Tadich Grill on California St in “the city” is an institution for “old school” and classic San Francisco dining.

Claiming to be California’s oldest restaurant since 1849, it was founded by Croatians and is owned by third generation family members.  The restaurant is long and narrow with a dark wood, hanging milk glass lighting, old tile floors and counter service for the lunch crowd.  No reservations are accepted, and sitting at the counter brings a relief from waiting in line for a table.

Tables are dressed with starched white linens and quartered lemons on each table.  A chunk of bread arrives after meeting the server.

Waiters wear white jackets and black pants, and a bit of an attitude. They are to the point and don’t coddle diners over menu decisions or ordering the wrong item.  Our breaded and fried calamari tasted even better with the squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  The side of tarter sauce was not the usual mayonnaise sauce as it’s made with potatoes which thickens the consistency.  Manhattan Chowder is named Coney Island chowder and a bowl is a meal in itself.

Tadich Grill is legendary and over the years has survived the gold rush, earthquakes and politicians.  Open at 11:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday.

Tadich Grill

240 California St

Sn Francisco, Ca