Butterfly, The Embarcadero
Butterfly, The Embarcadero

Butterfly, The Embarcadero

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.butterflysf.com/
  • Phone: (415) 864-8999
  • Hours of Operation:
    Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm
    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 3:00pm
    Dinner: Tuesday-Sunday: 5pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Pan-Asian, Californian, Asian
  • Executive Chef: Robert Lam
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: For parties larger than 40 guests, please contact the Special Event Coordinator for details.
  • Private Party Contact: Daryah Newman 4158648999x
  • Entertainment: Live Jazz on Thursday for dinner service.
  • Special Events: From wedding festivities to convention parties, our waterfront location is the perfect backdrop for your next event. Please contact us for more information.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Bay Street at The Embarcadero
  • Public Transit: Take the bart or muni to Market Street. Catch the F-line street train towards Fisherman’s Wharf. It stops in front of our restaurant at Pier 33.
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Parking lot across the street. Metered street parking on the Embarcadero.
A word from Butterfly, The Embarcadero
Butterfly offers the perfect mix of food, atmosphere, an amazing California Wine List and great decor. Chef Robert Lam was named as a previous "Top 6 Rising Star Chef" by The Chronicle, Lam continues to impress by bringing his innovative California-Asian cuisine to the waterfront location on the Embarcadero. " Narsai David of KCBS said," Butterfly is a happening place". Best seafood soup, I have ever had!" A few suggestions Clams and Mussels, Salmon and Strawberry Rolls, Kalua Pig in Butter Lettuce Cups, Crispy Fried Whole Fish, and Banana Bread Pudding for dessert.
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Butterfly, The Embarcadero reviews from OpenTable diners
81 reviews since July 23, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food3.9
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
78% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
scenic view (53)fit for foodies (40)romantic (32)neighborhood gem (20)special occasion (19)good for groups (14)great for lunch (14)hot spot (13)great for brunch (10)notable wine list (5)late-night find (5)vibrant bar scene (3)kid-friendly (2)great for outdoor dining (1)Show More
  • Great experience
    Lala
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    Excellent server who was very helpful as to taste, level of spice, etc. All entrées were excellent – catfish, short ribs, steak. We all enjoyed the Asian fusion flavors. We arrived on a quiet evening so the noise level was not an issue. Lovely views, friendly location, highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great cocktails, ambience, and good dinner
    jkc1
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    The decor of Butterfly is very cool in the evening, and sitting right above the water nice. our cocktails were excellent, my dinner very good and my husband's dinner good (not great). the only real downside was a large group (15-20 people), creating a very noisy environment. Sound absorption installation would make it a wonderful location. :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great deals & GF
    Gaslamp
    Dined on 11/13/2014
    For SF this place has some great deals. During the week day they run specials and can get an app, entree and dessert for only $32. Their happy hour deals are excellent as well. The wait staff is knowledgable and friendly and plenty of GF options. One of my favorite spots to business or pleasure.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, late-night find, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Lunch
    OL2HVIP
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    We enjoyed a late lunch at Butterfly after our Alcatraz tour. A perfect ending to a wonderful day on the rock. Service was outstanding, and the dishes prepared to our liking. We had several small plates rather than the larger entree's and this worked out great. And, to finish, they served awesome expresso.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • a beauty
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    Loved our dinner for two on Friday. Wonderful and filling food. Great service. Nice table. Nice decor.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    Ridiculous that they required a credit card to hold the reservation for 6 people. The restaurant was 3/4 empty. Food was good, service was very friendly although a bit off with timing, i.e., didn't take away the menu, didn't clear plates. But all in all, a very nice experience. The food was tasty but the menu for dinner is a bit lacking with respect to choices.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    Everything we ordered was excellent! The restaurant is a bit dark.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointing
    MikkiVIP
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    Highly reviewed, ultimately disappointing. Had a dinner reservation - celebrating 52 anniversary. Decided on happy hour first. Service: indifferent; food: OK; celebration: unacknowledged. cancelled dinner. Won't return
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • 1st date impression: eat first.
