San Francisco, CA 94111Neighborhood:
Financial District / Embarcadero
Contemporary SouthernPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://hardwaterbar.com/
- Phone: 4153923021x
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch Every day from 11:30am-2:30pm
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
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: American, Contemporary Southern
- Executive Chef: Charles Phan
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Wheelchair Access, Wine
A word from Hard Water
Hard Water is a whiskey bar with the largest selection of craft and highly allocated whiskey on the west coast. We serve delicious small plates and fried chicken in a convivial and lively bar setting. We have two tables for large parties and communal counter seating for snacks and cocktails. Join us for lunch on our sunny patio that fronts the Embarcadero.Continued
We are located at Pier 3, The Embarcadero, San Francisco.
We are located at Pier 3, The Embarcadero, San Francisco.
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerVibrant Bar Scene
Hard Water reviews from OpenTable diners
87 reviews since June 26, 2014
- Ambiance3.8Noise LevelModerate
vibrant bar scene (55)fit for foodies (31)hot spot (28)scenic view (23)great for lunch (10)neighborhood gem (9)late-night find (8)special occasion (6)good for groups (5)great for outdoor dining (4)romantic (4)great for brunch (3)Show More
- Enjoy the character and location!Lars90274VIPDined on 10/17/2014I heard about Hard Water a week ago from a coworker and decided to try it out. The restaurant was not too busy during the lunch hour, but I hear happy hour is great. The food itself is very tasty, I had the fried chicken and waffles and enjoyed it!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food, good drinksfoodbabybayDined on 10/15/2014Easy and flexible about booking and rescheduling a reservation, which was really appreciated. Our "table" was just two stools at a counter. Food was great, yummy drinks too. Good portion size on food and the "small" plates, felt like a good value. Service was moderate. Atmosphere is definitely boisterous.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Hard WaterOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 10/14/2014Great place for fun drinks and great fried chicken. The noise level was really highSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Just okrobinVIPDined on 10/10/2014Service so so. It wasn't busy but service not good. Cod sandwich great. The dinner menu more appealing as they offer a wide assortment of side dishes. Would not go back for lunch. Nothing notable for a vegetarian. Typical salad, cheese - high calorie fare. Southern comfort food not so comforting.Special Features:
- new findmangezbien3VIPDined on 10/1/2014Though the lunch menu is limited, the food was quite good. It was my first time there and the Andouille mac and cheese was delicious. I'll be back to try something elseSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- FoodardoraDined on 9/26/2014If you like whiskey (American, that is) then this is the place for you. The food is good, though not good enough (nor plenty enough) for why one would go there. Service was uneven and confusing. We didn't know who our server was or even if there was a particular person. By 8:00 on a Friday evening, they ran out of one of their more popular dishes (Andouille & Chicken Gumbo). How do you do that? It's a cool looking bar that makes some amazing drinks.Special Features:
- Hard Water: whiskey bar with foodBetsyDined on 9/19/2014I had not realized when I made my reservation that this was primarily a bar! They have a fantastic whiskey menu, as far as I could tell none of which are from Scotland. The food is New Orleans style, spicy, and the food menu is small. There are no tables, just seats around the room and at the bar. Food was mostly good, but it could be varied a bit more. I did not try the whiskeys as I could not imagine how it would blend with the food, but perhaps next visit. My companion had a quite-strong bourbon cocktail which was good. The wine-list is very interesting and the wine was good!Special Features:
- Come here for drinks onlyLive2eatVIPDined on 9/16/2014Came here for lunch. Food menu very limited. Ordered crackling, fried chicken, gumbo and fish sandwich. Portions are incredibly small for the price. $8 gumbo was served in a small coffee cup. Gumbo lacked flavor depth and color. It didn't taste as if they spent the time to make the roux. Crackling was disappointing. Wasn't the fatty, salty goodness I was hoping for. Chicken and fish sandwich lacked flavor. Overall, would just come here to have a glass of bourbon and eat somewhere else. Service was also spotty. Waitress spent most of her time looking at her iPhone, then disappeared before we were finished. Had to get the check from the bartender.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIPDined on 9/15/2014Great cocktails. Good, but expensive, whiskey list. Snacks and apps were good. The fried chicken was very bland. Food came well before the cocktails arrived.Special Features:
- The Best!!ThatsItVIPDined on 9/13/2014I'll be brief,"The Best Fried Chicken in Bay Area"..Everything was very,very good.The bar?.Mind blowing selection of whiskey,rye.We tried damn near the whole menu(small plates) simply delicious!Cant wait to go back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- YummmmphilVIPDined on 9/7/2014GREAT selection of whiskey! Some of the best gumbo I've had outside of New Orleans and ditto the chicken and waffles. Very good blistered peppers too. Service was excellent and the designer cocktails they offer are also quite remarkable. Funky design works.Special Features:
- DisappointedRaisethebarDined on 9/3/2014First, great selection of Americas finest whiskeies and bourbons. So, if we went there just for drinks, and if we had gotten there at 5 when they opened, and we didn't want to talk to each other, including our clients, great experience. If, your going know there are no tables just stools most againt the wall or around the bar, and not many. You should be made aware that a reservation means facing a wall or if you get lucky around the bar. I will say, there are tables outside and on a nice evening would make for a great casual evening spot. We had reservations for dinner, but after an hour we were reaching out through OpenTable to find another spot. We all will return though, I personally never judge a restaurant by one visit.Special Features:
