Restaurant Features: Counter Service, Food Cart, Waterfront
Location: San Francisco, CA (Fisherman’s Wharf)
Address: 2801Taylor Street San Francisco, CA 94133
Links: Guardino’s on Facebook
Atmosphere: Located on Fisherman’s Wharf, Guardino’s will be one of the very first sidewalk food stands that you will see as you approach the wharf. The sign proclaims that it was founded in 1918 but I was unable to find any information, as Guardino’s is lacking a website. There isn’t much to the stand itself and there is no room for sitting unless you walk across the street where there are a just a couple of community places to sit.
Menu: Clam Chowder (with or without bread bowl), Crab & Shrimp Sandwiches, Calamari, Crab Cocktail, Shrimp Cocktail, Crab/Shrimp Cocktail
Price guide: Chowder $4+ Crab Sandwich $7
What we ordered: My companions and I ate a couple of orders of the famous clam chowder ($4). It was very hot which was good on a cool morning, but it really wasn’t anything special. It was a very basic chowder with a few chunks of potato and small bites of clam in a broth that was a little more thin than most chowders. I tend to be somewhat picky when it comes to clam or seafood chowder because I use an awesome recipe and make a really fantastic chowder if I do say so myself, and Guardino’s couldn’t compare to what I am used to. This one resembled canned clam chowder in both taste and appearance. It was the only clam chowder that I tried at Fisherman’s Wharf so I can’t say how it compares to any of the many others who also serve clam chowder, but I was slightly disappointed. I wish I would have ordered it in a bread bowl because it would have been more filling and the sourdough would have helped enhance the flavor of the soup..
Service: There wasn’t much of a line when we arrived at 9am and we were quickly able to order and receive our food.
Overall Impression: Guardino’s has been a main-stay at Fisherman’s Wharf for just a few years shy of a century. While the clam chowder tends to be a very popular dish, next time I would order one of the other seafood items from Guardino’s. If you do get the clam chowder, I would suggest getting it served in a bread bowl.