Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.25mi
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  4. Distance: 0.32mi
  1. Distance: 0.25mi
  2. Distance: 0.30mi
  3. Distance: 0.30mi
  4. Distance: 0.32mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.25mi
  2. Distance: 0.30mi
  3. Distance: 0.30mi
  4. Distance: 0.32mi
  1. Distance: 0.25mi
  2. Distance: 0.30mi
  3. Distance: 0.30mi
  4. Distance: 0.32mi

About Hard Water

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.

Pier 3
Suite 3-102
San Francisco, CA 94111
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Contemporary Southern, American, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service

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

Cross Street:
Between Broadway and Washington

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(415) 392-3021

Website:
http://hardwaterbar.com/

Executive Chef:
Charles Phan

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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Hard Water Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.1

service

4.1

ambience

4.3

value

3.8

Noise

Moderate

81% would recommend it to a friend

Bar Seating (8)
Casual (6)
Vibrant Bar Scene (6)
See All
Fun (6)
Handcrafted Cocktails (5)
Waterfront (5)
Good for a Date (5)
Scenic View (4)
Special Occasion (4)
People Watching (4)
Creative Cuisine (3)
Neighborhood Gem (3)
Good for Anniversaries (2)
Good for Birthdays (2)
Comfort Food (2)
Fit for Foodies (2)
Hot Spot (2)
Local Ingredients (2)
Romantic (2)
Spicy (2)
Tasting Menu (2)
Business Meals (1)
Cozy (1)
Great Beer (1)
Good for Groups (1)
Late-night Find (1)
Notable Wine List (1)
Tapas (1)
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384 reviews
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vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 5 days ago

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

Tags: Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Vibrant Bar Scene, Comfort Food, Scenic View, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 29, 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.

Tags: Good for a Date, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Hawaii)·Dined on November 25, 2017

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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience3
service2
value3

 
 (Denver)·Dined on November 23, 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.

Tags: Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience4
service3
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 22, 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.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Comfort Food
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service2
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 22, 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.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience5
service4
value2

 
 (New England)·Dined on November 18, 2017

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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 10, 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

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 28, 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.

1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 21, 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.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Bar Seating
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Portland)·Dined on October 20, 2017

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

Tags: Waterfront, Bar Seating, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on September 29, 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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food4
ambience4
service4
value2

vip
 (Central Coast)·Dined on August 27, 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!

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Fun, Romantic, Spicy, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, People Watching, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 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!

Tags: People Watching, Scenic View, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Fun, Waterfront
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

vip
 (Portland)·Dined on August 15, 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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food1
ambience2
service3
value2

 
 (Austin)·Dined on August 9, 2017

Best whiskey list in SF

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 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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food5
ambience2
service1

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined 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.

Tags: Comfort Food, Casual
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

 
·Dined on July 29, 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.

Tags: Good for a Date, Hot Spot, Handcrafted Cocktails, Vibrant Bar Scene, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food3
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Edmonton)·Dined on July 27, 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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food3
ambience3
service3
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 26, 2017

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

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Scenic View, Waterfront, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 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.

Tags: Bar Seating, Handcrafted Cocktails, Casual, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 21, 2017

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

Tags: Comfort Food, Vibrant Bar Scene, Good for Groups, Waterfront, Bar Seating
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service5
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 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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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 18, 2017

Classic SF Bar that tries to be more than what it is (ala Rickhouse) -- they make you feel like you should be honored to be served. I get that you spent a lot of money to make this wall of booze look cool, but now dial back the attitude and enjoy the fact that people are paying a lot of money for your drinks and awkward seating.

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food4
ambience3
service1
value2

vip
 (Detroit)·Dined on July 16, 2017

Food was awful

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food1
ambience3
service1
value1

vip
 (St. Louis)·Dined on July 7, 2017

Good build out inside. Needs a bit more shade outside on patio.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on July 1, 2017

Came here with my fiancé for some drinks and dinner, we had a great time! The view is gorgeous and the server was accommodating!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Comfort Food, Scenic View
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on June 29, 2017

Great selection of American Whiskeys. Interesting food options. Have to make a bit of effort to get bartenders' attention. Pretty loud with conversations.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Casual, Fun, Bar Seating, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails, Scenic View, Waterfront, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays, Worth the Drive, Vibrant Bar Scene
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on June 26, 2017

The most insane selection of bourbons I've ever seen. Every distillery, and every vintage. Very impressive and highly recommended.

