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San Francisco, CA 94111
Financial District / Embarcadero
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$30 and under
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Hard Water Details
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Wednesday:
Kitchen serves food from 5-10pm
Bar is open until 12am
Thursday - Saturday:
Kitchen serves food from 5-11pm
Bar is open until 12am
Both kitchen and bar close at 10pm
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Wheelchair Access, Wine
Between Broadway and Washington
A word from Hard Water
We are located at Pier 3, The Embarcadero, San Francisco.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
Diners' Choice Winner
Vibrant Bar Scene
Hard Water -
Best Restaurants in Financial District
Took an important client here as
thought the setting was unique and location was fun for an out of towner. Our server was terrible. Rude, never smiled, and when we asked her about the menu she was borderline offensive. She only half heartedly spoke to things and pushed the items that clearly are not what most folks would gravitate to--alligator being one of them.After we muddled through on our own, she came back to tell us they were out of lettuce so could not do any salads. Then they were out of another entree, can't recall which. She offered little apology (and it was only 7:30p so running out of items on such a limited menu was odd). She plunked down our receipt w/out offering dessert, which we wanted. That was at least great!"
Dined on 7/22/2014
Great food and drink, terrible
seating. Hush puppies are delicious and perfect and so were all the other dishes we tried. The seats are so uncomfortable when I left my legs were some combination of tired, pained, and numbed. My butt was sore from the hard, hard seats. Also, no purse/coat hooks under the bar/counter is a minus. My husband also loved the food but said he won't go back because the place is so uncomfortable."
Dined on 7/20/2014
The food was much better than
expected. Typically if you tell me "cheese and crackers", I think that will be okay. At Hard Water, It was amazing. They're service was Grade A. They were very attentive to us, made great recomendations and made us feel like their top customers. I will highly recommend this place to friends looking for a great place to eat in San Francisco, which is a very short list."
Dined on 7/15/2014
They should not be on open table
as they have 2 tables for dinner. That's it. We used open table to get a last min reservation .. when we got there we were told "I don't know why you were allowed to make a reservation on open table cause we have no place" The hostess was pretty rude. She "heard us" that we were 4 yet asked us to sit at a bar in a row for dinner. We were on a double date. We told her that the other table was paying up (she should have known this) so she asked us to wait. After that table was empty we waited for 15 mins as noone came to help us. Once we sat another 15 mins to getting menus. Our waitress was very sweet. They need more staff. Food was OK. Drinks were good. This is more of a Bar than a diner place."
Dined on 7/12/2014
This place has non existent staff
who when they do show up are rude! The cooks who eat and drink over the food they are preparing. The health department needs to visit this place and you need to think about how to spend your money on food and service at one of the many other great places in this city!"
Dined on 7/6/2014
The whiskey and bourbon selection
was awesome. And they new how to serve each selection appropriately. The food on the other hand, was quite disappointing. We ordered grits, pork skins, gumbo and macaroni and cheese. The grits were good and cheesy but everything else was extremely salty! My wife and i like a lot of salt but this was too much. The thing that concerned us was that it wasn't just one dish but all of them. The grits were also pretty salty but the cheese cut the saltiness enough so that we could enjoy them. Everything else was very difficult to eat. They should think about just having snacks and a whiskey bar."
Dined on 7/6/2014
6 tiny baked oysters for $22. They
were hardly cooked, not fresh and basically terrible. I have gotten oysters twice that size for half the price in SF The mac and cheese was fine but overall it was just a miss. I really wanted to like the place.... but there are too many other southern food restaurants that I know I like in SF"
Dined on 6/30/2014
De Maison oysters good, shrimp and
grits delicous. Very busy, but when food came was good. Take your patience with you if its really busy as is only a small place. Recommend reserving. There are not any tables, but seating at bar and at counters around the sides, with a couple of tables near entrance."
Dined on 6/20/2014
It was SO LOUD in there it was
impossible to hear the 2 people I was with without shouting. That being said, the food (and drinks) were delicious."
Dined on 6/20/2014
Service was great. Hostess and
waitress were very welcoming and accommodating. Short wait time for food to arrive"
Dined on 6/20/2014
It was really quiet here at
lunchtime but I can see how the bar scene could be really crazy -- in a good way. The server mentioned one could make reservations even just to come in for a drink so clearly that's the thing to do first time--especially. The menu is a bit limited for lunch but afterall it is a whisky bar first. We enjoyed the food and will go back for drinks."
