Sotto Mare- A classic seafood/ Italian spot in SF

  Posted by - September 5, 2014 - $$ (20-50), NightTime, Restaurants, San Francisco

I just ate at Sotto Mare in San Francisco.

Could I be ANY happier?

Probably not.

It’s been a while since I’ve had bomb Italian food. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I had pasta.

Side: I stay away from carbs for dinner. Yah, I know…I should really stop torturing myself.

So. Tonight was the night to indulge. A “cheat day,” if you will.

Err…well, every day has been a cheat day lately.

Because duh, I just had the best damn seafood + Italian food of my life. AND. It was reasonably priced (<– bonus points).

For starters, we ordered an array of fresh seafood:

West Coast Oysters: $1.50 each // Clams: $1.50 each

My favorite was the crab cocktail ($14). It was served on a bed of greens, with fresh and plentiful crab meat. It’s perfect for anyone who wants crab without getting their hands dirty (Ahem: guilty as charged).

Clam Chowder ($6.50)

One of the best chowders I’ve had in SF with a decent amount of bite-sized potatoes, bacon bits, and fresh clams in a creamy flavorful stock.

And THIS^ is the highlight of the night. The seafood linguine ($19) was perfectly cooked with just the right amount of creamy alfredo sauce.

Like. You know when restaurants completely drench your pasta in sauce? OR even worse, when they don’t give you enough? Well, Sotto Mare gives you the PERFECT amount. Not too much & not too little. Not too thick & not too thin.

It came with an assortment of mussels, clams, scallops and shrimp, all smothered in a perfect al dente pasta. For once, it felt like I had a higher seafood > pasta ratio. I’m not complaining.

If you ever come here after reading this blog post. It’s a MUST TRY (and big enough to share)!

Sand Dabs ($19)

Although it’s one of their more popular items & people rave about it on Yelp, it was my least favorite dish here (only because everything else had a OMG-WOW factor). I thought it needed a tiny bit more seasoning to enhance its natural flavor b/c it tasted a bit bland. On the bright side, the portions are generous and is large enough to share.

Side: this was my first time trying sand dabs… so I’m not sure if “bland” is a normal taste?

Sotto Mare- SF(Pic from Sotto Mare website)

The only thing I regret from this meal is not having enough room for the “BEST DAMN CRAB CIOPPINO” (<– That’s actually what it’s called). The pot is filled up with crab legs, mussels, clams, squid, bay scallops, shrimp, prawns, and penne pasta noodles.

People love it, the press rave about it, and I’ve still got to try it.

So. If you’re looking for an awesome seafood + Italian spot in the city, check out Sotto Mare. They’ve been around for years and is an old SF classic in North Beach.


It’s not a fancy Italian restaurant where you have to dress up, but it IS a chill little spot that fills up quickly on most nights (we tried coming here on Tuesday at 7 pm and the wait was already 1.5 hrs).


If you have a party of 3+ you should make a reservation. If you have 2 people…go EARLY!


Sotto Mare on Urbanspoon

Share it--->Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail to someoneGoogle+


  • Tess September 10, 2014 - 6:47 pm Reply

    Just wanted to let you know that I came here with my study group last night and we all loved it! Thank you for the awesome recommendations! The ciopinno was delicious and was big enough to feed all of us!

  • Mike September 9, 2014 - 10:44 pm Reply

    One of my favorite old school Italian restaurants in the city! The sand dabs are best in the fall!

  • Frederick September 6, 2014 - 5:58 am Reply

    Awesome pics! Looking at that linguine and all that seafood is making me so hungry right now!

  • Jolie September 5, 2014 - 9:45 pm Reply

    My husband loves cioppino and he orders it every time he gets the chance. I’ll be sure to suggest Sotto Mare next time we are out in the city!

    • CynEats September 6, 2014 - 6:19 pm Reply

      Hope he likes it! Fingers crossed :)

  • Hannah September 5, 2014 - 12:42 pm Reply

    The seafood linguine looks amazing!!

  • Leave a reply