The Bull Valley Roadhouse

4.7
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2204 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
{Join us for SUNDAY BRUNCH!}

The Bull Valley Roadhouse serves American roadhouse food prepared from scratch with century-old techniques using fresh ingredients from our favorite small farms. A beacon at the end of a canyon road in the historic dock town of Port Costa, the roadhouse welcomes locals, travelers and adventurous day-trippers alike in its 1897 landmark dining room and bar. Stepping into the saloon-like rooms, guests can sense more than 100 years of hospitality. The proprietors strive to maintain that warm tradition and leave everyone feeling relaxed, well fed and eager to return. Look for us under the golden bull.

Sunday brunch served from 10:30 am through 2:00 pm.
What 2204 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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CG
San Francisco
32 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 1

After being seated and water glasses filled, our party of 5 sat for 20 minutes with no one else approaching the table. We flagged down the water guy and asked who our waiter was. Although he apologized when he came to the table, totally unacceptable. After that experience I watched a party of 3 get seated. Their waiter took their order within 5 minutes.

BK
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Yes! We loved every inch of this place! The food was amazing and the service was excellent. And if you want ambiance, you totally get it here. We were celebrating a birthday and had special items we wanted as decorations on our table and the wait staff were great to work with - giving us extra space etc. We even arrived early for our reservation and they accommodated us quite nicely. They even took a photo of us without even us having to ask. I definitely recommend this place (worth the trip) and will come back again!

b
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 5

Love Bull Valley. Have been here dozens of times. Food is fantastic, service comes across as very genuine. Not necessarily 5 star but you do get the sense that this team truly cares about your experience....with the exception of the manager on duty the night we visited last. Had a horrible mishap with the timing of food resulting in accompaniments being delivered long before entrees arrived. One guest had his entrée which got stone cold while awaiting the arrival of the balance of the food. Our attentive waiter repeatedly checked in apologetically letting us know that pork takes a while to cook. The wine we ordered (with the assistance of a charming and knowledgeable "wine guy") was long gone, along with our accompaniments and the entrée of one guest when lo and behold our fish and chop arrived....which we rejected. Dinner was over, the wine was gone...it was either a waiter fail or a kitchen fail...we're not sure which but we live in the service industry and understand these issues. Sadly, the manager was incredibly rude and condescending asking us if we "read the menu" and suggesting that because one entrée and the accompaniments had been delivered that we "had something to eat" so had no right to expect the other food to arrive timely. (We did share, in advance, that we would not be sharing entrees that night) He then offered to provide dessert...which he selected for us and insisted on an awkward and tight lipped "personal" service of our table through the end of our experience. Needless to say, odd management style made an awkward situation worse. It was very sad to be treated like villains at a place that requires a significant effort to visit and is no bargain.

DD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food! I ordered the pork stew that came with with cilantro, polenta, lime, radishes, and a dollop of sour cream. It was incredible. The broth with its varied ingredients was as much the star as the pork. Everyone should eat here.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Nice people, good vibe, great food

l
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

Need to space out tables more to have less noise. Sat next to very noisy woman that made it hard to hear my partner. Would mention this to my friends that might be interested in trying you. Suggest that you restructure with booths instead of shoulder to shoulder tables. Would limit my visits on future

SF
Montreal
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service, terrific as always. Very talented chef. Great menu.

MB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great dinner. Only bummer was that they were out of a number of things. But what we had was delicious!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the food, so fresh and delicious. The staff is superb. Cocktails are unusual and great—delicate recipes.

F
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I would highly recommend Bull Valley Roadhouse. Food, service and ambiance were all great. Very interesting special cocktail menu. We were celebrating 2 adult birthdays and all had a great time. Would definitely return.

