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10 Best Places To Get Clam Chowder In San Francisco, California

Picture of Susan Blick
Updated: 6 December 2016
In a place that is known for both its seafood and its sourdough bread, it shouldn’t be a surprise that San Francisco has some of the best clam chowder in the world. These 10 restaurants are sure to satisfy your chowder craving.

Boudin Bakery and Café

San Francisco’s most famous sourdough bread is a perfect pairing with their most excellent clam chowder. Try Boudin’s crab and corn bisque or their traditional clam chowder in a warm and flakey bread bowl.

Boudin at Fisherman’s Wharf, 160 Jefferson St., Lower Level, San Francisco, CA USA, +1 415 928 1849


Boudin’s clam chowder in a bread bowl | © Britt Reints/Flickr


Located on Pier 39, Chowders is a fun and fast place to get your chowder fix. Their white or red clam chowders are served in a classic sourdough bread bowl.

Chowders, 2 Beach Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 391 4737


Home of the original sourdough bread bowl | © adrian8_8/Flickr

Blue Mermaid Chowder House & Bar

The Blue Mermaid Chowder House is decorated to perfection with vintage posters and beautiful mermaid statues that will transport you back to the Barbary Coast of old San Francisco. They offer a whopping six different kinds of homemade chowders so bring a friend and order the sampler trio to try them all.

Argonaut Hotel, 495 Jefferson Street, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 563 0800


An elegant chowder spread | Courtesy of Blue Mermaid Chowder House & Bar

Sabella & La Torre

As one of the oldest restaurants in San Francisco, Sabella & La Torre has their chowder recipe down to a science. Try a cup of their clam chowder with a delicious crab or shrimp sandwich or go all in with a bowl of their Boston style, Manhattan style, or traditional clam chowder.

Sabella & La Torre, 2809 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 673 2824


Stop by for a quick bite at Sabella & La Torre’s outdoor restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf | Courtesy of Sabella & La Torre

Fog Harbor Fish House

With 100% sustainable seafood and fresh sourdough bread baked in-house every hour, the Fog Harbor Fish House is a must-visit for a delicious cup of chowder. Try their award-winning clam chowder in a cup, bowl, or sourdough bread bowl.

Fog Harbor Fish House, 39 Pier 39 Concourse, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 421 2442


A delicious sourdough bread bowl | © Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar/Flickr

Swan Oyster Depot

For quick and easy seafood, head to Swan Oyster Depot on Polk Street. Their Boston clam chowder is only $2.75 a cup, so it’ll fill you up without hurting your wallet.

Swan Oyster Depot, 1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 673 2757


Trying a bowl of Swan Oyster Depot’s amazing clam chowder | © Heidi De Vries/Flickr

Nick’s Lighthouse

Arguably the best clam chowder on the Wharf, Nick’s Lighthouse offers delicious chowder and a wine and beer list full of local brews. Stop by for their clam chowder and stay for their fun and friendly atmosphere.

Nick’s Lighthouse, 2815 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 929 1300


Outside Nick’s Lighthouse | © Clotee Allochuku/Flickr

Alioto’s Restaurant

Alioto’s has been serving delicious Sicilian-influenced seafood since 1925. They offer New England clam chowder in a cup, bowl, or — San Francisco Favorite — a sourdough bread bowl.

Alioto’s, 8 Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 673 0183

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The boat harbor with Alioto’s in the distance | © Travis Wise/Flickr

Fishermen’s Grotto

Another oldie but goodie, Fishermen’s Grotto opened its doors in 1935 on Fisherman’s Wharf. If the weather is nice, make sure to get a table outside so you can take in the views of the city while you enjoy your pick of Boston or Coney Island clam chowder.

Fishermen’s Grotto, 2847 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 673 7025


This bread bowl looks almost too perfect to eat | © Krista/Flickr

Scoma’s Restaurant

For the ultimate San Francisco experience, head to Scoma’s for their famous clam chowder and hideaway feel. In 1965, Scoma’s began as a coffee shop for weary fishermen looking for a good breakfast after early mornings out on the Bay. Today, it has become one of the most successful independent restaurants in America, as well as a San Francisco hotspot.

Scoma’s, 1965 Al Scoma Way, San Francisco, CA, USA, +1 415 771 4383


Scoma’s sign stands tall above their San Francisco location | © tomcensani/Flickr