Pier 23 Cafe

4.3
1168 reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Pier 23 Cafe is a unique waterfront restaurant specializing in fresh seafood, live music and beautiful views of San Francisco bay. Family owned and operated for over 30 years, Pier 23 Cafe captures the heart and soul of a city obsessed with food. The large bay side patio allows patrons to soak up the California sun while enjoying creative dishes made from fresh, local ingredients. Night time dining in the heated tent is complimented by maritime activity and amazing views of Treasure Island and the Berkeley Hills. Come down and enjoy a true local favorite and experience some real waterfront history.
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What 1168 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.1
food
4.2
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
75% of people would recommend it to a friend
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f
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

This was my first time here- I brought a friend who was visiting and we met up with my sister & another friend. The food is delicious! We were outside- it's San Francisco, so wind was expected especially since we're by the water. But, the minute they put on the heater- it felt great. The service is great- word of warning- they won't seat you until the whole party is there. So if you have any late friends, give them a different time so they arrive on time. :) We got there without any problems and were seated immediately. I had the fried fish tacos, my only complaint- there should be 3 tacos instead of 2. They are THAT good. The food is all fresh and everyone at the table had something different and everyone loved their orders. The wine selection is very good. Great space for conversation and for people watching. Definitely recommend!

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RY
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 3ambience 3

We’ve dined here before and had a great experience. The crab is usually very tasty and flavored well. This time, the crab was slightly undercooked with not much flavor at all. What boggled is the most was that we paid $60 for just the crab!! It seemed a ridiculous price when compared to the flavor and amount of crab we received. We also got the mussels which, on the contrary, were icer cooked with the mussels shriveled to 1/4 the size of the shell.

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KM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

We waited 40 minutes for a table that was available. The hostess definitely didn’t want to be doing her job. Once we were seated it seemed as though our server didn’t want to do her job either- waited forever again for service. Never going there again.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 1

We expected an animated place where to have diner, drink cocktails and dance. Instead we were placed in a cold table outside, the food was okay but noting better, and we were asked to leave the table early because the restaurant was closing. When we left there was no music and the chairs were upside down for the cleaning.
I don’t recommend this place.

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TS
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

The food was very poor quality for the price

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DE
San Francisco
47 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a winner! No matter what the weather, you always have a seat at Pier 23! Try the shrimp ceviche! Interesting unique take on a tried and true!

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GT
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the location, which is right on the water. The atmosphere is quirky, funky and relaxed. The kind of place that you could come in sweats or a tux, either would be perfectly acceptable. The staff was great, prices reasonable and the food delicious. Not sure you could ask for more.

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on May 8, 2019

Thanks for coming by! Love your line about coming in sweats or tux. You're right. Either is totally cool with us. As long as you have a great time.

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MH
Dublin
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 1ambience 5

Great food, great atmosphere. Terrible service. Main course never arrived for my daughter and when we told the waiter he said that she hadn’t ordered anything. Of course she had! Why would he do that? Very unprofessional.

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on May 8, 2019

Glad you enjoyed the food & atmosphere. Really unfortunate to hear about the poor service you received. We try our best but sometimes fall short. Management has been notified. Hopefully you'll come back and we can make it up to you. Please let us know if you do!

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l
San Francisco
36 reviews
Dined on April 24, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 5ambience 5

Went there on a warm day for lunch. Very nice view and cool atmosphere. Service was very good. Too bad i didn’t like the sauce in my tuna poke. My friend had the fried chicken sandwich and she loved it.

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on May 8, 2019

Sounds like you had a perfect day at the Pier! So sad you didn't like the sauce on the tuna poke. It normally gets rave reviews. Did your friend gave you a bite of the chicken sandwich to make up for it? It's so good! Hopefully, you'll come back and try us again some time. Our Fried Chicken & Waffle Brunch is undeniably delish!

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H
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on April 22, 2019
Overall 5food 1service 5ambience 5

When the previous chef was there the food was superb. Now it's just not very good.
There are no longer those wonderful fried oysters, no fried calamari. The chowder
is watery. The fish tacos are strange. I've tried it all and have learned to settle for
salad.

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on May 8, 2019

Really appreciate your kind words about our previous chef. I'm surprised you've had that experience recently. Our current chef, Joey Altman, is dedicated to delivering good food. We've had the most divine specials in last weeks- a tempura Dungeness Crab & Goat Cheese squash blossoms, the catch of the day is always perfectly grilled. The fish tacos are actually a recipe from the previous chef. Please let us know if you come by again and we'd love to dazzle you with some incredible dishes!

