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Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:21 PM

Oldest Restaurants in San Francisco Serve Up History

Last edited Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:53 PM - Edit history (1)

Before the Gold Rush days, San Francisco was nothing but a muddy shanty town populated by 459 brave souls. The discovery of California gold, followed by the invention of the cable car, which allowed people to get up the ridiculously steep hills, is what changed all that. However, the earthquake of April 18, 1906, changed everything once again. Why not jump on a cable car to enjoy dining at one of San Francisco's oldest surviving restaurants and relive a bit of all that history?

Tadich Grill



"We serve 300 martinis a day, a testimonial to our long-standing traditions," said manager David Hanna, adding, "And what I personally think is the best cioppino in San Francisco." Noted for the tiled floor, dark wood-paneled clubby feel, tasty sourdough bread, "Mad Men" martinis, and a decent Bloody Mary delivered by a pro, Tadich is the nation's first mesquite grill. Gold painted lettering over the front door proclaims this to be California's oldest restaurant, and back then, California wasn't even a state.

What began as a coffee stand run by three Croatian immigrants at the end of Long Pier at the height of the 1849 Gold Rush morphed into this monument to culinary tradition, which may very well be third oldest continuously run restaurant in America. Although there were several moves prior to settling at 240 California St. in 1967, its current location is in the heart of today's Financial District. Take a seat at the long mahogany bar, survivor of the 1906 earthquake and fire, or settle into a cozy booth for traditional chowder and cioppino. Tourists often arrive via the California cable car. No reservations are accepted, but perhaps they'd consider an offer to pay your check with gold nuggets, as they used to.

The Old Clam House



The original 1861 structure still stands, having been spared in the 1906 disaster. Back then, Abraham Lincoln had just become president, and the Wild West was still pretty wild. The restaurant's connection to downtown San Francisco was via 2 miles of plank walkway through marshland to this formerly waterfront location. Today, the location between Bernal Heights and Bayshore Boulevard is mostly industrial and well worth the journey. Freshly caught Dungeness crab, clams, oysters, and mussels come from Pacific locations up and down the coast from Puget Sound to Baja California to produce such favorites as cioppino, clams benedict, and a meaty clam chowder. Diners start with a shot of warm clam juice to wake the taste buds and get the theme going. Renovated in 2012, the new owners, Jerry and Jennifer Dal Bozzo, have gotten the spot in ship-shape condition while retaining its old-time waterfront roots. Jennifer said, "The Old Clam House is such an important piece of San Francisco history. For natives like ourselves, most people growing up here have enjoyed it once or more times." For visitors, it's on the must-do list.

Cliff House



Celebrating 150 years perched upon an enviable position overlooking the Pacific Ocean from rugged bluffs, Cliff House has a sordid and assorted history since opening in 1863. Once host to presidents and wealthy society, the beachfront property with stunning views also went through periods of popularity among crowds of riffraff, was shuttered during Prohibition, and later became the centerpiece of a fabled 10-acre amusement park. It suffered destruction by fire twice, starting all over again in the same spot. Due to changeable weather conditions at the beach, the Cliff House website offers a live Web cam and the precise time of sunset, so guests can perfectly time a visit. And when luck is with you in winter and spring, you may catch a glimpse of migrating California gray whales from your table.

Co-owner Mary Hountalas commented, "Dan and I are honored to be stewards of such an important landmark in San Francisco history. We hope that Cliff House will far outlive us as it continues to thrive into new centuries."

more..http://news.yahoo.com/oldest-restaurants-san-francisco-serve-history-232900073.html

Fior d'Italia


The Palace Hotel

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Reply Oldest Restaurants in San Francisco Serve Up History (Original post)
AsahinaKimi Feb 2013 OP
arcane1 Feb 2013 #1
Cleita Feb 2013 #2
kimbutgar Feb 2013 #3
AsahinaKimi Feb 2013 #4
pinto Feb 2013 #5
AsahinaKimi Feb 2013 #6
CountAllVotes Feb 2013 #7
mitchtv Feb 2013 #8
PasadenaTrudy Feb 2013 #9
AsahinaKimi Feb 2013 #10
PasadenaTrudy Feb 2013 #11
AsahinaKimi Feb 2013 #12
calikid Mar 2013 #13
zappaman Mar 2013 #14

Response to AsahinaKimi (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:26 PM

1. Ah, Tadich...

I miss working (and lunching) downtown

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 03:42 PM

2. I really miss those old style steak house and chowder type restaurants from the

forties and fifties. They are red velvet and wood paneled comfy. You can actually talk to your dinner companions because the noise level is kept to a minimum. The wait staff is non-intrusive.

