Connect and follow Wine, Dine, and Play

Explore food, wine, and more...

Alioto’s Restaurant

 Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, California

Not Impressed

From Restaurants Home Page:
Alioto’s Restaurant, a San Francisco landmark located on Fisherman’s Wharf, is one of San Francisco’s oldest fine dining seafood restaurants specializing in traditional Sicilian recipes. To this day, the family name is closely associated with the City of San Francisco itself.

Alioto’s knows fish. The Restaurant began as a fresh fish stall on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf in 1925. Since then, little has changed. Fish is still bought fresh daily by Alioto’s full time fish buyer. Alioto’s serves a tantalizing selection of fresh seafood, including sea bass, sand dabs, sole, swordfish, tuna, scallops, and Dungeness crab all caught locally, whenever possible. Alioto’s never skimps on the fish they purchase.


Stars:                            2 of 5

Customer service:       4 of 10

Ambiance:                   8 of 10

Quality of food:           4 of 10

Presentation:               6 of 10

Wine selection:           7 of 10 (Napa and Sonoma wines, w/ a few old world selections)

Corkage fee’s:             Yes ($25.00 per bottle)

Restaurant style:         Casual Dining

Dress code:                 Relaxed casual attire and smart business

Reservations:              Not required, (made through or contacting restaurant)
Walk-ins:                     Accepted

Child policy:                No age policy (not recommended for children)
Cuisine style:               Italian, Seafood

Experiences:                Lounge, business parties, scenic views of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge

Music styles:               Background instrumental

Gratuities:                   18% Added to parties of 6 or more

Credit cards:               Yes

Parking:                       Public lot near by

Transport options:     Cable car, Muni, taxi, personal vehicle, or walk
Wi-Fi:                           no

Noise level:                 Medium

Smoking:                     Nonsmoking restaurant

I came to San Francisco with a friend of mine, and Alioto’s was our first night dinner experience for the food tour of the city. Later on our list would be Fleur de Lys, and the French Laundry in Napa, so we knew that Alioto’s was not going to be in the league of those, but I did not think it would be missing any type of league. The location is perfect, surrounded by a tourism mecca with Bay Cruises, views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Sea Lions, and Marina’s. The Atmosphere of the restaurant was very nice, the wait staff and Maitre'D were well dressed, the tables were set nicely, so it all gave the impression of finer dining, until it came time for the two most important parts of a restaurants business, service and food. Both were lacking and needed great improvement.

My friend was drinking iced tea and through the course of the meal, had to wait and ask for the drink to be refilled. My wine glass was dirty; thankfully, I spotted it before the wine was poured into it. We felt rushed as we ate, with the server wanting to collect the plates quickly, yet he took his time when it came to taking our order. At the end of the evening, a few minutes after paying the bill, the server took the check presenter away, knowing we had already signed and tipped, very unprofessional. I usually add gratuities to the bill at 18-22%; this server barely deserved 10%.

Oyster Starter

The starting course was fine. I had oysters on the half shell, my friend had Dungeness crab cakes, which I did taste and were good. Entrée’s on the other hand were a different story. My friend had the surf and turf New York strip Steak with some lobster and prawns, and I had the Halibut. Now I was thinking that since we were sitting right next to the bay, the Halibut would have been from the Pacific Ocean, a better tasting fish and not a bottom feeder. No, the Halibut was from Atlantic, and on the menu it said that it would de drizzled in Hollandaise Sauce. When it arrived at the table it had a side of Tartar Sauce, was bland and little over cooked. The vegetables were also boiled with no flavor. The starch of cheesed potatoes was the only decent item on the plate. Now, my friends’ surf and turf. The steak had no flavor what so ever and she had to poor drawn butter from her Lobster onto her steak and douse it with salt and pepper just to get some taste from it. Her Lobster was over cooked, as were the prawns. We decided to skip dessert.

Surf and Turf
Halibut Entree

I do not know what the hype about this restaurant is, but it is not a place I will return too. Now when we went to Fleur de Lys and 5A5 Steak Lounge  we had some great food representative of San Francisco and the Bay Area. You can read about those restaurants on this blog also, along with wine and food from all over the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.

Food Price per Person excluding gratuity
(Based on my Dining Experience):
$70.00             USD

£45.00             GBP

€52.00             EUR

$ -                    Under $50.00 USD
$$ -                  Under $75.00 USD
$$$ -                Over $100.00 USD
$$$$ -              Over $200.00 USD
$$$$$-             Over $400.00 USD

Cost of wine and other alcoholic beverages (p/p):

#8 Fisherman's Wharf

San Francisco, CA 94133

Next to Pier 43 ½
Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach/Telegraph Hill
Cross streets:
Jefferson & Taylor

Public transit: Cable car, Muni

Tel:                  + 1 (415) 673-0183

Website:           Alioto's Restaurant
Email:              Contact Alioto's

Monday - Sunday: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Monday - Sunday: 4:00 pm - 11:00 pm

John Nunez

Review by:
Chef Sean Overpeck (CFE)



Flag Counter

Popular Posts: