Tadich Grill is more than just a restaurant; it is a living testament to San Francisco’s culinary heritage. Its enduring legacy, commitment to quality seafood, and timeless ambiance make it a must-visit for locals and tourists alike. As Tadich Grill continues to stand the test of time, it remains a symbol of resilience, tradition, and the enduring spirit of San Francisco.
The Tadich GrillOpens in new window has the honor of being the oldest restaurant in San Francisco; but what’s more, it is the oldest restaurant in the entire state of California. The seed was planted for the restaurant back in 1849, when three immigrants from Croatia— Nikola Budrovich, Frano Kosta and Antonio Gasparich — set up a tent on Long Wharf selling coffee and grilled fish to sailors and merchants.
In 1871, 16-year-old John Tadich arrived in San Francisco from his home in Dalmatia on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. The original coffee tent had set up a permanent shop, and Tadich was hired as a bartender. In 1877, the establishment moved to 221 Leidesdorff St. (named for African American businessman William A. Leidesdorff). Tadich went along and, ultimately, bought the business.
To the great dismay of Tadich, the 1906 earthquake and fire destroyed the premises, leading him to join forces with fellow immigrant John Sutich. Eventually, the restaurant found its permanent home on California Street, where it remains to this day.
Like San Francisco herself, The Tadich Grill has weathered a lot over the years. From Prohibition to the food shortages during World War II to the 1989 earthquake, Tadich has kept its doors open, and grateful customers keep coming back.
The Tadich Grill in the 21st Century
Today, the Tadich Grill remains true to its turn-of-the-century roots. Keeping the traditions of Old San Francisco alive, the focus is on top-quality ingredients and good service.
The atmosphere of the Tadich Grill is much the same as it always was. Visitors will still find white-jacketed waiters serving generous platters of fresh food in an art deco interior.
The Tadich Grill does not take reservations, so expect a wait at peak times. Despite this, diners don’t seem to complain and many customers are content to take a seat at the bar and eat their meal there as an option. After all, how often do you get to enjoy a made-to-order meal with centuries of history behind it?