Pier 23 Cafe: A Tasty Piece of SF History

Pier 23 Cafe San Francisco Waterfront RestaurantIn San Francisco’s early days, there were many waterside shacks along the bustling waterfront. These buildings served the longshoremen who were working the docks and gave them a warm haven to wait it out while ships were late to dock. The Pier 23 Cafe building was one of many “coffee houses” that existed on the bay side of The City. While some food and a warm cup of joe was the standard fare at these type of  establishments, it was rumored that all sorts of libation could be found here.

A few of these joints evolved into lively music houses reminiscent of the Barbary Coast rough and tumble days of the Gold Rush era. Most notably of these was Pier 23 Cafe that has had a long established musical history as well as a local bar scene for the denizens of The City. Today you can still enjoy some great live music at the Cafe. They host multiple artists every week, including some great local acts. Check out their calendar for upcoming shows.

Over the past 30 years under the guidance of current owner Flicka McGurrin, Pier 23 Cafe has been committed to preserving this rich San Francisco history and being a destination spot for all those seeking a unique, family owned San Francisco experience.

We shared a great crab lunch on their back patio. It started off with a couple of Bloody Marys and one of our all-time favorites, oysters!


Next up was their smoked salmon served with toast, fried capers, yummy herb spread and arugula. This is a great appetizer dish to share with friends and family.


Now on to the grand finale of our meal…you can’t dine in a classic San Francisco restaurant and not get the crab! It was cooked to perfection and plenty for the two of us to share. Just to warn you…this dish could get messy! But it’s all part of the experience and well worth it. Pier 23 even provides you with little bowls of warm lemon water following the crab to do a quick rinse if your hands before heading to the washroom to clean up.


We loved Pier 23 Cafe‘s rich history and laid back, cozy vibe. It’s super family friendly, but they also have an awesome beer garden right on the water during the summer months. With the stunning views of San Francisco bay, a great back patio, and delicious food & drink, the Cafe is a great place for locals and tourists alike to enjoy a great meal. The patio is also dog friendly, so bring along your furry friend!


We’re hosting a giveaway on our Instagram for a Pier 23 Dungeness crab dinner for two. This including oysters, salad, and two glasses whispering angel champagne! Sound amazing?! Visit our Instagram before May 28, 2016 8pm PST and find our Pier 23 post to enter.

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