The Waterfront Restaurant and Cafe

4.3
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3065 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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Sun 4:00PM - 5:45PM 8:00PM - 9:30PM
Mon - Thu 12:00PM - 1:00PM 4:00PM - 5:45PM 7:45PM - 9:30PM
Fri 12:00PM - 1:00PM 4:00PM - 5:45PM 8:00PM - 9:30PM
Sat 4:00PM - 5:45PM 8:00PM - 9:30PM

What 3065 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.2
service
4.5
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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F
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience3

The servers were attentive at first, but forgot part of our order. After inquiring, it did not arrive until we were done with our entrees. If you go, it’s important to ask for a table upstairs rather than outside in the enclosed patio as will be warmer. View is amazing though!

k
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food3service2ambience4

Good restaurant overall but is aging. Menu changes rarely and nothing exceptional in service or menu choices. They push lobster mashed potatoes and lobster man-n-cheese, but both are greasy and aren’t really that great - but high profit for the restaurant. Beet salad was heaps of lettuce garnish and maybe 1/4 cup beets, not at all something one would call a salad. Not a bad place, but highly overpriced for the aging menu. I think target audience must be tourists who get sucked in by the view and no harm that they never come back. Service Isn’t bad but for the prices it should be better. Water glasses emptied and were never refilled once. Even got the wrong food delivered and then when we pointed it out they took the food to another table after being served to us. Even things as simple as replacing tableware removed with dirty plates after each course was neglected. Again, not terrible but not great either.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4food2service4ambience3

Ambiance is great.

Service is good

overpriced

AD
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great experience! We sat near window with beautiful view of the bay. Only small issue was getting our waters refilled timely. Would definitely recommend and go again, the food was great.

F
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Loved the ambience was elegant and the view was fantastic. We all enjoyed out dishes and would return to enjoy again.

BA
Philadelphia
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Great place, Great food, and Great service. I love inviting out of states friends to this restaurant, pricey but worth it.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing atmosphere and great service. Our wedding dinner was simply perfect

RR
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Came here about three years before this visit and it was better then. The bread was stale. I could probably stop this review there. But wait! There’s more! The bouillabaisse was average to good. The waiter...nice, but his style was a little more suited for an east coast restaurant. I just wasn’t in the mood for that. But the view! I guess that’s why we were there, more than anything.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience3

A little bit cold in the restaurant as it was in the temporary roofed part of the restaurant. Nice view to Bay Bridge.

M
San Francisco
39 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a great lunch of clammy clam chowder and a crab Louie salad with a generous serving of fresh Dungeness crab and an Anchor steam beer, served on a cold but sunny day at one of the Waterfront’s outdoor tables in a glassed-in space along the Embarcadero sidewalk. A classic San Francisco meal with prompt, friendly service, in a scenic location perfect for conversation. What’s more to want?

H
London
3 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall1food4service1ambience2

The waiter was extremely rude, we were celebrating and after 1 bottle of champagne ordered another. As the only female he then looked at the men on the table to confirm the order which I found incredibly humiliating. The waiter Then went to the host who came over and rudely said ‘for everyone’s wellbeing I’m not going to allow another bottle’. It cost over $450 and ruined the celebration.

B
Edmonton
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall2food2service3ambience2

My husband and I took our teenage daughters here who are quite adventurous diners. The cocktails were too sweet and the pasta and risotto were over the top rich. When we complained about the drink all the waiter did was add more soda.

We wanted to have a nice view and ambience but we were seated right beside the kitchen and outside deck which was drafty and loud.

Not worth the price of food.

The clam chowder was great.

OT
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience3

Food was good not great. Had an Old Fashioned cocktail and it was pretty bad. Service was friendly and quick. Generally overpriced for the value.

R
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

A little slow on service, food was good, view was great

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The entire experience was amazing. The food was exquisite. Looking forward to returning.

CC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall3food3service4ambience5

The servers were excellent limited options on the menu. View is great but food could be a lot better.

h
San Francisco
136 reviews
Dined on January 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had very fresh seafood. Started with clam chowder which had big pieces of clams. Then shared the grill seafood- salmon, lobster, scallops, shrimp Finished off with the netalla pie.

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect evening at the Waterfront Resteraunt and Cafe for New Years! My boyfriend and I really enjoyed the atmosphere and the food! Perfect service and great drinks! After our 3 course meal, all guests were invited outside on the private deck to count down till midnight to ring in the New Year and watch the firework show. Truly the best way to end the evening.:) Will be coming back again!

AO
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience5

The food for NY’s eve dinner was decent but wasn’t spectacular, 3 stars. Service, ambiance and convenience for the occasion is 5 stars.

FL
Montreal
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

We were there NYE. Perfect spot to watch the fireworks. We were seated on the covered area in the back and it got really cold and we had to wear our coats to eat dinner. They should add heaters. Otherwise, service and food were excellent.

