Number 92: Cracked Half Dungeness from Swan Oyster Depot
From mid-November into early spring, crabbers make 4 a.m. deliveries of furiously writhing local Dungeness to the city's Pier 45. Within hours, they're boiled in massive pier-side vats, iced down, and sent to kitchen backdoors and delivery docks baywide. The most famous might be Swan Oyster Depot, where half a cold cracked Dungeness at the scarred and sunken marble counter is the city's defining meal. Eat it adorned with nothing more than a dish of sticky yellow mayo (get it for tradition's sake, then leave it untouched) and slices of late-bake sourdough caked with cold butter. The taste of sweet flesh roots you in the local every bit as firmly as Swan's bolt-down stools.
Swan Oyster Depot 1517 Polk (at Sacramento), 673-1101; daytime hours and cash only