If you’ve ever visited San Francisco, CA, I hope you took the opportunity to try the city’s famous dish, Cioppino. If you didn’t, or you’ve never been to San Fran, book a trip now, as this dish is reason enough to visit the city on the bay. While a full week would be wonderful, you really only need a long weekend in San Francisco if that’s all the time you have.
As you eagerly await the trip to your new favourite city, get in the mood by making this special dish at home. Cioppino is a type of seafood stew, made with a wide variety of seafood in a tomato and white wine broth complete with crusty bread to soak up the juices. It’s warm and savoury and the best upscale comfort food you could imagine.
The dish dates back to 1925 when an Italian immigrant, Nunzio Alioto, living in San Francisco created the dish to sell from a stall at Fisherman’s Wharf to workers at lunchtime. It was a huge success and by 1932 opened a restaurant to sell the dish.
Ever since then, Cioppino has become wildly popular around the city and is by far the best and most important thing to try on your travels to the city. Plan to try it in San Francisco at Sotto Mare, a small local spot that is packed every night because everyone knows theirs is the best in town. They serve a large portion for two, with a small twist from the original version, including pasta in the stew, the perfect addition.
For this recipe, feel free to make substitutions for the seafood. I prefer to use items that are easy to find in my local grocery store, but you can certainly use whatever seafood you’d like. It can include any combination of the following: mussels, clams, scallops, shrimp, white fish, Dungeness crab legs, and calamari.