Aaaand last stop from my USA trip was San Francisco! This post is gonna be about alllll the chowders we ate hahaha starting at the tourist trap that is The Fisherman’s Wharf. And yes I’m wearing thermals and stockings because coming from Austin where it was a warm 37C every day and then hitting San Fran to be greeted with rain and temps averaging 17C I was absolutely freezing! So agenda of the day was to warm up by eating as many clam chowders as possible.
Boats lined up along the wharf
I was so excited to see stall upon stall all lined up selling steaming hot chowder in bread bowls! Some of them also sold lobster rolls, crab rolls and prawn cocktails which was super tempting.
Our first chowder stop was at The Crab Station (US$7/AU$9.85) and it was pretty awesome with creamy clam flavour and while the chowder itself was thinner than I expected, it had so many freaking clams lurking in the depths! The bread was crusty on the outside and super fluffy on the inside and I loved the little packet of oyster crackers that comes on the side.
Next along the wharf was Aliotos, their clam chowder bowl was US$6.50/AU$9.15 but for US$3/AU$4.20 more you get a Budweiser to wash it all down 😛 The chowder was a bit on the too thick side for me, I was a little creeped out by how gloppy it was haha not sure if it’s meant to be that thick but it tasted good and had enough clams to keep the boy happy.
Wanting a proper table with chairs we headed across the road to Boudin Bakery and joined the queue to order.
The place smells absolutely amazing, I fricken love the smell of freshly baked bread!
Boudin’s chowder (US$9.99/AU$14.05) comes in a freshly baked sourdough bread bowl and was deeelicious! I really liked the cubes of potato in it too and there was a great briny flavour to the chowder. I’m not sure if having a table and seating influenced how much I liked this chowder but hey, two thumbs up.
We wandered through all the stores along the pier and down to Pier 39 for a bit of souvenir shopping and stare at Alcatraz Island. We debated doing a tour of Alcatraz but I get crazy sea sick even from short rides and I didn’t want all those bowls of chowder coming back up 😛
We stumbled into the Musée Mécanique, that housed all these antique coin-operated mechanical instruments and vintage arcade games. There was just something so charming playing those games without the annoying electronic beeps!
I wanted to eat something that wasn’t liquid so we stopped at Chowder Hut for Dungeness crab (US$24.95/AU$35.14) which was super meaty and sweet, perfect for dunking into the pot of clarified butter! And a Bloody Mary to wash it down because all this eating is hard work…
Hihi more crabs
Aaand trying one last chowder at Fisherman’s Grotto, getting the chowder in a cup (US$5.50/AU$7.75) instead of the bread roll because we’d eaten our carb allotment for the week haha and those oyster crackers seriously I don’t know why I was so taken by them! They were just so perfect for dumping the lot in and adding a bit of crunch!
We also got the Lobster Bisque (US$7.25/AU$10.22) which was damn tasty, incredibly rich with lobster flavour and a generous amount of cream. Would’ve been awesome with more lobster but hey I’d eat it again.
Clever people would take the tram from the Fishermans Wharf to Lombard Street…
And yet. A certain someone thought it’d be great to walk off all our chowder’s and take in the scenery… You see this slope? That slope is not fun walking up!
But hooray we made it! I appreciate the quirky design and the well maintained flower beds but I absolutely hated everyone there! To be surrounded by pushy tourists who were all desperately trying to get the perfect shot by climbing into people’s yards and scaling fences and walking into traffic – ARGH!
But the view is pretty amazing
Though 30mins later and this rolling mist sweeps in…
As we head home, the rain starts pelting down so we head for the safety of Woodhouse Fish Co. (1914 Fillmore St, San Francisco). One last Clam Chowder (US$7/AU$9.90) for the day and it smashes everything we’d eaten to the kerb. Holy moly that was one amazing cup of chowder! It wasn’t heavy on the cream but it had such an umami flavour that we seriously considered ordering a second one!
When the Toasted-Buttered Dungeness Crab Roll arrives we pause in mid sentence and stare at its beauty. I mean LOOK AT IT! That toasty roll! That heaped amount of crab meat! That mountain of fries! You betcha it was amazing!
Noods goes for the Split-Top Maine Lobster Roll which was incredible as well, with the perfect mayo to lobster ratio so the whole thing was juicy but not heavy. Hot damn!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of San Francisco featuring the Golden Gate Bridge, In n Out, lobster boil and Mr Holmes Bakehouse donuts!