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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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You must make reservations at least 5 minutes in advance of the time at Hard Water.
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Booked 15 times today

Hard Water

4.6
402 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary Southern
Top Tags:
  • Waterfront
  • Comfort Food
  • Bar Seating
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.
We are located at Pier 3, The Embarcadero, San Francisco.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary Southern, American, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
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Hours of operation
Kitchen Hours:
Monday-Wednesday 11:30 am- 10:00pm
Thursday-Saturday 11:30am- 11:00pm
Sunday 11:30am -10:00pm

Bar Hours:
Monday -Saturday 11:30am- Midnight
Sunday- 11:30am- 10:00pm

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Phone number
(415) 392-3021
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Charles Phan
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Cross street
Between Broadway and Washington
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Gift Card
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 402 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.4
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Amazing cocktails and service!! I always go back to Hard Water when Im in town

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5.0Dined on March 24, 2018

No formal seating very bar centric

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5.0Dined on March 22, 2018

A wall of great Bourbons and Whiskies and amazing small plates! Been going here for years! Staff was so accommodating and helpful!

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4.0Dined on March 3, 2018

Love the food here and the fact that they have so many small plates so you can try lots of items. All eight things we tried were super tasty! Whiskey list is a bit overwhelming, but cocktails are on point. Thanks!

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4.0Dined on February 24, 2018

Dear new chef, bring back the alligator! Pork belly cracklins, fried chicken and beignets are fantastic!

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5.0Dined on February 19, 2018

Came in on a Sunday afternoon and it was fairly busy but the host showed us to the bar so we could order a drink while we waited for a seat.

After a few minutes and a tasty drink, we were sat. Ordered the cajun tater tots, pork cracklins, pimento cheese dip and a half dozen oysters.

Also had a few whiskey tastings! Needles to say, I'll be back for sure!

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4.0Dined on February 9, 2018

Bustling place. Enjoyed sitting at the bar and trying a flight of whiskey and rye. Fun!

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5.0Dined on February 9, 2018

If you are a student of fine rare bourbons and love expertly crafted cocktails, be prepared to being a kid in a grand candy store. Bartender, Brian, was both approachable and scholarly but its the opportunity to try those whiskies you've only read about that is the star of this show. Its really more of a bar with inspired "bites" than a restaurant with a bar so, when I went for a 2PM "lunch" on a Friday afternoon, I had the place practically to myself. The meat and cheese spread was an excellent palate cleanser throughout.

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4.0Dined on February 2, 2018

We loved celebrating my husband's birthday at Hard Water!! Great service, fun environment, and amazing whiskey!

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3.0Dined on January 19, 2018

This was a fun energetic place. I am not a whiskey fan but thought the other people in our group would like it. I did not read ahead of time that this is was bar seating but it was still a great place. Only wished the bar stools were a little more comfortable but that is my only negative about the place. Great location, great service and staff, great fried chicken.

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4.0Dined on January 13, 2018

Hard Water is an impressive whiskey bar, something I only realized after I booked their charming bu slightly odd minimalist space for a large brunch. The food was fantastic, but it did feel like we were asking a bar to do something they weren’t that comfortable with service wise by having brunch for nine. Would definitely recommend for a client drink or a drop in weekend lunch for a few people

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4.0Dined on January 12, 2018

If you like whiskey and bourdon, this is the place to go! Tasty snack food, great drinks and cool ambiance. We had a wonderful date night - Thank you!

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4.0Dined on January 6, 2018

Food and drinks Very Tasty!! if you like Whisky and Southern (New Orleans) inspired food in a bar setting, this is tops. Pork Belly appetizer is a must, enough to share or bring leftover home for breakfast.

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5.0Dined on January 6, 2018

The food isn’t delicious and the atmosphere is great for conversation. The drinks are delicious and the staff are very kind.

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3.0Dined on December 21, 2017

They def have fun with their cocktails (which are outstanding) and the bar staff knows their whiskies for sure, but the food unfort does not live up to the promise that the first two might lead you to believe.

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5.0Dined on December 16, 2017

gathered friends for a birthday celebration. the venue is perfect for reserving bar space and the staff couldn't be friendlier or more accommodating. would highly recommend.

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5.0Dined on December 10, 2017

Large selection of bourbon cocktails, with a variety of upscaleNew Orleans and Nashville-style appetizers and entrees.
Fast service at high/bar tableland bar.

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5.0Dined on November 28, 2017

An easy walk from the ferry building, Hard Water is a great place for a date. We tried the fried chicken five pieces and shared it. Food was great! We sipped on a flight of six different whiskeys. Service was fantastic, and host was amazing.

We will go again and recommend friends.

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3.0Dined on November 24, 2017

Overall, the service was poor. The waiter was smug and not friendly. The food went down from last year.

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4.0Dined on November 22, 2017

The place is super cool looking; its wooden stools are a bit uncomfortable, but I get the look. I was super disappointed that there were no fresh food options available, although on the menu. This left us unable to eat and stay longer. The location is fabulous--fun place to meet friends.

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4.0Dined on November 21, 2017

Good stuff, love their fried chicken, especially the spicy Nashville style . Side are good and the whiskey selection is ample and excellent. Also, right along the waterfront in Pier 3, so views of the Bay Bridge and the Embarcadero also make for a pleasant experience. Only downer was our culinary guide who took an excessive time to take our order and made only one pass at checking on how our meal was progressing. But, when in SF, pop over for a bite and a drop of whiskey.

