The Grotto

4.1
60 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Seafood
Top Tags:
  • Special Occasion
  • Scenic View
  • Good for a Date
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.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Seafood, American
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Hours of operation
Lunch and Dinner
Mon–Fri 11:30 am–8:00 pm
Sat, Sun 11:30 am–9:00 pm
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Phone number
(415) 673-7025
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Payment options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Paul Bruno
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Jefferson St.
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Parking details
Two hour validation available for the Triangle Lot on the Wharf (170 Jefferson St).
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Public transit
San Francisco MUNI F Line, E Line and 30 Stockton
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Fireplace, Full Bar, View, Wheelchair Access
What 60 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.1based on recent ratings
4.0
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
3.6
value
Noise · Quiet
72% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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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
25 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
133 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
16 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
8 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
30 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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BD
Tampa
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

3/16/2018. Staff very friendly and attentive. Everyone loved the food- all had seafood. Surprised us with a birthday dessert for my daughter. Highly recommend the restaurant.

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PA
1 review
Dined on February 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We arrived to an almost empty restaurant for a 7:15pm booking. Food was excellent, service likewise, the first time in SF I could talk not yell to be heard not have to cup my hand by my ear to listen. Just reopened under new management and is a well kept secret so far.

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RO
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed our view of the sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge while eating local crab.

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SG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was waiting for grottos to open again since they were closed for months the menue is way different than before but the food was great my boyfriend is really picky when it comes to food but he loved it. We’re definitely coming back. Keep it up! A big plus is the inside decoration.

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MW
Houston
14 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I visited the Grotto recently for our anniversary. The hostess and waiter were very kind and prompt. The food was excellent! Our table was at a window, overlooking the marina at night. All made for a very memorable and romantic evening.

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SS
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome Place. Food was great, Service was amazing, and attentive. My Leadership team loved it!

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A
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Not only does this restaurant have beautiful views of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, but the recent renovation has created a beautifully appointed, marine-themed interior that is very comfortable and conducive to quiet conversations. Both the artisan cocktails and fresh seafood dishes are absolutely delicious.

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BR
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 4

We were somewhat disappointed with our visit to The Grotto. We had early reservations (4:30pm) for 3, and decided to get there a little early and have a drink at the bar. The bartender was very friendly and helpful, and we enjoyed our drinks. Then we were seated in a nearly empty restaurant and given bread immediately...so far, so good. Then a larger party (10) was seated nearby, along with a couple of other tables seated, and they all had drink orders taken, then food orders taken, then food brought to their tables, all the while we're waiting for someone to wait on us. Finally, we flagged down the hostess, and a waiter came to our table. The food was good, but one of the four items on my husband's dinner was missing, though they did bring it after we told them. We were surprised with the slow service, given that the restaurant was pretty empty, even when we left at 6:30pm. We walked by Bistro Boudin nearby and that place was packed. Hopefully The Grotto will get their act together, because it's a beautiful restaurant, with great views, in a perfect location.

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OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My fiancee and I celebrated our engagement here. It was beautiful. The views are spectacular...the food delicious. We highly recommend the swordfish, scampi and bread. Delectable!

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BK
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always liked #9. The new décor refreshes the place.

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OT
Orlando
1 review
Dined on January 28, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 5

It’s obvious that it is newly opened at the service was excruciatingly slow and not great. Menu online did not match was was actually available so I did not even get to order the meal I wanted. Huge restaurant with great ambiance and views. Not a very diverse menu with a big focus on crab. Crab cakes were dry and the salad lacked cheese or something to give flavor.

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