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The OLDEST Restaurant In California Is Older Than California! 😱

Where do you think the oldest restaurant in California is?

Well, it’s not in any of the most populous cities of Los Angeles, San Diego or San Jose.

In fact, it’s in San Francisco.

This city isn’t just about the Golden Gate Bridge or cable cars; it’s a treasure trove of food adventures. 

And right there, in the heart of it all, is the oldest restaurant in all of California.

Picture this

It’s 1849, and a coffee stand aptly named ‘coffee stand’, opens its doors on Long Wharf (this is the area between where Clay Street and Sacramento Street are now).

And keep in mind that California didn’t actually become a state until 1850!

Selling coffee and grilled fish, this humble coffee stand was originally founded by three immigrants from Croatia – Nikola Budrovich, Frano Kosta, and Antonio Gasparich.

Fast forward to today, after multiple relocations and name changes and it’s not just standing – it’s thriving as California’s oldest continuously run restaurant. 

This place has endured Prohibition, food shortages during World War II, and the 1989 earthquake.

This place isn’t just old; it’s a slice of history served up on a plate.

So, what’s the deal with the good old coffee stand? 

Well, first of all, it’s now called Tadich Grill and it has been since the early 1900s.

It’s where you find a mix of the classic and the new, all rolled into one. 

It’s a spot where timeless recipes get a handshake with San Francisco’s ever-changing vibe. 

Tadich Grill isn’t just another eatery though.

It’s where you go to get a real taste of San Francisco, one bite at a time.

Historical Significance

Tadich Grill started off small, really small. 

Think of a coffee stand in the whirlwind of the Gold Rush era.

Back in those days, San Francisco was a different world. 

Full of prospectors and dreamers, and right there was the coffee stand, brewing up something special (along with some grilled fish on the side).

Over the years, this little coffee stand grew up. 

Just like San Francisco, Tadich evolved, morphing into the full-fledged restaurant we see today.

It wasn’t just about serving food. 

Tadich Grill became a part of the city’s soul, a witness to its ups and downs.

The place has seen it all. 

From the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 to the cultural revolutions of the 1960s, Tadich has been there, standing strong.

And let’s not forget Prohibition, The Great Depression, 2 World Wars, and the Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989 too!

But it’s not just about the events it’s witnessed.

Famous faces have walked through its doors too.

This includes people like Anthony Bourdain and Emeril Lagasse.

Imagine the stories those walls could tell! 

From local legends to international celebrities, Tadich Grill has hosted them all.


The exterior? 

Classic San Francisco. 

Picture a facade that whispers tales of the past, inviting you into a different era.

Step inside, and it’s like stepping back in time. 

The interior is a blend of history and comfort, where old-world charm meets modern hospitality.

You’ll notice the wood paneling first. 

It’s rich, dark, and oozes character, setting the stage for a unique dining experience.

The lighting is subtle, casting a warm glow that makes the historic decorations pop. 

It’s all about creating an atmosphere that’s cozy yet elegant.

And the seating? 

Think classic booths and sturdy wooden chairs. 

They’re not just for sitting; they’re an invitation to linger, to soak in the ambiance.

This isn’t just dining; it’s an experience. 

It’s the kind of place where the setting adds flavor to the food. 

Where history isn’t just on the walls, it’s in the air. 

Culinary Highlights

Tadich Grill is a hotspot for seafood lovers. 

Think fresh, think flavorful, and you’re thinking Tadich.

The menu is a parade of classics. 

But let’s talk about the stars of the show. 

The Seafood Cioppino, for instance, is a symphony of oceanic delights. 

It’s rich, hearty, and brimming with the freshest catch.

Then there’s the Grilled Fish. 



But it’s grilled to perfection, with each flavor given a chance to shine.

And don’t forget the Crab Cakes. 

They’re crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and packed with flavor. 

It’s like San Francisco on a plate.

Quality is king at Tadich. 

Every ingredient speaks of freshness and top-notch sourcing. 

So the ingredients are top quality but what about the cooking methods? 

They’re a blend of tradition and precision. 

It’s about honoring the ingredients, letting their natural flavors take center stage.

The flavors are a journey in themselves. 

From the zing of lemon in the fish to the rich, tomato-based broth of the Cioppino, it’s a taste adventure.

💡 And here’s a tip: Try the Clam Chowder. It’s creamy, comforting, and downright delicious.

If you’re curious to learn more about Tadich Grill or planning a visit, check out their website and follow them on social media for the latest updates and a taste of history.

Useful Information

When planning your visit to Tadich Grill, there are a few key things to keep in mind to make your experience as enjoyable as possible:


Tadich Grill is located at 240 California Street, San Francisco, CA.


Check their website for the most up-to-date hours of operation, but at the time of writing they’re open at the following times:

  • Monday-Friday 11am-2:30pm, 4:30pm-9:30pm
  • Saturday 4:30pm-9:30pm
  • Sunday – Closed (open for private parties)
tadich grill location


As of the time of writing the website does say that reservations can be made for about half of their seats with the remainder being on a first-come, first-served basis.  

Reservations must be for parties of 2 or more. 


The menu at Tadich Grill is famous for its seafood, but there are also options for those who prefer meat.

Dress Code:

The dress code at Tadich Grill is casual to dressy casual. 

But many patrons enjoy dressing up a bit to match the classic atmosphere of the restaurant.

Sophie Davis

Born and raised in the Bay area of California, Sophie is a California native. She joined our team in 2023 to create travel guides on California.

Learn more about the Traveller's Elixir Team.

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