Steve Anderson, The Pig & Whistle
“Pubs [are] a mixture between a social club, obviously a drinking place and a restaurant, but also people throw church into the mix — that's where they go to feel comfortable and at peace...”

When Steve Anderson was a young man in London, working the PA systems and managing English punk bands, including none other than the Police, he had no idea that he'd soon go on vacation to San Francisco and never come back.

After falling in love with the city by the bay, Anderson found he missed the English pubs from his home country. In failing to find one that felt authentic, Anderson decided to open one up, himself, despite having never managed a bar or restaurant. Twenty-four years later, the Pig and Whistle is still standing and remains beloved by British ex-pats and neighborhood locals, alike.

Though twenty-four years is impressive, it feels like the Pig and Whistle has been in place since San Francisco's beginnings, with the buzzing, car-heavy Geary Boulevard rising up around it. There's no question the pub looks out of place and can even be easy to miss. It's difficult to identify which neighborhood the Pig and Whistle belongs to, as it seems to be the thread that ties together Laurel Heights, Lone Mountain, and the Inner Richmond at the seam. But as soon as you step inside, you realize there are few places that'll make you feel more at home than this charming English pub.

Though Anderson admits he isn't much of a chef, himself, he had a clear vision for the menu and wanted to introduce traditional English pub fare to San Francisco, while still offering American style favorites. The food is not only top rated on popular review sites, but has been lauded as the city's Best Pub Food by SFWeekly. Combined with the wide beer selection, which represents European brewers from the UK, Holland, and France, as well as local favorites like Sierra Nevada, Anchorsteam, and Lagunitas, it's impossible to leave the Pig and Whistle hungry — or thirsty.

Listen to the episode to hear the full story.

Steve Anderson of San Francisco's Pig and Whistle pours a fresh pint of London Pride. Dozens of beers are on tap at the Pig and Whistle, including British, French, Belgian, Dutch, and US varieties. Fried chicken wings from the Pig and Whistle come with three different dipping sauces. The Fish and Chips from the Pig and Whistle are one of the pub's best selling items on the menu.
The Pig and Whistle's Steak and Mushroom Pie is the perfect fall meal. A crisp lager pairs perfectly with the Steak and Mushroom Pie at the Pig and Whistle, though this isn't the kind of establishment that suggests pairings.
A crowd gathers around the bar on a foggy afternoon at San Francisco's Pig and Whistle. The chalk menu at the Pig and Whistle carefully draws out all of the beers available at the pub.
The Pig and Whistle exterior makes the pub feel as old as San Francisco, itself. HP sauce goes with almost all the pub fare at the Pig and Whistle.
Steve Anderson of the Pig and Whistle leans against the bar. He opened the pub in 1991, his first venture in the restaurant/bar business, and has kept the pub running for 24 years. The Fish and Chips are made from fresh caught fish and require very little seasoning. The flaky pastry crust of the Steak and Mushroom Pie makes this dish from the Pig and Whistle another favorite. Sitting on the corner of Geary Boulevard and Wood Street, the Pig and Whistle is almost hidden, as traffic whizzes by.

Get new Menu Stories episodes delivered to your inbox: