If you're looking for a pier that's lively in San Francisco, try Pier 39.
On a sunny afternoon, you will find that Pier 39 will have a crowd and while it may be a bit too busy for some, it is certainly worth pushing through because lunch at Pier Market is a must. Reservations are highly recommended, as there will be a wait, but there's a good reason why.
Offering lobster tails, whole crab, and of course, the popular clam chowder bowl, Pier Market is a top choice for locals and visitors for multiple reasons.
Pier Market is the first 100% SF green business certified restaurant and the first on the entire Fisherman's Wharf. They are 3rd generation family-owned, and the owner of the restaurant is the one who built Pier 39, which I found to be really cool. The seafood is 100% sustainable and delivered fresh every day. We were so impressed by these facts that we did hold some high expectations for our dining experience.
If you're lucky enough to get a seat by the window, you'll enjoy a lovely view with your meal. We happened to be one of those lucky people. By the way, the window isn't tinted from the outside so people do see you when you stare. We didn't realize this as we were gawking at passerby until one waved at us, hah.
Our server, Chad, was prompt and gave some great suggestions for us. We decided to start off with the clam chowder, a top choice at the Wharf Fest 2017 by people and judges. I can see why, as the flavors were on point and the bread bowl was so good! We had to stop ourselves from eating too much bread, as we didn't want to get too full.
We also started with the fried calamari, which was house breaded and served with cocktail sauce. Perfectly crisp and delicious. In addition to that, we had the steamed mussels which was in this amazing red curry coconut broth. The broth was so good that we ordered additional bread to soak it all up.
For the main entrees, I couldn't resist and ordered the lobster tail and KSOLE had the salmon. Both dishes were great and price point overall for the entire menu was decent, ranging from $6 to $40.
Service was as you would expect, with a packed house, I understand that servers get extremely busy. I would've liked the attentiveness to have been a bit better, as my water cup was left empty for quite some time but luckily I had also ordered a shaken fruit soda to compensate. Note that the appetizers came out before our drinks though.
Overall, the flavors and price are great. I would recommend a visit to Pier Market while you're in SF and make sure to get a reservation!
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