Restaurants in San Francisco
Woodhouse Fish Co ****
San Francisco, CA
After a long day of wandering around San Francisco we'd worked up quite an appetite, my wife expressed a desire for seafood so we found this place online. We took a cab up Market street, pass the wonderful Zuni Cafe, where we'd enjoyed an anniversary dinner many years ago, all the way up to Lower Haight and found Woodhouse on the corner of Market and 14th.
There was already a line of four or five couples and families before us so we had to wait about 20 minutes but it was no bother. It's a tiny restaurant filled with all manner of seafood related memorabilia, pretty much every inch of it, kind of loud and busy but in a comfortable, noisy family kind of way, everyone is bundled in together so there's not much room, the poor waitresses, both of them, struggle to serve the dishes without stepping on toes or spilling fish and chips all over a small child.
We sat at the counter, which I tend to prefer, right in front of the kitchen so we could watch the very busy but cheerful chefs do their thing.
My wife had never tried Cioppino fish stew, a signature dish of San Francisco. I went for fried clams and fish tacos.
The clams were fried Ipswich clams, simple and delicious. The fish tacos were good, but nothing special, I prefer the ones I make at home, I almost went for the Lobster roll and kind of wish I had, it seemed to be very popular with the locals.
However, the star of the show was the Cioppino, absolutely scrumptious and quite 'hearty' so I got to share it with the Mem Sahib. Washed down with a couple of pints of House Lager from Colorado, it was a great find and the next time we're in San Fran and can't get a table at Zuni, we'll come here instead and save a hundred bucks!
Breakfast at Tiffany's
San Francisco, CA
I was recently working for a day in an interesting part of San Francisco I'd never visited before known as the Dogpatch, very industrial, south of the city and if I had more money than I knew what to do with I'd buy property around there, it won't be long before the man-buns and very expensive 'work boots' start moving in...
As there was nowhere to be found to eat locally on a Sunday morning we found Breakfast At Tiffany's not far away in the Portola district, just south of Mission.
We were in a bit of a hurry but were looked after straight away and the waitress understood that we didn't have a lot of spare time, unlike everyone else in the place who looked like they were in for the long haul.
I had the Corned Beef Benedict that was delicious and everything a Benny should be but three eggs? The food was served on a platter and would easily feed two people. I'm not a small guy and I love a big breakfast but I couldn't finish it. To be honest I could've finished it but it would have meant going back to the hotel for a lay down. The hash browns that came with it are made with sour cream and cheese and lots of love. Washed down with a large glass of really good oj that I watched the waitress make, top drawer breakfast, highly recommended, but two eggs with corned beef is plenty. As the old saying goes, 'Enough is too much!'
San Francisco, CA
I had lunch here the other day with a couple of vegan friends who highly recommended it as they'd been to the sister one in Los Angeles. I am a carnivore and I dare say I always will be but I've had a few vegetarian and vegan meals recently that I thought were really tasty and very clever and imaginative and the good folks at Gracias Madre have continued that trend with a very nice lunch.
It's quite a groovy little spot with nice furniture and decor that seems very at home in the trendy Mission District of San Fran and seems to be popular with the younger and the not so younger crowd so there's a good mix.
Most of the food is grown on their own farm which is a good thing I suppose, fair enough. On the menu is a side dish I was intrigued by so I had to get some 'coconut bacon'. In my head it was strips of lovely bacon fried up with a load of coconut which seems like a pretty good idea to me. It turned out to be a small bowl of coconut flakes lightly cooked with some kind of bacon-like seasoning. Admittedly at first glance I was a little disappointed but once I'd sprinkled some on my rather delicious Chimichanga -traditionally a deep fried burrito but this one was baked I think, with a yummy cashew sauce - the coconut bacon was a hit. Washed down with a lovely IPA from a local brewer I was pleasantly satiated and my normally indistinct halo was glowing nicely.
I meant to buy a t-shirt as they are quite nice but I forgot, so I'll have to go back and get one, sooner rather than later.
Swan Oyster Depot *****
San Francisco, CA
This place has got it going on. There are 18 stools at the counter, thats it. It's cash only. There's no wifi. It's been a family run business since it opened a long time ago. It's perfect.
There will be a line, just take it as a given. While you wait you can admire all the yumminess in the window and watch the locals shovelling it down. They serve 150lbs of crab every day, thats a lot of crab. The chowder is great, the 'Crab Back' is an absolute delight, everything about this place is on the money. If you're in San Francisco and you don't go here then you should be ashamed of yourself. Even if you happen to be one of those unfortunates that can't eat seafood you should go anyway, just for a quick visit to get the vibe. It's brilliant.