Local Must

Local MustChef Evan Allumbaugh from Flour + Water recommends eating at Swan Oyster Depot as his 'San Francisco Must' as part of the Dirt Road Travels city travel guide for San Francisco.

San Francisco, California

Swan Oyster Depot

"An epic spot. Their oysters are shucked to order."

Tadich Grill
Balboa Cafe
The Tipsy Pig
Original Joe's
Tony's Pizza Napoletana
La Taqueria

Swan Oyster Depot

"An epic spot. Their oysters are shucked to order."

Recommended by:
Kevin, Co-Owner of Swan Oyster

Our Story

"My grandfather bought this place in 1946 with his cousin after World War II.

They knew about the business before from living here. See, my grandfather's father was a fisherman, but my grandfather didn't fish because he had inner ear problems. So he went to work for his uncles during the Great Depression. In that work, he used to deliver fish to Swan Oyster Depot, so he knew about these guys and this place.

After World War II, my grandfather had a bit of money in the bank and he was partying like a sailor, just blowing it all away. 

So his family said, 'Why don't you talk to those Danish guys? They're looking to sell Swan Oyster Depot. My grandfather came in and worked for them to learn the business, learn the clientele and, you know, the rest is history.

We've got a big family, and this is a family business. My dad and my uncle still work here, you can see them today. I've got two more uncles that work here too. You might have seen one of them earlier, Jimmy. He's the short guy with the glasses. Uncle Tommy is off this week, but they run the place."

What I Love Most

"The wife of a coworker said it best when she said, 'Dang - while a lot of people dread going to work every day, you guys have a line of people out the door just to see you, to hang out with you guys and to eat your food.'

I get up excited to go to work every day, which has got almost everything to do with our customers. Plus, we do it in San Francisco, a city where people take a lot of pride in their food. That pride is just something that extends from the people who run it all the way to the people who eat it. 

This isn't a typical 9 to 5, and that makes me happy."
Fish Tacos in the Outer Sunset at Hook Fish Co Good & Gritty Tacos at La Taqueria High Quality Eats at Chez Maman

My San Francisco Musts

"There's no shortage of places in this San Francisco that are kick ass. Some of my favorites are Tadich Grill, Balboa Cafe, Tipsy Pig, Tony's Pizza Napoletana and La Taqueria."

More from Swan Oyster Co


Swan Oyster Depot


Swan Oyster Depot
Kevin Sancimino
Swan Oyster Depot
San Francisco
Tadich Grill
"Quintessential San Francisco."
Balboa Cafe
"It's got one of the best hamburgers in San Francisco."
The Tipsy Pig
"If it's daytime, go and hang out, eat and drink at Tipsy Pig."
Original Joe's
"A very cool place that picked up right where they left off."
Tony's Pizza Napoletana
"It's notorious because it's excellent."
La Taqueria
"A legend that locals don't talk about because we don't want them blowing up."
Swan Oyster Depot
"An epic spot. Their oysters are shucked to order."

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