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“Pretty much the same as everyone else- good food, great fun”

Sotto Mare Oysteria & Seafood
Ranked #41 of 5,925 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $25
Cuisines: Italian, Seafood
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Neighborhood: North Beach / Telegraph Hill
Reviewed October 19, 2012

Small, crowded, uncomfortable, hot, manic- who cares. The seafood is terrific, the people are fun, everyone has a great time- what's not to like!

We went on an evening of a 90 degree day in SF- it was a cool 80s on the street and a toasty 100 degree + inside. We were dripping uncomfortably throughout the meal but we still had a great time. Would have liked to enjoy my meal more but it was so damn hot that all I was looking forward to was getting out of that oven. Of course, this happens twice a decade in SF so not really an issue for everyone.

A true San Francisco classic. Awesome in every way for a fun dinner out in The City!

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1  Thank Foosh9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 19, 2012 via mobile

When you get to this place in the Little Italy district you just know from the classic look of the dining room that it will be good. We were not disappointed.
With our diet restrictions we had them take the catch of the day and pan sauté them using olive oil with just a dusting of flour. The flavors of the fish came through and trying the sand dabs and petrale sole we were able to see the differences side by side. Our wonderful waitress, Betty, had told us that the sand dabs were a local favorite and that most found them to have a slight sweet flavor. They did! We can see why they are a favorite and now we will seek them out.
We came back another day because we loved the feel and flavors of the place. We chose to sit outside and have the famous crab cioppino. Thank goodness they gave us the bibs because this was a great dish in a large serving but messy! Cioppino is always messy but the crab makes it more so.
Seek this place out for a great, fresh, seafood experience done in classic style.

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1  Thank mjts25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2012

We showed up for an early dinner on a Saturday night (5 adults and a toddler) and they were able to seat us right away (in the banquet room in the basement). The food was authentic and the service down to earth but attentive. It was extremely busy when we left so I would suggest heading over early if you want to experience this authentic, yummy Italian seafood place.

Thank fms88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

We stopped for lunch at Sotto Mare, based on the strong recommendations we found from contributors and destination experts on the San Francisco forum here on Tripadvisor and we were not disappointed at all. This is an eclectic and genuinely fun restaurant, serving up some very good seafood.

We arrived shortly after they opened for lunch and found it easy to be seated, only a few other diners at that time. For our meal we tried the Prawn Saute (US$19) that came with a lovely garlic sauce and seasoned vegetables. The shrimp were much larger that what we are usually served in restaurants in Hong Kong and tasted very fresh and delicious (rating 4.5 of 5). This was just a great dish, one we'd happily order again and again. We also tried a bowl of NE clam chowder (HK$7.50) which was quite good (rating 3.5 of 5) but not preferred to the very good chowder had at the Blue Mermaid restaurant on Jefferson Street.

In addition to the very good food here, we quite enjoyed the sea-themed restaurant. The walls were busy with fishing and sailing novelty items and old pictures, making a nice setting and more enjoyable dining experience. Overall, we were very pleased with our orders at Sotto Mare and had a nice time dining at this restaurant. We found this to be a genuinely good experience, one we'd be happy to enjoy again during future trips to San Francisco.

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3  Thank BradJill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2012

My wife and I visited Sotto Mare in North beach the week of Oct 1st. The restaurant is located close to the theater that shows Beach Blanket and Babylon so that would fit into your plans if you're going there.
The restaurant is not that big and decor is low key but the food is fantasic.
I had one of the specials which was red snapper with lemon caper sauce. Simply seasoned and expertly grilled with ample sauce over it. Probably one of the best fish dishes I have eaten. It's my believe that fish needs to be simple so that the flavor shines thru. This dish certainly did.
MY wife's meal was equally good. We were seated at the bar and served right away. When we left a line was forming.

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Thank herbbus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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