Pier 39 Restaurant Review: The Pier Market Seafood Restaurant

I mentioned yesterday that I had the opportunity to try out a super cool SurfSet Fitness class at The San Francisco Bay Club. I worked up a good appetite during the class so when I met up with my husband and Tula afterwards, we were ready to grub!

Pier 39 restaurantAs the planners that we are, we had already done a little research about where we wanted to have lunch. We strolled over to the Pier 39 area and found the place – The Pier Market Seafood Restaurant. I mean, come on, how could we not have seafood down by the pier and at Fisherman’s Wharf?! ;)

It was mid-day on Saturday and the restaurant was busy, but there wasn’t any wait for a table. I was a little nervous because I wasn’t 100% sure if they allowed dogs in their patio seating area. My angst was quickly laid to rest when the host saw us with Tula and automatically set us up with a great table on the patio, no questions asked.

Our waitress was friendly and attentive and, like most people, commented on how adorable our little fur-baby is (doting parent, please forgive me). Right off the bat, that scored her extra points in our book. ;) Plus, before we knew it and without even asking we had two ice-cold glasses of water and a warm bread basket to appease our hungry stomachs and quench our thirst while we decided on drinks and eats.

We ordered a couple of drinks. Shock Top for my husband and a Spicy (Virgin) Bloody Mary for me. It’s always hit and miss with Bloody Mary’s but this one hit the spot. It was the perfect amount of spiciness and very thick and tomato-y, which was just what I had a hankering for. Plus, it came loaded with goodies (and we all know how I feel about the goodies!). It had a couple of large olives, a celery stick, and 2 large wedges of lime and lemon. I was a very happy camper. Unfortunately, as is my M.O., I completely forgot to snap pics of the drinks before slurping away.

Next we perused the menu. There were a ton of delicious-sounding dishes, including the tempting daily special of lobster. This place is definitely a seafood lover’s paradise. From shrimp to crab to lobster and an array of different fish options, they’ve pretty much got it all. Somehow we managed to make up our minds fairly quickly and opted to split the Shrimp & Crab Cocktail and the Mahi-Mahi. Our waitress warned us that the Shrimp & Crab Cocktail was a pretty small serving, but we forged ahead anyways.

Pier Market Seafood RestaurantThe food came out promptly. Our waitress was right, the Shrimp & Crab Cocktail dish was really small. It’s actually an appetizer, which in my mind are typically supposed to be made for sharing. So, even though I had been warned, I was still surprised by just how small the serving was, especially for the $12.75 price tag. I was also surprised by the size of the shrimp. I was expecting normal-sized or jumbo-sized shrimp. However, the shrimp were actually the teeny, tiny baby shrimps. On the bright side, though, both the shrimp and the crab tasted very fresh and we really enjoyed the dish. I just wish they were either a bit more generous with their portion size or would cut the price in half.

The generously portioned Mesquite-Grilled Mahi-Mahi served with a mango BBQ sauce for dipping all but made up for the stingily portioned appetizer. The fish was perfectly cooked and absolutely scrumptious. I loved the large charred mesquite-grill marks on the fish because they really added to the flavor. The Mahi-Mahi tasted extremely fresh and was juicy, tender and easily flaked apart with the slightest stab of a fork. It wasn’t fishy tasting at all and the tangy, sweet mango BBQ sauce added that extra punch of flavor to round out the dish. There wasn’t a single bite left on our plate.

Pier Market Restaurant San FranciscoThis entree typically comes with a choice of cole slaw and rice or garlic buttered new potatoes. However, we asked if we could substitute those sides for a double serving of their sauteed vegetables. Our waitress was happy to accommodate our preferences. I think we made a great choice because the mountain of veggies we got were excellent. They were cooked just right (tender but still crunchy) in what I believe was either a light-buttery or oil coating with minimal seasoning. The seasoning wasn’t needed because the produce used in the vegetable medley was so fresh that their natural flavors held their own. We gobbled them up and kept commenting on how good they were.

All-in-all, it was a great dining experience and we’d definitely go back. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars, knocking off one star for the price / portion-size ratio of the appetizer. The taste and quality of the food was really good, especially considering that the restaurant is located in the midst of such a touristy area, and the service was great.

If you’re in the Pier 39 area and looking for some good seafood, I would recommend giving this place a try. Though, I must say that I haven’t yet tried any other eateries in the area so I have nothing to compare it to. But, it’s at least a local family owned and operated business unlike the large chains, such as the Hard Rock Cafe and Bubba Gump Shrimp, which I noticed in the area.

  • Q: Have you ever been to Pier 39? Where did you grub and would you recommend it?
  • Q: What’s your favorite seafood dish?

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Disclosure: I was not compensated in any manner by the Pier Market Seafood Restaurant for dining at their restaurant or writing this review. The opinions shared here are 100% my own.

4 thoughts on “Pier 39 Restaurant Review: The Pier Market Seafood Restaurant

  1. Ahh this place sounds so good! It’s great that they were so accomodating with Tula. It’s always a bit disappointing when you get too little food for too high of a price, but at least your meal was delicious. I’m a fan of tilapia or basically anything with shrimp in it :)

    • As new fur-baby parents, we don’t really know how things work yet and get a bit self-conscious when it comes to taking her to places. But, we’re learning. The great thing is that she’s so little and cute that we probably get away with more than we would otherwise. Hehe. ;) I’m with you on tilapia and shrimp!

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