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Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

by John the Wanderer
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Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

This article is Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf. It highlights my lunch experience at the San Francisco original Bistro Boudin.

Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

The review is part of my larger San Francisco Foodie Adventure.

Bistro Boudin

Bistro Boudin is the unique San Francisco waterfront restaurant that celebrates local history and more.

Bistro Boudin represents classic San Francisco traditions through cuisine, service excellence, regional wine favorites, and legendary sourdough bread! The full-service restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf offers great views of the waterfront.

You can look out and see Alcatraz, Angel Island and Marin.

The restaurant is part of the Boudin group which is made famous for its sourdough that it has been supplying to the city and world for years.

You can even tour the bread museum which is attached to theBistro Boudin and watch the sourdough bread come to life.

Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

From classic bread to crab and alligator shaped breads, the bakery has everything you need.

Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s WharfIncredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf


Bistro Boudin is located at Fisherman’s Wharf just beyong Pier 39, the popular tourist attraction.

Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

The restaurant is across the street from Madame Tussauds San Francisco and is an easy walk to the Golden Gate bridge and many other San Francisco attractions.


My wife and I arrived for Bistro Boudin Lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf and were immediately greeted by the hosts. The hosts confirmed our reservation and offered to seat us immediately.

The hostess welcomed us to the restaurant and she accompanied us to the table which offered an amazing view out the window, where we could see Alcatraz.

Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

The hostess informed us that the server would be with us shortly and she presented menus.

The server greeted us shortly after and offered beverages.

Bistro Boudin Experience

Bistro Boudin holds a Museum, which is the only free attraction in the area. The Museum teaches the history of San Francisco, as well as Boudin, and has catwalk access above the Bakery downstairs.

Boudin is almost 170 years old and is certified as the oldest continuously running business in San Francisco.

The bakery predates the state of California, itself.

Bistro Boudin and Boudin Bakery’s Mother Dough is a starter that is made of water, flour and the natural yeast in the air of San Francisco (lactobaccilus san Francisco) – is also at least 168 years old.

The bread is made of only this Mother Dough, flour, water and salt. No preservatives, fats or oils are added to it. The Mother Dough itself lives at our venue, and is distributed to our other bakeries in San Francisco as needed.

Interest fact: If someone were to take the Mother Dough out of the environment of San Francisco, near the water, it would mutate into something else, or possibly die altogether. The unique combination of yeast in the San Francisco air and beneficial bacteria cannot be found anywhere else in the world!


Bistro Boudin offers an extensive menu featuring local sustainable seafood as well as many other items.

Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

The menu is large and there is something available for everyone.

Bistro Boudin only sources local and sustainable seafood, poultry, beef and produce. The seafood mostly comes from a local fisherman’s family business on Pier 45, who has been around four generations.

All of the seafood comes from California, Washington, Oregon, Canada and Alaska. The only seafood that comes from elsewhere are mussels, which come from the East Coast.
The bar offers a 100% Californian wine list to showcase California’s awesome varietals and vintages.

You can have classic San Francisco fare such as crab cakes and clam chowder to amazing seafood dishes such as Cioppino and grilled specialties.

The restaurant has an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs preparing your meal.

Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

Some of the food is cooked in a wood fire oven.

Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

You can sit at a community table or a private table.

Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

The restaurant offers a raw bar where you can get fresh oysters and other seafood prepared in front of you.

Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

In addition, there are two bars which offer craft cocktails, wines and other drinks.

Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

Lunch Experience

After the server provided our beverages at Bistro Boudin, she went over each section of the menu and recommended items from each area.

For appetizers, she suggested the crab and spinach dip and the Dungeness Crab Cake.

For soups, she recommended a bread bowl with the Crab and Corn Bisque.

For entrees, the server suggested that we try the Cioppino or seafood paella.

The server also recommended we try the Argentinian Empanadas to share.

All the items sounded incredible and the descriptions from the menu were amazing.

The server gave us a few minutes to decide our selections.

The server kept our beverages full throughout the meal.

She returned to the table to take our order after giving us a few minutes to decide.

We requested to share the crab and spinach dip and a small bread bowl Crab and Corn Bisque.

For the entrees, we requested to share the seafood paella.

The server provided a basket of fresh sourdough bread with butter and asked us to enjoy.

Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

The bread was slightly warm and it was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and it tasted incredible.


Boudin bakery makes amazing bread and I highly recommend it even if you do not normally enjoy sourdough.


The appetizers for our Bistro Boudin lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf arrived about 10 minutes after ordering.

Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

The Dungeness Crab, Spinach and Artichoke Dip was served hot. The dip was made with a generous portion of Dungeness crab that was light and tender and it was mixed in to a rich and creamy spinach and artichoke dip. Fresh parmesan cheese was melted over the top of the dish which further enhanced the meal.

The dip was served with toasted bread that was crispy and it went well with the dip.

