Stroll thorough San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf on a bright sunny day, and you’ll see a stampede of tourists and locals on the hunt for good seafood. Well it’s no doubt that seafood is definitely engraved into Fisherman Wharf’s name, but is that really the only thing worth eating there?
After trying Boudin Bakery during my recent San Fran adventure, the answer is most definitely no.
Known for their baked goods, sandwiches, and soup, Boudin Bakery was established in 1849 and is the home of San Francisco’s original Sourdough French Bread. With freshly baked bread literally conveyed throughout the restaurant in baskets and pastry chefs hustling to roll dough on the spot, I felt like I entered a bread making factory at first glance.
Part restaurant, part bakery, and part gourmet marketplace, Boudin is definitely a three in one hotspot that offers a casual and enjoyable dining experience, where you order and seat yourself. Their menu is also sweet and simple, with a few sandwich, salad, and soup options.
After looking around and eyeing several tables of happy people digging through their bread soup bowls with excitement, I undoubtedly knew what I wanted: One bowl of their popular New England clam chowder, please.
Creamy soup, chunky potatoes, and tender clams in a huge fresh Sourdough bread bowl, this was literally one of the best clam chowders I’ve ever tasted.
First of all, the chowder definitely passed the basic chowder checklist: creamy texture and rich in taste, but most importantly, it wasn’t overly salty. It’s called clam chowder for a reason, so it’s certainly a bonus when your chowder is flavored by the taste of actual clams rather than chunks of salt.
Meanwhile, the chewy and tender texture of the clams certainly added extra bonus points. Add in the fact that the soup was also filled with hearty chunks of garlic potatoes, this San Fran clam chowder has officially made my favorite list.
If it’s not already obvious enough how much I’m loving this chowder, let me start raving about the best part yet: the Sourdough bread.
Take a bite of that French bread and you’ll understand why Boudin’s the King of California Sourdough. With bread baked daily, it’s no doubt that your bread bowl will be fresh, with the taste to prove it. With a crispy outer crust, a soft inner texture, and a slightly sweet and sour taste, this Sourdough bread paired with creamy clam chowder is simple perfection.
I finally understood why I saw so many happy people digging into their bowl, by the end of my meal, I became a happy digger myself, scraping off every little piece of that delicious bread bowl and dipping it into the chowder with every bite.
Friendly Reminder: Bring more than one spoon to your table!
I know we all wish it was, but that bread bowl’s not an unlimited bottomless pit, no matter how hard you dig and how much you scrape, that lovely bread and chowder won’t magically reappear, so please don’t break your spoon over it.
My friends and I learned the hard way (we ended up breaking two innocent spoons in the process).
After you’ve joyfully satisfied your stomach and got nothing left but the crust, make sure to stop by Boudin’s bakery on your way out and grab a few loaves of their animal shaped bread, another unique thing Boudin’s known for.
Then go out and loudly spread the word that seafood’s indeed not the only thing that defines Fisherman’s Wharf, their clam chowder’s also pretty darn good.