LF
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and attentive waiter. I love the rustic, cozy ambience and feel of the port costa neighborhood! Definitely get the toast and jam in addition to the chicken and cheddar waffle!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We got here early for our reservation and requested a particular table that we had before. We wanted this special table since we were celebrating both a birthday and our engagement, which we noted on our reservation. When we arrived at the restaurant, we saw the table we requested was empty, yet we waited and waited (at the bar) for the table we requested.
The bar was comfortable, the head male bartender knowledgeable and friendly. We started off with friend green tomatoes, and a wedge salad. Now, let me say this- the fried green tomatoes while DELICIOUS did need finishing salt. The tomatoes were petit and sliced thin. Our order came with 4 slices. The basil aioli was perfect. Then this couple next to us ordered fried green tomatoes and their slices not only were larger, but they had 5 slices. Then we ordered the wedge salad from a female bartender and I requested for my salad to be “well dressed” she’s like ok we can just put the extra on the side. I didn’t want a side, I just wanted the salad to be extra dressed. She insists that the salad is well dressed already and that she will just give me extra dressing. Then, I see they charged us $2.00 for the side. Stuff like that really bothers me. I feel it’s dishonest. We got seated at a different table than requested which really bothered me. Had we known we weren’t going to be sat at our requested table, we would have sat at the bar ! Ha! The table is in between two panels of glass and kinda just floating in the middle of the dining room- very hard to hear each other talk. Our server was kind, upbeat and friendly but her section was too large to really give us the service and attention we needed. The final thing that really disappointed me was that there was NO recognition by the host or our server that we were celebrating anything. I was hoping for a dessert to be dropped with a candle, something. And nothing. We spent $162 and left a 30$ cash tip. We are good diners, this was a so/so experience.

TB
San Francisco
44 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Once again my family and I had the most amazing time! The food is so flavor packed, delicious and unique! The drinks are also superbly extraordinary! The service exceptional and definitely genuine! We can't stop talking about our experience(s) here! So far we've been back several times and we've brought new people along so they can find out for themselves how wonderful this place is! We will definitely be back and we're looking forward to it!

DT
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had a great dinner here! Not only were the cocktails awesome and food excellent, but the service was some of the best we have ever had! The staff was so friendly and attentive. Don’t hesitate, just go!

OT
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Anniversary

R
San Francisco
36 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

A bit disappointed at the table we were set at. In the corner of the dining room at a shared table. We were one of the first couples to arrive to dine and I felt as if we were being punished for arriving early. That said, I would request another option rather than the corner table we were put in. The food was delicious which made up for the location of the dining experience. I can't wait to go back to try more of the items offered. Glad to have been told of this gem.

CC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This is my favorite Bay Area restaurant. The menu and food are excellent. Everything is consistent here: the food is delicious and well-prepared. The service is very good. The restaurant is just down to earth and reliable. It is our current go-to when we want to eat out with friends. The pork stew was flavorful and satisfying. Don’t skip cocktails! They make a great Catter Beats the Devil!

T
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Unique, fun restaurant. Feels like the middle of nowhere until you hit the end of the road and a town out of time appears. Pre-Prohibition vibe with the decor and the cocktails. The shareable entrees are a different touch. We had the fried chicken with biscuits. Very tasty. Came with a slaw with a kick. We got a side order of country gravy for the biscuits, and it had a bit of a kick to it also. I liked it. Ordered the olive oil cake for dessert, but it was heavy and we wouldn't order again. A little noisy inside but not uncomfortably so. We'll be going back.

GH
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our favorite restaurant! Go there all the time and love it. Took friends there last weekend and they loved it too.

MV
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonder experience, and meal! Loved the postcard at the end, Fun! Thank you!

LN
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

I have been many times and it is always a special evening. I did make a reservation and I should
have requested the little table for two by the window. I'll know to do that next time.
Thank you!

AC
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

This restaurant certainly has ambiance. The service was personable. We were surprised on a Sunday at 6:30 that they were already out of several dishes. We were 4 adults and ordered 4 main entrees. Overall the entrees were well prepared and tasty. Out of the 4 there was one unacceptable dish and that was the pork chop. At $48 one would expect a nice portion of meat. It was at least 50% fat. Of the leftovers on my plate was a heap of fat that I asked the waiter to see. He dispatched me with a quick, "Sorry", but no accommodation was offered. Overall, the restaurant is expensive. At minimum, a manager or someone from the kitchen should have come to the table to see what was the trouble. Will not make a big effort to return.

