Scoma's Restaurant Pier 47, on Al Scoma Way at Jones St./Jefferson St., Fisherman’s Wharf, (800) 644-5852, (415) 771-4383. L-D daily; $$$. Reservations not accepted. Free valet parking.
Hidden away from the touristy bustle and featuring a prime waterfront location, this old timer is reached via a back alley leading out over the area’s actual wharfs. Built from a modest coffee shop and using the owner’s family recipes, it boasts a pleasant old S.F. ambiance, big windows with views of weathered boardwalks and fishing boats, and a professional waitstaff. And since it is the only restaurant in San Francisco with a commercial license to buy right off the boats, it's hard to beat the fresh seafood selection. Meals begin with exceptional sourdough bread made by Boudin especially for the restaurant (they use 175 loaves on an average day). When at capacity, two separate kitchens keep the wait short. Menu items are organic when possible, and an active effort is made to recycle. The menu includes everyone’s favorites, many of which are house specialties--Lazy Man’s cioppino, fried calamari, clam chowder, crab cakes. The chef also prepares perfect scallops and a delicious crab risotto studded with fresh peas, plus house-aged Angus beef is available.
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image ©2010 Carole Terwilliger Meyers