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JG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Good food. Great service (Hans).
Perfect location. Beautiful views.
Fun atmosphere.

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on May 8, 2019

Thanks for coming by! Love the shout out to Hans. Will let him know for sure. We always aim to offer great service so you can have an amazing time. Glad he came through for you all!

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PK
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

The view as service was great but the food was a little disappointing.

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on May 8, 2019

Really nice to hear you had good service and the view was great. So sorry you didn't love your food. If you have the time, we'd appreciate you let us know in a private message what it was that you didn't like. We're always trying to improve our experience and hope we can make it up to you next time!

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JL
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Good ambiance; food was good, if quite salty. That's expected of this sort of seafood, though.

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on May 8, 2019

We don't think seafood should be too salty. That's unfortunate you didn't love the food. Hopefully we can make it up to you next time!

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OT
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

I really enjoyed the setting and ambience of the restaurant. Overall great experience, however the fish and chips were a little too salty for my liking

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on May 8, 2019

We're really happy you came by and had a great time. Sorry the fish and chips were too salty. I see there's been a few recent complaint about saltiness. I'll let the chef know right away. Thanks for the feedback. Hopefully you'll come back for another try!

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OL
Portland
2 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always fabulous!!!

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on May 8, 2019

Aw, thanks! You must be pretty fab yourself!

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SF
New England
57 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a great find. Right on the water, local dishes, great vibe and jazz!

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on May 8, 2019

Eureka! We're so proud to be an SF classic for last 30+ years and stoked you found us! Looking forward to your next visit.

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TS
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

The fish n chips was great, especially the garlic fries and the ginger mango slaw that came with! I'd also recommend the carnitas quesadilla it was greasy but super delish!! I would not recommend the Louie salad or fish tacos both were super bland and average. Overall nice view of the bay, they forgot our appetizer though soooo yeah.

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TL
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Tastiest fish & chips and clam chowder we've had. Inventive drinks. Pimm's Cup and sangria made with white rum and brandy are things not found at many high end bars even. Had a late lunch during a 50+ degree day with strong breezes. Made it a little cool but it was our choice to sit out in the open. The only think I would change would be the improvisational jazz music track. Can only handle so much trumpet riffing while waiting for the food. Once it got there all was forgotten. We'd go again.

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MT
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on March 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a hit with out of town visitors. Great food and service along with a wonderful view of the San Francisco Bay.

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JW
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My table was waiting for me with my reservation as usual. The staff was very welcoming and professional. The food was great as always. Keep up the great work !

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p
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Reasonably priced drinks and food right on the water. Great location, unpretentious, and the food was fine. There was music to boot.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing! Service was great tio.

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JJ
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 1

Less then what we expected
Food was just ok portions of fish tacos was small
Mussels and clams with pasta were good, crab cakes average
Very noisy, good service

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k
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, great food. We'll be back! I've been there a number times, always enjoyed the music and drinks.

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W
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

Mediocre food but fabulous music - makes it a favorite.

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CP
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

If you are looking for a variety of different seafood this is not the place to go. their menu is very limited. The restaurant was very dark, it was so dark I had to use the flashlight on my cell phone to view the menu. I truly regret taking my mother there for her birthday celebration. I definitely would not recommend this restaurant to anyone

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on May 8, 2019

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. In terms of seafood options, if you look at our menu there are a number of different seafood dishes. I'm curious to know what you were looking for and didn't find. We're especially known for our Whole Dungeness Roasted Crab that would have been perfect for a birthday celebration. You're welcome to email back in a private message so we can discuss further.

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SA
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Was nice. Went with my mother and food was good. Service was okay, little bit hard to get someones' attention but otherwise fine. We came at a time that was good because there wasn't a massive amount of people. Kinda cool seeing the cruise ship that was there.

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MM
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal. Fish and chips was off the hook (bad pun). Oysters were awesome. Full bar complement to the meal. Sitting on patio overlooking the Bay was special treat. Highly recommended.

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EH
1 review
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Staff were pretty friendly but the price for quality was not good. I would not go back.

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JW
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on February 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My table was waiting for me with my reservation for me as always. The staff was very welcoming and professional as always.
Keep up the great work !