DV
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Celebrated our 25th anniversary there with our family and there was something for everyone. We enjoyed the family style entrees. The food was delicious and worth the drive. Jessie was our server and he and the rest of the staff were wonderful. We will definitely be back again.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love the family style dinners as we are big sharers anyway.

OT
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved it!!

JE
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

WE lover everything about Bull Valley Roadhouse. The service, food and fun!

OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food! Perhaps the best meal out I’ve ever enjoyed. Cocktails were excellent too. I get so disappointed oftentimes with weak, watery or sugary cocktails but not here. They were robust, nuanced and innovative. Yum! Every dish was delicious. We ordered too much and ate it all. Ambiance is fantastic; location unique. Our waiter was so great! Informed, funny and intuitive. Not cheap or conveniently located but every bit worth the trip and the expense. Treat yourselves!’

JS
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The BVR, as we call it in our family, is a favorite. We've been coming for several years. The food is consistently excellent and the staff is friendly but professional. The cocktails are always very well done. We've really never had a meal that disappointed. I do wish they shifted the menu a little more. Many of the items have stayed the same for quite a while. Not a big deal, but it would be fun to see what they would do with some other dishes. In winter the dirt parking lot at the end of the street can be an obstacle course of deep puddles, so park back up the street in the more residential area or drop your passengers and then be alert! While it is a long drive for us (from Oakland) that adds to the feeling of being away. We often get there early and then take a walk on the Carquinez Scenic Drive before dinner.

c
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

as always, an exceptional meal in an incredible setting! Every dish was remarkable and all 7 of us left very very happy diners.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic service & food. A bit noisy but worth it for the incredible everything else....

OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

It took sooooooooo long for the food to get served to us. After asked several times we were told there was a glitch between the computer and kitchen. So strange.

KE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

food as amazing as always..fried chicken, mac n cheese, potatoes, mussels, ceviche...all amazing!!

EE
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious! And our server was superb in recommending drinks for each person in our group.

DL
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have been going to this restaurant through its incarnations and have always enjoyed it's unique location and ambience. But the culinary experience this time tops almost any restaurant I have been to in the US and Europe. Congrats to the Chef!!!!

H
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

We went to celebrate our anniversary. Food was delicious but husband’s entree never arrived. Management apologized and comped our dinner. It was so unfortunate, we really really wanted to like this place since it came so highly recommended by friends. They took care of it and did the right thing but sometimes it’s hard to go back when your first experience is tainted.

J
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great service and the food was very tasty in many unusual and creative wayd

L
San Francisco
53 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love this place. The food is so good. We did miss the street corn that was served with the steak, but the mushrooms were a good replacement. Loved the Pork "bowl lickin'" stew! Too full to have any deserts. Service is very friendly and inviting. We will return.

BE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent food. Unique location in old school, backroads Bay Area.

G
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Excellent food but very expensive. great for special occasion.

JA
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 5

I've been to your restaurant a number of times. I've always enjoyed it. This last Sunday though I brought three new people who had never been there. Service was ok... but not what I would define as fantastic. Three of us ordered your rib eye and each of us felt there was a good portion of fat on each of them. And for the price you guys sell it for, that rib eye should be off the charts great. The last person in our party ordered the lamb chops and no joke 1/3 of it was complete fat, not leaving much meat to actually eat. We brought our own wine in as well and you guys hit us with a $25 per bottle cork fee. We were pretty insulted on that one, although we gave your back room staff the remainder of one half of the two bottles we opened just to be nice. So what did we enjoy? Well the Ceasar salads were great. The bar drinks we ordered were top gun. The ambience was great. Question is for us, would we return back to your restaurant? After a hefty bill and an overall less than satisfying dining experience, we all felt that we would not come back. I wanted you guys to know this because I think it important to your future success.

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