I hate it when the local weather reporter tells us we’re in for a cold weekend in San Francisco and I wake up Saturday morning to a bright, sunny, gorgeous day. Because I’ve already made plans to spend the day outside the City. Ah, well. This happened one particular Saturday when I was heading to the Hog Island Oyster Company. We were going to celebrate a friend’s birthday. HIOC is located in Tomales Bay, where the San Andreas fault dips under the ocean. But let’s not think about that.

Since I don’t eat seafood (with the exception of sole, a non-fishy-tasting fish) the fact that I was going to this place surprised some of my friends. But the great thing about HIOC is that you don’t have to be an oyster-eater to enjoy it. You can reserve picnic tables and grills and bring your own food to cook and eat. And some people really go all out with their spreads. I swear I saw homemade centerpieces on some tables.

The oyster bar, the view...

There's some shuckin' going on...

A few warnings to any of you who decide to make the trek up to Hog Island:

  • There is no cell phone reception. So if you are meeting up with friends and they accidentally go to Tomales Bay Oyster Company, the only way you’ll be able to find out is to get back in your car and find them.
  • Don’t buy the wood chips to grill your food, unless you want to wait at least a half-hour to be able to cook anything.
  • The roads are winding but the view is gorgeous. Anyone who easily gets car-sick should know ahead of time to be prepared for the drive.
We had a great time. Lots of delicious food and fun conversation. And that’s what it’s all about, right? I highly recommend making a trip to Tomales Bay and checking it out. But if you can’t make it to Tomales Bay and still want to try some Hog Island oysters, just head over to the Ferry Building in San Francisco and save yourself some gas.
~ Christina