    WhineandDine
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    This is a great ambiance place; they've nailed an aesthetic. I was relaxed & in a good mood. Also, the menu items appeared promising, but had exceedingly poor execution. I had pancake-batter thick squash blossoms, grossly overcooked and mostly inedible. Presentation looked questionable, copycat school-kid artistry. Wine list was +. Everyone at my 4-top agreed that a 2nd visit would not be made. Still, if I was still dating, I might consider the place. 1st, there's the + impression for picking a "nice" place. 2nd, there's the Embarcadero to stroll afterwards to extend the date (if one is lucky enough to want to extend it). 3rd, the food is inexpensive. 4th, you'll score points if you use your "fail" to secure a redo.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Butterfly-Hit and Miss
    bobbies75thVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    This was our second time going to Butterfly. I do not think we will go back. While our waiter,Tom, was great, everything else was hit and miss. Several things the restaurant was out of. It took a while to get drinks. The appetizers were very good, the taste of the entrees was good but like warm. Did not want to send it back for heating, because the kitchen was so slow in providing food. We had two birthdays in our group, and these were handled very nicely with great desserts. But was really disappointed with the bulk of the evening.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Date Spot
    ST27
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Took my now girlfriend there on our first date, so glad I did. The atmosphere was perfect for a romantic evening, and its conveniently located close to the Wharf, so you can just take a late stroll after the meal. I highly recommend reserving a table. They gave us the best one in the house!
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • nice
    PeterVIP
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Great food, service, views and space! Great menu items to choose from. Always very good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • AMAZING
    JesseyAngel
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    I saw Butterfly on Check Please, Bay Area and felt I needed to try it out. I was not disappointed. The food was amazing! The service was above & beyond. After dinner they removed our dinner plates & actually cleaned the table. The owner makes his rounds greeting people & is super friendly and fun to talk to. I LOVED this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Service to the max
    redgrey
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Upon arriving the hostess welcomed us enthusiastically. When we asked for a quiet table and one near the window she gave us the best table facing the window and in a quiet spot. Very accommodating. Our waiter was so friendly and helpful, made great suggestions. Beautiful view and an extra treat was a fireworks display over the water that night. Great dining experience
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really Great Food
    slyoun
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    I don't even like pork chops but the Butterfly changed my view. It was so delicious I think about going back just for the pork chop. And outstanding bread pudding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Date Night Duo
    DineDateDuoVIP
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    We made early reservations and were seated promptly. The very was very nice and the service was excellent. However, I our cocktails were poor. The Manhattan was undrinkable and the Dirty martini was way too dirty. My wife's noodles were very good but my steak was tough and tasted old. We would not recommend.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Bay View Gem
    SFSeniorVIP
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    We got a same day reservation at a Bay view table on a Thursday when there was jazz being played. A great start to a lovely evening with wonderful food. It was a nice touch that the chef came by to inquire about our dinning experience. Good food with good friends, who can ask for more?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Menu Items Missing
    SberryVIP
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    We went to butterfly per a recommendation while traveling in SF. Unfortunately, we were unable to taste the food because many entrees on the menu were unavailable that night. After each entrée we intended to order was not available, we decided to go somewhere else. The atmosphere is modern though the lights were do dim one of my guests could not read the menu.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Total Tourist Trap
    OperaLoverVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    The food was way overpriced for the quality. There is better food for the money, with better views, on the wharf.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • nice day
    kernmdVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    nice day in SF. walked up the embarcadero to Butterfly. I had the fish sandwich and she had the Viet meatballs. Not bad.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • great food great service
    Louiseb
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    and great cocktails! the food presentation is often spectacular, particularly the fish! We were comfortable sitting for3 hours catching up with old friends. The waiter was immensly helpful, honest and funny. We loved him!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Unique View
    SFVisitor
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    I love Butterfly. The food and view are both unique. The service is always super -- very attentive. Easy parking in the area if you are a local. My favorite is the fried calamari and I just discovered the kiwi cucumber fix. A great drink for a non drinker. I always take out of town guests there. Its not so noisy that you can't have a good conversation but it is a lively atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food and view
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    We really enjoyed the food and got a table right on the bay for a great view. Come before the sun goes down to get full enjoyment of this place.
