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Swan Oyster Depot

Certificate of Excellence
$$$
Neighborhood:
Nob Hill
Chowder, Seafood
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1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109-3606
415-673-1101
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Good for:
Local cuisine

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 387 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 219
    Excellent
  • 108
    Very good
  • 40
    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
At Least Once

I learned about this restaurant from Travel channel while I was in the gym and planned to eat here since SanFo is only 30 mins from me. It took a month before we went there, we arrived an hour before opening, we want to limit our wait time since I learned lines are long. I found out long lines... read more

3 of 5 starsReviewed March 14, 2015
celsius888
,
celsius888
Good for:
  • Local cuisine
  • Breakfast/Brunch
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Delivery
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387 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
celsius888
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2015

I learned about this restaurant from Travel channel while I was in the gym and planned to eat here since SanFo is only 30 mins from me. It took a month before we went there, we arrived an hour before opening, we want to limit our wait time since I learned lines are long. I found out long lines was... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2015

It's in the name. Oysters are the reason why though the Dungenese crab salad is pretty darn good. If you don't like soupy chowder with strong, clammy broth, then skip it.

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Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2015

we have been here two weeks ago. great experience both for the quality that courtesy. the fish is very fresh. a mixed salad (that just for two people), a portion of clam chowder, a beer (1/2 liter), a glass of white wine for about $ 30 (whole wheat bread and homemade tartar sauce offered with the dishes) . from what... More 

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Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015

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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2 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2015

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
25 reviews 25 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 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
44 reviews 44 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
31 helpful votes 31 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

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
4 helpful votes 4 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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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: Chowder, Seafood

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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Questions? Get answers from Swan Oyster Depot staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?

Things to do Nearby

Neighborhood Profile
Nob Hill
Swanky and stylish, Nob Hill sits in the heart of the city and is home to amazing architecture and views. The hike to the top can be a challenging workout for those who forego a cable car ride, but they will be rewarded with some of the city’s most beautiful architecture adorning its peak. Originally populated with mansions after the Gold Rush, most if not all were devastated in the 1906 earthquake and fire that followed. Luckily all is not lost; storied hotels and Grace Cathedral surround Huntington Park. Having a drink or dinner while taking in the sunset and views at the "top of the Mark" is tough to beat.
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