The Waterfront Restaurant and Cafe

4.2
2692 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Californian
ZAGAT 2015
"Breathtaking Bay Bridge views from every table, both indoors and from the "tented patio", makes this Embarcadero seafooder a wonderful place to relax and absorb the beautiful setting, while the Californian fare is deemed well executed."
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Private Dining

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What 2692 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.2
food
4.2
service
4.4
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
82% of people would recommend it to a friend
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MB
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

The food was su par as was the waiter and the manager. I would never go back

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EH
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ordered the Sea Bass, Salmon and Seafood Linguine. All entres were outstanding. Had fried calamari appetizer which was so light and tender. Had delicious lemon cheesecake and warm apple crisp for dessert. So yummy! The service was excellent too. We will be back for another special occasion.

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ED
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Got there early, had a drink at the bar while we waited for window table. Our host fixed us up with perfect table. Started with Oysters and hugely disappointed. They were tiny, way over priced, very salty and tasted like bait. Next clam chowder and it was very good and hearty. Dinner was surf and turf. Surf was excellent, turf was mediocre at best. The sauce for the Filet was a light brown sauce with hardly any flavor. So.... for a date night dinner, it was ok, but not great. Then noticed something I have never seen on any restaurant bill before... an Administrative Surcharge on $11.50.. asked what it was but not convinced I was told the correct answer of it being a city of SF tax. So, If we don’t have that on our next dinner bill at different restaurant, then sadly, after almost 20 years coming to this restaurant, this will be our last. Compared to our absolutely fantastic dinner we had in SF just 2 weeks ago, I am disappointed our favorite missed the mark.

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MH
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

This place is definately all about location. Amazing views! (ocean smells not in a good way) Food was decent but most of us San Franciscans are very spoil with amazing food so if you can't cook a good scallop but still charge top dollar we have a problem. Steam mussels were literally bland no flavor at all. Our Server was amazing had a few cocktails at the bar and truly enjoyed the setting maybe a good spot for drinks not dinner.

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B
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

If you want a spectacular view of the bay, Bay Bridge and city lights, along with good food and service then this place is for you.
The calamari was perfect, warm bread, tasty and the scallops (4) were pan seared to perfection. My husband had the sea bass and didn’t compare to the other food. It was over cooked and lacked flavor. He should have sent it back.
Otherwise we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and will go back.

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L
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

It was very delicious!

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CS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Valentines Day

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T
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Valentines day /birthday celebration!!! Awesome view and friendly hostess and server. Food was very good though I felt my lobster tails were on the petite side for the price but were prepared well. My beef was superb. Our night was stress free- even the parking was easy with the very nice valet. Thanks!!

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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, perfect atmosphere for special occasions❤ Food was delicious, menu catered well to different tastes

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Dinner with Valentine - the lamb was excellent - as was the lobster - the beef was too tough - wine by the glass was so so

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NC
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent place to eat. Good food. Service was superb.

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JV
Phoenix
33 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tony did an excellent job. The Dungeness crab
and sea bass were outstanding. The upper floor
view of the bay is hard to beat!

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OT
St. Louis
1 review
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Perfect for my birthday dinner!!

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AH
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I loved everything about The Waterfront Restaurant! The food was delicious, every single item we ordered was amazing. The crab mashed potatoes were to die for, and definitely order the seafood linguine. I am originally from New Orleans so I know fresh seafood, the seafood here was top notch. And if you are going to indulge get the Vanilla Creme Bruelee for dessert. The staff was friendly and attentive. I can not wait to return to San Francisco just to eat at The Waterfront!

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TS
1 review
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

When I dine with out of town guests, I always choose the Waterfront. The food is always wonderful with lots of fish choices. And I always order the oven roasted Branzino, my favorite dish anywhere! The view is magnificent and the long pier awaits for an after dinner stroll and the Bay Bridge lights!

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JH
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Food was good. I wish we were able to sit out in the heated patio area. The host said something about an all or nothing situation where either everyone had to sit outside or no one could. That was one of the only drawbacks. Good food and service.

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J
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great restaurant. Reasonably priced for overall value.

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TO
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service food,and everything about this restaurant was fantastic

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JW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely view, but a but cold and drafty at the table we were at.

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AD
Dallas
1 review
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Overall it was good, except the Crab Cake appetizer. It came with a pile of lettuce and two cakes ~1 inch in diameter. It was embarrassing for my business dinner. Everything else was fine.

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MF
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place to bring out of towners-wonderful view of San Francisco Bay. My cioppino was very good with lots of crab stacked right on top!

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A
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Happy to see me and my toddler

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RH
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

On bright day for midday drinks and small plates would be excellent but the food value was a little short and the facility a little worn. There is charm and great service nice people but this is my opinion.

