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About Permanently Closed - Butterfly, The Embarcadero

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.

Pier 33, The Embarcadero at Bay Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
View Larger Map

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Pan-Asian, Vietnamese, Asian

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

Cross Street:
Bay Street at The Embarcadero

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(415) 864-8999

Website:
http://www.butterflysf.com/

Entertainment:
Live Jazz on Thursday for dinner service.

Parking Details:
Parking lot across the street. Metered street parking on 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.

Executive Chef:
Robert Lam

Private Party Facilities:
For parties larger than 40 guests, please contact the Special Event Coordinator for details.

Private Party Contact:
Helen Chandra: (415) 864-8999

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

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.

Butterfly, The Embarcadero Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.0

Overall Rating

based on all time ratingsThis restaurant has not received enough recent ratings to display a current ratings snapshot
food

4.0

service

4.0

ambience

4.0

value

3.9

Noise

Moderate

88% would recommend it to a friend

Scenic View (2914)
Fit for Foodies (2386)
Special Occasion (1779)
See All
Romantic (1551)
Good for Groups (1365)
Great for Lunch (1024)
Hot Spot (851)
Neighborhood Gem (755)
Vibrant Bar Scene (679)
Great for Brunch (553)
Notable Wine List (404)
Late-night Find (271)
Kid-friendly (268)
Great for Outdoor Dining (124)
Waterfront (38)
Creative Cuisine (21)
Good for a Date (19)
Good for Birthdays (15)
Casual (14)
Good for Anniversaries (13)
Happy Hour (12)
Quiet Conversation (11)
Cozy (9)
Fun (9)
Bar Seating (8)
Business Meals (8)
Comfort Food (7)
Sunday Lunch (7)
Authentic (6)
Tasting Menu (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Local Ingredients (5)
Outstanding Value (5)
People Watching (5)
Afternoon Coffee (4)
Disabled Access (4)
Handcrafted Cocktails (4)
Pre/post Theatre (4)
Quick Bite (4)
Spicy (4)
Worth the Drive (4)
Healthy (3)
Organic (3)
Tapas (3)
Gluten Free Options (1)
Live Music (1)
Paleo Friendly (1)
Seasonal (1)
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1978 reviews
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vip
 (San Francisco)·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!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·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 ..

Tags: Casual, Scenic View
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 6, 2017

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

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Waterfront, Romantic, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·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!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Fit for Foodies, Sunday Lunch, Business Meals, Disabled Access
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on January 1, 2017

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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience1
service1

 
 (San Francisco)·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.

Tags: Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals, Waterfront
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service5
value1

 
 (San Francisco)·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.

Tags: Waterfront, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service1
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 24, 2016

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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·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.

Tags: Casual, Afternoon Coffee, Neighborhood Gem, Outstanding Value, Organic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 21, 2016

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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food1
ambience1
service3
value1

vip
 (San Francisco)·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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 10, 2016

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

Tags: Disabled Access, Creative Cuisine, Scenic View, Waterfront, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (Central Coast)·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

Tags: Late-night Find, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on December 3, 2016

We really enjoyed very much so we may comeback soon.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 30, 2016

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

Tags: Fun, Hot Spot
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 26, 2016

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

Tags: Spicy, Vibrant Bar Scene, Fit for Foodies, Tapas, Scenic View
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Vancouver)·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.

Tags: Special Occasion, Cozy, Romantic, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·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.

Tags: Good for a Date, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on November 24, 2016

Enjoyable fixed dinner with turkey on thanksgiving.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 19, 2016

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

Tags: Waterfront
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience2
service2
value2

vip
 (San Francisco)·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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service3

vip
 (San Francisco)·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.

Tags: Quick Bite, Waterfront, Disabled Access
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·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.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Outstanding Value, Kid-friendly, Worth the Drive, Sunday Lunch, Scenic View, Afternoon Coffee, Waterfront, Happy Hour, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups, Handcrafted Cocktails, Organic, Business Meals, Great for Brunch, Comfort Food, Great for Lunch, Quiet Conversation, Tapas, Creative Cuisine, Casual, Local Ingredients, Good for a Date, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·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!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Francisco)·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!

