by Maria/Far Out City. // Mar 26, 2016 at 12:05 pm, “Watching the sea lions on Pier 39, we took a quick break for some seafood soup” ... Wharf Crispy Fish Sandwich $14.49 Beer battered locally caught fresh fish, toasted on a steak roll, world famous tartar sauce, green leaf lettuce and pickle. This is a killer recipe for you seafood lovers. You’ll have to figure out which of the three lines to stand in, amidst the madness of children racing between you and “confused” couples wandering straight to the front of the line (oh, was there a line there?). San Francisco’s hilly culinary capital of the world, is home to Michelin stars, James Beard awardees, and even a few Top Chef winners. A glass box with multi-story, amphitheater seating with cushy booths, you are guaranteed terrific, unobstructed views of … The decor is a modern ode to the mirrored and velvet-soaked 1960’s. I don’t want to waste my time. But, when there is so much free floating ketchup, smeared and glopped all along the countertop landscape, decorated with spears of eaten crab legs and overturned condiment cups…you lose your appetite a little. I just kept on walking. As this whole post goes to show. (Also they’re a chain now so we can get Boudin clam chowder in San Diego if we want, but somehow the experience just isn’t quite the same…) But Fisherman’s Wharf, is basically dead to us. The celery and onion were still crunchy, and actually tasted like celery and onion (don’t get used to that.). I usually try to avoid this area in San Francisco, but I guess you found a few redeeming chowders. The Chowder Hut has the distinction of having outdoor seating. Are you eager to try out the clam chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf? // Aug 7, 2012 at 3:19 pm, […] Check it out on SF Travel: Best Clam Chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf. Scoma’s – Oh, is that too fancy for you? In a heavy soup pot or kettle, brown the bacon for 5 minutes. The flavor is that of water. A shocking number of clam bits. Just next door to Fishermen’s Grotto, Alioto’s chowder was an easy second place for its large pieces of fresh clam, but it was a little too salty for my taste. To make up for the large clam count, there were few potatoes and other vegetables. It’s a slow day. Flavor: Pleasant enough. You don’t get the same views or people watching that you do with the Chowder Hut. As of 2010, it changed its name to Chowder Hut Grill but is owned by Boudin. It’s still a cloth-napkins kind of place, but you’ll eat while gazing out at teeter tottering sail boats and fishing boats pulling in the day’s catch. Across the street, a street band had set up on Pier 45, playing favorites like “Brick House” and “Super Freak” as tourists got swept up into an impromptu dance party. Although it is a top seller at the Fisherman's Wharf restaurant, the staff is more than happy to share the recipe with the public. You aren’t going here. Mostly nondescript. I hope this helps your future visit to be great with the good food at the wharf, not the duds: Trust me, you guys are as surprised as I am. None of the sea salt flavor of Alioto’s or the herbed Fishermen’s Grotto. Look, I’m game for food stands. Remove bay leaf and serve. I was always downhearted to find another. Clam Count: 34 pieces, with many more small pieces not worth counting. All photos copyright by 2012 Far Out City. Season with salt and pepper, bay leaf and thyme. Total Carbohydrate Except, kind of a dirty version of tap water. Lo and behold, this is the actual working waterfront of Fisherman’s Wharf. I have no idea how I came across this site but I sure am glad I did. olive oil, chopped onion, garlic, minced, sliced fresh baby carrots, sliced quartered plum tomatoes, chopped green bell pepper, fennel seed, bay leaf, dry white wine, clam juice, cod fish fillet, cut into 1 inch pieces, shelled deveined uncooked medium shrimp, sugar, dried basil, salt and pepper, hot sauce, chopped fresh parsley Which wasn’t the worst, as the celery tasted of mushy clam juice. Atmosphere: Cleanish, but it also has no seating. I've never had a restaurant chowder as good as this. Clam Count: SATURATED with clams. Atmosphere: Quite pleasant. When seafood and fish are thoroughly heated through, thicken chowder by adding instant potatoes. As my notes succinctly put it: “Actually gross.”