California was not even a state when Tadich Grill opened in 1849. It’s the oldest, continuously run restaurant in San Francisco, owned by the Buich family since 1928. When you walk through the door, time stands still. From the dark wood, brass fixtures, long bar, and private booths, you get the feeling you are in an old boys club and expect to see deals being made under the haze of cigar smoke. If you can only try one dish here, know that people come from all over the world for Tadich’s cioppino: a red stew chock full of scallops, clams, prawns, mussels, fish, and crab, served with garlic bread for dipping. Another specialty of the house is the Hangtown Fry, a mélange of eggs, bacon, and deep-fried oysters, scrambled together to make a dish the late Herb Caen—“Chronicle” journalist, unofficial mayor, and recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for being the “voice and conscience” of San Francisco—loved almost as much as the city itself. This special fry has been served continuously since the Gold Rush days, when miners who struck it rich would come in to enjoy one of the most expensive meals in the city. Finish your trip down memory lane with the simple rice pudding—the recipe has not changed in over 100 years.
- Erika Lennert