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“Lucky Back-Up Plan”

Anchor Oyster Bar & Seafood Market
Ranked #9 of 5,738 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: American, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Local cuisine, Families with children, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Late Night
Neighborhood: The Castro
Santa Barbara, California
Level 5 Contributor
88 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Lucky Back-Up Plan”
Reviewed March 11, 2014

My wife and I like to get to Swan's Oyster Depot every couple of years. We tried to go this week and were about 20th in line at 1:00 pm. We counted the seats at the bar and realized that we would be "third generation" for seating. We don't live in SF but decided that we wanted that style of food and turned to our smartphones.

We stumbled onto Anchor and were thrilled. We were seated immediately and enjoyed the intimate atmosphere. We each ordered crab on a toasted bun and shared a split of champagne.

What a fantastic lunch spot!

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank SBPinotFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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456 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
san Francisco
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“We go two, and sometimes three times a week!”
Reviewed March 5, 2014

This is our favorite place for many reason but before I tell you to go I will give you some advice and information to make it a better experience.
1. You will wait to be seated. The place is small and does not take reservations.
2. It is worth the wait! Your experience is about food here and it will quickly become a favorite.
3. Service can be a bit slow. Not because they aren't paying attention, again the place is small with a tiny kitchen and they can only have a few staff memebers working at a time so it might not be as rapid as you hope but the service is outstanding and the people are kind and working very hard.
4. Order the Cioppino! It isn't on the menu but I will say it is the best you will ever have.
5. The line out front is long....again....worth the wait!
6. Feel free to speak to the chef in back. they are all very nice and occasionally you will get to meet the owner who is warm, gracious and (of course) an amazing chef!
7. don't rush your meal. Enjoy the time you are there and your meal. it is a cozy and intimate place perfect for a date or an evening with mom and dad. My mom and dad insist on going to visit the owner and take home food.
8. the take out is just as good as the dine in. We often opt. to take a meal home.
9. Be patient and polite. Again...small place and staff is doing everything they can.
10. Last and far from least, look at the speacials menu, it changes everyday and offers unique selections daily. If you don't see it....ask. They are always willing to make you something if they have it in the kitchen.
I hope these simple details will help you to enjoy one of our favorite places in San Francisco.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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4 Thank joebobjohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 3, 2014

When you arrive, you write your name on the board. Waited about an hour and 15 mins, but it was worth it! Oysters were the freshest I have ever eaten. Lovely Pinot Gris, they happily customized a fish dish for my hubby. Clam Chowder was excellent. We sat at the bar and would have liked a table, but it was still wonderful. The price was very reasonable for

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Thank Kathy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 6 Contributor
207 reviews
117 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Unpretentious and cozy place serving fresh and quality seafood”
Reviewed February 23, 2014

It's 13:40 (It's 1:40PM for American readers) Saturday afternoon, and there was a short line outside the entrance already. It's a small place with couple of tables and a bar stand. Service was efficient and order was quick since the menu wass straightforward and staff knew what they were doing. Even if it's very crowded inside, we were not forced to share a table with others so that we could really enjoy our own conversations.

We ordered Anchor Special which came with 12 Oysters on the Half Shell, 8 Steamed Clams, 4 Chilled Prawns, a $38.95 treat good for two protein chasing and carb-avoiding guys. We could see they were prepared in a kitchen just feet away. Also served is Steamed Black Mussels ($17.95). Both the mussels and clams are cook with abundance of white wine, making your mouth watering. I hate the granular sands in clam dishes sometimes end up between your teeth. None I found here. Safe to chew.

Definitely a good place to visit again.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
1 Thank Phil Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Gotta try this!”
Reviewed February 14, 2014

We were with a native, so knew enough to get here early. What a meal and in such a quaint place. The seafood was so fresh, and I have never had such good crab cakes in my life! I hate standing in line, but would definitely do so at this restaurant – it would be well worth the wait!

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank hoferz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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