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Swan Oyster Depot

Certificate of Excellence
$$$
Neighborhood:
Nob Hill
Seafood, Chowder
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1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109-3606
415-673-1101
Website
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Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Delivery
Good for:
Local cuisine
Breakfast/Brunch
Lunch
Dinner
Delivery

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 383 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 217
    Excellent
  • 107
    Very good
  • 39
    Average
  • 11
    Poor
  • 9
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Most recent review
unique old charm

counter top service...like a diner...with the best darn raw seafood money can buy. uniquely served by a family that has been around for generations. not ...NOT open for dinner...gets crowded and expect to wait outside on weekends...even at 9am... but worth every second of your wait..oysters... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed February 27, 2015
Charles D
Good for:
  • Local cuisine
  • Breakfast/Brunch
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Delivery
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383 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015 NEW

counter top service...like a diner...with the best darn raw seafood money can buy. uniquely served by a family that has been around for generations. not ...NOT open for dinner...gets crowded and expect to wait outside on weekends...even at 9am... but worth every second of your wait..oysters, dungeness crab, sour dough, salmon and early morning Anchor Steam ...OMG !

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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015 NEW

Saw a line forming outside this place m decided to try it! Seafood was VERY fresh! Clam chowder was better than anything I tried at the wharf! Combination salad was mounted with slot of baby shrimp, crab, n prawns on top of shredder salad. Dressing was OK but nothing special. Overall I would go back but only order the oysters... More 

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calgary, alberta
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2015

No matter how popular this little counter bar is; or how many times it has been reviewed - you should just go. The experience is worth it. Go early - it opens at 10:30 - order a beer or champagne and let the food begin. The boys (yup - all boys) have a jovial rhythm to their work - most... More 

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Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2015

Really great seafood not messed with. Freshness is key here. The stools are uncomfortable all seating is at the counter... So it keeps things moving!! Service is quick and efficient and the crab delicious, the oysters were shucked I front of you and they had four types the day I was there. Chowder is great not too creamy and plenty... More 

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Honolulu, Hawaii
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2015

I had heard about this place from a travel show, and I really wanted to check it out. We went early, but that didn't stop us from having to wait for over an hour-- it was well worth the wait, though! Everything they served to us was prepared at the peak of freshness, and the dungie was amazing even without... More 

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Cleveland, Ohio
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2015 via mobile

You have to get to Swan's early or the line will be out the door & down the street. It is, however, worth the wait. It's the lively characters behind the counter that make this such a unique experience. Friendly, chatty, knowledgable men that love what they do. It's incredible to watch them do their thing behind the counter &... More 

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2015

This place is an institution and worth every effort to get there. Not fancy, quite busy and a bit off the tourist path - perfect. The boys have been working there for generations. Seafood is super fresh. Menu is not progressive or fancy. Straight up - and that's the way you gotta like it.

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Irvine, California
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2015

The fun is meeting people, literally from around the world, while waiting in line. I had the mixed seafood salad with Louis Dressing. The seafood was very good, but I think I would go for the cocktail vs the salad - as all the salad had was shredded iceberg lettuce. The dressing was good, but needed a bit more flavor.... More 

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Ceres, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2015

There is always a line at Swan, but the F-R-E-S-H seafood is worth the wait. The line is interesting because you meet people from all over the country/world, so the wait doesn't seem so long. Swan only accepts cash, so come prepared; there is an ATM across the street. You may do a to-go order without having to stand in... More 

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Pocatello, Idaho, United States
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015

Visited my friend who lives outside of San Francisco and a number of her friends recommended this restaurant. We went on a Saturday. Here's the deal, it's a small place with only about 24/25 seats at the counter, there is no other seating, so be prepared to wait. If you get cranky waiting, don't even think about going here unless... More 

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109-3606
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  San Francisco>  > Nob Hill
  • Neighborhood: Nob Hill
  • Phone Number: 415-673-1101

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 21 - 30
  • Cuisine: Seafood, Chowder

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Good for: Local cuisine

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Swan Oyster Depot and other visitors
1 question
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Monterey, CA

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?