While eating at Hog Island Oyster Co., my husband proclaimed that the clam chowder was the best he has ever had—and, growing up on the east coast, he definitely has consumed his fair share of chowder. So, naturally, our table had to order another round of this blue ribbon-style delicacy prior to settling the bill.
Hog Island Oyster Co. is located in the Ferry Building in downtown San Francisco. Squeezed amongst some of our country’s most talented culinary artisans (and only a few steps away from the Alcatraz boat dock), Hog Island manages to hold its own. The menu only offers a handful of items—clams, fresh greens, cheese, a few daily specials, and oysters, where they farm these succulent lovelies at their Hog Island Oyster Farm in Tomales Bay (which, by the way, can be visited for educational tours and picnics).
While my youngest son happily absorbed a melt-in-your-mouth Cow Girl Creamery grilled cheese sandwich, my oldest son, my husband, and I inhaled a plate of raw oysters and feasted on the chowder fused with root vegetables, bacon, and a heaping pile of Manila clams still in their shells. Like most San Francisco restaurants, Hog Island offers a varied wine list but, more importantly, beers on tap to accompany those rustic and glorious gifts from the sea.
To echo my husband’s bold declaration of chowder-love, my oldest son thoughtfully added after his meal, “We should definitely think about moving to San Francisco.” Details: www.hogislandoysters.com, One Ferry Building 11A, San Francisco, CA, 415.391.7117, www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com