Best Oysters? Clam Chowder & Seafood - San Francisco
San Francisco is probably my favourite western city that I've been to (apart from Melbourne, my home), I wanted to do a San Francisco post earlier but Andy wrote about it a few weeks ago so I thought I won't spam you with San Francisco posts and wait a little bit later. Today however I will be writing about my January monthly pick, Hog Island Oyster Co. which is located in San Francisco. Other than Hog Island Oyster Co. I'll take you to Fishermans Wharf where you can try fresh seafood and San Francisco's famous Clam Chowder!
I love San Francisco's environment, the hilly roads, the shopping, the food (in particular seafood) and of course the Golden State Warriors (especially Klay :p). I stayed in San Fran for 2 days, it was short but I had an amazing time.
Hog Island Oyster Co. has three locations in California, we went to the one located in the Ferry Building. Hog Island Oyster Co. was originally on our itinerary but we decided not to go because we didn't have enough time. We originally went to the Ferry Building to visit the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market (this will be in another blog) and realized Hog Island Oyster Co. was nearby so we decided to visit them. We also did a quick Yelp search while we were at the Farmers Market and saw that Cowgirl Creamery is also very popular in the area.
After looking at Hog Island Oyster Co's menu at the store front we noticed that they also serve Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with cheese from Cowgirl Creamery which was very convenient because we could try the seafood at Hog Island Oyster Co. and also try the popular Cowgirl Creamery. We proceeded to get a table but was told we'd had to wait 20 minutes, at the end we waited for almost 40 minutes to get a seat. The queue is outside the restaurant facing the sea so you can get pretty nice views while you're waiting for your table at Hog Island Oyster Co.
There are seats both inside and outside but we chose to sit inside near the window so we could enjoy the good views while enjoying our food
Hog Island has a general menu as well as a menu for "Today's Special".
We ordered the Grilled Cheese Sandwich, half a dozen of Chelsea Gems (Pacific), four Fried Oysters and a house brewed Ice Tea.
The highlight was definitely the oysters! The Chelsea Gems are from Washington State. The Chelsea Gems aren't very big but they were super fresh and cold. They taste a little sweet and definitely not briny. I had my oysters with the sauce they made with chives and also lemon juice however I prefer to have my oysters with just the lemon juice because the extra Zing in the oysters made it taste refreshing. Half a dozen of oysters was definitely not enough! There's so much goodness in each oyster but we resisted from ordering more because we wanted to try other food. I probably say Chelsea Gems are the best oysters I've tasted recently!
The Grilled Cheese Sandwich was fresh from the kitchen so you could see strings of melted cheese all over the bread. Cowgirl Creamery is famous for their Artisan Organic Cheese.
The Grilled Cheese Sandwich was served with a side of veggies and housemade pickles. The creamy cheesed melted all over the bread, the Grilled Cheese Sandwich would be perfect for a cold wet winter day.
Lastly the fried oysters were amazing! I do prefer to have my oysters raw but these fried oysters are also goodies on the menu that you should try. The outer batter of the oysters were thin, crispy and nicely fried. Sometimes you can get fried seafood where the batter is thick and falling off from the seafood but this wasn't the case. The fried oysters were also lightly seasoned so the seasoning wouldn't overpower the fresh taste of the oysters.
Fishermans Wharf is a place not to be missed when in San Francisco. The area is lively and very busy. You might want to avoid driving to Fishermans Wharf because it's really really really hard to find free/cheap parking!
Jefferson Street, Between Hyde and Powell Streets, San Francisco, CA 94133
There are a few popular restaurants located at Fishermans Wharf such as Alioto's Restaurant and Boudin. There are also several seafood stands that you can just order takeaway but these can get quite packed!
I firstly ordered the crab and prawn cocktail from The Crab Station. The cocktail was served with lemon juice and tomato sauce . The cocktail had small prawns and big prawns all mixed into crab meat. The crab meat and prawns tasted very fresh and went really well with the cold lemon juice and tomato sauce.
Next Mr Wang ordered half a dozen of oysters from Nick's Lighthouse. The wait was quite long as a lot of customers were ordering the Dungeness Crab from the restaurant.
The oysters are freshly opened right in front of your eyes. I'm not too sure what type of oysters we ordered but they were fresh. The oysters weren't as big as oysters from Hog Island Oyster Co. but I was satisfied. There are many seafood stands along the same street which serves fresh yummy seafood so be sure to check them out if you have time and room in your tummy :)
Lastly for this post I'm going to take you to a famous place where you can get Clam Chowder which is a must have when you're in San Fran. My research said the best place to get Clam Chowder is at Boudin.
160 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Boudin is a bakery famous for its sourdough breads since 1849, you can check out their recipes on the website I mentioned above. Boudin has a Bistro and Cafe at several locations. The one we went to at Fishermans Wharf has a little seating area outside where you can enjoy the food you purchase.
We ordered the Soup in a Bread Bowl - Clam Chowder however the Rustic Tomato option was also popular. The serving is perfect for one person but we just got one to share so we could try other seafood at Fishermans Wharf. The Clam Chowder was served in a bread bowl made from sourdough, the Clam Chowder was creamy and thick however you can finish the bowl without getting sick of it. The outer layer of the bread bowl is quite thick so the Clam Chowder can't leak through the bowl. We dipped the top cut out of the bread into the Clam Chowder and once we finished the Clam Chowder we ate the bread bowl. I think I would have liked the Rustic Tomato option more as I'm not a huge fan of Chowders but nonetheless I really enjoyed having my Clam Chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl.
That's all for now!
P.S I'm making a few updates on the site so please stay tuned!