Take a Bite of the Sea at San Francisco's Best Oyster Bars



Just as San Francisco's fog isn't for everyone, San Francisco's oysters aren't for everyone. Sure they don't look all that appetizing, and their slippery texture might take awhile to get used to.

But nothing says seafood like an oyster. Dress it up with some cocktail sauce, give it some crunch on a cracker, or, if you can handle it, try them straight up and call yourself a true seafood eater.

Recent history has only shown how passionate people out here are about oysters. Drake's Bay Oyster Farm, a beloved local institution, was put out of business after many years of wrangling with the National Parks Service about side-effects of oyster farming on the surrounding eco-system. Which side you took on this argument could easily decide who you would talk to for the next 10-15 years.

Although the closure of Drake's Bay was hard for those locals who love oysters, there are still plenty of oysters out there. Swan Oyster Depot has been serving oysters for generations, and Hog Island Oyster Bar is getting more popular by the day.

If you're wandering around San Francisco with a growling belly and just not sure how to satisfy your hunger, go with what a native would do. Grab a beer and some fresh oysters!




Waterbar knows its a beautiful restaurant in a beautiful city - and makes the most of it. Designer Pat Kuleto spared no expense to insure diners will walk away with a complete ocean experience, including floor to ceiling aquariums full of...  Read More


Mayes Oyster Bar


Founded in 1867 by George Mayes, this upscale oyster bar is a perfect fit for a fancy night out. Mayes offers a full bar and large menu, including a memorable ceviche and savory smoked pork ribs. What separates Mayes from the other oyster bars...  Read More




Since they don't take reservations, Woodhouse is the classic example of a pop-in oyster bar. If you're wandering San Francisco and need that quick snack to get you up the next hill, step into Woodhouse and order up some oysters with a side of...  Read More




While Foreign Cinema's misleading moniker may seem a better fit for a movie theater than an oyster bar, this restaurant's real attraction is their Mediterranean-inspired menu and outstanding oysters. They do, in fact, offer film showings in the...  Read More


Anchor Oyster Bar


Distinguished from other Bay Area oyster bars by its tiny yet undeniably charming setting, Anchor Oyster Bar makes up for its intimate size with out-of-this world eats, including a fresh, daily changing oyster selection. Diners particularly love...  Read More


Hyde Street Seafood House & Raw Bar


Hyde Street doesn't hide the fact that oysters are the freshest seafood around. When it opened in 1985, the concept of raw food wasn't as wildly popular as it is today, so you can rest-assured that this place knows how to prepare and handle raw...  Read More


Bar Crudo


It's hard to beat the eats at Bar Crudo, a beloved local establishment whose reputation for amazingly fresh seafood is well deserved. The space is small but comfortable, with bar dining downstairs and a handful of tables upstairs. Fresh...  Read More


3
Mission / Bernal Heights
Hog and Rocks


As the name indicates, this Mission favorite likes to pair oysters with ham. Not just any ham, but the finest proscuitto, from Iowa to Spain to Italy and all parts in between. Hog and Rocks is a great choice for groups of not 100% oyster lovers,...  Read More


Hog Island Oyster Bar


Delicious fresh seafood and a veritable "oyster experience" await you at Hog Island Oyster Bar. Here, enthusiasts savor the freshest local oysters, including Hog Island Kumamoto, Sweetwater and Atlantics, served raw, baked or as part of a stew....  Read More




Locals can't help but rave over this oyster bar's fantastic selection. Opened in 1912, Swan Oyster Depot is a small, lovable hole-in-the-wall where seating consists of about 20 stools along a long marble bar. There's usually a line outside at...  Read More


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Meet Tom Molanphy

The only thing that Tom Molanphy loves more than the food, art, music, and culture of San Francisco is sharing it with others. San Francisco never gets old for Tom.

Tom has lived in the San...  More About Tom

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