The Grotto

4.3
71 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
Classic San Francisco favorites served by friendly staff with incredible harbor and bay views. The Grotto has been warming the bellies of Fishermen since 1935. It was the first sit down restaurant established in the neighborhood before Fishermen’s Wharf existed. Come experience our newly renovated restaurant, oyster bar, and lounge. We look forward to having you.
What 71 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.0
food
4.4
service
4.2
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Quiet
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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AS
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

My steak was delivered nearly raw instead of medium rare. When they finally brought it back it was full of gristle. We spent $165 for two. Potatoes were watery and tastleless. We ordered the butterscotch bread pudding to share. It was hard and difficult to eat and flavorless. They gave us dessert complementary for the steak issue. Service was good, food, not so good.

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CG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

We will definitely be back. We were a party of 13 instead of 12, which the hostess handled graciously. The seating was spacious. So, often restaurants will 'shoehorn' a large party into a space that doesn't fit. NOT the case here. Enjoyed the scampi pasta and clam chowder. Were sorry that our first choice, the crab stuffed petrale on the menu, was sold out (evening of Dec. 30th). Crab and Tillamook cheddar sandwich was delicious. Looked like a great place to meet friends after work for drinks and apps or dinner. Restaurant is big enough to handle the bar scene, casual dining, and more elegant 'only in SF' experience, all at the same time!

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M
Philadelphia
18 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Not as good as I remembered from previous visits

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N
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on December 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Staff, especially Jordan the manager, was top notch...same with the wait staff!! I have eaten there several times and am never disappointed. Great clam chowder!!

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OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Mauricio provided great service

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MM
New York Area
19 reviews
Dined on November 26, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Very nice entrance. The dining room was nice but a little to cafeteria style -- did not match entrance. The service was really good. The clam chowder was great. Most ordered crab and that took a really long time to make. I felt that should have been faster. I ordered the salmon and it was just ok. Sounded better but the salmon was likely farm raised and the rice was ok. Overall it worked for our large party. The view is fabulous and the sourdough bread, delicious.

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J
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

My meal was very good (mixed seafood plate) but others in our party were unhappy with their meal (lobster & cheese). The crab salad was ordinary. Previous trips under old ownership had better and more reasonable salad offerings. A combo salad for $42 is out of line or too big for one diner.
Service was good but could be more attentive.

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GD
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The shrimp Louis and the cracked crab we're great.

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JS
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Got excellent service and got a beautiful view. Food overall was good.

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DP
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The best, friendliest staff ever! It was my wife's birthday and they truly made it celebratory.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place for a business dinner. Garlic crab was on point. Would definitely recommend!

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T
Houston
6 reviews
Dined on September 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff was incredible, they were friendly and went out of their way to ensure our group had a fabulous experience. Ramon was an attentive and gracious server. The food was delicious!

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F
Atlantic City
28 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Great location. Restaurant living off its location and tourist trade. . Place was almost empty at 7:30 on a weekday. Service was very nice. Food ok but overpriced. Decent wine list.
Based on our short visit to SF we could have made better choices.

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on August 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great customer service!

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g
San Francisco
134 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Good food and ambiance. I felt like I was on a cruise ship. Great chowder! Will come back again.

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KL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

For a seafood restaurant I was surprised that the halibet was dry and the seafood combo was mostly calamari.

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OT
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Fantastic service and very good food. I am very pleased. Had clams for starters and Maine lobster afterwards. Enjoyed it very much.

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AA
1 review
Dined on July 3, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 3ambience 3

The food was kind of a disappointment for the overpriced meal. Very expensive place. We thought the food would be really good. Won’t be going BACK

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OT
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great!!!

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KD
Kansas City
6 reviews
Dined on July 1, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Ambiance was worn out. Staff was rushed, even though there weren't that many people in the place. I should have known it would be average when there was space available at the last minute at a restaurant at Fisherman's Wharf.

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j
Orange County
3 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Don't be discouraged by the street appearance, this restaurant is beautifully re-stored upstairs and the owner is still remodeling. Our table was super, right on the window watching the sun set towards the Golden Gate Bridge. The clam chowder was excellent, I had the wedge salad, very nice, crisp and cold! For dinner, we had some fresh oysters ($3.5) each and the seafood platter, to try several items.

