The Waterfront Restaurant and Cafe

4.3
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3015 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 3015 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
4.3
service
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

the service was really good and the food was really good my kale salad might have been a tad spicy and I didn't really remember that dressing the bread was really good and I had pasta with rock shrimp and lobster in it it was very good and I don't eat mussels or the other clans so they replaced those two and gave me more rock shrimp and crab in the pasta linguine and the bread business that are really good elections and the gentleman ordered the some kind of pie the Nutella pie and I've heard of Nutella but I'm like oh my gosh what is how are they going to do this in the pie and he ordered it and I have a bite and it was quite delicious it was very light there was no crust heavy crust on it that it would fill you up and that name and no crust is why it was such a good dessert because there was no like dessert it's very delicious, the view is spectacular and you're eating dinner the whole time looking at it the San Francisco Bay bridge

C
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall2food3service3ambience1

They seated us on the exterior patio, where it's leaking rain, very bright like a school cafeteria, no music and extremely cold. I asked to seat us inside, they managed to do that after 15 mins, the rest of the night was fine.

B
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service as soon as we walked in the door. The waiter was outstanding and the Petrale Sole was the best I've ever had.

B
Minneapolis
15 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall2food1service3ambience4

Fish arrived at table hardly cooked (and it wasn't tuna)

SS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

We had the soul and the lobster risotto and it was very good. The service was a little slow because we are seated next to a large party. It was our anniversary so they wrote Happy Anniversary on our dessert plate. The chocolate souffle was also very good. We also enjoy the decorations and the views. It was a very nice experience.

OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is a beautiful restaurant. We sat upstairs! The view was amazing. We were running late on a reservation and they kindly held our table for a half hour. I'm definitely going back with my bride. Oh and by the way the food is fantastic. The mixed grill was awesome. Both my wife and I ordered the same thing...it was so good!

D
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

This would be a perfect place if the noise level in the upper section was lower.

NA
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

All the food we had was very well prepared We had the whole fish, mixed grill, scallops and seafood fettuccine. All done well. The whole fish was table favorite.

RH
1 review
Dined on December 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was phenomenal! Such fresh and melt in your mouth seafood. Eric was incredible and had us laughing and enjoying his jokes and mannerisms. Definitely recommend.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience1

The waiter was incredibly rude. He came by our table about once every hour. I got the feeling he was expecting to make a lot of money off of us and was upset when we didn’t order as much food as he expected. When we decided to order a few hot chocolates for dessert, he made a comment like, “That’s it?” He then went ahead and charged us a mandatory 18% tip to force us to pay him well for his terrible service so that he could still make as much money off of us as he could.

j
Phoenix
44 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food. Beautiful restaurant in a fantastic location! Everything was wonderful from start to finish!

EB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience4

The waiter could have been more attentive. Totally forgot to mention the special of the day.

PG
Miami
2 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

It was thanksgiving dinner, average food with poor presentation, service was ok but not outstanding.
The crab cakes appetizer was the winner.

A
Atlanta
12 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were enjoying a destination Thanksgiving in San Francisco and booked a 7:15pm table for 4 at the restaurant. On the reservation we included a note about sitting upstairs so we could enjoy the view. We arrived early and were able to be seated upstairs with the most amazing night view of the bay. The menu was a fixed Thanksgiving prix but they also had other options for those not a fan of traditional food or al la carte. Half the table went with the $75 fixed meal and the other half went al la carte. No matter what you ordered the food was amazing!!! So fresh and tasty. Service was superb with everyone chipping in to make the holiday magical for all patrons. Will definitely be back here on my next visit to San Fran.

c
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My family of 5 adults and 3 children and I enjoyed the setting and food choices for our Thanksgiving dinner. We will return to The Waterfront Restaurant again!

M
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

I’ve been to Waterfront many times for group events so trusted them with Thanksgiving donner. They did not disappoint on the choice of food, the food, the service and the view. They made a special occasion just that little bit more perfect!

HK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Went to Waterfront for Thanksgiving dinner. Waterfront is an old friend, but hadn’t been for a long time. Did not disappoint! Had forgotten what a lovely place it is...food was excellent and generous in amount. Excellent service. And of course the beautiful view of the Bay and the Bay Bridge all lit up.

S
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Great location, but old fashioned standard food. Not a creative, flavorful menu. Over priced. Crab cakes bready. Salad drenched in dressing. Salmon good, but lentils blah. Desserts not worth the calories. $15 dessert martini tasted like it sat in shaker 5 minutes --so watery. Overall, very disappointing. You're paying for view

OT
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Thanksgiving meal. Beautiful views. Very attentive waitstaff. Bland soup. Crowded dining room.

TD
1 review
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

First time at this restaurant, and we were all so impressed. Delicious thanksgiving dinner with friends, tremendous view upstairs by the window, excellent friendly service added up to a memorable holiday dinner. Now, we have to try their lunch. Many thanks to all who contributed to our great experience that day. They made me, the reservation maker, look like a genius.

SF
San Francisco
84 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Classic Thanksgiving menu was excellent. Servers were everywhere, friendly, but unobtrusive. Atmosphere was warm, even though the outside was extremely cold, and the patio was not an option!

S
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent in every way! Great food, service and ambience. We will be back!

PL
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

Atmosphere and Ambiance is nice. Service was great and server was attentive. Appetizers was good but Entree’s was a “meh”. Choices and selections of Entree’s was not that great, could improve in providing a wider variation of choices...

SW
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on November 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great location and staff! It’s right on the water and you have a view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great experience

JB
New England
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We went on a very busy night and the restaurant was so accommodating. The waitstaff were so responsive and the food quality was outstanding. Will definitely come here again!

B
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience5

A grand old restaurant, we've coming here for more than forty years. However be prepared for a loud boisterous environment and often inattentive staff, especially when big conventions are in town. The food is excellent, but pricey. The views are what you come for. Convenient valet parking, and the maitre'd and bartenders are some of the best.

MF
San Francisco
38 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic service and the food was excellent from cocktails, srtarters to dessert and everything in between. The Bronzino was outstanding!!!!

JG
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Wonderful evening views of the bay bridge, excellent service and great food. Wine list had some decent values as well. We thoroughly enjoyed our dinner and recommend the Waterfront Restaurant to locals and visitors to the city alike.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience3

Grrreat food!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

We had the grilled mix plate it was good but how do you serve half a lobster tail????? