The Best Restaurants Near Fisherman's Wharf

So you’re near Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square. Here’s where to eat.
The Best Restaurants Near Fisherman's Wharf image

photo credit: Carly Hackbarth

Fisherman's Wharf is generally full of mediocre food, tourists, and stores with High! From SF shot glasses and cable car magnets. If you live in the city, you pretty much stay clear of this sightseer zone. But one day, a friend or cousin visiting from some landlocked state might really want to gawk at some sea lions at Pier 39 and devour a chocolate sundae at Ghirardelli Square. When that day comes, don’t panic. Use this guide.


photo credit: Erin Ng


Fisherman's Wharf

$$$$Perfect For:BirthdaysDrinking Good CocktailsFine DiningSpecial Occasions
Earn 3x points with your sapphire card

This is the city’s first-ever Filipino fine-dining spot, and the bright, skylight-lit space takes traditional Filipino flavors and remixes them with ingredient combinations you won’t find anywhere else. Think super light okoy fritters topped with pinakurat and more herbs than you’ll find in a garden greenhouse, smoked chicken palabok boosted with soft boiled quail eggs and crunchy rice noodles, and butternut squash dumplings in creamy coconut milk. Familiar Filipino dishes feel new at Abacá, and are served simply to let all of the ingredients speak for themselves. For something uniquely San Franciscan, order the chowder, a cioppino-like soup with coconut milk and tomato oil broth, and loaded with seafood.

photo credit: Krescent Carasso



Tock logo

We really like this Ghirardelli Square dim sum spot from the people behind Dragon Beaux. And, like Dragon Beaux, Palette Tea House also serves the colorful xiao long bao with five different flavors, including a tasty crab roe with a turmeric wrapper. Also, ordering the har gow, which come with a small pipette of lobster butter, is never a bad idea. This place makes it easy to get a group together for weekend brunch or an early dinner (they close at 7:30 most nights). It’s super spacious inside and out on their two patios, and has a menu built for splitting and sharing family-style.

Square Pie Guys’ Ghirardelli Square outpost is the perfect place to enjoy textbook-sized Detroit-style pizzas while staring out at views of Alcatraz. There are massive windows overlooking the water, a patio in front, and, of course, square slices spilling over with gooey mozzarella. Lined with crispy cheddar cheese edges, the crust is somehow light and fluffy despite looking like a brick. The menu is the same as their SoMa and Oakland locations, and full of hits across the board. The classic 6x8 topped with exactly 48 pepperoni cups should be on the table, as should their fully loaded vodka pie with pulled pork, pineapple, and jalapeño. Plenty of beer and wine are also on hand for when you kick back and take in the waterfront setting. 

The best baked goods on the north side of the city can be found at Butter & Crumble, a North Beach bakery that’s less than a 10-minute walk from Fisherman’s Wharf. There’s pretty much always a line, but it usually lightens up by around 10am. The hordes are all here for one reason: the croissants coming out of this place are impeccable. Whether you go traditional with a plain croissant or try something more fun, like the bacon, egg, and cheese version, expect to inhale your pastry within seconds, crumbs and all. 

photo credit: Carly Hackbarth



Tock logo

Unlike the North Beach location, which is much smaller and serves only beer and wine, this spot makes strong margaritas, highballs and spritzes, and pitchers of palomas. The food is Mexican-inspired, which they serve all day, like blue corn tacos, burritos, nachos topped with cochinita pibil, and chicharrones. They’re all solid, but nothing revolutionary. The best use of this spot is to order a margarita pitcher, some guacamole and chips to snack on, and enjoy the views from up high. 

You go to The Buena Vista for Irish coffee. In fact, the caffeinated cocktail was reportedly first recreated in the United States at this century-old saloon near Ghirardelli Square in 1952. The long wooden bar is the best seat to watch all the action. Bartenders in white lab coats line up glasses, plop in sugar cubes, and fill them up with coffee, whiskey, and whipped cream. Whether you actually enjoy guzzling down a glass will depend on how much you like sweet and creamy drinks, and/or just enjoy checking out San Francisco tourist traps that are also classic institutions. This place also serves wine, beer, and non-coffee-based cocktails, and has a dinner and brunch menu of decent burgers, clam chowder, Dungeness crab omelets, and more.

One reason to break that lifelong pledge to avoid Fisherman’s Wharf forever and always: dinner at Surisan. Even though this Korean American spot is in the thick of tourist central, somehow it doesn’t feel like it. Probably because you’re too distracted by heaps of not-too-sticky chicken wings, perfect kimchi fried rice with bacon, solid Korean BBQ plates, and, if you come for brunch, galbi jjim benedicts and loco moco. This place is from the folks who brought Kitchen Story and very good trademarked thick-cut candied bacon, and we’re grateful for them. Lunch or dinner on their group-friendly front patio or inside the casual dining room always leads to a “no-complaints-here” meal. 

A waterfront meal at Scoma’s is the reason you’ll find us in the area mingling with tourists. The seafood restaurant is located near Fisherman’s Wharf and is considered a San Francisco institution, which you can probably tell just by stepping inside it and noticing the dark wood paneling and brown leather swivel chairs. Their ode to the old school extends to the food itself, too. There’s a Crab Louie salad, cioppino, and a linguine con vongole (all of which are pretty good), but you’re here for the roasted Dungeness crab—cracking into one of these is the best reason to wear a bib.

Chase Sapphire Card Ad

Suggested Reading

The cioppino and garlic bread at Tadich Grill

The 13 Best Restaurants Near The Ferry Building & Embarcadero

The Ferry Building is an Embarcadero icon. Here’s where to eat nearby.

The Best SF Waterfront Restaurants image

If you’re trying to eat outside and stare at the water, head to one of these spots.

Where To Eat In Russian Hill image

From Japanese tasting menus to casual wine bars—and everything in between—these are the best places to eat in Russian Hill.

The pepperoni, clam, and combo slices at Golden Boy

Our 15 favorite places in the neighborhood.

Infatuation Logo


2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.


Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store