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Anchor Oyster Bar

Anchor Oyster Bar

Seafood Restaurant$$$$
Castro, San Francisco
  • Stars
  • Stars
    This place is famous for their seafood. It's one of the most popular in the city!
  • Tips
    Caroline L.
    "Garlic bread is amazing and goes well with the anchor special!"(8 Tips)
    Vanessa T.
    "Cioppino, oysters, clams, chowder, staff, everything!!"(23 Tips)
    Andre M.
    "Best oyster I have ever eaten!"(24 Tips)
    Jan-Nicolas V.
    "We had the chowder and crab burger special: delicious."(17 Tips)
Tips and Reviews icon127 Tips and reviews
  • shellfish
  • anchor special
  • good for dates
  • casual
  • healthy food
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  • Popular
  • Recent
  • Wilson F.heart icon on user image
    Wilson Favre-DelerueMarch 27, 2016
    Small, intimate, lively. Deliciously fresh seafood, shellfish and hot dishes. And that epic cioppino dish. Downside: LONG wait all the time!
  • Andre M.
    Andre MayOctober 15, 2013
    Best oyster I have ever eaten! Worth recommendation! Delicious seafood, lovely spot, excellent service & last but not least fair price. :)))
  • Evren K.heart icon on user image
    Evren KoksalOctober 18, 2015
    Best seafood spot in SF! Do not miss! Fresh oysters like nowhere else yummmm! Order anything wont regret.
  • Jenn C.heart icon on user image
    Jenn ChenFebruary 6, 2019
    Neighborhood institution. The cioppino is clutch (and comes with garlic bread on top) but prepare to get messy. They do half orders of pretty much everything on the menu so you can sample more!
  • Daniel L.
    Daniel LovettNovember 6, 2015
    Always crowded, but I usually sit at the counter. Best food in Castro and the servers are friendly and knowledgeable about their daily specials. Pricier than most others in Castro, bur well worth it.
  • Claude H.
    Claude HarrisonJune 19, 2023
    First and foremost, their unique take on cioppino which is the most flavorful I have had here in The Bay! Check out the raw oysters & appetizers: scallops & cold smoked trout were phenomenal.
  • Bill H.
    Bill HendrixApril 26, 2019
    Been here 5+ times
    always good, almost always a wait. Cozy eatery that has been around since 1977 offering great seafood. Cioppino is excellent and they have 2-3 specials per day. Highly recommend!
  • Sloane E.
    Sloane EarlAugust 3, 2013
    Get. The. Cioppino. Share it with everyone you know who wants to experience the best seafood medley stew in the history of america.
  • Tasting Table
    Tasting TableAugust 5, 2014
    Start off with one of the excellent seafood cocktails; we love the oyster shooters ($8.50 with soju, $3.50 without) and tasty combination ($14), which includes crab, shrimp and prawns. Read more
  • Kelley L.
    Kelley L.October 5, 2018
    The cioppino was really good, especially the garlic bread! Try the oysters as well!
  • Natalie M.heart icon on user image
    Natalie MJune 1, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    The best, freshest, and best prepared fish and seafood in SF. The chowder is amazing and I can't even express how good the cioppino is.
  • TheDL
    TheDLNovember 17, 2014
    Of course the oysters. Clams and/or muscles w/extra bread to sop up the broth. Garlic bread is really good. Open-face crab and shrimp melt, and chowder made my tastebuds happy too.
  • Odile R.heart icon on user image
    Odile RoujolMarch 19, 2016
    Enjoy The Dungeness crab and a glass of Pine ridge. Boston clam chowder. And oysters on the shell. Be ready to be in the line when opening at 11.30am
  • Norbert H.heart icon on user image
    Norbert HuAugust 20, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    The secret cioppino will make you lick your plates clean! Bring your own wine as they do not charge corkage fee! The wait is well worthwhile, but do not attempt with more than 4 people.
  • Jenny L.
    Jenny LoJune 16, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Always with great food. Ciopinni is a must have. Pasta dish is always impressive. One of my favorite seafood restaurant in town! I recommend anything on the special menu...
  • Francesca H.
    Francesca HernandezMarch 6, 2014
    Get the cioppino!!! It's not on the menu but if it's crab season, they'll hook you up :))
  • Marta T.heart icon on user image
    Marta TapperoJuly 15, 2016
    The food is amazing. I think they should be faster definitely. We wait long time outside instead of maybe sharing tables? Ciompino and garlic bread!
  • Tara A.
    Tara AmatoNovember 13, 2011
    love this place! tucked away in the castro only a few tables so its good to arrive early or grab a drink next door while you wait! always amazing specials and the best seafood!!!
  • Jassim L.
    Jassim LatifFebruary 1, 2012
    One, put your name on the board and say you're at Swirl. Walk over to Swirl across the street. Pick up a bottle of Cherry Pair. Back to Oyster where there is no corkage fee. Get the Cioppino and Crab.
  • Patrick L.
    Patrick LabadieDecember 7, 2012
    Clam chowder to start is a must. Then order the cioponnio and the anchor special and you'll be in set. PS make sure you write the time next to your name on the board when you check in.