We found the dip to be incredible and it was an excellent recommendation by the server.

The Boudin Sourdough Bowl with Crab and Corn Bisque was served piping hot.

Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

The soup was rich and creamy and it had a generous amount of crab in it in a creamy tomato based bisque. The soup was flavored with roasted corn that was fresh and it enhanced the flavor.

The sourdough bread bowl did not disappoint. The sourdough enhanced the flavor of the bisque and we could eat some of the bread after we finished the soup. The bread soaked up the soup and it added an incredible flavor.

We ordered the smaller size soup and it was perfect to share as an appetizer. We cannot imagine being able to finish the full size along with an entrée.

The server checked in with us a couple times while we were enjoying the appetizers. She also cleared the food when we finished the dishes and maintained the tables.


My wife and I elected to share the seafood paella for the entrée.

The Seafood Paella was served hot on a decorative dish.

Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

The paella was made with Valencia rice cooked in a saffron chicken broth. Spanish chorizo, mussels, clams, shrimp and scallops were cooked in the rice.

The paella was full of flavor. The rice had an incredible saffron and wine flavor. The seafood offerings were generous as there were two large scallops, six mussels, four clams and four large shrimp.

The dish was decorated by a aioli around the edge of the dish which when combined with the rice, added a minty taste that further enhanced the meal.

The seafood was cooked perfectly and it had an excellent taste.

The paella was an excellent selection and we both enjoyed it greatly.

The server checked back with us several times during the entrée.

After we finished the entrée, the server cleared the dishes, provided more beverages and suggested that we share dessert.

My wife and I were both full at that point, so we declined the dessert. The server offered additional beverages and further assistance.

After we declined, she thanked us and she provided the check.

The server thanked us sincerely after the meal and she invited us to return.


Our Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin at Fisherman’s Wharf was an excellent introduction to our San Francisco Foodie adventure. The service at Bistro Boudin was amazing. The server made excellent recommendations and she made sure that we enjoyed our selections and time at the restaurant. The food was incredible from the classic Boudin sourdough bread to the seafood selections. We would love to return in the future to the restaurant for another amazing meal.

Incredible Seafood Lunch at Bistro Boudin Fisherman’s Wharf

Note: San Francisco Travel introduced me to Bistro Boudin who generously hosted the food during this visit. The views expressed in this article are of my own.




Leah Rachael October 29, 2017 - 4:41 pm

Totally drooling right now. Everything looks and sounds delicious!


John The Wanderer October 29, 2017 - 5:03 pm

Thanks. The food was incredible and it was so fresh.

Julie October 29, 2017 - 5:38 pm

We loved our stop at Boudin too!! My kids were totally engrossed with the bread Museum and lunch was great too!

John The Wanderer October 29, 2017 - 6:06 pm

What did you end up ordering for your lunch? It is cool watching them make the bread into the crabs and other animals to display in the window!

Julie Scott Thorne November 1, 2017 - 7:09 am

I know it’s hard to believe but I don’t eat seafood…so I think I got a salad…and bread!! HA. My daughter did order clam chowder and loved it.

Kaleigh October 29, 2017 - 8:03 pm

Sounds like the kind of place you’d want to stay in for hours just eating and hanging out! The food looks and sounds delicious!

John The Wanderer October 29, 2017 - 8:08 pm

I felt the same way. You could snack on all the great items and sample their craft cocktails.

Nadia October 29, 2017 - 8:08 pm

Sounds delicious! I saw all the cute bread animals last time I was there !

John The Wanderer October 29, 2017 - 8:09 pm

What animal shaped bread did you like best?

Lee Huffman October 30, 2017 - 9:08 am

I’ve heard great things about Boudin bakery. My kids would love all of the animal shaped breads… although they may be tempted to play with their food more than eating it. In this case, I would totally let them. Thanks for sharing such mouth-watering pics.

John The Wanderer October 30, 2017 - 5:28 pm

Hey even I wanted to play with some of those animal shaped breads! Ha

Suman Doogar October 30, 2017 - 10:37 am

That’s some sumptuous meal you had there, the sourdough soup, I have had it once and loved it.

John The Wanderer October 30, 2017 - 5:27 pm

Yes their bread bowls are incredible.

Spanish and Go October 30, 2017 - 6:57 pm

Their bakery looks awesome! Love the animal shaped bread. Very cool. Great review, John! We’ll have to check it out if we’re in the area.

Christina October 30, 2017 - 10:12 pm

I would love to visit this bread bakery and see those beautiful sea creature bread designs in person – plus its free! Nice overview of the restaurant, you sold me on wanting to dine here!

Sam Corpuz G October 31, 2017 - 8:20 am

I’ve walked past this restaurant and watched through the window of them making bread. Very cool! Wish we went in, but had already eaten a bunch of food from the various stands at Fisherman’s Wharf. The food pics look good and make me want to visit the next time I’m in SF!


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