Fin Dining: The Aquarium Goes Gourmet
Dis-clam-er: The Steinhart Aquarium commissary is not an actual restaurant, and our biologists are not actual chefs. Please take this post with a grain of sea salt.
Behind the scenes at Steinhart Aquarium is a commercial kitchen with a very particular clientele: Live animals. From seasonal produce to restaurant-grade seafood to artisanal fish pellets, the commissary takes pride in an honest, ingredient-forward approach to cooking.
Our team draws inspiration from Northern California's cool coastal climate, rich loamy soil, and strict caloric and nutritional guidelines from our in-house veterinary team. Whether you’re sampling a carefully curated selection of krill or guzzling a gallon of protein gel, the commissary promises a culinary experience unmatched in the Bay Area.
More than 1,000 unique species are represented throughout Steinhart Aquarium, and many of them require highly specified diet plans. Keep scrolling for a look inside a typical morning at the commissary, where chefs Alexis, Isaac, Sandy, and Walker have prepared meals for residents of our three main habitats: Osher Rainforest, the California Coast, and the Philippine Coral Reef.
At the commissary, a healthy customer is a happy customer. That’s why we’re committed to using the highest quality fresh and frozen ingredients across all of our dishes.
Rainforest inhabitants are served a seasonal selection of raw, hand-cut fruits and vegetables that reflect the terroir of the region, while our aquatic clients enjoy authentic cuisine that reflects their surroundings: Cold-water krill for cold-water animals, warm-water shrimp for warm-water animals. We strive to create an elevated dining experience that also feels like home, ensuring the nutritional and emotional well-being of our cherished residents.
Mission figs are at their prime as summer turns to fall. Chef Sandy includes them in several dishes, especially those crafted for freshwater fish.
Try them Methuselah’s way: sliced in half with a complimentary belly rub.
The following items are enjoyed by residents of the Osher Rainforest, the California Coast, the Philippine Coral Reef, and beyond.
Before you go, here's the perfect one-pot recipe for the 28-year-old alligator with albinism in your life. You'll need the following ingredients: One frozen rat.
Thaw to room temperature; serve directly into alligator’s mouth.
Special thanks to Steinhart Aquarium Animal Health Biologists Alexis Wallace, Isaac Koyama, and Walker Calhoun; Senior Veterinarian Freeland Dunker; Veterinarian Lana Krol; and volunteer Sandy Falconer.