The Old Clam House
If you traveled back to the day of The Old Clam House's grand opening, you might find patrons huddled around plates of seafood and lost in discussion over the new president's top hat. The Old Clam House opened in 1861, the year Abraham Lincoln took office, and it's endured ever since. Although it's expanded a little since then, the bar still occupies the original building and anchors its claim to being San Francisco's oldest restaurant continuously operating in one place. Its status as a local icon has been recognized by San Francisco Heritage, which named it one of only 100 Legacy Bars & Restaurants in the city.
As much history as it holds, The Old Clam House stays fresh today. It has to—its menu is full of prime Pacific seafood. Chefs obsess over every ingredient that enters the kitchen. For one, they won't even consider buying, roasting, and buttering a Dungeness crab unless it weighs at least two pounds and gives its written permission. For clams, they look to the farms of the Puget Sound and the Washington Coast, while oysters hail from the waters of Mexico's Pacific Coast. Crispy pork shank, filet mignon, and other turf selections complement the seafood, as does a drink selection rife with aged scotch and breezy cocktails bearing aquatic names such as the Big Tuna Blood Orange margarita.