  • SF Weekly
    SF WeeklyMay 31, 2012
    SF Weekly’s Best Of 2012 Winner – Editorial Pick – Best SeafoodWalking in to Anchor Oyster Bar is a bit like escaping San Francisco for a moment and stepping in to a beachside seafood joint… Read more
  • Shawn C.
    Shawn ChengDecember 31, 2013
    Everyone should get an individual cup of clam chowder, the cioppino to share and extra garlic bread to line the belly.
  • Mark M.heart icon on user image
    Mark MunroOctober 26, 2017
    Oysters and cioppino are unreal. Best in the city and worth the wait.
  • Sophia
    SophiaAugust 4, 2013
    Well worth the money. The staff is friendly and the restaurant is clean. Nothing you eat here will disappoint you. No matter what you order you've got to eat their clam chowder.
  • harold c.heart icon on user image
    harold charnsDecember 16, 2015
    Been here 100+ times
    I went there for little shrimps for an office party shrimp salad, and their shrimps are always wonderful, as are the people
  • Fran S.
    Fran SuMay 20, 2018
    Mussels and crabs are no fresh in the cioppino dish. The portion size is great and the flavor of the sauce has depth and complexity. Unfortunately, not worth the wait for me. :(
  • Yan T.heart icon on user image
    Yan TongDecember 27, 2012
    one of the best restaurants I've ever been to in the USA! All the food we ordered are awesome!
  • Jacquie C.heart icon on user image
    Jacquie CJuly 14, 2013
    Amazing seafood. Freshest oysters ever and pretty yummy crab cakes. Was fun sitting at the counter. Will definitely be back.
  • Mattheart icon on user image
    MattJuly 1, 2018
    Oysters, prawns, and pretty much anything you order. Good service. Long wait though make sure you get there early
  • Dana F.heart icon on user image
    Dana FraserJuly 6, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Have a glass of wine across the street at Swirls. When you write your name in the waiting list, include @swirls so they come get you.
  • Andre M.
    Andre MayOctober 14, 2013
    Fantastic seafood - nice and lovely spot! Worth recommendation!
  • Vanessa T.heart icon on user image
    Vanessa TOctober 29, 2016
    Cioppino, oysters, clams, chowder, staff, everything!!
  • Nick J.heart icon on user image
    Nick JordanJanuary 28, 2016
    The garlic bread is crazy good. Cioppino is also worth it.
  • Masha I.
    Masha IovevaJanuary 7, 2012
    Low-key, tasty, great atmosphere. The house wine is always a good addition to the tasty chows and high-class entrees.
  • Adam S.
    Adam SchwenkFebruary 5, 2012
    My favorite restaurant in SF. First went back in 1998 and it's always held a special place in my heart. GET THE OYSTERS!
  • Alec H.heart icon on user image
    Alec HNovember 24, 2012
    Been here 25+ times
    Expect to wait at least an hour, but it is totally worth it. The Cioppino is always available even if it isn't listed. If no Dungeness is available, they call it Italian Fish Stew
  • Bonnie C.
    Bonnie ClydeApril 14, 2013
    I should elaborate. Checked in on the board at 5:21 pm on a Saturday. It'll be over an hour before we're seated. It's 6:14 pm now and there's one party before us.
  • Mike H.
    Mike HaywoodOctober 18, 2012
    The Anchor special is a must! The garlic white wine with thyme broth for the clams alone is worth the full cost.
  • Bjørn M.
    Bjørn MJuly 15, 2012
    Just get the full order Anchor Special and a bottle of bubbles. Or do the local oysters only. Caesar salad is great too!
  • The Feast
    The FeastJune 13, 2011
    It's no surprise the oysters are coveted at Anchor, where they've been doing their thing for over "30 shucking years." The crab cakes, clam chowder, and garlic bread are also commendable. Read more
  • arjun b.heart icon on user image
    arjun bJuly 12, 2017
    great oys & crab cakes but avoid the chowder - it's a tad too creamy and underchunked
  • Michael T.
    Michael TorresJune 22, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Where to start! Secret cioppino! Amazing food in general. Great service! Charming atmosphere. Sometimes a bit of a wait:(
  • Brad T.heart icon on user image
    Brad TApril 11, 2017
    Straight forward no frills menu that showcases the seafood like no other.
  • Scott S.heart icon on user image
    Scott SoenenMay 6, 2016
    Oysters, of course. And clams. And anything else on the menu.
  • Katherin S.
    Katherin SonAugust 14, 2012
    To help you get an idea of how long the wait is...we arrived 7:40 on a Monday night. Got seated at 8:30. Typical SF :P Slowwww service but it's hard to hate them for it bc they are sooooo friendly.
  • Caroline L.
    Caroline LupiniMay 15, 2014
    Garlic bread is amazing and goes well with the anchor special! So good!
  • Mervyn Jed T.
    Mervyn Jed TalatalaOctober 12, 2012
    If there is a long wait. It's well worth it. FYI- they serve you FREE clam chowder while you wait.
  • Brant M.heart icon on user image
    Brant McQuittyApril 15, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Oysters and Cioppino. Go between two and five to minimize the wait
  • Hernan J.heart icon on user image
    Hernan JaramilloJune 26, 2018
    Oysters are awesome
  • Karla R.
    Karla RiveraJanuary 4, 2013
    Cozy little spot with amazing service. Best clam chowder on the west coast
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