Clam chowder is the undisputed comfort food king of San Francisco. Whether you are really, really hungry or just need a quick pick-me-up, this delicious creamy fish-feast will leave you feeling warm inside.
From the New England version to San Francisco clam chowder, bringing up the origins of clam chowder often leads to animated discussions where people defend “their” version as the original. While many believe that this popular dish hails from Portugal, others are convinced that the Bretons from France brought it to our northeastern shores. What we do know is that fishermen who migrated the oceans to our shores would use the offal from their catches along with other available ingredients for a warm, hearty, healthy meal.
The San Franciscan obsession with clam chowder dates back to the mid-1800s, with the timeless dish traditionally served in a sourdough bread bowl. Over time, clam chowder fisherman’s wharf style has been modified to become the culinary staple it is today.
Clam Chowder – A San Francisco Staple San Francisco chowder is a must for any visitor to the city, where fresh seafood is a point of pride. The delightful creaminess of San Fran clam chowder has made it a staple dish of this vibrant city, which is why it can be found in many eateries throughout.
The signature sourdough bread bowl in which the chowder is served has helped make this creamy bowl of deliciousness a go-to dish while out and about in San Fran. The salty goodness and flaky consistency with savory clams give this the thumbs up from anyone who has tasted it. Have the best clam chowder Fisherman’s Wharf has to offer, as this hearty meal is best enjoyed by the water, sitting on an outdoor bench, while people watching.
The infamous edible soup holder has been a tradition of the San Francisco cuisine going back to the gold rush days. In modern times it has become associated with clam chowder San Francisco-style. It is the go-to container for some of the best clam chowder in San Francisco. Nothing beats a bowl of savory, piping hot clam chowder presented in a tasty bowl of bread to finish off your delicious meal. The crusty bread compliments the salty taste of the chowder, while the carbs in the bread perfectly balance the proteins of this fishy dish, making for a healthy, well-rounded dish.
Boudin sourdough bread bowls are undoubtedly the best and most sour unique flavor that pairs perfectly with the rich creaminess of the clam chowder. Boudin sourdough bread bowls are served at most of the restaurants serving fresh house-made clam chowder around the Fisherman’s Wharf area.
Chart House sits at the end of Pier 39, and its menu tends to be a tad on the exotic side, but it still serves two classic soups. One is the lobster bisque, and the other is, of course, clam chowder, available in a bread bowl if desired. Waterfront views and the signature hot chocolate lava cake are a few other reasons to dine here.
Pier Market Seafood Restaurant’s clam chowder is so good that it’s been voted the best on Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s also reasonably priced compared to some other restaurants in the area. Enjoy it by the cup or the bowl or in a sourdough bread bowl with a salad on the side. Other reasons to dine at Pier Market Seafood Restaurant include the signature cocktails as well as the waterfront seating that offers a great view of the infamous sea lions that have taken up residence nearby.
It only makes sense that the best place to get clam chowder on Pier 39 is a place with it in the name. Chowders is a popular spot for a more casual seafood meal. Both red and white clam chowders are available, and each one is homemade with plenty of crispy bacon, potatoes, celery and onions. Enjoy it in a sourdough bowl with a side like shrimp cocktail, crab cakes or popcorn shrimp.
Award-winning clam chowder is what diners will find on the menu at the Fog Harbor Fish House. Order it by the cup or bowl, or enjoy it with a salad or inside a bread bowl. Some have gone as far as to call it the best clam chowder in San Francisco. Other reasons to dine at Fog Harbor Fish House include its amazing views of the Bay, as well as the fact that it was the first restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf to serve 100 percent sustainably sourced seafood.
Pier 39 is one of San Francisco’s top attractions, and one reason for that are its many dining options. It’s home to more than 13 full-service restaurants, as well as many other eateries, like an ice cream shop, a hot dog stand and a candy shop. However, the real star of the variety of foods offered at Pier 39 is the fresh seafood. From fish and chips to crab cakes, there’s a little something for everyone, including some delicious New England-style clam chowder. On a cool foggy San Francisco day, nothing can beat enjoying a steaming hot bowl of clam chowder surrounded by the sights and sounds of Pier 39.
Chowders is a family-owned business that celebrated 34 years of operation in May 2021. We serve homemade clam chowder in delicious bread bowls, fried seafood and seafood sandwiches, salads and fried chicken.
We are so grateful to our guests for coming to support us during these difficult times! We look forward to seeing you all enjoying chowder bread bowls and awesome views!
Gigi’s Sotto Mare (552 Green St.) – Take-Out and Delivery Available
Its said that the best clam chowder in the neighborhood can be found at Gigis. How could it not be? The restaurants name literally means “under the sea” in Italian! Thick and hearty, their chowder is worth the wait (and theres almost always a wait).
The neighborhood where cable cars climb halfway to the stars has luxury hotels, stunning views, and at least one must-stop for chowder lovers.
Is San Francisco known for clam chowder?