5 Places to Eat Oysters in San Francisco

5 Places to Eat Oysters in San FranciscoIt’s oyster season in San Francisco! And, along with the dungeness crab season that comes later in November, it is one of my favorite times of year in the Bay Area! San Francisco is lucky to have oysters all year round, but at this time of year, there are far more varieties to choose from. I wanted to share my favorites so here are 5 places to eat oysters in San Francisco.

Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). Opinions are always my own and I’ll never promote something I don’t use or believe in.

And maybe, just maybe, if you hit all these places, maybe you’ll end up with enough pearls to make a necklace as my friend and illustrator Carrie Campbell depicts below (thanks Carrie!).

Oysters-to-Pearls_Carrie-Campbell

Hog Island Oyster

Shucking-Oysters.-Hog-Island-Oyster-Bar-San-Francisco.-Ed-Anderson-1000
Photo credit: Hog Island Oyster

A beloved spot for tourist and locals alike, Hog Island Oyster is popular for a reason. They offer local (and regional) sustainable oysters with delicious wines and beer to wash them down. The vast majority of their oyster comes from their oyster farm in Marshall, on Tomales Bay, and they even have farm tours. Check them out in the Ferry Building (go early to avoid lines) or in Napa at the Oxbo Market if you are out in wine country.

P.S. If you’ve got a non-oyster loving friend in your dining group, they make a killer grilled cheese sandwich.

Water Bar

waterbar-oyster+bar
Photo credit: Waterbar

I confess, I go to the Waterbar for their lobster roll, fried pickles, and fabulous martinis, but they also have a fantastic oyster bar. You can not find a better view of the Bay Bridge (they’re located right on the Embarcadero), they’ve got a great terrace for outdoor dining as well, but I love to sit at the zinc bar and fill up on delicious oysters, especially during happy hour (more on those later).

Swan Oyster Depot

swan oyster depot
Photo credit: Eat Big Apple

People either love or hate the Swan Oyster Depot. The most common description about the counter in the 100+ year old fish market is “no-frills.” Personally, with the quality of oysters they serve, I don’t care about the frills! I will say, given the size of the counter, it is extremely tough to get into, but so worth it. Go early to the Nob Hill location (1517 Polk St) and make friends, the service is great (all family) and please note it is CASH only!

Anchor and Hope

anchor and hope
Photo credit: Betsubara-san

I am not sure if I love Anchor and Hope for its oysters or their housemade potato chips! Paired with a beer, sometimes I never want to leave. Besides the fresh oysters which are always amazing they have a dish called ‘Angels on Horseback’ which are smoked bacon wrapped oysters served with a remoulade sauce, worth every bite! I know you are here for oysters, but they have one of the best fish and chips in town as well!

Anchor Oyster Bar

anchor_oyster_bar
Photo Credit: San Francisco Magazine

Serving out of its Castro Street location since 1977, the Anchor Oyster Bar has a loyal following and was just added to the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand list this year. They focus on sustainably harvested seafood, including succulently fresh oysters. The staff is very knowledgeable and they know the perfect oysters for beginners to try should you find yourself with newbies.

Oyster Happy Hours

oyster-happy-hour

San Francisco has dozens of spots for oyster happy hours! You can get fresh, inexpensive oysters after work in nearly any part of town. 7×7 has a guide that gives you 36 oyster happy hours spots and Eater’s has their favorite oyster deals heat-mapped.

Not your Mama’s Oyster

I had to share two oyster dishes that are a little unique.

Tadich Grill’s Hangtown Fry with eggs, bacon and fresh oysters and a classic hangover meal for many San Francisco natives. You can get fresh oysters as well from the city’s oldest restaurant along with their famous cioppino.

Tadich Grill
Photo credit: SF Oyster Nerd

HRD Coffee Shop’s Fried oyster Po Boy is special. Yes, you can get the world’s best po boys in New Orleans, but does theirs come served with spicy kimchee coleslaw, Korean aioli, along with the delicious, melt-in-your-mouth oysters?

HRD-Po-boy
Photo credit: Thrillist

How about you? Are you a fan of oysters? Do you have a favorite spot you go to get them? A favorite way of serving or cooking them? Do tell!

