My wife and I will be in town this summer for about two weeks and we are big foodies. Where should we go and what should we eat? We LOVE seafood which we don't get much of where we live. We're open to anything else, too. Thanks!
You're in luck; SF is like seafood city! Not surprisingly, there are a ton along the Embarcadero and Wharf. Here are three on the Embarcadero that have amazing views: La Mar, Hog Island Oyster Co., Inc, and Waterbar (the latter has happy hour every day -- dollar oysters!). To the get the true experience of having clam chowder out of a sourdough bread bowl, venture up to the wharf around Pier 39, where you'll see a lot of stands selling them.
Of course, there are many other really fantastic seafood spots in the city. Swan Oyster Depot in Nob Hill is a very famous one and they don't take reservations, so be prepared to wait in line. Anchor Oyster Bar in the Castro is just amazing and the service is fantastic. Bar Crudo in NoPa is a favorite for raw seafood. If you find yourself in Golden Gate Park, Pacific Catch is good. For a good Italian seafood restaurant, Sotto Mare is where it's at.
Also, there are TONS of Japanese restaurants in the city. I've been to many and I haven't been to a bad one yet. A few of my favorites are Sushi Zone (just ignore the name), Kiss Seafood, Koo, and Nihon Whiskey Lounge (who doesn't love sushi and whiskey?!).
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Though these places serve seafood, they're not seafood places but still very good.
For sandwiches, check out Ike's Place. Ah, yes, the "menage a trois". That's BBQ, Cheddar, Halal Chicken, Honey Mustard, Pepper Jack, Real Honey, Swiss. Seriously, that's a sandwich! If the lines are too long, take a stroll and check out Bi-Rite Market, one of my favorites in all of SF, around 18th/Guerrero, just a few blocks away (will add to your suggested places). If you then want to lounge after some delicious raw milk, and I suggest goat -- yes, it's legal in SF! -- just hang at Dolores Park until after 3pm and the lines die down.
If you like tea, definitely go Samovar Tea Lounge. They have several locations, but I suggest the Sanchez/18th location. It's my fave! Assuming you're OK with a touch of sugar, the chilled Schizandra Berry tea (an adaptogenic) is outstanding, as is the cheese plate with real honey comb. It'll blow your mind.
If you need a place to stay, check out Hotel Vitale. Great location for exploring the Ferry Building and the entire The Embarcadero. If not, they have a great restaurant called Americano Restaurant & Bar attached to it. You can get a back corner table for a romantic dinner with your lady, it's outstanding. I suggest the pork chop if they still have it, and the servers know their wine recommendations.
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Sean Timberlake; Edible Excursions; San Francisco
My husband and I LOVE Swan Oyster Depot. We pretty much only go there at breakfast/brunch time because it's the only time when there isn't an insane line. They open at 10:30 AM every day (except Sundays, when they're closed), so we try to get there at about 10-10:15 and wait for them to open. There are ALWAYS others waiting, too.
We live a bridge and a toll away from Swan Oyster Depot, yet find ourselves over there every couple of months or so. Totally worth the drive. Get the clam chowder!
I have one other restaurant that I love in San Francisco that isn't necessarily a seafood restaurant, but it's a San Francisco institution for breakfast/brunch. It's called Mama's. They have some creative dishes that you might not find where you live, like smoked salmon scramble or salmon eggs benedict.
I hope you enjoy your trip!