Photo of Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco, CA, US
Photo of Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco, CA, US
Photo of Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco, CA, US
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Swan Oyster Depot

American Restaurant

$$$$
Swan Oyster Depot94.5
crab • oysters • chowder • fresh seafood

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Swan Oyster Depot has 29 Tips

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  • Photo of Arturo MP
    10 months ago
    Bourdain Parts Unknown
    Like
  • Photo of Mike Winston
    2 years ago
    All of the seafood is extraordinarily fresh, but I'd suggest going with the off-menu Scallop or Salmon Sicilian Sashimi or ridiculously good Live West Coast Uni. Read about it on WinstonWanders below!
    Like
  • Photo of Mike Winston
    2 years ago
    All of the seafood is extraordinarily fresh, but I'd suggest going with the off-menu Scallop or Salmon Sicilian Sashimi or ridiculously good Live West Coast Uni. Read about it on WinstonWanders below!
    Like
  • Photo of Mike Winston
    2 years ago
    All of the seafood is extraordinarily fresh, but I'd suggest going with the off-menu Scallop or Salmon Sicilian Sashimi or ridiculously good Live West Coast Uni. Read about it on WinstonWanders below!
    Like
  • Photo of Lisa Vukovic
    2 years ago
    Famous seafood restaurant only open for lunch
    Like
  • Photo of Kevin Joseph
    3 years ago
    While its famous I wouldn't eat there if you paid me. I was told in advance by a very credible party that the place was filthy. When I got there I wash shocked. FILTHY DIRTY! And tiny.
    Like
  • Photo of 7x7 SF
    4 years ago
    This classic seafood place has three special delicacies: Dungeness Crab, Clam Chowder, and Oyster on the half Shell.
    1 Like
  • Photo of Margot Mazur
    4 years ago
    "The space consists of just one long raw bar, with around 20 stools, manned by a handful of friendly shuckers and servers doling out oysters, clams, lobster, chowders, seafood salads and wine.”
    Like
  • Photo of Eater
    4 years ago
    Open only for lunch, Polk Street’s old school joint still churns out the best crab, oysters and sourdough in town. goo.gl/pmzge1
    Like
  • Photo of mudfoot
    5 months ago
    The wait can be long, as the space is so limited, but the people in line seem to make the time go pretty quickly. The food is fresh and simple, and the staff amazing. Definitely a must stop for any raw bar lover.
  • Photo of Daniel H
    5 months ago
    Service is first of all SUPER at the Swan Oyster Depot. The people working in the restaurant is welcoming and so pleasant to talk to. In my oppinion the salads could use some extra fixings. But all the fish and shell fish is of top quality. All in all a great visit - the line can be a bit long but worth the wait
  • Photo of tapoa
    5 months ago
    This is a fantastic oyster bar frequented by locals where the service is fantastic and the food even better. We had a long wait in the queue to get in as the bar only takes about 20 people. But it was well worth it. The family-run place had lots of character and amazing seafood. It was really nice to watch the locals coming in to eat in or takeaway their seafood and they were treated like part of the family. We had the oysters which were some of the best we have had, and also the Sicilian style sashimi. Just perfect!!!
  • Photo of carrieporter399
    5 months ago
    Whats not to love. Family run and amazing seafood. Worth the wait. Whenever we are back in San Fran, Swan's is the first place we head to.
  • Photo of kcchin
    6 months ago
    There will be a line waiting even before the place opens, that's how good the seafood is here. Everything is fresh and you will taste seafood the way it suppose to be eaten. The place is just one long counter.....no tables. Order what you want, it will be delivered within minutes. Is it expensive? Slightly, but that's how good seafood is. When you're finished, just summon anyone behind the counter and tell them you want the bill. He'll scratch out/total your eats on a napkin and then you pay. Nothing fancy, it's a joint ! They do NOT have a website...everything is by word of mouth.
  • Photo of RockieHazel
    6 months ago
    This place is quite popular we waited about 40 minutes on a weekday at lunch time, apparently it gets much longer on the weekend. The restaurant is bar seating and is quite small. We ordered the clam chowder, a dozen oysters and half a dozen clams for $60 including tax and tips. I have not had much clam chowder before but it is definitely much better than anything at Fisherman's wharf, you can actually taste the sweetness of the clams. Even though we only got a cup, they gave us plenty of bread. We got 3 different varieties of oysters and they were all really fresh and delicious. As for clams, we got 3 each of little necks and cherrystone. These were served with an array of sides, including fresh horseradish which was really good. The staff were all friendly and the restaurant has a family owned feel. Beware that this place is cash only. The prices are fair considering the quality of the ingredients. If you're a seafood lover, this is worth the wait. Be sure that you're not in a rush to be anywhere.
  • Photo of joyceGilbert
    6 months ago