See my entire collection of San Francisco post in my San Francisco Guide. Also you can save 42% off admission to the best San Francisco attractions with a San Francisco CityPASS. PLUS, skip most tickets lines!

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). Thanks for your support!

Looking to create passive blogging income? Check out Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing! The step-by-step affiliate marketing strategy course that shows you how Michelle went from $0 in affiliate income to over $100,000 per month.

Like it? PIN it!

Save

Save

Save

Save

47 Comments

  1. Ellie Di
    September 9, 2015

    I think I tried oysters just once in my life, when I spent New Year’s Eve in Paris, a few years ago. The restaurant we went in served them the normal way, with just lemon. I never thought they could be served in all these different ways, I’d love to try the fried ones!

    Reply
  2. Allyson Bossie
    September 9, 2015

    We love oysters here. We have a place that we go eat them here in NC that is as good as it is going to get away from the ocean, but these places look so nice!

    Reply
  3. Tamara
    September 9, 2015

    I just started eating oysters last year and I love them! However, I enjoy the smaller oysters we have here in New England. I ordered oysters in California this spring and they were a bit to large for me to handle. Something I’d have to get used to.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 28, 2015

      @Tamara, there are smaller varieties our here as well, next time tell your server you prefer them and you will get what you want.

      Reply
  4. Katie @ Domestiphobia
    September 9, 2015

    My little sister looooves oysters (so she was excited when we moved to Virginia), but I could take ’em or leave ’em. Of course, I was spoiled in Sweden when we went sea kayaking and an oyster farmer we met dove down and brought us some that we ate right there in the kayaks! Doesn’t get much fresher than that. πŸ˜‰ (Now DO sign me up for dungeness crab season!!)

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 28, 2015

      @Katie, an oyster right out of the water is to die for! But I kind of fell the same about most seafood, the sooner you can eat it the better it is going to be!

      Reply
  5. Michele
    September 9, 2015

    I don’t eat oysters too often-I prefer mussels-but the reality is-if there is a shell fish in my vicinity-I will eat or at least try it! Lobster will always be my favorite-boiled with drawn butter and a squeeze of lemon.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 28, 2015

      @Michele, lobster, yes!

      Reply
  6. Denise C
    September 9, 2015

    I don’t eat oysters, but I do love San Francisco. It’s been so long since I was there; I’d love to go back.

    Reply
  7. Scott
    September 9, 2015

    Not a fan myself (of clams or mussels either). Something about the texture just gets to me.

    Reply
  8. Kelly
    September 9, 2015

    Wow, what beautiful displays and plating! Each of these options have such great reasons I would love them. I don’t make it to San Fran very often but when I do, I will be bringing this list.

    Reply
  9. krystel
    September 9, 2015

    never had oysters but it looks so deicious

    Reply
  10. Mai T.
    September 10, 2015

    Oysters are my favorite! I’d love to try all of these places.

    Reply
  11. hopscotchnjb
    September 10, 2015

    I love all of these and I love the set up! oyster is one of my favorite especially when it grilled together with a tasty wine.

    Reply
  12. Jeanine
    September 10, 2015

    How great! I’m not an oyster fan but my husband enjoys them. We plan to head to Cali in the next few years to vacation so this is great!

    Reply
  13. Ourfamilyworld
    September 10, 2015

    It was only recently that I learned to eat oysters. I love it! I hope to try all these when I visit San Francisco.

    Reply
  14. Toughcookiemommy.com
    September 10, 2015

    I am a huge seafood fan and I love oysters. These would definitely be on my list of places to eat.

    Reply
  15. Amanda McMahon
    September 11, 2015

    If those don’t look appetizing… I don’t even like oysters and those look good! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  16. Shannon
    September 12, 2015

    What lovely places to eat oysters! Thank you for sharing your reviews and experiences with us.

    Reply
  17. Colleen Brynn
    September 12, 2015

    I LOVE oysters, and I definitely OD’d on seafood when I was in San Fran, although somehow I don’t think a seafood overdose is possible, come to think of it. I’m so jealous that you have all of this at your fingertips!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 28, 2015

      @Colleen, what did you eat when you were here?

