Walk into Alioto’s on Fisherman’s Wharf and you’ve captured the essence of San Francisco. This is where you come to dine on the freshest seafood in the world. Your backdrop? Only the Golden Gate Bridge and boats sailing by on the glistening bay. This 85-year-old Sicilian Seafood Restaurant is not only the oldest restaurant on the wharf, but it’s family owned.
About Alioto’s - Fisherman Wharf’s oldest restaurant began as a crab stand in 1920, serving seafood cocktails out of a paper cup. Today, Alioto’s is a successful, fine seafood restaurant specializing in traditional Sicilian recipes. Sitting right on the water, it offers one of the best views of the Bay. The upstairs dining room offers an old-world charm and an award-winning wine list. The downstairs serves favorites that include the home-made seafood sausage, an exclusive crab cioppino and a rich seafood risotto. The oysteria serves seafood cocktails, pizza, salads, soups and sandwiches. The service is attentive and helpful.
Are there local specialty dishes or drinks that visitors must try?
Although the locals will tell you Fisherman’s Wharf is tourist central, even the snobs will take the antique F trolly up there every once in a while. Alioto’s Restaurant is a good spot to load up on seafood. If you can bear the bay winds, order calamari or crab soup from one of the top-notch vendors on Taylor Street there instead and take a seat on one of the benches near the pier. Make sure sourdough bread comes with your order. Seafood, sourdough and a sight of the water make for a pretty spectacular — but chilly — experience. “This family owned restaurant with a stunning view of the Bay turns out first-rate seafood and Italian dishes.”Gault Millau’s Best of San Francisco.
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San Francisco Family Vacation
- By Heather Burke TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN THE CITY BY THE BAY Lunch at Alioto’s on Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 45. This 85-year old Sicilian family restaurant serves the best calamari & shrimp appetizer, a tremendous Crab Louie, and authentic Cioppino (all San Fran originals) with fantastic views of famous Fisherman’s Wharf, the Bay and the Bridge.
Marley and Ro - Article by Shirley Fong-Torres
Alioto in Campus Circle Magazine
Our Weekend Getaway to San Francisco article is on page 17 of this week’s issue.
Just because it has resided on the heavily touristed Fisherman’s Wharf forever doesn’t mean Alioto’s is strictly for the tourists. Locals love the place, especially if they were born with, or developed, some serious Italian taste buds. In addition to the multitudes of seafood dishes (from smoked salmon to crab cakes, to prawn cocktails), the kitchen turns out one of the best cioppinos in town and such robust Sicilian specialties as calamari showered with bread crumbs, garlic and anchovies. Meat lovers can stick to the Alioto antipasta plate, lemony veal piccata, or steak and fries. The wine list is extensive and well-chosen; wine expert Nunzio Alioto is one of three dozen master sommeliers in the United States.
One of San Francisco’s oldest restaurants, run by one of the city’s most prominent families, the Aliotos, this Fisherman’s Wharf landmark has a long-standing reputation for great cioppino. The curbside crab stand, Café 8, and the outdoor crab market are great for quick, inexpensive doses of San Francisco’s finest. For more formal surroundings, continue up the stairs to the multilevel, harbor-view dining room. Don’t mess around with the menu: If you’re here, you’re after Dungeness crab. Cracked, caked, stuffed, or stewed, it’s impossible to get your fill.
Australia Courier and Mail
“Alioto’s, a San Franciscan institution, has one of the best vantage points from which to sit and soak up the spectacular views over the moored yachts and glistening waters of the bay. Alioto’s was first opened in 1925 by Sicilian immigrant Nunzio Alioto Snr, who sold fresh fish from Stall #8 back in a time when Fisherman’s Wharf was crowded with labourers who worked at the surrounding timber yard, train tracks and union hall. Eventually, Alioto’s stall became a restaurant and, these days, the third generation of his family is running the landmark diner with an extensive menu that still features fresh and local seafoods and continues to offer original dishes like its prawn cocktail ($US13.50). If you visit you should treat yourself to some of the family’s Sicilian specialties, such as the cold entree of chopped octopus, calamari and fish tossed lightly in lemon juice, olive oil and garlic or the seafood sausage filled with prawns, shrimp, scallops, tomatoes and basil served in a lemon butter sauce ($US13.50). Main meals such as the fresh sole fillet baked with Dungeness crab meat in a light cream sauce ($US28) are world-class.”
Cosmo Tourist Review
- A good sea food restaurant If you are going to take a trip to San Francisco, California there are many different sea food restaurants that you will be able to choose from. One of the more notable ones is called Alioto’s restaurant. This place is very famous and is located in the Fisherman’s Wharf district. We had a very good experience when we went to this great place. The people there were very friendly and the whole time we had a marvelous view of San Francisco bay and Alcatraz. I would recommend this place to anyone who enjoys crab. The crab there was very fresh and was prepared very professionally by an obviously very experienced staff.
Wine Spectator - award of excellence.
Travel Savvy News – By Ann Terry Hill
SAN FRANCISCO-SOMETHINGS OLD, SOMETHINGS NEW Dinner at Alioto’s at Fisherman’s Wharf was the finale of this whirlwind visit. And what could be more San Franciscan than dining in a Italian family restaurant that’s been in business since 1925, with three generations of Aliotos serving up some of the finest Sicilian dishes and fresh seafood you’ll find anywhere in the world. We were lucky to be there at sundown. The view of fishing vessels docked just outside the restaurant, with the Golden Gate Bridge as a back drop was spectacular.. If you go, and if you’re lucky, you will be waited on by Albert, head waiter who’s been with Alioto’s for 32 years…he knows the menu forward and backward and will give you a thumbs up for the best dish of the day. Alioto’s is such a tradition you can’t visit San Francisco without giving it a try. If you don’t feel like an entire dinner, try their Outdoor Crab Market just in front of the Restaurant .There’s nothing like fresh picked crab, a slice of fresh sour dough bread, and a bottle of San Francisco’s original Anchor Steam Beer to cap off your day of city sightseeing and put you in tune with the ambience of this romantic city.
I GO U GO
- Reviews It was wonderful — the food and service are wonderful. The seafood is so fresh, and the meal will just melt in your mouth. The clam chowder is to die for. You have never had it this good before, I promise. The service was excellent, and so was the food. Most seats offer a water view. We had seafood, but the menu has a good choice of other kinds of food. Had a great seafood meal. We ate here after spending all day seeing the sights. We were all dressed casually, but it wasn’t a problem and we didn’t feel out of place. We saw everything from men wearing dinner jackets to people in T-shirts. Service was excellent and the seafood was fresh from the bay. Would be a great spot for a romantic dinner, and all tables had a great view of the wharf and bay.
Bay Area Dining
Three generations of Alioto’s have cultivated superb Sicilian recipes incorporating the local, fresh seafood while also offering Private Dining/Banquet facilities. Small weddings and corporate in-house catering events can be easily accommodated.