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Best Fish and Seafood Sandwiches In San Francisco

By Laurie Jo Miller Farr

Tuna fish sandwiches are great, but there's so much more for fish and seafood lovers to explore. Without question, San Francisco has wonderful sourdough bread and plenty of fresh Pacific catches to put between two slices. That enviable combination produces some very special fish and seafood sandwiches, including the kind you dream about all year until the Dungeness crab season finally arrives.

Woodhouse Fish Co.
1914 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 437-2722

If you're yearning for salty New England air, a mini-solution may rest with the tasty fried whole belly Ipswich clam roll or (pricier) meaty Maine lobster roll dressed in house made aioli. At this cheerful, nautical-themed self-proclaimed seafood joint, cheese lovers can indulge in two weaknesses at once when biting into their cheddar cheese crab melt. There are soft shell crab sandwiches, too, when you can get them. Woodhouse Fish Co. has a second location in the Castro at 2073 Market Street.

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Swan Oyster Depot
1517 Polk St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 673-1101

This solid brand was cemented even before celebrity admirer Anthony Bourdain drooled, "If I read about myself dying at this counter, I'd say to myself, 'That was one lucky guy.'" Try the smoked salmon sandwich or a crab sandwich washed down with an Anchor Steam. By the way, after lining up outside for a spot, be prepared to be sandwiched in for your sandwich, sitting on a bar stool at the counter. Swan Oyster Depot is a century-old institution, it's quirky, it's hyper-local, it doesn't take credit cards nor reservations, and it's only open for lunch.

The Codmother Fish and Chips
2824 Jones St.
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 606-9349

Suzanne is your fairy godmother in a brightly painted Fisherman's Wharf food truck, where battered and fried fish British-style is served up in a basket lined in blue gingham paper. Order the Baja Fish Taco for a sandwich experience or turn your fish into a sandwich when you pick up some sour dough bread from the production line at nearby Boudin's Bakery. Alternatively, think of the batter as the outer sandwich, just add baja sauce, tartar sauce, or malt vinegar. Park yourself on at a picnic table in the sun if you don't mind the seagulls too much. Closed Tuesdays, accepts credit cards.

HRD Coffee Shop
521A 3rd St.
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 543-2355

No kidding, the city's best fried Pacific oyster kimshee 'po boy is hiding out here, kind of Korean-style. There's also a special chef's creation, HRD oyster katsu roll with wasabi apple coleslaw and tonkatsu sauce. If oysters aren't your thing, try shrimp katsu, a po' boy concoction of panko crusted jumbo shrimp in a sandwich served with tomatoes and cole slaw. The venue has been a coffee shop since 1953, since 2009 re-imagined as global fusion by the vision of Chef David Yeung, an innovative graduate of the California Culinary Academy. Attractive prices, friendly service and great food are a magnet for tech workers in the neighborhood.

Crazy Crab'z
AT&T Park
24 Willie Mays Plaza
San Francisco, CA 94107

Some people come for the SF Giants ball game; some ticket holders come early just for the famous sandwich that you can only get inside the ballpark on game days. Here's a sandwich that's considered more than just's an experience; just add beer and some sunshine. No matter what the scoreboard says, this warm Dungeness crab sandwich on grilled buttery and garlic brushed sourdough bread is a winner, although a costly one that fans wish were a bit bigger. Crazy Crab'z is found on the promenade level at upper center field behind the jumbotron. Just look for the long lines.

Related: Best Scallops In San Francisco

Fog Harbor Fish House
Pier 39, Suite A-202|
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 421-2442

When the long-anticipated Dungeness crab season kicks off in mid-November, this is the place to come for a crab roll sandwich. Family owned and operated and with great views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, Fog Harbor Fish House sits at the end of Pier 39 where the sea lions hang out. A salmon BLT on a toasted French roll with pesto aioli is also featured on the menu. The restaurant has a 100 percent sustainable seafood policy, with fresh fish delivered daily.

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