Oyster. Rosé. Repeat. That's pretty much what you'll find us doing all summer, so we're lucky that there are so many places in town with beautiful, sparklingly fresh raw bars. Here, in no particular order, are our favorites.
Local's Corner, Mission
This cozy restaurant works wonders with limited kitchen equipment, including shucking and serving a stunning selection of raw bar items: West coast oysters ($2.50 each), smoked sturgeon ($4 each) and a gorgeously tender baby abalone ($9 each). Definitely sample the local caviars ($4 to $9) while you're there.
Bar Crudo, Nopa
We love the crazy good happy hour (dollar oysters, y'all!), but the restaurant's full menu makes us stay for dinner more often than not. Don't miss the crudo sampler ($14 for four pieces, $28 for 8 pieces), featuring sashimi-like cuts of simply seasoned fish, or the uni avocado toast ($13), which showcases beautiful Mendocino urchin roe on crostini.
Fancy a Bay view with your seafood? Snag a seat on Waterbar's patio, a perfect spot to dig into an enviable oyster list ($3.55 to $4.30) and raw bar selection whilst taking in waterfront and Bay Bridge views. We love the classic Dungeness crab cocktail ($20), and are always looking for an excuse to splurge on their grand iced shellfish platter ($110) with crab, lobster, ceviche, prawns and three types of oysters.
Swan Oyster Depot, Nob Hill
There's a reason the lines outside never end: This classic seafood counter has some of the best, freshest seafood SF has to offer. There's no beating the classic seafood salads topped with Louie dressing ($15.25 to $25), and yes, you do want to try the fresh sea urchin (A.Q.), still moving when the shell hits your table.
Hog Island Oyster Co., Embarcadero
If you can't make the drive to its Tomales Bay oyster farm, visiting Hog Island's oyster bar in the Ferry Building is an awfully good substitute. In addition to ample amounts of the namesake wonderfully creamy raw bivalves (both raw and grilled), sample smoked sturgeon ($12) and white anchovies ($12) paired with farmers' market-inspired cocktails.
Anchor Oyster Bar, Castro
Snag a seat at the bar and prepare for an epic seafood feast: Start off with one of the excellent seafood cocktails; we love the oyster shooters ($8.50 with soju, $3.50 without) and tasty combination ($14), which includes crab, shrimp and prawns. If you'd like some cooked seafood after, save room for the garlicky cioppino.
Anchor & Hope, SOMA
It's easy to have an all-raw dinner here, thanks to a generous selection of oysters, crudo and ceviche. Get the best of all worlds with their seafood plateaux (M.P., available in small, large and grand), piled high with oysters, shrimp, crab remoulade and beyond.
Sotto Mare, North Beach
It's hard to go wrong with any of the classic seafood offerings at this established family-run North Beach restaurant. We never skip the affordable West Coast oysters on the half shell ($1.50 each) and the by-the-book Crab Louis ($23).
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