Lunch Recommendations

Classic dishes of the wharf are dungeness crab, clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls, crab louie (not my favorite), and cioppino, a seafood/tomato/noodle stew invented on the wharf. Unlike most of SF, this neighborhood is geared toward tourists rather than foodies.

South of Pier 39

  • Queen’s Louisiana Po’ Boy Cafe - Pier 33: A tasty mix of New Orleans staples and the usual Pier 39 stuff in a hip space with great indoor/outdoor waterfront views. $$

Pier 39

  • Beer 39: This is where the tour starts, so why not eat here? Food is better than you think because they share a kitchen/chefs with Swiss Louis’. Burgers, pizza, some seafood. $$

  • Swiss Louis: All the Fisherman’s Wharf classics, ask for a table by the window. $$$

  • Fog Harbor: Classiest spot on Pier 39; seafood & more, gets busy, ask for window. $$$

  • Pier Market: The usual seafood for cheaper, plus a fast “take out” window outside. $$

  • Boudin: The flagship store mentioned below tends to crank out a better product. $$

North of Pier 39

  • Boudin - Across from The Franciscan: SF is famous for sourdough and Boudin is the king; it is the oldest continuously running business in the city, 1849. You can get lunch or dinner at the quick order cafe downstairs or the full service restaurant upstairs. $$

  • The Franciscan - Waterfront, Pier 43.5: This seafood restaurant has the best views in the city, a chic retro black, white and red interior, & well dressed waitstaff. $$$

  • Nick’s Lighthouse - Taylor St & Jefferson St: There’s a whole row of sidewalk stalls here, for fried seafood and boiled dungeness crab. We like Nick’s because the staff in the friendliest and their little restaurant has the most authentic “shanty vibe”. $$

  • Scoma’s - Al Scoma Way @ Jefferson St: Old school charm; opened 1965, considered the best seafood restaurant on the waterfront with standbys an higher end meals. $$$

  • In-N-Out Burger - Jefferson St @ Al Scoma Way: Many say it’s the best fast food burger in the country. For $3 it’s pretty low risk, order it “animal style”! $

Ghirardelli Square

  • San Francisco Brewing Co - It is a super cool place in an iconic complex of buildings and the tour starts here anyway. Why not drink beer, eat burgers, pizza, or sandwiches, and play bar games before your tour? $$

  • Ghirardelli Chocolate Co - Sweet tooth? Then you must check out the flagship shop of this classic SF chocolatier, since 1852! Excellent ice cream and hot chocolate too! $$