- HaveMealWillTravelHaveMealWillTravelVIPDined on 8/23/2014Have visited this unique eatery in SF 4 times in the past 2 months and have not been disappointed ever. The limited food options are exceptionally flavorful. I know it's good when I want to keep eating more and more. The drinks are original, tasty and too easy to consume. This is a dangerous place because you are lulled into thinking you'll only have a couple of food items and drinks and end up not wanting to leave. Very casual and very 2014. My suggestion, make a reservation in advance or risk a long wait. This is a very neat place.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Whisky GaloreEvatronDined on 8/19/2014This bar had a marvellous selection of mainly North American whisky. We stopped here after a trip to Napa, and wanted somewhere to stop for a light bite to eat. We had the aligator bites and these were fantastic. Service here was excellent, and there was a good vibe to the place. It is quite small, and so if you wanted to each with more than 2 of you, you should call in advance to make a reservation.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Mvr0519VIPDined on 8/17/2014The good is southern. Not many healthy options. I would go back from drinks just not dinner.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Expected MoredatedinerDined on 8/16/2014Everything about this restaurant was just okay. I took my boyfriend here on a date, but it was definitely not the best date spot. There were only two tables inside, but they were meant for larger parties. All other seating was either next to the bar or at a counter-top that wrapped around the room. We sat at the counter, and I felt like I was staring at the wall for the majority of the evening. I was disappointed that they had no wine. If you really like whiskey, then I would recommend it. The food was southern-style, but it was all small plates. I ordered two things for about $10 each, but they were served in little cups, and barely filled me up. This place would be great for an appetizer and drink before heading to dinner.Special Features:
- delicious foodPferazziVIPDined on 8/10/2014but much more of a bar that serves food than a traditional dining experience. amazing selection of whiskeysSpecial Features:
- Not a restuarant, but a great barKennyDVIPDined on 8/5/2014More of a bar with great food than a restaurant. I enjoyed the food and drink, but don't plan this for a nice dinner, it is high tables only. I am disabled so that seems odd they had not way to accommodate me. The chairs are high and hard with poor food rests. I did enjoy everything I ordered but still do not think I will be coming back soon. It is more of a bar there is no easy way to have dinner there unless you like eating off a bar, the sides were also set up as bars. The pork belly cracklin' was great. I think I will attempt this at a slower time. BOURBON deluxe, I could get into trouble with their bourbon list and had the Bourbon Lift and really enjoyed that.Special Features:
- amazing!salseraVIPDined on 8/5/2014Best fried chicken ever. Everything was absolutely delicious.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Incredible Selection.OpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 8/2/2014Was just trying to find a good place to drink before Dinner and I had stumbled upon this little gem. I thought it was strange that I had to have a reservation for a Bar Stool, but found out that there was a reason for this due to the incredible Whiskey selection they had. Discussing with the bartender on what I liked, they suggested a great whiskey for me to try and even gave me a a little history lesson. I had even tried a flight of whiskeys in which the bartender provided a great suggestion. Also, even though this was mainly a bar, the food was just as good. I recommend highly the Pork Belly Cracklins.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- good stop for whiskey fansdieterVIPDined on 7/27/2014Hard Water is a bar with a massive whiskey selection that also has Cajun influenced small plates. Seating is all counter height and stools ... so it is not an especially comfortable environment. We ordered several cocktails (all quite good), small plates and desert. The cocktails were great as well as the recommended bourbon shot. Small plates were good but nothing special. The chocolate creme pie (with peanut butter) was the hit of the evening. Bottom line, this is a nice spot for a before or after dinner drink ... I would not recommend it as a stop for anyone wanting to eat dinner.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Return customerOpenTable Diner Since 2010VIPDined on 7/26/2014When we arrived at 2:00pm per reservation ,$20.00 cab ride, sign on door read closed do to equipment failure?
- Something DifferentMediumrareallday1VIPDined on 7/25/2014Cool spot and a nice change up from the traditional bar. Did the Whiskey 101 tasting and really enjoyed it at $27. Also had the Mac and Cheese which was excellent. Our server was not attentive at all which was kind of annoying. Would have been tough to eat a full dinner there at that level.
- Hard WaterHubieDined on 7/24/2014Had an amazing feel coupled with a Whiskey flight. Can't go wrong with the food either. Go here!Special Features:
- Hard time w/ serviceOaklandFoodieDined on 7/22/2014Took 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!
- Wonderful food terrible seatingOpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 7/20/2014Great 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.
- Top Notch Service, Great FoodrareReveiwerDined on 7/15/2014The 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.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 7/12/2014They 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.Special Features:
- Don't waste your timeLoveSFDined on 7/6/2014This 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!
- Not really a food lover's spot.TheophDined on 7/6/2014The 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Neat place but poorly exectutedOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/30/20146 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
- The following 148 reviews are from the Hard Water reviews archive.
- LellaVIPDined on 6/20/2014De 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.Special Features:
- Loud but DeliciousLauraLizVIPDined on 6/20/2014It 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.Special Features:
- SanFranFoodie72Dined on 6/20/2014Service was great. Hostess and waitress were very welcoming and accommodating. Short wait time for food to arriveSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Interesting spotsmudgeVIPDined on 6/17/2014It 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Go for whiskey, stay for the foodDougerVIPDined on 6/15/2014Food 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good review.OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/13/2014Food was good, service was okay. We will definitely go back, good restaurant/ bar in a good location. Definitely recommend it.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Food and DrinkOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 6/12/2014Amazing 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pork Belly Crackling. Bomb Dot ComOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 6/7/2014Order 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!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- I live for Gumbo!FlyingforFoodDined on 6/6/2014As a former New Orleans resident I am always on the lookout for great gumbo. Found some here!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.