Dined on 6/17/2014
Food was amazing. We couldn't
decide so we shared family style. We had baked clams, gumbo, mac n cheese, shrimp and grits and some outstanding chicken and waffles. Whiskey coctails were very good."
Dined on 6/15/2014
Food was good, service was okay.
We will definitely go back, good restaurant/ bar in a good location. Definitely recommend it."
Dined on 6/13/2014
Amazing selection of bourbon and
delicious, well-made cocktails. All of the food we ordered was incredibly flavorful. Simple fare made with top quality ingredients and preparation. Service, unfortunately was not of similar quality. Multiple servers arrived to take our order--after we had ordered. At some point we seemed to get "forgotten," and was hard to get anyone's attention. All dishes arrived at once. Items added to bill which we did not order. Maybe an off night? Discombobulated overall. Service was very good on a previous visit. We'll be back."
Dined on 6/12/2014
Order the pork belly crackling.
You won't regret it. Came for the ridiculous selection of whiskey but all we could talk about when we left was that darn pork belly. It certainly added to my belly but it was ah-maze-ing!!"
Dined on 6/7/2014
As a former New Orleans resident I
am always on the lookout for great gumbo. Found some here!"
Dined on 6/6/2014
The set-up of this place is more
of a bar rather than a restaurant. Food was decent. Would recommend coming here for drinks."
Dined on 6/5/2014
I understand you'll be tempted to
order lighter maybe even healthier options, but just order the best thing on the menu: the fried chicken. They should offer the cheesy grits for lunch too."
Dined on 5/30/2014
We came here with a group of 5 and
got one of the two tables in the bar/restaurant. It was right next to the door and quite chilly. The food was outstanding and it was a fun place to be. A very youthful scene, but too loud for us seniors (or any other group) to hear each other)! It is really best for two or three people who want a great drink, a fun "scene", and terrific food."
Dined on 5/29/2014
The whiskey, bourbon selection,
though expensive was outstanding. However, unless you are ordering raw bar, the food is terrible. The menu should be titiled "Fat, Fat and More Fat". Also, the cajun cooking theme is not representative of real dirty rice or anything else that is remotely cajun (i am sorry but i cook cajun food and it was not palatable at all). I do understand the scope - with the HARD WATER that you are serving, you want some grease to absorb in order not to have drunk patrons, but geez! some improvements need to be made....fast!"
Dined on 5/28/2014
Love the location. Right near the
water on the Pier. I went with my husband and daughter. Great place for adults not so great for kids. You sit at high counters and not really facing the people you are eating with. The food was delicious but they specialize in whiskey and bourbon which is fine if that is what you drink. I don't so the choices of cocktails is limited. Not a lot of choices for kids either. We ordered a bunch of their small plates which were delicious. We had the pork belly, alligator, and cheesy grits to name a few. So if you are going out for a quick meal and like bourbon and whiskey drinks and don't have children this is a great place."
Dined on 5/18/2014
I had a reservation for 7:30. We
arrived at 7:29. We were not seated until 7:40. We were not asked for our drink orders for another five minutes. At 8pm, when we still did not receive our drinks, we decided to leave. I would not recommend anyone to go here."
Dined on 5/16/2014
The food was delicious and one of
the most authentic southern cuisines I have encountered in San Francisco. An amazing array of whiskey with seasonal drinks that were perfection. "
Dined on 5/16/2014
The lemon/citrus drinks were
delicious, though at $11 a pop, not cheap. Did not try the food, none of it was finger-food like enough to be appealing as drink appetizers. Lots of young, loud people in the early part of the evening, which then mellowed out to more comfortable noise level. On a warm night, the bar seats near the windows, particularly facing the water are quite nice, but we couldn't get seated there. It's a pretty decor, with great lighting, but all the marble also makes the setting noisier. "
Dined on 5/13/2014
Lively bar scene with a good
looking crowd. All seating is barstools though, and they are not comfortable -- there is not a good place to put your feet, so it makes lingering over a meal problematic. Drinks are excellent, and good bourbon pairs well with the fried pork cracklins as a starter. Calamari small plate was tremendous. Out of 12 oysters ($44), 2 were so tiny we complained, and they did replace the minis -- price was high to send out sub-par oysters though. Menu can be tough to navigate sharing with picky eaters or pescatarians. Go with meat loving friends."
