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Posted by on May 10, 2012 | 7 comments

Eating in three of San Francisco’s touristy spots

I have no problem admitting it.

When I visited San Francisco, I checked out all the touristy spots.  And you know what?  I loved them.

What can you expect of a person visiting for the first time?

These places were crowded and noisy. It was difficult to walk.  People were proposing crazy things to get their hands over my Alcatraz tickets.  Then, there was the occasional naked guy passing by at lighting speed while riding a bike (San Francisco fans, you know what I am talking about).

It was chaotic and crazy.  The multitude was trying to get the most of the last week of the year.

But there was something fabulous about all this urban madness.  Most of the time, we were surrounded by food.  Simple, involved or sophisticated.  There was something for every palate in the crowd.

Let me show you what I am talking about.

We started by visiting the Ferry Building Marketplace.  This is a place where local farmers, artisan producers and independently owned food businesses gather.  It has been described to me as the ultimate foodie destination.  Of course, I am always a little hesitant to visit overhyped places (I am looking at you L.A. Farmers Market).

Ferry Building Marketplace


First, I have to say the place is gorgeous and gives you that cozy, warm feeling (even though it’s freezing outside).  Then, the samples start to pile in.    At that moment, a problem starts to develop.  Everything is so delicious that you don’t know where to eat or what to buy.

Cowgirl Creamery


My husband’s eyes caught a glimpse of the Hog Island Oyster Company.  He convinced me to go even though 1) I don’t like oysters 2) the line was insanely long.  And I say that with pain.  Well, I have to say things went better than expected.  We were visiting during happy hour time so certain oysters were half off (my husband ordered those), we moved pretty quickly on the line because we agreed to sit outside and I was able to order a clam chowder.  This was chowder with clams and shells included.  Everything was pretty tasty. Thumbs up for this place.

Oysters at Hog Island Oyster Company


Clam Chowder at Hog Island Oyster Company


We were so hooked with the Ferry Building that we returned next day to have a quick lunch before visiting Alcatraz.  We decided to eat at Out the Door.  This is a small shop selling Vietnamese cuisine from a casual counter.  It is the creation of a recognized chef (of Slanted Door fame).

Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the next two pictures.  My husband ordered the Shrimp and Noodles.  I ordered the Hoi An Meatball Sandwich.  Both dishes were out of this world.  Period.  If you enjoy good food, try to eat here.  Note: The lemonade was awesome too.

Shrimp and noodles from Out the Door


Hoi An Meatball Sandwich from Out the Door


That evening, after Alcatraz, we explored Pier 39 (where the sea lions are located!!!).  After walking around, we decided to eat at Pier Market.

Pier Market in Pier 39


My husband had the Seafood Jambalaya.

Jambalaya at Pier Market


I had the Crab Cakes.

Crab Cakes


Verdict:  The food was so-so.  I wouldn’t recommend it.  I enjoyed the meal because I was super hungry.  Let me know if you know a good place in this area.

On a different day, we visited the famous Fisherman’s Wharf.  This place is heaven for seafood lovers (like me).  Or should I say a paradise for crab lovers?

Dungeness Crab


Crab Salad Sandwiches


In here, I felt like a kid in a candy shop.  I didn’t know what to choose.  Everything looked so delicious.  The best part is that there are some items at good prices.  You have the opportunity to try something in here.  There are various options under $10.

Removing meat from crabs


Cleaning oysters


We went here like three times (just to snack ;0)).  One time I ordered a cup full of Dungeness Crab and Shrimp.  It was my first time trying this type of crab.  So sad to say this is not my favorite type of crab.  I felt it too bland.

Shrimp and Dungenes Crab


My husband ordered more oysters.  He almost lost some to seagulls!!! Those seagulls were an aggressive bunch.  They even attacked us by the back.  Thank God my ninja moves scared them away when they were about to snatch an oyster.

At another occasion, we had a bread bowl with lobster bisque.  Delicious!!



We really enjoyed our time eating in San Francisco (check what we ate in Chinatown).  We will go back in a second just for the food.  Remember to try at least one of the candies sold throughout the city.  Don’t worry, they are sold at all the touristy places mentioned above. Yum!!!


Have you visited these touristy spots?  What are your food recommendations? Let me know in the comments section below.


  1. Nice choices. I think the Ferry Building has a lot to offer locals and tourists. I like the Slanted Door restaurant there — great Vietnamese food and creative cocktails.
    Cathy Sweeney recently posted..Culture Curious in ChicagoMy Profile

  2. I love this! I just found out today I will be in San Francisco for three weeks in July. I will definitely check out some of these places. I don’t get to eat seafood often here but will try and get my fill of it there. I’ve got San Francisco on the brain right now so this is really helpful. I don’t know food places well so it might be nice to try out some of the touristy places even though I’ve always avoided them in the past.
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..A northern California hiking guide and photo essayMy Profile

    • Jeremy,
      If you visit one place, it has to be the Ferry Building. There many options there and I bet you they are all delicious. Plus, a lot of places offer samples. They also have a Farmer’s Market some days of the week.
      Ruth recently posted..Eating in three of San Francisco’s touristy spotsMy Profile

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