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“Wait you turn but if you love oysters you have to go...”
Review of Swan Oyster Depot

Swan Oyster Depot
Ranked #115 of 5,823 Restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Delivery
Neighborhood: Polk Gulch
Reviewed September 3, 2016

Go around noon and be prepared to wait... Counters only but the bread and oysters are totally worth it. Chat it up with the staff, have a glass of vino and enjoy a great selection of oysters!

Date of visit: July 2016
Thank n2r49rs
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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198 - 202 of 746 reviews

Reviewed September 1, 2016 via mobile

Had lunch there yesterday. Whenever we visit San Francisco it is a MUST. It's small and very popular so expect a wait. Yesterday it was a half hour, but the weather is perfect and you get to talk to nice people. We both had a crab salad. At $29 it's a little pricey but there is a lot of fresh Dungeness crab and the Louie dressing is superb. Sourdough bread is included. Beer and wine is available.

Date of visit: August 2016
3  Thank atLWR
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2016

As the title states, these were some of the best oysters I ever had. The cracked crab was phenomenal as well. Also had sea urchin for the first time. Wasn't for me but the quality and freshness was definitely there. Service was great as well.

Date of visit: August 2016
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2016

So this place has been on our food destination bucket list for a few years--despite the occasional bad review, this is must do in SF--better than lots of tourist traps (although this is turning into a foodie must-do).

First-- there's always a wait. Its a very little storefront with a glass window filled with fresh seafood, but if you look for the line on a sidewalk on Polk Street, you'll find the Swan Oyster Depot. We arrived at 10 am--the place opens at 10:30 am--and there was already a big line. There are only 15 or so stools at the counter--that's all the seating there is--and once those filled we had to wait for a few of them to empty. But it was worth the wait. The seafood is absolutely pristine--we started with a collection of west coast oysters--six varieties--and they were each slightly different but they were all fresh as they could be. (I actually ate another half-dozen of my favorite.) The crab cocktail is excellent--big chunks of leg and claw meat in a glass cocktail cup--opt for extra horseradish with the cocktail sauce. The crab-back filled with bits of crab-fat broth that you soak up with sourdough bread--a unique treat worth a try. We also shared a plate of sashimi drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with capers and onions--they come S, M, or L--as well as a recommended plate of smoked salmon--the salmon was so flavorful, I almost went with a second plate.

The service is very good but very unique. Five or six guys are behind the counter and while one might be your main guy, the others are likely to just keep stopping by to be sure what you might want or need. The guy you order with will actually make your plate--the food is prepared and served by the same person. When you've had enough, ask for the bill-- they just ask what you had and they total it up.

It's really old school eating and I can't wait to go back. Most of my reviews are at fancier places but I really left my heart at this rather diner basic seafood joint. (Couldn't resist that opportunity.)

Date of visit: August 2016
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Ken O
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2016

In queue for 20 mins just for take away. Crab was watery and tasted like sawdust, prawns no flavour. Smoked salmon good but not outstanding, perhaps got bad day but how a family could serve up such food well aware it was neither good value for money but denigrated their name and reputation is beyond me. No wonder they have a sign up saying that they have no website and that any comments on one seen do not belong to them, such a pity. Perhaps most of their clients are one off tourists, after the rave they got on Master Chef Australia hopefully we ordered the wrong thing and it is better than our experience.

Date of visit: August 2016
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
3  Thank 458victoriac
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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