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:07 PM

3. Just love Tadich Grilll and the Old Clam House

These restaurants take you back in time where you can savor your meal with a good stiff drink. The only one that pisses me off the most is the Cliff House. They remodeled it and it no longer has any charm and previously they had a great bar where you could enjoy a drink and watch the sun set. They did away with the lounge and now the Cliff House is cold and sterile. As a native of SF it really is upsetting how they ruined the Cliff House. I haven't been there in years.

Another restaurant in SF that is old timey is Sam's Grill on Bush Street and Belden Alley.

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Response to kimbutgar (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 04:13 PM

4. I am kind of surprised they didn't mention Sam's Grill


Its a great place to eat, and their sea food is superb!


The history of Sam's Grill actually stretches back to 1867, when an Irishman began selling the delicious fresh oysters that were abundant in San Francisco Bay. His stall was in the open air market at the base of California Street, which probably looked very similar to the open air markets we find today in many third world countries. In the pungent area where vendors hawked fresh fish, crabs and seafood, Michael Molan Moraghan founded an institution that thrives in the City's financial district today.

Mr. Moraghan was apparently a very savvy businessman. By the 1890's, his company had developed into the City's leading seafood establishment, supplying fresh fish and shellfish to the City's best restaurants and hotels. But his specialty continued to be local oysters harvested from the Bay tidelands near Burlingame. Mr. Moraghan was then known as "The Oyster King."

The California Market was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake, but the Moraghan business continued to thrive. For a time it operated from various addresses around the City, but in 1919 it rejoined the City's other oyster dealers in a rebuilt California Market, located between California and Pine Streets, where the Bank of America Building stands today. By that time the operation was known as the Burlingame Oyster Company.

In the meantime, Samuel Zenovitch's fortunes also prospered. In 1905 he purchased San Francisco's Reception Cafe, where he had first worked as a bartender. The Reception Cafe was a hangout for high-flyers in the boxing and racing world, including John L. Sullivan, Jim Corbett, and Jack Dempsey.

In 1922 Samuel Zenovitch acquired the Burlingame Oyster Co. It would still be several years before the oyster saloon would be known as "Sam's". Zenovitch initially changed the name to the Bay Point Oyster Co., but the Bay Point name lasted for only a few years. Around 1930, the restaurant was renamed yet again, this time after its owners: "Zembolich & Zenovich." It was a fine name, but hardly poetic for a restaurant, or even an oyster saloon.

Not suprisingly, "Zembolich & Zenovich" didn't stick. A year later in 1931, the San Francisco Directories first show Sam's name being used: "Sam's Seafood Grotto." At that time the restaurant moved to the north side of the California Market, at 561 California Street.

http://www.belden-place.com/samsgrill/

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:38 AM

5. Good stuff. +1

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Response to pinto (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 12:42 AM

6. Thanks..

mmm hungry for shrimp scampi!

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:24 PM

7. Mayes Oyster House

Last edited Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:33 AM - Edit history (2)

Great place to eat on Polk street, or it used to be. Sounds like the menu you has changed a lot since I was last there. There was shrimp creole they made that was fantastic!



I hope they still have the red velvet, etc. etc. etc. and everything else that makes it a San Francisco classic IMO.



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Response to AsahinaKimi (Original post)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 11:01 PM

8. I remember all these places

this is not the forum to discuss my experiences. so, thanks for the memories. I love SF

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Original post)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 07:42 PM

9. Wish I could remember

the name of the place my dad took me to in the early '70s...some buffalo burger place

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 11:10 PM

10. Maybe it was Tommy's Joynt? Its still there.

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:46 AM

11. That must be it

Thanks! Near the Tenderloin, right?

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:49 PM

12. Above the Tenderloin

Its on Van Ness Boulevard at Geary.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/tommys-joynt-san-francisco

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Original post)

Mon Mar 25, 2013, 07:59 PM

13. Aaaahhhh, Tadich, been there several times.

How about Lefty O'Dools? That's one heck of a landmark.

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Original post)

Fri Mar 29, 2013, 05:01 PM

14. Wow.

Been way too long.
I haven't been to Tadich Grill in forever!

REC.

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