With over 1300 reviews on Yelp, an appearance on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, and a line that often snakes down the block, I won’t try to argue that Swan Oyster Depot is one of San Francisco’s best kept secrets.
But I will tell you that I've met locals who don’t know it, and I will insist that if you skip it when you visit San Francisco, you’re really missing out.
It’s a very small spot with only 15 or 20 stools. The only times I’ve seen it without a line is right around opening at 10:30 am and for about the last hour or so before closing at 5:30 pm—ideal times to visit, if you ask me. Don’t forget to bring cash because that’s all they take.
No matter what you decide to try, don’t miss the clam chowder. I think it’s one of the best I’ve ever eaten.