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KA
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We spotted the cafe walking back from Pier 39 and loved the atmosphere but it was fully booked so we made a reservation next day and glad we did. They have live music every night in the bar where you can eat but as my husband is partially deaf we sat out the back with lovely water view. We could still enjoy the music and have a conversation too! I had shrimp ceviche which was delicious and very filling..my husband had 6 raw oysters and said they had been prepared really well and tasted great. I had crab cakes..delicious with lovely lemon alioli and my husband had fish tacos which he really enjoyed. We finished off sharing pecan and coffee pie which again was delicious. Staff were really friendly and service was good though a little fast for us as our mains arrived before we had finished our starters but we are slow eaters! All in all a really pleasant experience and I would recommend it.

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JC
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

I expected a more robust seafood menu. Very limited options.

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MS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My family getting away from the Hollywood hustle and bustle - loved the food, drinks and ambiance! Everyone’s food was above their expectations- drinks were well made and service was great !

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JW
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on January 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My table was waiting for me with my name on it. The staff was very welcoming and professional. The food was great as always. Keep up the great work...

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on January 25, 2019

Thanks for your review! We try hard to provide good service & delicious food so we really appreciate the positive feedback. Look forward to your next visit!

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S
New York Area
62 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Pier 23 is always a great spot for local food. I come from Marin, and meet a friend from The East Bay for lunch. Love this place!

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on January 20, 2019

Thanks for the kind words! We really appreciate you all chose us for your meeting spot!

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JC
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 3

We ate dinner at Pier 23 Cafe prior to an event there called Silent Disco. Since they were getting ready for the event there were no a lot of people eating dinner. We ordered a couple of appetizers and seafood dishes. All were good and had good portions. Full bar. Nothing to complain about. I've been at this establishment after SF Giants baseball games and it is always lively. Great SF place to drink and eat with a cool funky SF vibe on the water.

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on January 20, 2019

We really loved having the Silent Disco Event. It was awesome. Thanks for coming by and your continued patronage. We are always here for you (before and) after a good Giants game!

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OT
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 5

Very disappointed in our dinner last night. Service was extremely slow, seemed like multiple times they forgot we were there. We waiting well over thirty minutes to order our food, once we did we tried to order 2 crabs but were told they only had 1 left, likely would of had 2 if we had ordered earlier. The other part that is bothersome is that it was only 6:30 and already out of crab. I got fish tacos and they weren’t the greatest, simply not much fish in the tacos and certainly did not blow me away. Everyone else’s food seemed to be very average tasting.

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on January 20, 2019

Sorry to hear about your meal and that we weren't able to give you a good experience. You should never have to wait 30 minutes to order. Hopefully this won't refrain you from coming again. We appreciate the specific details regarding your crab order. It helps. And you're right. It's not acceptable to be out of crab by 6.30pm. It seems the ordering may have been disrupted due to it being New Year’s Day, but still. We've taken note. Thanks again for coming by.

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s
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 5

Flavors were weak...Presentation was very good but WAAAYYY SALTY shrimp & crab sanny...not the fish...
louie dressing was off...chowder was a little watery...expected better & had heard about cioppino there but maybe not at lunch...

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on January 20, 2019

Usually the SF Crab & Shrimp sandwich is a winner so we’re sorry hear yours was not great. We’ve given your notes to the kitchen. Regarding the cioppino, it is a special that we will be serving soon. Hopefully you’ll come back for it to give us a second chance. And if you do, please let us know.

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B
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

No whole Dungeness crab available which is why we went. Crab cakes were very good. Cheesy bread underdone. Huge thumbs down on the clam chowder and Caesar salad. I’d give it one more chance based on the crab cakes.

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on January 21, 2019

So sorry you came for the crab and there was none. We only serve fresh crab and like many other wild caught foods they are only available when the weather permits and the fishermen are able to catch them. Glad you were able to get some crab satisfaction from the crab cakes. We love them too! Regarding the clam chowder and Caesar, we've taken note. We hope you'll come back, and when you do, please call us beforehand so we can make sure there are crabs available that day!

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SV
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

We weren't told if sit at a table in the bar we had to go to the bar to order ourselves so we were left waiting for a bit. Once we were told it was all uphill from there. The food was fabulous.

Pier 23 Cafe
Responded on January 20, 2019

Glad the food was fabulous! Sorry about the confusion on the service. Our hosts are usually available at the stand to answer any questions. Hopefully we can make up for it next time.

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