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Swan Oyster Depot
Seafood Restaurant$$
Today 8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Contact Information
1517 Polk St San Francisco, CA 94109
1517 Polk StUSCASan Francisco94109
(415) 673-2757
$$Seafood Restaurant, Seafood MarketToday 8:00 am – 5:30 pm
Monday 8:00 am – 5:30 pmTuesday 8:00 am – 5:30 pmWednesday 8:00 am – 5:30 pmThursday 8:00 am – 5:30 pmFriday 8:00 am – 5:30 pmSaturday 8:00 am – 5:30 pmSunday Closed
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Review Summary
152 reviews
5 star
59 reviews
4 star
74 reviews
3 star
14 reviews
2 star
3 reviews
1 star
1 review
No-frills counter nook in a fish market is a bustling landmark for raw-bar fare & casual seafood.- Google
People talk about clam chowder, fresh seafood, smoked salmon, san francisco restaurants and seafood salad
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Edwin Zee's profile photo
Edwin Zee
reviewed in the last week
I finally did it. I woke up early enough to get in line at Swan Oyster Depot and I have to say that all the hype, fanfare, and Anthony Bourdain ate here so it must be good hubbub is spot on. The quality of the seafood here is amazing and the staff is incredibly friendly and WILL take the effort to learn your name. If it's your first visit, make sure to get some oysters on the half shell and then maybe either the smoked salmon plate or the crab salad. Honestly, you can't go wrong with anything in here (except maybe for not ordering a beer to go with your order). Make sure to bring cash!
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Julie Parent
reviewed 4 months ago
Little known fact: they offer takeout. You don't need to wait in line! For takeout, they package up everything perfectly. Combo louis salad is where its at. The salad was about as simple as it gets. The base, shredded iceberg lettuce. No fancy greens, no other vegetables. Just shredded iceberg. It was fresh and crisp though, juicy, and really did pair well with the dressing and seafood. Great attention was paid to the amounts of everything added. First the bay shrimp, then the crab meat, then several chunks of lump crab meat, and 3 more prawns. Garnished with lemon wedges. The dressing was textbook louis dressing, creamy, rich, zesty. Bits of pickles inside for texture and flavor. Perfect thing to have on the salad.
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Veasna Hang's profile photo
Veasna Hang
reviewed 7 months ago
Okay, I was really impressed the food here. The oyster we're really, really fresh and tasty. For being in the middle of polk street, I find the oysters here to be fresher than those at Waterbar. We had a mixed dozen and they were all delicious. Also had the Smoked salmon. This was quality fish here. Although it was smoked, you could tell it was a quality fish! I was a little let down by the clam chowder. I don't mind clam chowder being of lower viscosity, but it just didn't feel rich enough. The flavor fresh clams is definitely there, but I can't say it was the best I've had, or even top 5, it just didn't stand out. Bottom line: This place is pretty amazing and the people here know there seafood and how to prepare it. You also get a show in fish preparation as they are a fully functional fish/seafood stand. It gets crowded and the prices are kinda expensive, but it's a great find on polk street.
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Sam Singer's profile photo
Sam Singer
reviewed 2 months ago
This restaurant and its friendly, family staff is what makes San Francisco so great. This is the freshest, best crab, prawns, shrimp, oysters and seafood on the west coast. The line to get in is worth the wait. The red sauce and the Louie sauce for the salads is homemade as is the horseradish. The clam chowder is fantastic too; it is not thick and clunky and chalky like most. Instead, the chowder here is smooth and light and brothy and delicious. It will warm your soul on a cold San Francisco day. Don't miss Swan Oyster Depot. This is the Real San Francisco Treat! Enjoy!
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Kevin Lee
reviewed 7 months ago
I was expecting a lot from this SF staple while waiting in line for nearly an hour. The inside was bar-style, and the space is so limited you will probably need to maneuver your way into a space, but people are always nice enough to make it work. The food was good, but it wasn't great. I had the clam chowder, which I personally found a little too watery for my taste. The seafood salad was just a bunch of fresh seafood on top of iceberg lettuce and a ton of thousand island (stick to the seafood cocktails). Lastly, the oysters were awesome. They had a good variety of them, and they tasted great, and each had distinct flavors. I'd give it a shot, just don't listen to the hype.
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Wesley Donehue's profile photo
Wesley Donehue
reviewed 9 months ago
Half fish market and half diner, this is a tiny, family-run seafood operation, opened in 1912. The Depot has no tables, just a narrow countertop with stools. Come early or late to avoid a long wait and hop onto one of the rickety stools to enjoy a bowl of clam chowder, a dozen oysters, half a cracked crab, a slice of crusty sourdough. The super friendly folks behind the counter will make you feel like a regular. Cash only.