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San Francisco Restaurants, Delis, Bakeries, Bars

The 111-year-old SF seafood restaurant Anthony Bou...
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Madeline WellsSFGATE

July 5, 2023 Updated: July 5, 2023 9 a.m.

Maybe the San Francisco doom loop is real, because on a recent lunchtime visit to Swan Oyster Depot, only two parties were in front of me in line. 

I’d feared the worst, having read countless reviews about how you need to arrive by 10 a.m. at the latest to nab one of the restaurant’s coveted 18 stools. But either the seafood gods were with me, or it was just a slow, cloudy Tuesday: Upon arriving at noon, I was seated at the marble counter after a mere 30 minutes.

Swan Oyster Depot is one of San Francisco’s most iconic restaurants, an old-school seafood counter that has sat on Polk Street since 1912. Anthony Bourdain was one of its biggest fans, calling it “the touchstone in [his] worldwide wanderings, a happy zone” in an episode of “Parts Unknown.”

The 111-year-old SF seafood restaurant Anthony Bourdain called his ‘happy zone’


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