Dined on 5/13/2014
The food was decent, nothing
special. We had shrimp and grits, bone marrow, chicken liver pate, pork cracklings. We were served by 3 different bartenders over the course of our 2 hour dinner who mostly ignored us and we had to flag them down repeatedly. Seating is very uncomfortable and strange. Bar stools with no backs with no bar to rest your feet on, and at 5'5' I could not reach the bar ledge so my legs dangled all night. There are no tables, only bar and counter seating. On the good side, some others have commented that reservations were not honored, but were seated immediately on a Saturday night. I guess if you want to try some rare whiskeys this might be a reason to go, but otherwise there's not much to recommend. "
Dined on 5/10/2014
Food menu is sparse, but good. Its
all about whiskey and mixed drinks. No tables, just bar stools so not a place for a sitdown meal. Very cool display of 100s of American whiskies. "
Dined on 5/9/2014
A return visit to Hard Water
witnessed a continued commitment to their excellent whiskey selection. That is key, because the food and service were otherwise good, but not outstanding. Long waits between drinks and taking orders for drinks, cramped seating spaces, and tasty, but not mouth-watering small plates marked a nice evening out. And it seemed like the waitress was having a slightly hard day, a hint of surliness was evident."
Dined on 5/6/2014
While our party of four loved the
drinks and the interesting, although smallish menu choices, we found all of the food to be overly salty for our tastes. The spectacular cocktails went a long way to dissipating the salt overload. "
Dined on 5/5/2014
The menu was interesting but
overall not desirable and some things could have been hotter! Service was great!"
Dined on 5/3/2014
Whiskey is the draw. What a list
to choose from and a very knowledgable staff to assist. A bonus is the food is awesome. Especially the boudin balls, pork cracklings and creamy grits. This is high end southern."
Dined on 4/29/2014
Have never seen so many bourbons,
ryes and other brown hard waters. Food is good but a small bowl of gumbo is priced too high. Pork-belly cracklings are phenomenal!!"
Dined on 4/26/2014
Have been to Hard Water at least 7
or 8 times in the past 6 months. This used to be my go-to place however the last two times I have been there the menu has been changed, the old favorites are gone .. side of waffles (Boo hoo) and the seared sirloin steak and celery hearts to name a few. All the things I used to order! Also, noticed the last time I was there the drinks were a bit skimpy compared to previous visits. The food is good just wish they would stop changing the menu!"
Dined on 4/25/2014
When Hard Water first opened,
people raved about it, and they're still thriving off that early buzz. The gluten-free fried chicken is pretty average, which is saying a lot since gluten-free friend chicken is hard to find. The sauteed calamari is so spicy it makes me wonder about the quality or source of the meat. All of the vegetable sides (collard greens, etc) were pretty inedible (bitter, overcooked) and I like collard greens, etc. It's loud, and I wouldn't recommend anyone come here with a group larger than 2, but the service was really good. They were friendly and accommodating. It's a scene, and you go for the scene. I wish I'd come in the early weeks when they were still trying. The menu isn't large enough for me to return. "
Dined on 4/24/2014
The food is initially interesting,
but disappointing. There could be more lunch options. Most everything is very heavy on the carbs. The salads are great! Fried chicken with waffles weird. All brown, no colour. Waffles dry. Flounder tasteless. "
Dined on 4/21/2014
The wait staff was nice but didn't
get our order right....at all. We ordered Calamari and got fried Alligator. The rabbit was actually 2 biscuits with tiny bits of rabbit on the bottom of the dish and we got the Flounder an hour + after we ordered it. It was a frustrating experience and I would not recommend this place to anyone. "
Dined on 4/19/2014
Hard Water gives and gives, it's
absolutely wonderful, from the decor to the food, it's a real joy to experience. I can't wait to return. C"
Dined on 4/17/2014
This is the place for an
outstanding cocktail. Bartenders rock"
Dined on 4/11/2014
My party of four enjoyed a lunch
and drinks. Service was excellent. Food was delicious. I would have liked a more generous portion."
Dined on 4/10/2014
I'd come back for a drink but not
to eat. Everything was a little too salty. We ordered greens, chicken and waffles, rabbit stew and spicy pork cracklins. We expected t he cracklins to be salty, but every dish was overly salty."
Dined on 4/9/2014
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