The drinks are moderately priced and were a good strong pour. Service was helpful and spot on. All in all a great dinner for two, with drinks, one appetizer each, splitting an entree, under $90.00

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SB
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2018
Overall 4food 2service 5ambience 5

I ordered the Grotto Louis Combo Salad for $42.00 and was very disappointed. It was supposed to be Crab and Shrimp salad and I could tell you I got 6 maybe 7 bay shrimp and possibly, if put together, the equivalent of 3 pieces of crab (small pieces at that). This was certainly not worthy of the hefty price tag. In addition, there was hardly any dressing and the lettuce was cut way too big. Such a disappointment for me since I've patronized this establishment many times. I wanted to try something new and was not happy at all.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 3

Went here with my husband and teenage son. Service was very friendly. Facilities are clean. We got a window table overlooking the bay. Ordered clam chowder which was really good. My son got the chicken Alfredo and said it was really good. The prices were very reasonable. I like the location because it puts you right in the hustle bustle that is San Francisco.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Family get together.

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MB
1 review
Dined on June 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The renovations made to this historic restaurant are modern and beautiful, while retaining the essence of the original Grotto #9, which I have loved my whole life. My family is so happy to have our favorite back, and in such style. My parents had their first date here in the 1950's!

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MM
Washington DC
9 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The renovation of the restaurant was quite nice. Other members of my party had been to the restaurant prior and it wasn't just like they remember but the improved menu was welcomed.

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SC
Sacramento
2 reviews
Dined on May 20, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 4ambience 5

The food was average but the service was very bad. It’ll be a long time before we go back. There are much better restaurants on the wharf.

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JS
1 review
Dined on May 14, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 2ambience 4

Love this restaurant's location, and the waterfront views are beautiful. But the renovation has rendered this place more of a generic waterfront restaurant than a place with vintage Disney-ish charm. My blackened snapper was rather dull, too, and I didn't care for the way the waiter tried to upsell us. But, the location cannot be beat and this is on par with other neighborhood restaurants I have tried.

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OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We had a table with the bay view. The food was good and we had excellent service.

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OT
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went to the Grotto on Mother's day with a large group to Celebrate and Remember my 95 year old mother and all the mother's in our group.
It was a great time...everything was exceptional the food, service, Ambiance.
Had not been to the Grotto for many years.
Was a great experience!

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JP
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on May 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was visiting San Francisco and met 6 friends here for lunch! Their crab melt was so delicious!

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GO
Atlanta
5 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We made reservations and were seated right away when we arrived. The place was not crowded at all and we were able to get a great table overlooking the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Maurice was our server and we was attentive and patient. The food arrived quickly and was delicious. We highly recommend the Crab Doughnut appetizer. If and when we go back to San Francisco, we will definitely go back to the Grotto. The place had a "mid-century modern" feel as far as the decor and the ambiance. Wonderful place!

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L
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 4

Just not like it used to be

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OT
San Francisco
45 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very fresh fish and wonderful service with an amazing view. A place for locals and tourists alike!

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MS
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We live in Victoria and Vancouver BC. Your restaurant was recommended to us by several people prior to our arrival in San Francisco. We had to check it out and weren't disappointed. Our reservation was scheduled for 6:30pm but after spending all morning and afternoon down at Fisherman's Wharf we were beat. There was still another 2 hours to go for our reservation. We decided to go at 4:30 and asked if it'd be a problem changing the time. Not only was the gentleman understanding and gracious he led us upstairs personally. And the food was delicious. One funny experience was when asked if I'd like a cocktail I asked for a Caesar. The waiter was very puzzled and asked if I wanted a salad? No no, a Caesar is a cocktail that is probably the most popular in BC, especially paired with seafood. Look it up and try it on your customers, I promise you won't be disappointed, your guests will love it! Thanks again for a wonderful dining experience. We'll be sure to return again when in San Fran, and will recommend it to our friends.

Monica

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OT
Mexico City
2 reviews
Dined on April 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Landmark restaurant with some recent classy renovations. Food was excellent, ambiance and service outstanding!

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MD
1 review
Dined on April 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great view, great food, great staff that helped us meet our needs. We enjoyed ourselves immensely.

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CC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 5

Disapppinted. We are long time customers of Grotto #9 and this is our first time since they renovated. The place looks great but the service was horrible. The hostess took 20 minutes to walk 1 couple to their table before coming back to get us. The waiter took our drink order right away but then disappeared for 25 minutes. Bring back the tuxedos guys. They were much better!!! Lastly, the clam chowder was like eating potato soup. Hard to find a clam in the soup. This used to be our favorite place but not anymore. Try somewhere else.

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OT
Milwaukee
14 reviews
Dined on March 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Beautiful setting, delicious clam chowder

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