San Francisco is one of the U.S.’s most iconic and visited cities, with its picturesque skyline and visually distinct landmarks recognizable from any corner of the world.
Perhaps, the most visited area in San Francisco is the highly touristy Fisherman’s Wharf along the northern shore of San Francisco’s coastline.
Fisherman’s Wharf is full of historic, cultural, and natural attractions. Fisherman Wharf’s own Pier 39 is full of restaurants and boutiques, and not to mention, it has a colony of seals that attract crowds of gazing families.
Fisherman Wharf also houses the famous Ghirardelli factory that has transformed into a lively artisan and food market.
While Fisherman’s Wharf is known for its bread-bowl clam chowder stands, there are plenty of amazing restaurants and bars offering a diversity of cuisines and dining experiences.
Whether you’re looking for a house-baked pastry and artisan coffee or a heaping plate of fish and chips, my list of the best restaurants in Fisherman’s Wharf/Pier 39 has something for every craving.
39 pier, San Francisco, CA 94133
From the same family who helped develop Pier 39 into the iconic destination that it is today, Fog Harbor Fish House is a longstanding Pier 39 seafood restaurant located at the entrance of The Embarcadero.
Fog Harbor Fish House is a 100% sustainable seafood restaurant owned by three generations of the Simmons family and led by Chef Adolfo Soto.
They make sourdough from scratch daily and were voted best clam chowder in town from the People’s Choice Awards.
Their massive menu runs the culinary gamut, using flavors from around the world to elaborate entrees, appetizers, sandwiches, and salads.
I enjoyed the seared scallop and crab risotto with beurre blanc, parmesan cheese, tomatoes, and cilantro pesto.
1965 Al Scoma Way, San Francisco, CA 94133
Established in 1965 in a former coffee shop on Pier 47, Scoma’s is the creation of Al and Joe Scoma.
Scoma’s went from being a local fisherman hangout to a wildly successful American seafood restaurant, using the freshest daily catches from fishermen that dock directly at its pier.
The old-school décor and epic views of the harbor, Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz in the distance make Scoma’s Restaurant a quintessential San Francisco experience.
Scoma’s extensive barrel-to-table wine menu features wines from the surrounding California wineries of Nappa Valley to pair with a “pier-to-plate” menu of Italian-inspired, gourmet seafood dishes.
I started with the delicious Oysters alla Scoma served “Rockefeller”-style with spinach, brandy-garlic aioli, and asiago cheese.
2765 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109
The Buena Vista is an iconic cocktail bar and restaurant that opened in 1916 and is famous for popularizing Irish Coffee for American tastes back in the 1950s.
Whether you’re dining for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you must try one! The Buena Vista remains in its original over-century-old dining space a block from San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
The Buena Vista has been featured in countless publications and TV channels from Food Network to USA Today.
They serve classic diner and deli food with an Irish twist, plus plenty of fresh seafood options. I loved the corned beef and cabbage with red potatoes, carrots, and horseradish mustard sauce.
800 North Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Gary Danko is an award-winning fine dining restaurant from Chef Gary Danko. It has won twelve AAA Five Diamond ratings, Michelin stars, and several James Beard Awards.
Its world-class dining space is a stunning wooden dining room with stunning artwork, while its creative, ever-changing menu is the height of modern culinary innovation.
Located a block from Russian Hill Park, Gary Danko offers two dinner seatings that involve a three-hour multicourse meal and cocktail hour.
You’ll never see more beautiful plating. My favorite dish was the lemon pepper duck bread with duck hash, celery root pure, bacon braised endive, and cranberry-cippolini compote.
496 Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Opened by a UK native in 2011, The Codmother Fish and Chips is an authentic British “chippie” shop.
They serve the best-breaded filets, shrimp, and thick-cut potatoes out of a colorful food-stand surrounded by umbrella-covered wooden tables in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf overlooking Pier 47.
They’ve also added a California-style twist to the menu by offering Baja fish tacos. Still, I recommend the classic fish, shrimp, and chips combo with two pieces of fried fish and four shrimp over a bed of fries with tartar sauce, malt vinegar, and cocktail sauce.
2701 Leavenworth St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Café de Casa is an artisanal Brasilian coffee shop and café in a quaint coffee counter space with streetside seating overlooking Joseph Conrad Park.
The friendly staff serves Brazilian coffee beans roasted to perfection in various forms of craft coffee and espresso drinks, along with a full menu of authentic Brazilian fare.
They also offer a wide variety of fresh-pressed juices and incredible Acai breakfast bowls. My favorite is the Peanut Butter Bowl with an acai, banana, and strawberry and blended peanut butter smoothie topped with banana, strawberries, granola, blueberry, Gogi, and condensed milk. The menu also features classics like Brazilian cheese bread and crepes.
505 Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Surisan is a high-end, Korean street food eatery in an inviting industrial-chic space with a large outdoor patio two blocks from Pier 47 and a block from the famous Fisherman’s Wharf sign.
Owned by successful San Francisco restauranteurs Steven and Jiyeon Choi, Surisan offers culinary works of art that are as beautiful as they are delicious.
Executive Chef Nick Yoon is a South Korean native, working at high-end restaurants around South Korea and California.
The menu offers classics like kimchi fried rice, bulgogi, and Korean fried chicken along with American specialties like burgers made with Wagyu beef patties.
530 North Point St, San Francisco, CA 94133
Hollywood Café is a no-frills traditional American breakfast eatery in a narrow, shot-gun style dining space that’s always full, with a line out the door.
Located cattycorner to Surisan, they have a full espresso bar and breakfast cocktail menu. They use the freshest local ingredients to create all your favorite dishes, from griddle specialties like fruit-stuffed pancakes to eggs benedicts to breakfast burritos.
They also serve a full diner-style lunch menu with fresh salads, sandwiches, burgers, and burritos.
I loved their Gregory Peck specialty breakfast with two eggs sunny side up with homemade ground sirloin steak, mushroom gravy, hashbrowns, and toast.
900 North Point St Ste B201, San Francisco, CA 94109
Located in Ghirardelli Square in a stunning, contemporary space with a massive sunroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and large potted plants, Palette Tea House & Dim Sum is a traditional Cantonese restaurant and cocktail bar.
Owned by the Hong Kong native Ng family, Palette Tea House is the latest of four successful Cantonese-themed restaurants that combine classic Cantonese culinary tradition with a modern cocktail program tailored by award-winning mixologist Carlos Yturria.
The beautifully presented shareable feasts at Palette Tea House offer a variety of dumplings, bao, rice, and noodle dishes, and Palette’s signature entrees. I loved the honey walnut prawns with caramelized walnut, yuzu aioli, and kaffir lime.
Established in 1849 by Isidore Boudin, Boudin Bakery Café is San Francisco’s oldest bakery, serving the original sourdough that has since become San Francisco’s iconic Fisherman’s Wharf staple.
With various locations around Fisherman’s Wharf, including Pier 39 and the Embarcadero, Boudin Bakery Café offers whole loaves and a full menu of salads, sandwiches, pizza, soups, and burgers where sourdough is the star of the show.
If you want the classic Fisherman’s Wharf sourdough bread bowl with clam chowder, there’s no better place to sample it than Boudin Bakery.
I loved the classic tuna melt with tuna salad, Havarti, sharp cheddar, sliced tomatoes, and Parmesan-crusted sourdough hot-pressed to perfection.