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“Best of the Best”

Sotto Mare Oysteria & Seafood
Ranked #15 of 5,693 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $25
Cuisines: Italian, Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, Late Night, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Neighborhood: North Beach / Telegraph Hill
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
140 reviews
64 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“Best of the Best”
Reviewed June 30, 2013

All the reviews here that rave about Sotto Mare are absolutely correct. The food is excellent, the families that own and run the place treat you like their own and it is by far the best place I've eaten in San Francisco at any price. And that's the kicker - prices are quite reasonable. My $19 plate of steamed little necks piled high and wide was exquisite and my companion's $19 swordfish was the best he's ever tasted. The menu is short - and that's a plus - with simple dishes. Yes there are a couple of drawbacks - the place is small and waits can be long and they don't take reservations for two. On the other hand, the free glass of wine does help to speed things along. All in all a most satisfying experience especially the friendliness of the owner and staff.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank ScottInIndia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,937 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
45 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Unforgettable!”
Reviewed June 29, 2013

We visited here in June, 2013 and were very impressed. I had read reviews on Trip Advisor, and elsewhere, and was expecting a lot. I searched for the best ciopino in San Francisco, and Sotto Mare was always mentioned. We were only San Francisco on a Saturday and Sunday, and as this restaurant doesn't take reservations for 2, and is closed on Sunday, I was not too hopeful that we would get in here. Of course we had to wait, but the hostess was incredibly helpful in getting us seats. The food is impeccably fresh, and the cioppino was just perfect. I've had many seafood stews, but this was the best. The sauce was incredibly tasty, and the fish and shellfish plentiful and fresh. This place is a real "down home" experience, not a fine dining atmosphere. That, in addition to the great food is it's charm. We probably spoke or interacted with 5-6 employees, and every on could not be nicer or more helpful. To top it off, the prices are very modest. This is a don't miss!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank photraveler7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee, United States
Level Contributor
175 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 178 helpful votes
“Excellent seafood in quaint quarters”
Reviewed June 27, 2013

We used Siri to ask for seafood restaurants when we were walking around near Fisherman's Wharf. Sotto Mare came up the farthest suggestion away, but with the highest ratings. After reading a few reviews, we decided to walk the extra way. Boy, what a good decision that was. We hit it just right. No wait, got seated at the counter with a view of the kitchen and got to see the chefs hard at work creating culinary masterpieces...in the most unpretentious way and place. The hostess and server couldn't have been more friendly, and we even struck up conversation with the locals eating beside us. I got the mussels, my husband went for the cioppino and both our tummies were soon in heaven. This was our first dinner in town and what a meal it was. Set the benchmark in a big way. Highly recommend Sotto Mare to anyone looking for a wonderful, informal dinner when in San Francisco. But I do hear there can be a wait if you go during prime time...and I definitely see why. Small place, but they get the food out quick. It's worth waiting for though!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
Helpful?
Thank HauntJauntsGrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GA
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great seafood meal!”
Reviewed June 27, 2013

We called last minute to see if we could make reservations for dinner and shocked when we were able to get in on a Friday night. The atmosphere was neat (we sat downstairs) and the food was great. Everyone in our party (4) was extremely happy with their meal!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank megboire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
62 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Worth the half-hour wait”
Reviewed June 26, 2013

Sotto Mare is obviously popular, and we were told there'd be a half-hour wait for a table - but they give you a free glass of wine to tide you over while you wait. The Boston Clam Chowder was as good as I've had anywhere, including Boston, and the sauteed shrimp was excellent. Service is good, and the ambiance is interesting, even if it is a little cramped. Highly recommended!

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank N0MAD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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