    Had not been there in over 3 years. Happy to wait with saliavery glands waiting. Fresh, tasty, also happy to wait for the incredible fresh fish and seafood. Staff is family, make you feel welcome and glad to see you.Told type of oysters, what coast. Great bread. Just a satisfied feeling from the taste, service,even the cost. Sooo Good.
  • Photo of BixbyCat
    6 months ago
    Worth the wait around the block (c40 mins). Great little seafood bar with friendly and knowledgeable staff. If you love seafood, don't miss it. Cash only. Get the crab.
  • Photo of Alexander v
    7 months ago
    Worth the long wait. Prices are totally fair and the food is just delicious. Every one should pay then a visit. It is defiently Worth the wait.
  • Photo of TravelLynn03
    7 months ago
    Arrived at place at 10.40am on a Friday morning and there was a long line. I skipped the queue and requested for takeout instead, which still took at least 15-20min. The wait was worthwhile though, as my Sicilian Sashimi set and half a dozen oysters were absolutely fresh and delicious. Great seafood. I will try to brace myself for the crowd again for a future visit.
  • Photo of Tdirk56
    7 months ago
    Fresh flavorful seafood served at a throwback style lunch counter. When you see the line and ask if it worth the wait, have patience for a great experience.
  • Photo of mcChuaMD
    7 months ago
    I wanted to try the local clam chowder and was searching websites for recommendations. One website recommended this restaurant which ranks highly on Anthony Bourdain's list whenever he is in town (not sure!) I arrived late in the PM and the queue was very very long! Be prepared to wait 1-2 hours on a weekday! Being a single diner - I was able to get seated slightly faster! I ordered the Clam Chowder, Crab cocktail and a Crab back. The menu was fairly limited but the seafood was fairly fresh. However, to be honest, I was not that impressed with the Clam Chowder. The Crab back was interesting (you either love it or not!). The Crab cocktail was not bad. The whole meal set me back $40 (inc tips). Will i return? Probably not the next time I am in San Francisco as it was quite a walk from Union Square. I will recommend a cab from your hotel.
  • Photo of VedatM
    7 months ago
    Needed to wait more than 90 minutes standing in a queue at the street. Limited seats available to eat quickly just at the bar, not any other place or table to sit inside the restaurant. They preserved the original shape and style. Quite authentic. Seafood was fresh. Soup was tasty. Pricey as natural for a so famous place in San Francisco. Good experience but I would not spend so much time to repeat it.
  • Photo of David L
    7 months ago
    To be fair, I am ONLY giving this a 3 because I ONLY tried the the clam chowder. As a New Englander (born and raised), I am a "Chowdah-head" and a clam chowder snob. This IS NOT great chowder. At best, it is OK. It is thin, and there are very few clams. I did not try the oysters, so this is a limited review. But most people RAVE about the chowder, so I had to try and make a review. I WOULD NOT go out of my way for this clam chowder.
  • Photo of Mazaganlover24
    7 months ago
    The freshest oysters, crab and shrimp you will ever eat. Really nice family-owned vibe and the service was fantastic. The wait staff really know the menu and we just let them serve us whatever they thought!
  • Photo of ScienceguyofTN
    7 months ago
    Not your average seafood restaurant. It is a small bar where they serve about 20 customers. The line is usually long and outside. CASH Only! No website. Seafood is fresh fresh fresh.
  • Photo of foodie7079
    7 months ago
    If you are a seafood lover, or a lover of tradition in seafood - you will love this place. I never ever ever have a bad experience here - even when I have to wait close to an hour to get it - it is always worth the wait! Their clam chowder is one of a kind, the fish is always fresh, the oysters are to die for and last but not least - the most cool and tip top service from some amazing guys and gals that have worked here for generations. If we are in the bay - we will on purpose come here - it's the best!
  • Photo of Zenayz
    7 months ago
    Before we came to town, we were told by friend "this might be the best restaurant on earth". I was a bit skeptical at the beginning almost wanted to give up when seeing the long line. We waited about 2 hrs before getting seated. Ordered crab salad, smoked salmon, clam chowder & oysters, everything was so amazing, I ended up having 2 cups of clam chowder myself. The whole meal was bit expensive though, we spent 114$ two of us on lunch.
  • Photo of Arrow101
    8 months ago
    The fish is fresh and the monger-makers are attentive and jovial. Is the fish worth a 2 hour wait? Not really. The old-school counter service is 80% of the experience. Let them entertain you and suggest the day's most delicious tidbits. That's worth the wait!
  • Photo of bpbuckeye
    8 months ago
    I was told to expect an hour wait for a spot at the famous lunch counter. It took every bit of that and was so worth it! Some of the freshest seafood I've ever had in a truly authentic and unique setting. And the guys behind the counter were awesome - you can tell they love what they do!

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