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3.0Dined on November 21, 2017

The drinks are excellent at Hard Water and so is the selection of bourbon and whiskey. I’ve had mixed results with the entrees. On this occasion my girlfriend had the fried chicken and I had the fried chicken po’ boy sando. The gumbo we’ve had previously was absent from the menu and missed. Unfortunately, The chicken breast cutlet on the sandwich was disappointing small. It was literally more breading than chicken. The fried chicken was much better and we appreciated the option to go all white meat for a small upcharge. The spicy flavor (regular preparation also available) was relatively hot and good.

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5.0Dined on November 17, 2017

Went for drinks and snacks to celebrate a birthday. Staff were helpful and knowledgeable about the whiskey selection!

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4.0Dined on November 9, 2017

The food was good not great - think the fried chicken is well spiced but dry, the hushpuppies are good but not amazing. This place used to have melt-in-your mouth food, now it seems like a whiskey joint where you can get some snacks too. So fantastic on the whiskey, but don't expect to have a full dining experience

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3.0Dined on October 27, 2017

3rd time dining at Hard Water. Only here for the large assortment of whiskeys . Sadly, there were only European and American whiskeys, no Japanese whiskeys. Smallish restaurant, with limited seating on the hardest wood stools ever around the bar and a lined against the walls. Would only recommend to try the whiskeys, limited comfort food menu.

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4.0Dined on October 20, 2017

Great drinks, mediocre food. Pims Cup best I've ever had. Friend loved the fish sandwich and BBQ oysters, but fried chicken was dry and raw oysters full of sand.

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5.0Dined on October 19, 2017

Exactly what you want with a whiskey bar—great selection and knowledgeable bartenders!!

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4.0Dined on September 28, 2017

Go there for the fried chicken, the biscuit and the corn muffin. So many whiskeys and Bourbons to pick from-good heirloom tomato salad, nice choice near the water

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5.0Dined on August 26, 2017

Wow!!! What a whiskey and cocktail selection!!! Stumbled on Hard Water thinking we had been before. Glad we were mistaken and found this gem.

Drinks are fantastic and you have to try the Nashville hot chicken. It's not classic Nashville but a great California derivative.

Can't wait to go back!

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5.0Dined on August 20, 2017

The setting is spectacular - outside the boats and traffic on the Bay and inside a stunning wall of bottles, 2 stories high. The service was good overall, except for an entree that arrived long before the others. It was fun to take the ferry there and then to walk 5 minutes to the restaurant. Prices reasonable. Stools uncomfortable. Try the chitlins!

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3.0Dined on August 14, 2017

Ordered the fried chicken, fritters and a salad. The fried chicken was dry - completely overcooked. The service was off and on - our bartender was knowledgeable about bourbon, but not so attentive on the food part (we sat at the bar - they don't exactly have tables inside). He brought us plates and no silverware. A different person brought us a salad and walked off before we could ask for silverware. The whiskey was good and there are a lot of choices, but there are other places with good whiskey and we would not go back.

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5.0Dined on August 8, 2017

Best whiskey list in SF

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2.0Dined on August 5, 2017

As much as I wanted to like this restaurant, I left with a bad taste in my mouth (pardon the pun). It is very clear that whomever is in charge of this place is asleep at the wheel. The service was atrocious and the demeanor of the wait staff was one step above an army sargent at a basic training camp. I have no idea why anyone would ever return after one visit. Charles Phan should be horrified that his name is associated with this train wreck.

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3.0Dined on July 29, 2017

We went to Hard Water for a meal and drink before a concert at AT&T Park. We had a 4 pm reservation. The food and drink were good. However, our original seating was less than desirable. The table was a board attached to the wall with a partial harbor view out the window. The chairs were hard to maneuver. We asked to be moved to an outside table fronting the Embarcadero, where we could watch the eclectic crowd walking by. That was satisfactory.

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4.0Dined on July 28, 2017

We came for the whiskey and fried chicken, and we were not disappointed by the whiskey! (To be fair, the chicken was excellent, but certainly have had better.) We each did a flight, and I discovered a few new favorites. The fried green tomatoes were razor thin slices of pickled tomatoes, and were more like chips than the traditional southern fare. They were good, but I thought the dill was overdone and not necessary. We sat at the bar and were treated to a show of crafted cocktails all evening. I would recommend this as a great stop, but more for a drink and an app than a full dinner.

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3.0Dined on July 26, 2017

Good food and nice aesthetic. It was very loud and not ideal for an intimate meal. The corn was great, but although everything was good, nothing else stood out.

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4.0Dined on July 25, 2017

Phenomenal selection of bourbon & rye.
All seating is high bar stools - not very comfortable.

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4.0Dined on July 22, 2017

Enjoyable place for some snacks and a drink. Great whiskey selection but the prices have gone up quite bit to go all the time.

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4.0Dined on July 20, 2017

Best bourbon selection I've seen so far in SF. Tater tot game was strong.

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4.0Dined on July 20, 2017

Anthony was our server and we adored him. Second time for me. This has become a favorite place of mine in the city.

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