For great seafood in a lower-key atmosphere, locals eschew the tourist traps on the Wharf and head for the Anchor Oyster Bar (579 Castro St., 415/431-3990, Mon.–Fri. 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Sat. noon–10 p.m., Sun. 4–9:30 p.m., $15–30) in the Castro. Yes, it’s got a raw bar that features oysters—enough different varieties, but not so many as to be overwhelming or pretentious. The dining room serves all sorts of seafood, including local favorite Dungeness crab.
Service is friendly as befits a neighborhood spot, and the odd overlooking of the place by the restaurant-hungry media means that it sees fewer ridiculous crowds than other places. This doesn’t diminish its quality, and it makes for a great spot to get a delicious meal before heading out to the local clubs for a late night out.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition