Hard Water

4.6
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507 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary Southern
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.

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What 507 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
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Birthday, just grabbed drinks. Great ambiance.

D
Dean
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall4food5service3ambience5

The server incorrectly said the whiskey prices were for 2 oz pours but instead they were for 1 oz pours. She even argued with me after the fact about it. We miscommunicated a food order and she argued about that as well. Food and whiskey selection were fantastic. Service, not so much.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing and great Nashville chicken and whiskey!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Hard a great time with a couple friends!

AB
AshleyB
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent bourbon selection near the water. Paired well with the house made spicy fried chicken and jalapeno hush puppies.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Yum we had a nice time.

z
vipzendog
Chicago
23 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall4food5service1ambience4

Food (fried chicken and biscuit were delicious) and cocktails were great. We had a reservation and were seated at the bar. Unfortunately the bartender barely paid attention to us. We had to ask to order our drinks and then our food, had to remind him we ordered drinks because he forgot, had to ask for utensils, etc. He never checked on us or even appeared to care. With so many wonderful places in SF, we won't be returning

s
suem
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience2

The huge wall of whiskey is impressive! The horseshoe bar is fun. There are only 2 tables (each sit 6 max) in the whole place. Besides the bar seats around the main horseshoe there are seats lined up against the windows. The southern food was definitely bar food. Many deep fried dishes which was too heavy and greasy for my taste. I had hoped the fried chicken was going to be crunchy and flavorful but it was subpar and tasted like a box of fried chicken from the freezer section. The whiskey list is extensive so if you're a whiskey lover then perfect! There's also a small cocktail list. I might stop here for a quick drink after work but this is not the place to stop for food.

KL
vipKatieL
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Chase is always fabulous!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience2

To be honest everything was okay to good or a sum of it components at the least. We ordered more than half the menu and two rounds of cocktails. Yet sadly I don’t really have a reason to go back.

JM
vipJillMike
San Francisco
27 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A super fun place to sample bourbon and enjoy a variety of adult beverages. Food matches perfectly; we made an afternoon of it!

Chris made our time informative and enjoyable. Just the right amount of attention.

Can’t wait to go back.

MB
MalikaB
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food3service5ambience4

Excellent staff, drinks, and location. The food was great as well as the drinks on point :). I would highly recommend t his place for good top shelf drinks.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
52 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Absolutely the best Nashville fried chicken West of the Mississippi

SF
vipSFBryan
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on December 7, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Bourbon selections are second to none! Most advanced list I've found for American Whiskeys. Nashville hot fried chicken is great too, but this isn't really a dinner spot. All bar high-top style seating. Great spot to try a new bourbon prior to purchasing a bottle elsewhere, also you get a chance to taste some very rare bourbon. Definitely should be on your radar if you enjoy your whiskey.

RB
RajaB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Fantastic American whiskey selection. Great service. I was surprised at how good the food was too.

M
Mattymus
1 review
Dined on November 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great venue on the embarcadero's scenic waterfront. Great selection of whiskey and the oysters and fried chicken were fantastic. Will definitely be part of my rotation of bars in SF.

BS
BobS
Denver
1 review
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We sat at the bar, and really enjoyed the ambiance. We'd been there 2 nights in a row, and had a great time both times.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Nice drinks.

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 15, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Why haven’t we come here sooner? A new after work favorite! Been here twice and the service was exceptional both times. Fun food menu and mind boggling selection of the hard stuff. I’ve many a visits to try something new here.

n
nomnombear
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always awesome. Great ambiance; amazing drinks. Helps to make reservations when you have a party during a hh window.

JJ
JJ1159
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall5food1service3ambience5

This IS NOT a restaurant. This is a bourbon bar with a very limited bar menu. The bourbon selection is amazing.

LS
LindaS
1 review
Dined on August 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

We loved everything about Hard Water, with the exception of the seating. We were a group of 8 and had to crowd into a table and stools barely big enough. The space could have been set up with several small tables instead of primarily a long bar. The food is so good, why not feature a comfortable way to sit and enjoy it?

LM
LydieM
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Very noisy. But The degustation of whyski was interesting ...

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and whiskey flights

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Antonio
4 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Bartenders got drinks out quickly maintaining quality!! The cracklings were our favorite!

F
vipFreshisbetter
Nashville
8 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Nice location at Pier 3. The service was great. The servers were very attentive. Great variety of upbeat music played at a volume that did not disrupt conversations. The Restaurant and bar design with whiskey display reminds me of 1800s pharmacy.

The menu on Open Table is outdated. The actual menu is limited. A majority of the entrees have been eliminated. There are no brussels sprouts or poboy sandwich options.

There is a full service bar, but the specialty is whisky. Only one type of vodka available. They make their own tonic water that results in a ginger ale like coloring for a simple vodka tonic. While the server assured me that their tonic was superior to commercial tonic, it tasted like flat tonic with no flavor to me.

The spinach dip was by far the best thing we ordered. The hush puppies were also good. 3 bbq oysters for $18. The oysters were tasty but small. It was a generous portion of fries, but the fries on the bottom were stale. We could barely chew those. This was true for two separate orders.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Waitress could not describe the types of oysters available and yet kept refusing to go find out.

TG
TamaraG
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Hard Water is my favorite place to eat on the Embarcadero. Best service, amazing cocktails and the food is outstanding. For me, it is a must have whenever I visit San Francisco.

ID
InaD
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

You cannot beat the location for ambiance. Outstanding selection of whiskey . I drink my bourbon neat so it has to be really good and I have never been disappointed at Hard water . I my friends said that the fried chicken was out of this world . I think their French fries are some of the best in the city and the shrimp and grits is to die for .

JM
JohnM
London
3 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place especially on a sunny afternoon in the city. Great staff who can accommodate a custom tasting. My group had a fantastic time.

LE
vipLauraE
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Late lunch and whiskey tasting with girlfriends. Our server was excellent and new the menu both drink and food and steered us towards treats that topped off a great day. Seating is on a stool and isn't comfortable for everyone. Seats with backs would be a nice addition.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

It’s good for drinking and socializing. For people who are looking for relaxing dining experience, this is not the place to go. The restaurant looks more appealing in pics.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great selection of whiskeys at decent prices! And the good was amazing! We went middle of day so not busy, so able to enjoy much better :-)

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 27, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great setting for an incredible selection of bourbons and whiskeys. The small bites are great though the pomme frittes were disappointing. Highly recommend for drinks after dinner or before a night out.

HH
HanaH
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Lunch on a Saturday. Delicious food. Excellent whisky collection.

e
viperins
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on June 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Bday, they did something special!!

SG
vipStevenG
Chicago
12 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience2

Not much to look at, but if you want to enjoy pours of very rare very high quality whiskeys, this is a must go place

NA
NADiner
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Beautiful space, with a chef who knows food. We were ready to dive in deep, order more than enough food because everything sound delicious, but our server made us second guess that thought. We decided to only order a few things due to the lack of hospitality or care. When you have to say hello to your server, there is a problem. You are only as strong as your weakest link...

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Grand Rapids
7 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Amazing place to eat if you don’t mind noise

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great fried chicken and biscuits. This is my favorite spot for bourbon and the good food is a plus.

FAQs

Hard Water is rated 4.6 stars by 507 OpenTable diners.

Hard Water does offer gift cards which you can purchase here https://www.giftrocker.com/secure/Order/?hash=74f67429.

You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.

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