Boston beats all when it comes to clam chowder—this creamy, potato-based soup, served anywhere else, is but a poor simulacrum of the original. San Francisco’s Bar Crudo defies this convention, and even East Coast chowder snobs begrudgingly admit that this trendy, tightly-packed seafood restaurant rises to the occasion. Come here for Crudo’s jam-packed happy-hour; along with your chowder, order the raw oyster plate and a beer from the bar’s decent selection.
Once the festive atmosphere elevates your mood to a happy buzz, grab your coat and head straight for the exit. While the fish dishes at Bar Crudo are exceptional, their prohibitively-expensive cost isn’t worth lingering for dinner—better to spend your money at any of the fine eateries across the street. If you must stay, sample the restaurant’s famous lobster-beet salad. Beware that the space borders the line between pleasantly-cozy and uncomfortably-tiny. Meaning Bar Crudo is great for an intimate date, just be sure to place reservations in advance, even for the fab happy hour.