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Butterfly
    foodismylife
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    we loved the restaurant...the food was presented lovely, the tastes was exquisite...we'll come back again before a Giants game (as we did this time)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Kid's menu needs work
    ssomadronef
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Were in the neighborhood after taking in the sites and needed a place to eat that was kid friendly. Noticed messaging on the Butterfly sign about having a kids menu. Gave it a shot. Not impressed. Adult menu was fine (been here before) but won't be going back any time soon if we have the kids in tow. Also, gf and I noticed odd smell wafting through the restaurant. Not horrible, but definitely not super pleasant. She was hypothesizing, after using the restroom, that it may have been the incense that was being burned. If that's the case someone needs to choose a new flavor. Didn't ruin the dinner, just put it off a little. IMO.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loud trumpet-blaring music!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    We love Butterfly. In the past it has been our favorite San Francisco restaurant. But the loud blaring trumpet music made it difficult to have a conversation. We asked them to turn it down twice, and they did once. But why can't they have quiet music? The hard surfaces echo people's voices, and they crank up the music over that. We will not be going back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious apperizers
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Went for my wife's birthday. We had the duck confit spring rolls, and Ahi entree. Both we're cooked perfectly. Also my wife tried a new (for her) cocktail and it was a little too sweet so the waiter brought her a different one free of charge. Very friendly staff and helpful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great evening in SF
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Thanks for a lovely evening spent with old friends visiting from the East coast. The view was perfect, of course. The food was good--the service good too. Being able to park in front was a big plus!!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Butterfly Hit the Spot
    RudolphVIP
    Dined on 8/4/2014
    Staff are awesome! After a tour of Alcatraz, we were super hungry and craving Chef Lam's garlic noodles and everything else on the menu. As the kitchen was closing Monday at 3pm, the hostess and Manager honored my reservation. I also had out-of-town guests from Hawaii, and they were ecstatic to be seated immediately and indulge in some mouth-wateing Asian-Fusion dishes. They loved the waterfront view from our seats, and thought the food was excellent. Good times ~ Aloha!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Something different
    Chris
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Excellent food, nice presentation and prepared in slightly different ways. The staff is attentive and very helpful for special requests. Good choice for people for like to try new things. Spacious seating arrangements, food for groups as well as tete-a-tete dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and service
    maryeatsout
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    A lovely view of the bay while we dined on very tasty food. The Kahlua pulled pork app was super. The Ahi tuna dish was very interesting besides the good fish. There was no decision about desserts- we all ordered a favorite and shared. Couldn't miss- banana bread pudding, burnt cream, Lava cake! Knowledgeable waiter. Loved his recommendation on the Austrian white wine-Veltliner.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good food and service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Enjoyed the appetizers. Had the Poke, Shrimp Mango Salad, Duck Confit Spring rolls, Kalua Pork Lettuce Cups. All very good! Had the Hanger Steak for entree. Meet was done perfect, the the dish had too much liquid.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not a great visit
    SFGalVIP
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Our group struggled with menu choices, a bit. Food is fresh, but banana lumpia dessert was bad. The worst part of meal was when the kitchen started frying fish and the exhaust system was turned off. The whole restaurant became smokey and smelly. Really unpleasant. The staff seemed oblivious to the issue.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • nuoc mam - elevated!
    loveNpeas
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    We celebrated a friend's 40th b-day here. The waiter, staff, and the chef truly made our 6-ladies night out a super-fun experience. We loved the food! Mind you we had great "mom" cooks on our table. We don't settle for tasteless food and overcooked ingredients. The restaurant also reserved us a very nice table. I did ask for a free bottle of champagne on our table which of course was gumptious of me. Our friend got a better one though - Nuoc Mam, a b-day present from Chef Lam :)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • view does not make up 4 poor food
    foodtourist
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Very disappointing. Was hoping for good food but it's a rip off tourist trap.
    Special Features:
    scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 46 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 23, 2014
    • Overall Rating4
    • Food4
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.2
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 1579 reviews are from the Butterfly, The Embarcadero reviews archive.
  • Auntie Jen
    Auntiejen
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Perfect ending to a wonderful vacation. The food was exquisitely presented and tasted divine. Ambiance was wonderful and waterside setting was a nice touch. We loved every mouthful and were sorry when the meal was over.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Creative Asian California cuisine
    Deko
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    The Vietnamese chef incorporates his love of Asian cuisine into creative, California cuisine. His fried whole fish was gorgeous in presentation and delicious.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Really interesting food.
    smudgeVIP
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Fresh flavors and lovely presentation of varied lunch menu. Will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • nice overall dining spot
    cocoon
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    Butterfly is a restaurant that one can dine for light meal, lunch or dinner with enough variety of choices. This is our third return and we continue to find the servings good and menu choices flavorful.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Service I've ever had here!
    amzmanVIP
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    I've had some mixed Service at this restaurant over the years but the team of people working this time was outstanding. I didn't have to ask for anything, they refilled my water, we received our food promptly and in order (i.e. appetizers first then main course). Even the new hostess was better than the grouchy one we've had to deal with in the past over our past few reservations.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.