Watching the sea lions on Pier 39, we took a quick break for some seafood soup.
Chowders offered a bit of an edge over the generic choices around.
From the outside a blue and pale yellow banner with friendly graphic illustrations behind the handwritten wordmark, set the tone. There is a wooden deck with plenty of blue and red chairs - probably a hit on a sunny day. As we were entering, a pigeon flew out of the restaurant - he seemed to be a local here.
White tiles, with some yellow highlights, upbeat music and general diners' atmosphere were present. Fun posters on the wall, going with the same illustrative style at the outside banner, tied the place together nicely. Chowders made its best effort to submerge clients into an East Coast ocean-facing eatery, as the restaurant opened up towards the water near the back. Overall, it worked well on us, we were by the ocean after all and in a warmer place than the wet, chilly weather outside.
We did order that signature clam chowder soup and a tuna sandwich, as Mon Cheri could not force himself to eat seafood insects. Guys at the counter yelled out the orders and the soup was ready for us to pick up in no time. The tuna sandwich, probably not a popular choice, took a bit of a wait.
The chowder contained celery chunks, potatoes, onions and plenty of clam with just a hint of bacon. It came inside a hollow sourdough bun with a lid and a few bags of oyster crackers on the side. Warm, creamy and wholesome, it was served at a reasonable price. The tuna wrap, on the other hand, was nothing special. But then again, the signature dish here was the clam chowder.
The pushy pigeon was slowly making his way closer to us, probably expecting a bit of that sourdough leftovers.
If you ever find yourself around this very touristy area of San Francisco, we would recommend checking out Chowders at the very least for a good vibe and their signature clam chowder soup in sourdough, as long as you don't mind an occasional pigeon nearby.