With our bellies half full from our trip to Pier 39, we walked it off towards Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco’s historical fishing district. Think fresh seafood, the freshest you can get!
It was already dark by the time we arrived, but dinner was still being served. Multiple stands in front of a row of restaurants, selling the freshest they had to offer.
Of all the seafood at the wharf, the Dungeness crab is the most renown. Historically, Italian fishermen set up shop and had the finest cuisine in the area. Pretty soon though, some fishermen set up a boiling cauldron of water and offered fresh crab on the streets of the wharf, offered in paper cups, for visitors to enjoy. To this day, it’s still done like so.
Although the paper cups have expanded to paper bowls and trays, mixed seafood cocktails, lobster rolls, calamari, and other concoctions, the market is by far, the freshest and probably the cheapest if you want to sample good, simple seafood.
Feeling rushed at night, Joe and I returned again the next day for a light lunch. Still the same action as the night before, just better lighting! Crabs being boiled by the pound and readily served within minutes.
Why hello, lobster! Just a single one… for some variety?
I opted for a bowl of hot clam chowder on that particularly windy day. Served with some oyster crackers.
Joe was all for the fresh seafood meats, choosing an assorted seafood bowl of jumbo and baby shrimp, lumps and bits of crab meat. I told him to grab a side of marinara sauce as most of the stands there make an amazing condiment to go with a lot of their fried items. It didn’t pair as well with the fresh seafood but still delicious nevertheless.
After you’re done sampling the seafood, at the end of the wharf is a mechanical museum featuring old arcade machines. Entrance is free and a lot of the machines are still operable! For a quarter, you can entertain yourself much like children did 30 years ago. We tried a few games, the most memorable being the Road Racer.
All you had to do was steer this little toy car while the “road” changed on a rolling barrel. The right side lane had metal markings which detected your accuracy.
Nice work Joe! You’re a fair driver! He looked pretty accurate to me, so I have no idea how you hit “perfect driver”!
Walk a few blocks and you’ll hit Ghirardelli Square, the historical landmark where Italian Domingo Ghirardelli opened up a confectionary store. Today, the production company has moved its headquarters elsewhere, but the square remains a shopping and dining area, with a Ghirardelli store selling all kinds of chocolate imaginable.
Also at the end of Hyde Street, the infamous cable car turnaround! These historic cable cars are the only ones in the world to function in its traditional fashion, manually operated, and in conjunction with regular traffic. Can’t go to San Francisco without riding one of these! Make a point to check out the wharf when you’re in the area and come hungry!