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Permanently Closed - Butterfly, The Embarcadero

4.0
1978 reviews
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$30 and under
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Pan-Asian
Top Tags:
  • Scenic View (2914)
  • Fit for Foodies (2386)
  • Special Occasion (1779)

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About

This restaurant is permanently closed. 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.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Pan-Asian, Vietnamese, Asian
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Hours of operation
Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00 pm
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 3:00 pm
Dinner: Wednesday-Saturday: 4:00 pm
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Phone number
(415) 864-8999
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Robert Lam
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Private party facilities
For parties larger than 40 guests, please contact the Special Event Coordinator for details.
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Private party contact
Helen Chandra: (415) 864-8999
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Cross street
Bay Street at The Embarcadero
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Parking details
Parking lot across the street. Metered street parking on the Embarcadero.
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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.
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Entertainment
Live Jazz on Thursday for dinner service.
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Special events & promotions
From wedding festivities to convention parties, our waterfront location is the perfect backdrop for your next event. Please contact us for more information.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Entertainment, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1978 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.0  based on all time ratings
4.0
food
4.0
service
4.0
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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vipRudolph (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 7, 2017

Last meal at Butterfly in SF, RIP. Thank you Chef Lam for the awesome memories the last 16 years. SF won't be the same without this fine restaurant and its ambiance. I love those sea urchin chandeliers!

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on January 6, 2017

had hard time reading the menu, since it was so dark.. took awhile before waiter to greet us ..
took awhile between service of food items ..

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 6, 2017

It is a shame that this restaurant is now closed. It was very romantic!

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ChiliQueen (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on January 5, 2017

The food was fabulous as it always is. The calamari is to die for. The duck confit spring rolls are to kill for. The Shanghai Noodles, surf and turf style are not to be missed and the catfish was outstanding. We are so sorry to see the closing of Butterfly but we know Chef Rob Lam is moving on to a wondrous new project! And we wish him All the Best!

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Disappointed2 (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on January 1, 2017

They were closed!!!!!!!!!!!

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Helen (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 30, 2016

Overall it was an awesome experience although I am vegetarian and the menu does not have a big list to choose from.

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ItalianFoodinTimesSquare (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on December 24, 2016

Butterfly has a very limited menu with very few choices that aren't "fried". It's not a healthy menu at all. It's also way overpriced - $42 for a 1 lb fried fish - really?
The ambience is great - right on the water and the service was very good, but I can not recommend this restaurant because it is so overpriced and the food, although OK, is not exceptional.

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Tammim (San Francisco)
3.0  Dined on December 24, 2016

Service wasn't very good. For the first 20 minutes we were completely ignored. Had to ask for water and wine list. Waited another 0 minutes and than was brought the wrong wine. Our waiter didn't seem to know what was going on...our food was pretty tasty, but for me it wasn't the best Christmas Eve because of the way we ignored at first and the overall service.

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 24, 2016

Simply wonderful! Beautiful setting, marvelous food, excellent service.

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msTT (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 22, 2016

Our office is local to Butterfly and we really enjoy this place and the sister Poke joint; Sammy's Aloha. The food is good, the Ahi/Poke is excellent, the owner/Chef is fantastic and the staff are SO accommodating. We love this place. Beautiful view out of the huge windows as well.

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Calif (San Francisco)
1.0  Dined on December 21, 2016

Very Loud! Food was cold. The Curry Chowder was bland. We will not be going back

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vip2dindin (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on December 18, 2016

Jose is an awesome server. Considerate and attentive.
The food was delicious and high quality. I highly recommend this restaurant. May I add amazing views.

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 10, 2016

Creative, flavored food. Poor wine menu. Starter too big. Really nice ambiance and decoration.

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vipOpenTable Diner (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on December 3, 2016

First time there nice view of the Bay and Bay Bridge, do the oyster shooters and Hangar Steak or the Cheeseburger:-) Only thing maybe bring a good wine with you, only short fall but the bar is great. Service was great

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on December 3, 2016

We really enjoyed very much so we may comeback soon.

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TessnKim (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 30, 2016

Amazing food - tasty and good portion size. Great ambience and service. Look forward to coming back!

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vipVickiO (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 26, 2016

Tucked away on Pier 33, right next to the Alcatraz Ferry terminal. Why isn't BUTTERFLY packed?!

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OpenTable Diner (Vancouver)
5.0  Dined on November 25, 2016

Wonderful decor, music, and interesting dishes such as fried whole Black bass served with kim chee and tasty rice cake pieces. The Duck Confit spring rolls with wasabi mustard sauce was great too. Just wish there were more people for a livelier atmosphere. Maybe Black Friday night was just a quiet one (as people are out shopping). Also at night, you cannot see much out the large glass windows. It's better to go when there's some light out.

The waitress was friendly and table service was good. Nice value with a Groupon; may be on expensive side without it but worth trying the different fusion dishes at least once.

