A Dash Into The Past At San Francisco’s Tadich Grill, California’s Oldest Running Restaurant

This grill better be on your radar.

Tadich Grill
PHOTO LOUIS ALCORN

The legendary Tadich Grill restaurant all started when three Croatian immigrants set up a lean-to tent selling coffee on the San Francisco wharf in 1849. Eventually, the stand accumulated enough popularity to require larger quarters for operation and moved to what is now the Financial District, changing the name to the New World Coffee Saloon. Through all of its moves and transformations, Tadich continued to serve some of the best food in the city while always keeping tabs on its famous customers. According to an article in the Nob Hill Gazette by George Rathmell, back in the day you could hardly even consider running for mayor of the city without establishing yourself as a familiar face at this place!

Interestingly enough, in 1967 the restaurant moved back within proximity of its original location. It now sits at 240 California Street on a part of the city that sat submerged in the 1800’s when it all started. Much of the financial district (including Tadich’s current location) sits on bay fill. Often times when commercial ships would arrive from overseas, the sailors would jump ship upon arrival in immediate pursuit of gold, leaving no one to unload the goods aboard. Ultimately, the decision was made to sink the ships in order to provide a foundation for the bay fill.

Tadich Grill
PHOTO LOUIS ALCORN

Today, Tadich Grill continues to serve arguably some of the best seafood on the West Coast. During my visit, I indulged in a Chilean Sea Bass soaked in a rich cheese sauce while also sampling their famous House Specialty: The Seafood Cioppino. However, dining in at such a notable eatery, explicitly known for its superb culinary creations, comes with a wait. Tadich Grill does not accept reservations for anyone and hasn’t since its opening. You will therefore likely find yourself waiting at the brass rail among a group of some of the most important and influential individuals in the business and political community in the Bay. The food, however, is always worth the wait and such has been the consensus for upwards of one hundred years.

Tadich Grill is located on: 240 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111 (415) 391-1849

Tadich Grill
PHOTO LOUIS ALCORN

Louis Alcorn

As a San Diego native, Louis lives by his ultimate travel tip: take a minute in each place you visit to collect your thoughts and write them down. They tend to be invaluable when you look back in the future.

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