Aw, Shucks! Here’s the Top 5 Places for Oysters in SF

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Oysters at Boxing Room.
Oysters at Boxing Room.

Photo Credit: Aubrie Pick

Although many people believe that oysters should only be consumed in months that have a letter R in their name (February, March, April, etc.), thanks to the chilly temperatures of the Pacific Ocean, San Franciscans can enjoy the briny bivalve all year long. Since there’s no better way to celebrate a warm spring day than with a chilled glass of rose and a platter of a dozen oysters on the half shell, today we’re sharing our favorite restaurants for oysters.

1 Boxing Room

If you’re craving the kind of baked oysters found in the fine establishments of the Southern Louisiana city, New Orleans, head to Hayes Valley and Boxing Room. Chef Justin Simoneaux offers baked oysters in two somewhat traditional ways: charbroiled with garlic-herb butter, lemon, and breadcrumbs; and Rockefeller style with spinach, cream, and absinthe. However, our personal favorite are the Oysters Simoneaux, a delectable mix of cajun ham called tasso, the trinity (onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic) and parmesan cheese. These babies are to die for — so good we’ve been known to order multiple rounds. Trust us, three is not enough! Boxing Room also has oysters on the half shell that come on an icy elevated platter with vinegar, lemons, and house-made hot sauce.
399 Grove Street San Francisco, CA 94102

2 Waterbar

You can’t beat the view at Waterbar on the Embarcadero. This large and in-charge seafood house from power restauranteur, Pat Kuleto and chef Parke Ulrich, sits underneath the Bay Bridge and boasts outstanding panoramas of Treasure Island and the glistening SF bay. The focal point of Waterbar is an oval-shaped bar with an impressive selection of raw seafood and eye-catching golden globular chandelier. With over twenty different varieties of oysters, Waterbar has the most expansive offering of oysters on the entire West Coast. They serve a whooping 2000 oysters per day — that’s more than two million oysters since the restaurant opened in 2008! — and always serve a $1.05 oyster from 11:30 am - 5:30 pm.
399 The Embarcadero San Francisco, CA 94105

3 Hog and Rocks

How could you not love a place that serves up exceptional cocktails, an unparalleled assortment of ham, and oysters on the half shell? This is exactly what Hog & Rocks delivers on a daily basis. The Mission District standby from Scott Youkilis offers five different types of rocks from both the East and West coasts. The finger-licking good oysters are served with cocktail sauce and herb butter. We recommend pairing a dozen oysters with one of Hog & Rocks expertly crafted whiskey cocktails. The Nardini Black Manhattan with Rittenhouse rye, carpano antica, and nardini amaro is an elevated version of the classic libation.
3431 19th Street San Francisco, CA 94110

4 Bar Crudo

Bar Crudo has been on our short list of places to eat oysters since it was in a tiny old space on Bush Street above the Stockton tunnel. Now Bar Crudo is all grown up and housed in a modern, always packed somewhat moody spot on Divisadero Street. The restaurant is known for its super fresh raw preparations, so go ahead and order a dozen oysters and a platter of the butterfish crudo with chorizo oil, fennel, and orange. The wildly creamy seafood chowder, Bar Crudo’s take on the classic San Franciso treat, with fish, mussels, squid, shrimp, potatoes, and bacon, is one of the best chowders in the city. If it’s a chilly night, it’s a must order.
655 Divisadero Street San Francisco, CA 94117

5 Hog Island Oyster Company

One of Northern California’s most well known oyster farming companies is the Tomales Bay-based Hog Island. The farm provides sustainable, hand-raised shellfish to restaurants all over San Francisco, Napa, and California. Locals can get their fill of the sweet slurpable oysters at the Hog Island Oyster Bar at the Ferry Building. The Oyster Bar recently underwent a remodel and now it’s bigger and better than ever. There’s an updated menu (with cocktails!) and six different varieties of raw oysters plus three different kinds of grilled oysters. Hog Island also nails a couple of signature dishes that they are known for. There’s the rustic-seafood stew with spicy herb-tomato broth that’s reminiscent of cioppino and an oozing melted grilled cheese sandwich made with Cowgirl Creamery’s fromage blanc, Vella mezzo secco and cave-aged gruyere.
1 Ferry Bld. 11A, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111
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