      Reply
  18. Diana Vuong
    September 12, 2015

    I love eating oysters. If I was in San Francisco, I will be having a feast now!

    Reply
  19. Richard Hicks
    September 13, 2015

    Will have to keep these places in mind on my next visit

    Reply
  20. krystel
    September 13, 2015

    never had oysters but this looks delicious

    Reply
  21. Sandra Watts
    September 14, 2015

    Never been a big fan of oysters but some of the other stuff looked good.

    Reply
  22. Jasmine P
    September 14, 2015

    I’ve never had oysters! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  23. Judith Martinez
    September 14, 2015

    I don’t think I’ve ever had oysters. I’ve eaten mussels (fresh caught off the coast of Maine) and clams but not oysters. My husband loves them.

    Reply
  24. Maddy
    September 16, 2015

    Now I’m majorly craving oysters :o)

    Reply
  25. Kelly @ TastingPage
    September 18, 2015

    Is there anything better than a good oyster? Ok, maybe a few things, but I’m a huge fan of oysters. I’ve been trying to learn about the different tastes from the different regions and it is interesting to note the difference like wine and terroir, but much more hands-on research needs to be done!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 28, 2015

      @Kelly, I am with you on the research! Thus far some of my favorites in the world are those found off the Brittany coast in France!

      Reply
  26. Brianna
    September 21, 2015

    Andi, you know I love me some oysters and I’m spoiled for choice here with the Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay at my doorstep but this post has me wanting to try what the west coast has to offer.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 28, 2015

      @Brianna, yes, you have to come out and do the west coast varietals! I always try to eat on the coast I am currently at. Love to have the east coast ones when I am on that side of the country!

      Reply
  27. Amber Ludwig
    November 7, 2015

    I looove smoked oysters but have never tried them fresh!! Ive heard they are fantastic but that I should pick someplace known for them πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing these fabulous places!! Maybe one day i’ll make it to sanfran to check them out!!

    Reply
  28. Nicole Carter
    November 12, 2015

    Wow, I wish I lived in CA! That Waterbar place looks amazing! Lobster roll? Count me in!

    Reply
  29. clojo9372
    February 29, 2016

    I love oysters. It’s very expensive where I live, and It’s been years since I’ve had them. They are sooooo good. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      March 2, 2016

      @Chloe, what area do you live in? Do they have seasonal specials or happy hours?

      Reply
  30. sihem
    September 15, 2016

    i love san francisco

    Reply
  31. Kimberly Flickinger
    April 2, 2017

    If I ever make it to San Francisco I will definitely try the oysters at one of these places, they look delicious.

    Reply
  32. […] – We’re working on a San Francisco version of this post. In the meantime, here’s where to eat oysters in San Francisco and where to get coffee in San […]

    Reply
  33. Calvin F.
    May 8, 2017

    I’m drooling, everything looks so good. I love oysters, I haven’t had them since.. forever!

    Reply
  34. denise low
    May 22, 2017

    Thank you for sharing. My husband loves oysters. Me I don’t think that I would like them.

    Reply
  35. Judy Thomas
    May 25, 2017

    They all look so delicious!

    Reply
  36. Wanda Tracey
    May 30, 2017

    I have never had the desire to try them but maybe I should. I do love lobster and jumbo shrimp in garlic butter.There are many people that say oysters are so delicious that I am temted to go out to some of these places and give them a go.

    Reply
  37. Tiffany Dayton
    September 27, 2017

    We would love to go here. Wish we could.

    Reply
  38. […] There are a ton of places that have oyster happy hours as well as full meals, I’ve shared my 5 favorite oyster spots in another post you can find […]

    Reply
  39. […] Best Burmese Food in San Francisco Hawaiian in San Francisco San Francisco for Vegetarians 5 Places to Eat Oysters in San Francisco Where to go for Coffee in San Francisco A San Francisco Weekend for Foodies Baked Bear in San […]

    Reply
  40. Denis Mountain
    July 25, 2018

    All these places are awesome, especially Anchor Oyster Bar as its single panel menu covers are easy to read and understand and food is awesome.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top