. Atmosphere: Clean, but outdoor tables are only for folks eating in the restaurant. The celery was mushy, and I’m still only slightly sure that was indeed celery. Flavor: As I wrote in my notes, surprised, “it actually tastes like something!” Compared to the others, Fishermen’s Grotto’s chowder had a more complex flavor, with hints of herbs and other seasonings. Atmosphere: Same as Fishermen’s Grotto. This was proof that clam count itself is no guarantee of good clam chowder. “Best” being a relative term in these parts. I LOVE your reviews. The comfort almost makes up for the chowder. Maria writes about San Francisco and urban travel over at Far Out City. Season with salt and pepper, bay leaf and thyme. Here are my results, from best to worst to utterly disqualified. I may have also pretended an earthquake rattled through, just to watch it quiver like a seismically sound Taiwanese skyscraper. I feel like you tell it like it is and I need reviews like this. Ingredients. Usually, the honorable mention section is saved for places that were good but didn’t make the list. (There’s not much to do once you’ve already ID’d all eight clams and still want to enjoy the picnic table seating.). Disqualified. Sure, the seating is situated right next to a parking lot and busy road packed with double decker tour buses, but the owners have taken down part of the cement wall enclosure and installed a tall glass wind shield to protect against the western winds. A glass box with multi-story, amphitheater seating with cushy booths, you are guaranteed terrific, unobstructed views of San Francisco Bay and an utterly professional wait staff. I didn’t make it back to my beloved concrete pylon before I tossed it out. Potatoes were plentiful, but celery was hard to come by. And San Francisco loves itself some irony and so-bad-it’s-good establishments. Despite it all, it only took 10 minutes from start to finish. Flavor: Typical salty, creamy flavor of clam chowder. 10.9 g Each clam was so fibrous and stringy that it felt like chewing on shredded sandpaper. 3 %, cup crab legs or 1 cup imitation crabmeat, , halved/quartered (Any other shellfish you like), (I like to use a portion of Half & Half and balance with milk). You will gets lots of "hmmmmmmmmms" around the table! The ketchup epidemic breaking out at Sabella & LaTorre had spread next door to The Crab Station. You want some on-the-ground, down-by-the-boat-docks, old-school San Francisco restaurant? Franciscan Crab – This is my not-so-secret go-to when friends and family come to town and insist on seeing Fisherman’s Wharf. We’ve reviewed and ranked the best chowder stands and the scary ones to avoid in San Francisco. I have no idea why. Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. Allegedly, the first sourdough bread bowl + clam chowder creation came from the San Francisco restaurant, Boudin, whose business is still up and running along Fisherman’s Wharf. Disqualified. Just a few bites from our full experience –, © 2006–2015 San Francisco To Do — Sitemap —, Visit Star Wars Lucasfilm in San Francisco, The Steepest Streets and Crookedest Streets in San Francisco, Choosing between LA and SF: 9 Reasons to Head to San Francisco, 7 Most Romantic Getaways Within 60 Miles of San Francisco, Capturing San Francisco: Guide to Shooting San Francisco’s Iconic Photos, Alcatraz Night Tour: An Inside Look At A Night in Alcatraz, Chinatown Behind the Scenes: The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, Seward Street Slides: Great and Unusual San Francisco, Your San Francisco Neighborhood Shopping Guide, November Average Weather in San Francisco, Personal Restaurant Tours | San Francisco, California Sea Lions at Pier 39 – San Francisco Bay, And I didn't throw up, not even once: The Great Fisherman's Wharf Clam Chowder Crawl of 2012 | Far Out City, Atmosphere: Boudin has the same glass walled seating as the Chowder Hut, cornering off the southern section of the same parking lot. Thank you! SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It started 15 years ago as a challenge. Imagine saturating a bowl of rice with water. Clean but you are on your own for seating. Add the clams, wine, crab legs, shrimp, scallops and any other seafood or fish. When seafood and fish are thoroughly heated through, thicken chowder by adding instant potatoes. At first, I thought their base didn’t include any celery, but realized after a while that the white glutinous blobs were celery.