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Neighborhood Gem, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on June 24, 2017

We'd been looking forward to this place knowing that it is a Charles Phan restaurant. We were very disappointed. Drink selection is great. Our waiter was nice. The food was not great though. They were out of some food items and there weren't that many choices to begin with. Most of the food was really greasy and not very flavorful (the chicken and the fried green tomatoes). The salad and the corn were good. For the price, I don't think we'll go again.

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food2
ambience3
service3
value2

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on June 22, 2017

Not a good place for dinner however it should be a great place for drinks before an evening out. Cocktails are really well put together for a bourbon/whiskey spot.

Tags: Hot Spot, People Watching, Handcrafted Cocktails, Happy Hour, Waterfront, Fun
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food2
ambience2
service3
value3

 
 (Central Coast)·Dined on June 21, 2017

Arrived at our reservation time and they had saved some seats for us. Kinda disappointed in where they put us - 4 stools next to the kitchen/in the corner. Basically the worst spot in the whole place (the rest of the restaurant had windows/waterfront views or else seats at this badass U-shaped bar in the middle.)

Food was pretty good - a fun twist on New Orleans cuisine. The tater tots were fabulous. We ate the cornbread/biscuit combo, and they were ok. Kinda dry and crumbly on both counts. Also ordered the cheese plate which was SO tiny, which I was surprised about for the price point.

The standouts for me were the cocktails - they really are a craft cocktail bar here. Interesting combinations, beautifully prepared. If you do nothing else but try a cocktail - you're winning.

Overall, I would definitely go back - but I'll be more careful about what I decide to order and where we sit!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Quick Bite, Good for a Date, Waterfront
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food4
ambience3
service4
value3

 
·Dined on June 17, 2017

We went to Hard Water for my husband's (who is a whiskey lover) 30th birthday! Their unique and large selection of whiskey did not disappoint! Food was also great! Shrimp and grits was my fave. Highly recommend!

Tags: Vibrant Bar Scene, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on June 14, 2017

It was chilly outside with no heating lamps. The waiters also forgot some of our order.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on June 1, 2017

Super American whiskey bar with great oysters and fried chicken. Very large selection of craft American whiskeys, friendly and knowledgeable bartenders and one big horseshoe bar. Can't possibly go wrong.

Tags: Casual, Waterfront, Paleo Friendly, Authentic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 31, 2017

As a party of four we were 'seated' along a long straight bar table along the wall of the restaurant. With more than two or three people that doesn't work for conversation. We ended up standing around eating with our (delicious) food perched on our allotted table space. It wasn't ideal but we had a great time anyway. Both types of fried chicken were great but everyone in our group preferred the spicy option.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 30, 2017

Brought my fiancé to this bar/restaurant on his birthday since he's a fan of whiskey. We both liked it, very cozy and great selection of drinks. Food was very good too. Great spot!

Tags: Romantic, Waterfront, Good for a Date, Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Bar Seating
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 30, 2017

Love bourbon and hard water. And the food. Cracklings are the best. The big minus was the bartender. Even though it was not busy and we ordered drinks and apps and dinner he kept coming around not smiling more friending and picking up a dish or a napkin till we finally left. Very unwelcoming

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food5
ambience5
service2
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on May 30, 2017

While this didn't at all derail from my firm's after-work get-together, I thought the staff could have been a bit more knowledgeable about the bourbon selection. Two of us in the group know a fair bit about whiskey and were eager to explore bourbons more but none of the staff seemed confident in making suggestions and the suggestions made did not really match our requests. Having said that, the staff were very friendly and everything was delivered to our table promptly so the overall service was great.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Fun
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

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