowl! (I’m a monster!) Dangerous Dan insisted on getting dessert, and when we asked for the dessert menu, our waiter greeted us with a huge platter covered in all the desserts available! We decided on an apple crumble and it was so tasty!
Finally, the Ferry Building is another short walk south from Pier 39. While exploring the area, we stumbled upon a little outdoor gallery which explained the history of the Embarcadero (which is what this section of the waterfront is known as). I learned that the Embarcadero used to be a highway that separated the Ferry Building from the rest of the city. Since no visitors were able to get to the building very easily, the Ferry Building fell into disarray and got divided up into boring little office spaces! A fortuitous earthquake caused the highway to crumble, and the Embarcadero was turned into a regular road, thus allowing San Francisco residents to enjoy the beautiful waterfront!
We enjoyed a fancy dinner at The Slanted Door, which serves delicious Vietnamese cuisine. Apparently the thing to get here is the beef, but it’s expensive and Dangerous Dan and I are poor newlyweds!
Instead, we had noodles with crab, amazing rolls with just a hint of mint, and some spicy corn! The food came surprisingly quickly, and we were able to finish our food in time to get ice cream from Humphry Slocombe next door in the Ferry Building, right before the store closed. We were the very last customers, and their Vietnamese Coffee flavour was totally worth speedwalking out of The Slanted Door and back into the Ferry Building!
Do you have any favourite spots in San Francisco? I probably won’t go back for a while, but there’s no harm in prematurely creating a list for my next visit!