Where to Eat in Fisherman's Wharf: An SF Travel Guide

This article was written by SF Travel, and published on January 30, 2017

Once a bustling waterfront where fishermen would unload heaps of Dungeness crabFisherman's Wharf is now an attraction on every visitor's itinerary. Home to world famous Irish coffees, just-out-of-the-oven sourdough bread, and the cutest San Francisco residents--the sea lions--it's no wonder it's such a crowd-pleaser. It is also home to a number of delicious restaurants. Although the Wharf caters to tourists, you can rub elbows with San Francisco locals at these spots. When you visit Fisherman's Wharf, bring your appetite.

Alioto's #8 (8 Fisherman's Wharf)
Honored as a San Francisco legacy business, Alioto's was started as a fresh fish stall by Nunzio Alioto, a Sicilian immigrant. To this day, it is still serving Sicilian-influenced seafood with an incredible view. Dishes to get: Calamari Sicilian Style, Seafood Spaghetti www.aliotos.com

Boudin Bistro (160 Jefferson St.)
You can't visit Fisherman's Wharf without stopping here to taste the original sourdough bread that put San Francisco on the map (OK, gold did, too). It's been imitated across the world but never replicated. See with your very own eyes where bakers make bread with a recipe they've nurtured since 1849. Afterward, head upstairs to the full-service restaurant that offers some of the best bay views in the city, with panoramic sights of AlcatrazAngel Island and Marin. Dishes to get: Clam Chowder Bread bowl www.bistroboudin.com

Brick & Beam (555 North Point St.)
Located within the Hyatt Fisherman's Wharf, Brick & Beam celebrates the heritage of the historic neighborhood with culinary craftsmanship in a stunning space of brick, wood and steel. The spot for appetizers, TVs and getting chummy with the bartenders. Dishes to get: Crispy Gilroy Garlic Fries, Truffle Mushroom Pizza fishermanswharf.hyatt.com

Fishermen's Grotto (9 Fisherman's Wharf)
Another Fishermen's Wharf stalwart that harkens back to the neighborhood's fishing origins, Fishermen's Grotto has been serving seafood since 1935. The original restaurant (still in the same spot) was decorated in a Venetian motif, with gaily painted mooring poles reminiscent of Venice. Today, it's a great place to sit down, grab a cocktail, fresh seafood and marvel how far it has come. Dish to get: Dungeness Crab Sandwich www.fishermensgrotto.com

McCormick & Kuleto's (900 North Point St.)
Located in historic Ghirardelli Square in the William Wurster Building, McCormick & Kuleto's was created in 1991 by two friends, the famed San Francisco restaurant designer Pat Kuleto and the renowned restaurateur Bill McCormick. They designed this restaurant using their surroundings as their inspiration. Once you step inside, you'll see why it was included in the 49-Mile Scenic Drive and is designated a San Francisco Landmark. Dishes to get: Alaskan King Crab Claws, Stuffed Atlantic Salmon www.mccormickandkuletos.com

Nick's Lighthouse (5 Fisherman's Wharf)
For a more relaxed but still historic vibe, head into Nick's, where you'll see tanks full of live crabs and freshly boiled-to-order ones coming straight out of the kitchen. They've been doing it this way since 1934. Dishes to get: Lobster Bisque, Whole Spicy Garlic Crab www.nickslighthouse.com

Pescatore (2455 Mason St.)
Not everything in Fisherman's Wharf is Irish Coffee. If you want an expertly made cocktail from a mixologist, you don't have to leave the neighborhood. Just head to Pescatore. Not only is their signature cocktail menu great, but so is the food. Dishes to get: Crab-Filled Ravioli, Tuna Tartar www.pescatoresf.com

From amazing views and a sea of sea lions to chowder bread bowls and California wines, PIER 39 is a must-visit on every visitor's itinerary, especially if you're hungry. With two levels of dining, there's plenty to choose from. For upscale seafood options, there's Fog Harbor Fish House and the Chart House. If you're looking for more a casual seafood option, PIER 39 has ChowdersCrab HousePier Market and Wipeout Bar and GrillBubba Gump ShrimpHard Rock Cafe and Players Sports Arcade & Grill are perfect spots to entertain the entire family. Finally, if you'd like a taste of the Bay with a little wasabi, head to Hana Zen for authentic Japanese cuisine with a view of Alcatraz.

Scoma's (Pier 47)
Scoma's, family owned and operated for almost 50 years, has a commitment to quality seafood and service. The fact that they own their own boat, which goes out past the bay to catch its own fresh fish, shows that Scoma's does not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. Dishes to get: Lazy Man Cioppino, King Salmon Crudo www.scomas.com

Waxman's (900 North Point St.)
Along with McCormick & Kuleto's, Waxman's calls the historic Ghirardelli Square its home. Under the tutelage of Chef Jonathan Waxman, his namesake restaurant is quickly becoming a go-to fine dining spot in San Francisco. There will be lines, but it is oh-so worth it. Dishes to get: JW Chicken and the Fried Roast Pork Meatball waxmanssfo.com

This is just a small sampling of the many delicious restaurants in Fisherman's Wharf. We strongly recommend that you walk around the neighborhood and see which restaurant calls out to you. You won't be disappointed.