California is known as the Golden State but it might as well also be known as the seafood state, although some East Coast states might compete with it for that title. Regardless, this Pacific Coast state has a reputation for its healthy food kicks and we've all heard the ongoing jokes about avocados and sprouts, but seafood is a hefty part of its food culture, as well. San Francisco, in particular, does seafood culture exceptionally well and anyone who has looked out over the ocean while enjoying lobster can attest to that.
The Bay Area is arguably home to some of the best seafood you can find in the state, along with some stellar views that you won't get anywhere else in the country. The best part about San Francisco's seafood menus is the fact that each dish is carefully curated to reflect both the restaurant's style and the modern age. Rather than finding a classic seafood dish, you're more likely to find something such as an oyster bar or a sushi burrito. So, if you're looking for a modern and chic atmosphere, and some hella fresh seafood, San Fran is the place to go. Still don't believe us? Try these dishes on for size.
There's no shortage of oyster bars in California and San Francisco happens to be home to some of the best. While it might take some effort to get a reservation at one, the wait is well worth it for these freshly-cracked oysters. According to California.com, the place to follow is Hog Island Oyster Co., which is serving up oysters at seven different locations throughout California. For those seeking a scenic drive and a scenic view while they eat, The Boat Oyster Bar in Marshall provides the perfect balance of both.
Visiting The Boat Oyster Bar is a unique experience because the location of the restaurant also happens to be right next to the bay where the oysters are grown before being served. Cultivating oysters has a long history in the area and it's such a part of the culture in San Francisco and the surrounding oceanside cities, that dining at an oyster bar is practically a rite of passage for natives.
Clam Chowder In A Bread Bowl
It wouldn't be unusual to read this and think, 'isn't clam chowder a New England specialty?' And, to a certain extent, this thinking would be correct. New England already has a reputation when it comes to clam chowder - both Manhattan and New England styles - but San Francisco is serving it up in a special way, distinct to the region.
Specifically, a freshly baked loaf of sourdough bread is needed in order to serve up a bowl of true San Fran clam chowder. A bread bowl might not sound like much (especially with Panera offering them on the regular) but Boudin Bakery, known for its fresh bread among other baked goods, has a long history with the Bay Area dating back to its opening in 1849. The best clam chowder can still be had at Fisherman's Wharf, where the flagship bakery was opened.
The only place you need to head in order to try a sushi burrito is Sushiritto, which California.com calls 'life-changing.' Many have tried to imitate and recreate the original sushi burrito but Sushiritto is still the best place to have one to this day. There's just something about all the ingredients you could love about sushi, wrapped up in one rice-and-nori 'tortilla.'
This is also where the world first saw the rise of the sushi burrito so not only will visitors be treated to some delicious sushi, but they'll be in the presence of food history, as well. Sushiritto calls their style 'modern Japanese with a Latin twist' and not only is it accurate, but it also stands to create some beautiful sushi-inspired dishes.
We're headed to Santa Barbara for this one because it's worth it. It might be the beaches visitors are looking forward to in this coastal paradise but it's the spot prawns that everyone should also be on the lookout for. Once these are on the radar of a seafood lover, there's no going back.
Spot prawns are only found in the North Pacific, making them iconic to California's coast and both Santa Barbara and Santa Monica are serving them up in the best ways via Enterprise Fish Co, which has locations in both cities. If you haven't had prawns, in general, then allow these big babies to be the first.