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SP
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 4

We arrived a little early for our reservation and was seated right away. It was not very crowded. We chose this restaurant for the location and it’s reputation. We were looking for a nice place that could accommodate our dining requirements, Plant-Based and Gluten-free. Their website stated that they could accommodate us. Our server was not very well versed in that area. We had numerous conversations with him regarding options we could order and many questions for him to ask the chef. We finally decided on our order. There were no appetizers that were doable so we started with salad. After waiting a while they brought them to us. The salads were fine. They watched us intently as we ate them. After clearing the plates, they came back and cleared our silverware and the salt and pepper shakers. We thought this was very strange. After a while longer our server brought our check to the table and asked if we needed anything else. Of course we were stunned. We told him we hadn’t gotten the rest of our meal and he asked what we had ordered. Again we were stunned after such an in depth discussion on what we could order. Basically we had grilled vegetables, some potatoes and sweet potato fries. It took quite some time to get that also. After we finished he brought the check again. So, for the $85+ we had 1 glass of wine, salad and vegetables. No mention of what happened or if he could bring us some dessert on the house etc. We saw the manager on the way out and politely relayed to him what had happened. He apologized and said he’d speak to our server. He made no offer of anything then or anything that would make us want to return to their restaurant for another try. So needless to say we won’t be dining at The Waterfront again!

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R
San Francisco
83 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a great meal. The starter of Rice and Lobster Risotto was delicious. For a main,
the Petrale Sole was a very large portion, with brocollini and mashed potatoes. It was really
a wonderful dish and such a generous portion. The service was excellent. We sat outside in a
glass walled patio, and that is very charming, with a great view. All in all, a superb experience.
Highly recommended!

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RH
New England
3 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding. The weather was great and we ate outside. Great views of the bridge and water. Good food. (Outstanding clam chowder) Excellent service.

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OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

First order of fish was under cooked, second order had bones in it. In general there were very small portions for the money. Only saving grace was the service and taste.

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N
San Francisco
45 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Personal opinions: My wife and me; our first time to this RR. Nice location on the Embarcadero; parking easy if purchased in advance one block away. View of the Bay and Bay Bridge. Service was attentive and friendly, but with one memory lapse and one minor spill. The clam chowder was potato based but the clam flavor was good. Wife's sea bass was a little dry. Beet salad was mainly kale and dressing was a bit overpowering. Seafood pasta was good, with plenty of clams, bay scallops, muscles, and fish pieces. Sauce was smooth and pasta fresh, but the dish needed some attention to spice. Side dish of french fries was up to par if a bit small for price. Wine by the glass list too short; OK but not great selections. Pear/apple tart was too sugary, though some would like that. Wife scraped the top layer off. WB better with more fruit. Meyer lemon cheesecake was OK, but certainly not light and delicate. Almost like eating creme cheese straight out of the container, and the lemon lacked the edgy tartness that a well made cheesecake will have. Paid $174 plus tip. Included one glass of wine each, and one coffee. Not overpriced by SF standards, but not underpriced either. Overall, it was a serviceable meal, but nothing to shout about. A bit more finesse in the kitchen could improve the result a good deal without adding greatly to price.

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C
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Classy restaurant; great menu; great food; excellent service; friendly waiters; incredible view; convenient parking; always bring out-of-town family and friends

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SC
1 review
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very nice workers! I love the vibe here and makes for a phenomenal restaurant and bite to eat while in San Francisco. The clam chowder must have been the best Clam chowder I have ever eaten! The manager made it a point to serve us and my boyfriend for his birthday with complimentary cake. Such a great crowd! Would go again.

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ME
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very Best clam chowder..Excellent seasoning on main course & sides..a little pricey given small portions..Overall most delightful 😎

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AP
Austin
4 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent. We informed them we were in a rush as well, and they expedited our orders as well. All around great service. Would recommend and go again.

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DE
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on January 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

It is not what it use to be. They up the prices to high. The food was good but not great for the price we paid! We feel they priced themselves out of our likes. There are other restaurants for less with just as good of food!!!

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BA
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

My crab salad was excellent but expensive for the amount of crab
Views are amazing & service was attentive

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ML
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We were very satisfied with everything but the day was grey and raining so the view was not as good as it would be. The side of the restaurant with glass is cold, I recommend to put more heathers at that area, we felt cold there , what is not very pleasant.

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OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 3

Made reservations and still had to wait another 10 minutes. There were tables available when we got there. It seemed like we were more of a burden to staff as the waiter kept passing us by throughout the evening. Although the view if the bridge us beautiful, we will not be dining here again.

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OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was good taste.

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AM
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

The food at the Waterfront is OUTSTANDING, you can't beat the view and I've always had wonderful experiences there.

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DG
New Mexico
3 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and ambiance! We come back every time we visit San Francisco!

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P
San Francisco
51 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

The Waterfront has been around for years and is basically a seafood restaurant. With a view of the Bay Bridge light desplay at night, one can spend an enjoyable evening with reliably good food and attentive service.

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