SF
Seattle
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Because it was New Years Eve the staff kept things moving. It felt a little rushed.

CW
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Everything was perfect. My boyfriend was so surprised that you brought dessert out with a candle and wrote Happy Birthday on the plate. Thanks again

AL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Good restaurant, exellent service and brilliant view on New Year´s Eve fireworks. Food quiet exspensive and to large portions. Only one menu available but was good. Exellent service to let us stay in the lounge and wait for the fireworks, as our table was only available to 21:00. Well done Waterfront :)

DC
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience3

Food was good to very good, service was very, very slow.

BG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Waterfront has excellent service and food. Service is an art and they have mastered it perfectly at The Waterfront. The food is presented in an eye-appealing way and everything tastes delicious. I recommend it to anyone looking for a high-quality, memorable dining experience.

P
San Francisco
113 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

We were meeting family from Northern Virginia for dinner. They walked to Waterfront for dinner after their Alcatraz tour. Unfortunately 1 of their 3 kids was very tired - most likely a bit of jet lag and a long day of touring SF. Service was a bit slow due to what might be some large parties. The young man kept falling asleep at the table. Everything was great, but I just wish the service had been a little faster, especially for the kids.

OG
San Francisco
18 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were lucky to get one of the best tables with a fabulous view of the light show on the bridge. The food was attractively presented, well-portioned, and absolutely delicious. The service was attentive, but not overbearing.

L
Mexico City
4 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excelente servicio y alimentos deliciosos
La vista es relajada y buena carta de vinos

Report
O
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall1food2service2ambience1

For the menu Of Christmas Eve, was terrible , the food isn’t very good, our plates was cold! A terrible night

DN
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall2food4service3ambience2

Food was delicious...very good. That said at $95 per person I expect the food and ambience to be near perfect or perfect. We sat in outdoor area as insidewas very noisy. Outdoor area was chilly and chairs were very uncomfortable. We felt cold wind every time door between out and in was opened which was very frequently. We happened to be seated by floor heater which was eventually angled by a waiter more towards center of room. One floor heater for whole area???
In addition outdoor section chairs were very uncomfortable. We asked and did receive pillows. Our chairs were of an outdoor type and seat edge cut across under my thighs in addition needing more back support.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Holiday Christmas lunch

CC
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

The food (in particular, the prime rib) was heavy on the salt. Server was kind enough to change the entree. Thank you very much for the beautiful view. The ambience was fantastic.

GF
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such a lovely place to have a family Christmas Eve brunch! Thank you so much to the staff and everyone for making our Christmas with our new granddaughter so special.

JL
San Francisco
53 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a great venue for our family of eight for a holiday dinner. The food was great as was the service. The view of the bridge is fantastic. Parking is easy in the area; save the $14 valet parking fee and walk half a block.

B
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on December 22, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience3

The service was slow and it might be due to the holidays. Also was seated outside and found it to be cold...could use some heat lamps. The food was overall pretty good

p
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience3

We sat in the patio area to have a view but the plastic cover was dirty so we couldn’t really get a good pic . Food a bit over priced for the lack of flavor and presentation . Staff is amazing . Food was served at a timely manner . It got really noisy with three different groups out by our table . I really wanted to go I see and have my dessert but my daughter was embarrassed to move .

FM
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on December 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was excellent. The food was very good. My Vancouver salmon was the most flavorful salmon that I've every eaten. We had a table next to the window with an awesome S. F. Bay view. The hostess took some great pictures of the four of us before we left the Waterfront Restaurant.

OT
San Francisco
24 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

The view is lovely. However, the food is bland. We were seated near a giant noisy party, although there were tables available in another section of the restaurant. A bit disappointing.

WA
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

You are really paying for the view. Unfortunately the plastic cover was a bit dirty so while the view was nice, you really couldn't get a photo. Foodwise, I am admittedly a foodie and take all aspects of the meal from presentation to aftertaste into consideration - I give it 3 out of 5 stars. I ordered the mixed grill and was a bit disappointed that the lobster tail was really a small lobster tail cut in half lengthwise... the rest of the dish was nothing spactacular. There just wasn't any flair to the meal - it was all pretty basic and pretty spendy for what you get. Drink-wise the wine's were priced at what I felt was a "reasonable" markup - I spotted a few $50 bottles that you can easily get for $20 on your own.
To me the service and the ambiance made it worthwhile. The server was spot-on and the general vibe was what I would expect. All-in for two people with drinks, appetizers and desert we were well north of $200 and for that hefty sum I would have hoped for a bit more on flavor and presentation with my meal. Oddly I let the staff know it was a special event (birthday) but there was no comp of any kind - usually you get a desert or a discount, but we recieved nothing.

GH
1 review
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Overall a good restaurant and nice views on the water. Food was pretty good.