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OpenTable Diner (San Diego)
4.0  Dined on November 25, 2016

The food and service were amazing. They only issue would be the low lighting but it does provide ambience to the restaurant.

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vipOpenTable Diner (Central Coast)
5.0  Dined on November 24, 2016

Enjoyable fixed dinner with turkey on thanksgiving.

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on November 23, 2016

The Happy Hour menu has lots of tasty choices, and it's fun to share a good variety of small plates with friends. Prices are quite reasonable. Only wish the fixed price menu were still available.

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vipgoldbloodedgriller (San Francisco)
2.0  Dined on November 19, 2016

Good poke, cocktails, & desserts. Duck & chicken entrees were overpriced for mediocre food. Service & atmosphere was blah

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vipSqueeze (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on November 18, 2016

Great green papaya shrimp salad. Duck was good and
Garlic noodles surf and turf ok. We both liked our shared desert.
Banana bread pudding with Carmel sauce and ice cream

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vipFoodanier (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on November 18, 2016

In all, I cannot be totally fair, because I was recovering from an upper respiratory illness, so I could not taste as well as usual. It may have been that was the reason nothing on the menu appealed to me. My friend got the noodles, which were good, and I got the curry chowder, which was also good, but neither were "off the chart". The fresh fish was more expensive than I wanted to spend, and my friend did not want to go for the "steak for two". Perhaps I will try it again when my taste buds have recovered.

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vipBlue (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on November 18, 2016

Outstanding value for lunch with delicious sandwich choices. People in our group had the Angus Cheeseburger Loco Moco style. It was about 6 inches high and was sooo delish. Cooked perfectly - medium rare. The Tumeric catfish Thang Long was a nice low-carb choice with fresh catfish that comes sizzling hot in a cast iron pan. It is liberally drenched with tumeric over carmelized onions. Wrap it in the fresh butter lettuce leaves and sprinkle with the dipping sauce - a great combination of flavors. For a vegetarian choice we had the portobello mushroom sandwich - great flavor, did not miss the meat. The steak fries are medium cut, crunchy on the outside and piping hot. Everything was very comforting and satisfying.

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 12, 2016

We wanted great food and an interesting location for a special occasion and Butterfly delivered. We loved the Catfish, Butterfly Chicken, Peking Duck as well as the cocktails, dessert and service! Our party of 6 left well fed and very happy. Thanks Butterfly!

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bayareagal (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 9, 2016

We had a Groupon for Butterfly, but we had also been wanting to try it since we saw it reviewed on Bay Area Check Please. It did not disappoint! We had happy hour cocktails and appetizers -- great value. The salt & pepper calamari was outstanding. The batter was SO light, and the minced peppers added just the right amount of spice. Truly the best fried calamari appetizer I have ever had. For our entrees, I had the teriyaki hangar steak, which was good. I would have liked a bit more potato and peas. My husband got the whole fish, which was Bronzino sea bass that night. It was moist, flaky, and deliciously seasoned, and even though it was a bit difficult to eat due to the whole fish aspect (bones), the presentation was beautiful. We were seated at a small table that faced the windows so we had a great, unobstructed view of the Bay. Lovely evening and meal!

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 7, 2016

We came here for our 18th wedding anniversary celebration. We arrived early and were seated immediately. The host honored our request for window seating.

We were a little disappointed with our server. We did not receive a warm reception from him. It was our first time trying the place. We were looking to him for guidance. We did not get the warm reception we'd expected for a high end restaurant. I thought he would interact with us i.e. Ask if we have dined there before or return costumer, etc. We expected him to return to ask how we are enjoying our dishes. He did not do that either.

Part of our eating out experience at a nice restaurant such as The Butterfly, we expect some level of interaction with our server. We expect warm reception. We expect high quality services. We did not get that here. We left feeling unhappy. We like the food, location, ambiance, and view of the bay. Because of poor service, we are questioning our return.

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OpenTable Diner (San Francisco)
4.0  Dined on November 6, 2016

Enjoyed the Hawaiian thread. Nice water view. Staff friendly. Food was yummy.

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vipVickiO (San Francisco)
5.0  Dined on November 6, 2016

If you're headed to Alcatraz Island via the ferry, don't forget to stop in for a drink and/or memorable meal at BUTTERFLY right on Pier 33, close to Pier 39 yet "so far away" from the tourist scene, and a rather elegant, fun discovery.

The food is superb and the whole restaurant enjoys incredible floor-to-ceiling SF Bay views between two private piers where a harbour seal and bird life have staked-out their paradise.

Butterfly's menu and drink selections are meant to please the hearty- and the healthy-minded hungers (don't let the name fool you). Beautiful and thoughtful presentation of meals add to the memorable discovery of your new "secret" favorite San Francisco Embarcadero restaurant.

See you there!

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