Yes, Fisherman’s Wharf is a tourist trap but it’s worth visiting for an hour or two if only to have some fresh seafood and gawk at the noisy sea lions on nearby Pier 39.
There are some beautiful fresh stacks of crab at every stand. This is definitely the place to get your hands all messy pulling them apart if you’re a big crab fan. We stood next to a guy who looked like he was having a great ole time, sucking on the crab legs and piling up the shells in front of him.
But because I’m not that big of a crab fan, I wandered around looking for the best place to have raw oysters. Yes, I have an addiction.
I finally settled on Nick’s Lighthouse because it was the only place I saw actually shucking them in front of me as opposed to displaying them already open on the half shell.
I was delighted to see their blackboard also offering raw clams (yes, another addiction), so knowing dinner was still ahead, I had to restrain myself to four oysters and two clams for $1.50 each.
A squeeze of lemon, and a shot of hot sauce. Oh heaven.
Granted, these oysters were all texture and very little brine (ones from the Maritimes are still the best in my books), but the atmosphere made up for it, just standing there at the metal counter with the ocean wind blowing through my hair.
I don’t know which stand it was from, but it was pretty good. I think you’re generally safe if you stick to the bustling stands which have high turnover — meaning there’s no time for things to sit there and get fishy or stale.
Oh, and the sourdough bun was awesome, all crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Like me sometimes. Heh.
Nick’s Lighthouse, 2815 Taylor, San Francisco, (415) 929-1300. Website here.