San Francisco – EverydayInsider!(TM) Trip 9

I am continuing with a list of Everyday Insider! (TM) venues which tourists to San Francisco can use to enjoy California life with the locals. Here are two more stops on San Francisco’s famous 49 Mile Drive.

14. Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the most recognized spots in North America. It is San Francisco’s center for seafood restaurants, fishing boats, harbor cruise boats and numerous attractions.

The high concentration of Italians happened just before the 1906 earthquake and they were integral in saving much of this part of the city, and were the major group of fisherman. You will still notice many Italian names on the family restaurants here.

For this visit to the Wharf, I am mostly going to concentrate on restaurant suggestions but you can read more about the sites and special cruises in my following article:
Fisherman’s Wharf Sights

Restaurants which I am going to recommend include:

___ Boudin Bistro – the full serve, flagship restaurant of Boudin Sourdough French Bakery with amazing San Francisco Bay views. See more at Boudin Bistro San Francisco or one of their smaller cafes, located at the airport and throughout the Bay Area, see: Boudin Bakery Cafes

There’s a great selection at the main restaurant — delicious soups and sandwiches, and a fun gift shop, too. Their service is fast, efficient and there are plenty of tables.

After lunch at Boudin, see their tour of the sourdough factory and museum ($3 adults, kids are free). There is a lot of San Francisco history surrounding “sourdough”. Learn what the Gold Rush had to do with sourdough bread. You will also get information on the fascinating science of sourdough. After watching them make the bread, there’s a tasting area.

Address: 160 Jefferson Street
Cross Street(s): Between Jefferson and Taylor Streets
Phone: 415-351-5561

I have known all of the following as long-time Italian family restaurants who have been at the Wharf for at least 50 years. This is a real San Francisco experience. If you come by car, you can get parking at some, in their own parking lots, and have it validated when you eat. As parking is horrific at the Wharf, this is an important tip.

___ The Scoma brothers’ humble café uses their mother’s recipe collection, and Scoma’s has become so popular that it is now the highest volume independent restaurant west of the Mississippi River. The six stool counter has become a 350-seat restaurant, serving more than 450,000 locals and visitors annually.

Scoma’s even owns its own fish receiving station, which permits public viewing of wild salmon and local Dungeness crab as it’s off-loaded from boats and prepared for the kitchen.

You can’t get fresher than that!

Scoma’s Restaurant
Address: Pier 47 on Al Scoma Way
Cross Street(s): At Jefferson Street
Phone: 415-771-4383
Phone toll-free: 1-800-644-5852
Days / Hours of Operation: Open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m, Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

___ San Franciscans often recommend Tarantino’s as the best and most traditionally excellent Fisherman’s Wharf dining experience. It has had a loyal following since 1946, and it is still family owned and operated. The restaurant overlooks the fishing fleet in the harbor.

Tarantino’s purchases all of their fresh fish and live Dungeness crab from two highly regarded seafood distributors which are right at the end of the pier.

Tarantino’s, San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf
Address: 206 Jefferson Street
Cross Street(s): At Taylor Street
Phone: 415-775-5600
Days / Hours of Operation: Open Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

___ Since 1925, the Alioto family has owned and operated the celebrated Alioto’s #8 restaurant on San Francisco’s world-renowned Fisherman’s Wharf. Three generations of Alioto’s have cultivated their superb Sicilian recipes which incorporate local, fresh seafood. The restaurant also has sensational views of San Francisco Bay and the fishing boat harbor. Nowadays, the Alioto Crab Stand gets even higher ratings, so if you want to make a picnic, this may be the way to go. (Check they will still validate your parking and allow you in their lot.)

Alioto’s, Fisherman’s Wharf
Address: #8 Fisherman’s Wharf
Cross Street(s): Between Taylor and Jefferson Streets
Phone: 415-673-0183
Days / Hours of Operation: Open seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Directions: Three hours of free parking with validation located directly across the street.

15. Alcatraz No, you cannot drive to Alcatraz, but drive to Fisherman’s Wharf and hop a charter. The infamous former maximum-security Federal prison is on an island a mile and a half (2.4 km) off Fisherman’s Wharf. Alcatraz tours leave from Pier 33. Reservations are suggested.

Frankly, I have never understood the allure, but it is a chance to tour an island in the Bay, and that makes it special. Alcatraz Island’s natural features include gardens, tide pools, bird colonies and breathtaking views of the Bay.

The prison’s most well-known inmate was Robert Stroud, the famed “Birdman of Alcatraz” played by Burt Lancaster, in the movie of the same name.

And, far more positively than dwelling on the prison — famed health fitness guru and native San Franciscan, Jack LaLanne, swam from Alcatraz Island to shore in shackles in 1955 and 1957 (at age 40). Then, in 1974, at age 60, he did it while handcuffed, shackled and then towing a 1000 lb boat! That’s quite a feat at any age!

Jack was an early follower of pioneer naturopath Paul Bragg, and learned about healthy living in mid-teenage years. This resulted in him stopping a poor diet, becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic and the rest is history! He’s considered the Father of the Fitness Revolution and at almost 96 years old now, he’s still going strong.

“Exercise is king, nutrition is queen. Put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.”

He’s an ovo-vegetarian, who eats fresh salmon once in a while — so technically, he’s a piscatarian. At the age of 95, LaLanne has continued to work out every morning for two hours. He spends 1½ hours in the weight room and another half an hour swimming or walking. Jack LaLanne Bio.

More of the 49 Mile Drive, tomorrow.

Part 1: San Francisco Everyday Insider

Part 2: San Francisco Everyday Insider Trips

Part 3: San Francisco Everyday Insider (TM) – Flax Art and Design

Part 4: San Francisco 49 Mile Drive Venues 1-5

Part 5: San Francisco 49 Mile Drive Venues 6-7

Part 6: San Francisco 49 Mile Drive Venues 8,9,10

Part 7: San Francisco 49 Mile Drive Venue 11

Part 8: San Francisco’s Scenic 49 Mile Drive Venues: 12-13

Fisherman’s Wharf – Insider Info

San Francisco Archive

©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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