1760 Polk St., Nob Hill
On Friday and Saturday nights, this sprawling space feels and sounds like a rowdy dining hall and tables are spaced just far enough that you can hear your neighbors' conversation without bumping elbows. The floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto busy Polk Street, which adds to the buzzy vibe. Menu-wise, it’s all small plates that change seasonally, however, the lobster ceviche, lollipop kale, and uni bucatini have become signature dishes. Come with a friend or a date for cocktails and a few sharing plates.
Swan Oyster Depot
1517 Polk St., Nob Hill
This family owned business has been open for almost a century, serving up fresh oysters, clams, crab, and a very famous clam chowder. Go for the Dungeness Crab Louie and the incredibly fresh oysters, which you order at the counter, preferably with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. There is only bar seating and it’s hard to get a seat, so expect a line.