‘Chow’ Down on Heartwarming Bread Bowls

Destination Dining

March 10, 2019

Story By: Lianna Mccurdy |

San Francisco is known as a mecca for sourdough bread, luring avid foodies from far and wide to its crisp northern Pacific coastline. Established as a SF staple food during the California Gold Rush, sourdough’s uses in cuisine have remained classic over the years. What’s better than pairing rich, yeasty sourdough with the tastes of the San Francisco sea? Not many can think of anything better, or as stomach pleasing, as the clam chowder bread bowl.

1. Alioto’s Restaurant
8 Fisherman’s Wharf
(415) 673-0183

Alioto’s Restaurant’s Italian-inspired chowder in a bread bowl. Photo courtesy Alioto’s Restaurant

Ladled into fresh sourdough bread bowls from the local Boudin Bakery, Alioto’s Restaurant’s clam chowder is an ode to its near 100-year long history in the seafood market. Using a family recipe from grandmother Rose Alioto, this creamy, Italian-inspired chowder is made fresh daily, served both at Alioto’s Cafe 8 and at the main restaurant.

2. Fog Harbor Fish House
Pier 39, The Embarcadero
(415) 570-7942

Fog Harbor Fish House’s chowder topped with crab meat. Photo courtesy Fog Harbor Fish House

Sustainable seafood and sourdough bread go hand in hand at Fog Harbor Fish House. The restaurant’s sourdough is baked fresh in-house, and clam chowder bowls can be topped with succulent, rich Dungeness crab. It’s easy to see and taste why Fog Harbor’s chowder bread bowls are some of the best in the Bay.

3. Chowders
Pier 39, 2 Beach St.
(415) 391-4737

Chowders’ New England-style clam chowder in a bread bowl. Photo courtesy Chowders

The eatery’s name sums it up — simply put, Chowders is one of the best spots for a bowl of chowder on Pier 39. Chowders’ family recipe for New England clam chowder was created in 1987 and is still used to this day. Thick and creamy, the chowder perfectly complements a bread bowl’s fluffy, absorbent interior and thick crust.

4. The Ramp
855 Terry Francois Blvd.
(415) 621-2378

The Ramp’s clam chowder and bread bowl combo. Photo courtesy The Ramp

Transformed from a bait shop into what locals now regard as a hidden gem of a restaurant, The Ramp serves up an authentic clam chowder and bread bowl combo. The bread bowl’s crumbly exterior is perfect for tearing, a quintessential utensil for soaking up steamy, creamy chowder.

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