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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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Dining options: Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast, Delivery

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 395 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 221
    Excellent
  • 113
    Very good
  • 40
    Average
  • 11
    Poor
  • 10
    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
Excellent

Cool local vibe. Worth the wait at the door! Guests and staff very engaging. Great fresh seafood simply prepared to bring out the best in the ingredients.

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 14, 2015
Rick E
Good for:
  • Local cuisine
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395 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2015

Cool local vibe. Worth the wait at the door! Guests and staff very engaging. Great fresh seafood simply prepared to bring out the best in the ingredients.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Louisville, Kentucky
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2015

Go early and get right in. I don't understand peepee who want to visit wildly popular places and expect to get a table at peak time. Think and THEN eat!

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San Francisco, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2015

Love, love, love Swan Oyster Depot. The only trick is to avoid the lunch line and try to come around 11 am. The seafood or crab salad is good, fresh oysters, delicious clam chowder. Everything on the menu is good and the restaurant has maintained its high quality over the years. Very charming staff and good service. The counter service... More 

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Miami, Florida
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2015

There are only 14 seats and it is at the bar. The line is always out the door which you would think was a good sign. I had the clam chowder. It was oily. The free oyster crackers on the counter were stale. I had a dozen mix of local oysters. They weren't that tasty. Kind of bland. Their cocktail... More 

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Cambridge, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2015 via mobile

I'm an oyster fanatic and this place was a little slice of heaven. They had 4 types of oysters and made me a combo plate. Washed them down with a beer and then tried the clam chowder. Much thinner than your typical New England chowder but very tasty and plenty of clams. Great atmosphere but those bar stools are uncomfortable!... More 

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Ormond Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
91 restaurant reviews
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2015

Dive counter service that Rocks! Fast service once seated. Fantastic chowder, oysters, bread, and salmon. I could eat here every day!

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celsius888
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
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 2
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 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 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 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 !

Was this review helpful? Yes 2

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

Staying in Nob Hill

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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