Reviews of the finest restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area by Carol and Joe Davis - the Dining Detectives. From Sushi to Prime Rib, the Detectives dine their way across the spectum of fine food. ©2006 Carol and Joe Davis

Fog City Diner
A Classy Classic American Diner

The November showers had stopped and it was a brisk clear evening. The Dining Detectives decided to stay in San Francisco after work to dine at one of our fine old favorites, The Fog City Diner. Nearby Coit tower was aglow and The Embarcadero was ever so stylish with more new Palms. The Piers were pristine and one nearby housed the motorized Cable Cars. We were in a special place, San Francisco!

Fog City Diner opened 15 years ago and has continually pleased regulars like the famous "San Francisco Twins", the Brown Sisters. We found it very interesting to see Vivian and Marion Brown’s names engraved on a brass nameplate that was mounted at our booth. The nameplate is a tradition to honor Fog City’s regular diners and their favorite booth in the restaurant. Locals, tourists and celebrities such as Danny Glover, Metalica, Giant’s Mike Krukow and Mayor Willie Brown all love Fog City Diner.

The Classic Diner and Art Deco Bar recently enjoyed a renovation, making it more inviting than ever! The booths were more luxurious and appear larger, the rich black table tops accentuated the presentation of the food and the atmosphere was further enhanced by the stunning mirrored Art Deco Bar.

Paul, who has been with Fog City since Day One, warmly greeted us. He escorted us to a booth and we were ready to see if Fog City still had it after all these years. We ordered some drinks from Molly, our server and began to relax after a hard day’s work.

Our first drink was a Cosmopolitan, it was …too smooth and went down… too easily so we decided we’d better switch and "Have a glass of Wine", a variety from the by the glass menu:

1998 Merryvale, "Starmont", Napa Chardonnay. Nice sharp, tasty flavors and paired well with the Crab Cakes.
1999 Fog City Diner Chardonnay. We liked it and it was quite reasonable.
1999 Hess Select, California Chardonnay. Fruitier and paired well with the Seafood Sampler.
1997 Domaine Napa Merlot.Light and paired well with the Meat Loaf.
1998 Liberty School, Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon. Paired well with the Mu Shu Pork Burritos.
1998 Kenwood, " Old Vine", Zinfandel, Lodi. Great berry flavor, deep, rich color. A great taste and a good value.

Raw Bar:

The Selection is varied as to what is fresh and in season.
Sensational Seafood Platter- Big and Impressive with everything on it.
Oysters on the Half Shell
Spicy "Peel and Eat" Prawns
Littleneck Clams
Cracked Dungeness Crab
Served on a bed of ice this seafood tasted as if it had just jumped out of the ocean. We tried a number of sauces and particularly enjoyed Creamy Wasabi and Champagne Mignonette.

Warm Breads:

We tried the All of The Above Selection (here actually all of the below) which included; Jalapeno Corn Stix, Sourdough Loaf with leek and basil butter, Roasted Garlic Flatbread and Asiago. All were fresh, warm (as stated) with great tastes and worth the calories.


Puree of Cauliflower- Nice consistency, and great taste. Hot Soup is always a good choice on a cold night.

Small Plates:
Crab Cakes with Sherry- Cayenne Mayonnaise-
Spicy and fluffy, you can’t find better Crab Cakes anywhere; we also enjoyed the side of Black – Eyed Beans.

Mu Shu Pork Burritos-At first this appeared to be an oddity for Diner food but with the Chinese Mustard we could see why it has been a staple on the menu.

Ahi-Tuna Carpaccio with Wasabi cream and Daikon sprouts. Another good choice.

Large Plates:

King salmon with chanterelle mushrooms and apple-horseradish sauce.
The salmon tasted barbecued and more robust almost like Atlantic Salmon and we really liked the beets on the side.

The "Mighty" Meatloaf with wild mushroom gravy and truffled mashed potatoes. This is a hearty and worthy dish, comfort food that is truly Diner; we liked the tasty green beans as well.

Classic Vanilla Crème Brulee- This was terrific, has a perfect texture and was lighter than most.

Pear and Ginger Skillet Cake ala mode- This ample dessert reminded us of a tasty Christmas Pudding. You’ll be glad you saved room.

Turtle Sundae- Two Scoops of Ice Cream covered with Housemade Butterscotch, Hot Chocolate Sauce, Whipped Cream and Candied Pecans—Devine Decadence Personified.

The Fog City Diner is all about what is "right" about dining out…. Tasty food with beautiful presentation offering a choice of small or large plates suiting all appetites. We enjoyed the décor including the stylish booths and the mirrored Art Deco Bar. Bruce Hill, the Chef, keeps it simple, fresh and flavorful- looks good, tastes good! Molly our server was friendly and helpful in our choices and there when we needed her. A round of hot towels between courses was also a nice touch. Whether you have lunch, dinner or drinks you’ll be happy you chose the Fog City Diner which has withstood the test of time.

Fog City Diner

1300 Battery St.
(At The Embarcadero)
San Francisco, Ca. 94111

Phone: 415-982-2000
Fax: 415-982-3711

E-Mail FogCityDiner@aol.com

Open: Sunday- Thursday
11:30 A.M.-11:00 P.M.
Friday & Saturday
11:30 A.M.- Midnight

Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club Accepted
(No Personal Checks or American Express)
Reservations Recommended

Wheel Chair Accessible
Ample Lots and On Street Parking

Private Room Seats up to 48
Fog City Diner Cookbook Available

Full Bar

No Smoking