Oysters. Grilled Cheese. Clam chowder.
I know. I know. Odd combo.
But trust me, it’s the BEST grilled cheese & clam chowder EVER – I’m obsessed.
I’ve literally eaten here 3 times a week before.
Yah, I know. I’m obsessed.
Let’s start with the clam chowder.
Because it’s different. But better.
At first, you’re like wtf… where’s my chowder??
But then I realized I’ve been eating chowder the wrong way.
Let me explain…
Clam chowder is usually on the thicker and creamier side, which makes me super uncomfortably full. (b/c it’s really hard to NOT over eat. Don’t judge. You’ve all been there).
Hog Island’s clam chowder ($14) is different because it’s more soupy, FULL of clams that are still in its shell, and not as heavy. I don’t know what kind of sorcery they used, but this is the tastiest bowl of chowder I’ve ever had. It also comes with potatoes, chock full of bacon, onions, and bits of veggies.
Now onto the grilled cheese ($12). Which is also the best grilled cheese I’ve ever had.
It looks simple, and you’re probably thinking what I was thinking:
“Grilled cheese isn’t hard to make AND I could prob make it cheaper & better.”
Turns out, it’s NOT that simple and I def couldn’t make it better.
They use a unique blend of cheeses: Cowgirl Creamery’s fromage blanc, Vella mezzo secco and cave-aged Gruyere.
It was fantastic and nothing like I’d expected. The cheeses were rich, aromatic, and flavorful with a very creamy texture. The bread was soft and perfectly toasted (even parts of the cheeses were toasted…zomg drooling.)
It also came with some pickled vegetables, which went great with the sandwich!
And uhm, I wish I could eat it everyday, but I’d prob be overweight.
Now these oysters & clams… are so.so.so FRESH (straight from their oyster farm).
They serve a variety of oysters, but you just gotta figure out which ones you like. I like it more sweet and not as briny (oceany-tasting), so my go-to’s are always the Sweetwaters and Kushis.
They also offer the “Oyster Bar Mix,” which I would recommend getting so that you get to try a variety!
This is the rustic seafood stew ($20), which comes with a variety of local fish and shellfish, spicy herb-tomato broth, and grilled levain toast. The stew consisted of clams, shrimp, oysters, salmon and mussels in rich flavorful tomato broth- not too thick & oh so fresh.
Mussels ($14), comes with shallots, celery leaves, leeks, mustard, white wine & butter. The mussels were meaty and delicious, but the broth tasted odd (my least fav thing here). I OBV stuck with the chowder.
Hog Island is located in the back side of the Ferry building. Since it’s a high traffic & touristy area, the wait can get SUPER long, esp during peak hours and on weekends (1-2hrs).
But trust me, once you’re seated…you’ll be completely obsessed too. Plus, it’s right on the water with a view of the Bay Bridge.
Side: It’s also the perfect place to bring friends visiting from out of town.