General Question

zina's avatar

2 Parts: Best clam chowder in SF? Best Irish pub in SF?

Asked by zina (1653points) November 28th, 2010

I’m planning a birthday evening, and birthday boy requested clam chowder (the creamy, New England type) and also an Irish pub, with a 5–8 person group of friends. So I’m looking for recommendations for both, which could be totally separate, nearby each other, or who knows, maybe even the same place!

High points: inexpensive but decent food/beer, good atmosphere and comfy for talking and hanging out a while. The more Irish flair and personality the better.

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10 Answers

SamIAm's avatar

I’m going to have to do a little more research but there’s a restaurant up at the Warf that supposedly has the best chowder, it’s called Scoma’s but I don’t eat clam so I don’t know from experience. I do know that everyone I’ve been with likes Boudin’s too.
As for an Irish pub… there’s a place in North Beach that I’ve passed by a few times, don’t know the name… try googling Iirish pub in North Beach”. There’s also Lefty O’Douls in Union Square.

grumpyfish's avatar

Kennedy’s in North Beach is fantastic—also serves Indian food, which is also fantastic.

Also the Irish Bank in the Financial district is bang on.

Kennedy’s: http://www.kennedyscurry.com/
The Irish Bank: http://www.theirishbank.com/

Haven’t a clue where to find clam chowdah in SF… =)

zenvelo's avatar

Downtown, I second the Irish Bank. In North Beach. O’Reilly’s on Green Street. Lefty o’Douls is a baseball bar, not Irish.

In the Marina, try Delaney’s on Chestnut Street. And if you’re out in the avenues, there’s the Starry Plough and the Abbey Tavern.

San Francisco isn’t a chowder town but there is good chowder at Tadich Grill on California.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I don’t know about Irish pubs, but the best clam chowder is at Swan’s Oyster Bar on Post between California and Sacramento.

SamIAm's avatar

@hawaii_jake: I think you mean Polk not Post :)

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@Samantha_Rae : Thank you. You’re right. It’s only been 20 years since I was there, so my memory may have slipped a bit.

zina's avatar

Thanks everyone for your ideas.

These are the Irish pubs I found online that sounded tempting (with notes based mostly on this article: http://sanfrancisco.about.com/od/toppicks/tp/irishpubs.htm):

Irish Bank (union square / financial district) – antiques, patio in the alley
O’Reilly (north beach) – also has food
Durty Nelly’s (irving/24th) – irish expats, food, fireplace, live music, crowds
Little Shamrock (lincoln/9th) – cozy with couches
Blarney Stone (geary/20th) – irish bartenders, crowded, irish bakery
Phoenix (valencia/19th) – mission ambiance, good food not fully irish menu but some

…any comments?

Less sure on the clam chowder part of the plan – maybe bar food and a single location will win over finding that this time around…

filmfann's avatar

Lefty O’Douls is the place.
Keep in mind SF is not really a clam town, so you probably won’t find anything that didn’t come out of a can.

VenusFanelli's avatar

There are some small places in the Fisherman’s Wharf area that have good clam chowder. There’s an Irish pub on Taraval and one on Irving.

filmfann's avatar

Christmas Eve Eve I had dinner at the Pacific Cafe, on Geary, around 32nd Ave. Best seafood in the City!

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