Tags: Quick Bite, Happy Hour, Casual, Good for a Date, Worth the Drive, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Late-night Find, Special Occasion, Waterfront, Scenic View, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 6, 2016

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

Tags: Waterfront, Bar Seating, Great for Lunch, Great for Brunch, Creative Cuisine, Sunday Lunch, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·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!

Tags: Great for Brunch, Business Meals, Outstanding Value, Hot Spot, Scenic View, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 5, 2016

Having lived in the immediate area for several years, I've enjoyed many opportunities to dine at BUTTERFLY. The menu offers a varied selection of choices, and surely anyone's personal taste is easily met. Service, both bar and table, is excellent and attentive. In addition, the owner/manager made it a point to assure our party's complete and total satisfaction.

Tags: Late-night Find, Casual, Tasting Menu, Good for Anniversaries, Happy Hour
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 4, 2016

It is our go to place when I don't feel like cooking. I am a retired chef and the food is wonderful

Tags: Paleo Friendly, Neighborhood Gem, Gluten Free Options, People Watching, Romantic, Waterfront, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 29, 2016

This was our 2nd time here (we live in Seattle) & we brought 4 other local friends to celebrate an 81st b-day - everyone said they'll be back! We sampled 5 appetizers & 4 entrees doing "family style" - (hint, you need to provide more serving utensils). Rave reviews for flavors, especially the Buddha Chicken Wings & Seafood Curry Corn Chowder! Everyone also liked the Papaya Salad & Hanger Steak was so tender. We really appreciated the candle lit desserts & fun picture taking. Yes, we'll be back for more!

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Authentic, Waterfront, Scenic View, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 15, 2016

Butterfly has the ambiance and great creative dishes. Food is fresh with Asian fusion.
Service is excellent. Recommend this restaurant for date night, gatherings with friends or happy hour.

Tags: Disabled Access, Pre/post Theatre, Waterfront, Comfort Food, Special Occasion, Romantic, Seasonal, Scenic View, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Cozy, People Watching, Organic, Authentic, Tasting Menu, Handcrafted Cocktails, Happy Hour, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List, Quiet Conversation, Casual, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 15, 2016

Great food, wonderful service, and a nice scenic spot by the bay. The Curry Seafood Chowder was SOOO GOOD! The Duck Confit Spring Rolls was amazing. The salads and noodles also very good. We walked there from the Embarcadero BART station (1.2 mile) - a nice walk along the piers.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Scenic View, Creative Cuisine, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 15, 2016

Lights went out during dinner so kind of stopped the fun and had to eat it in the dark. Never came on during the rest of the evening. But our waiter was wonderful and we would go back.

Tags: Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 14, 2016

It was a great experience and we had a wonderful meal! They gave us a couch in front of the beautiful Bay view and it was conducive for conversation and very quiet at our early seating at 7pm.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Happy Hour, Hot Spot, Romantic, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 8, 2016

the food stood out, our waiter was so attentive and knew the menu so well. His attention to detail and knowledge of wine was exceptional. He made our night even more special. Loved the location. lovely view, great value. We had family visit from out of town, and we live in the South Bay so this was a fairly easy commute for us. Down side is parking sucks in SF but we managed, parking cost us nearly as much as our meal :( but we had a wonderful evening and this was a great place to meet and eat at. The mussels were fabulous! And the chicken wings amazing!!

Tags: Authentic, Notable Wine List, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 8, 2016

Always live to eat here when at the embacadero or pier 39

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Healthy, Good for a Date, Romantic, Quick Bite, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Casual, People Watching, Scenic View, Waterfront, Happy Hour, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 7, 2016

Great food, presentation, and taste. Had a great window seat & can see part of air show. Had a good experience.

Tags: Happy Hour, Casual, Comfort Food, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value5

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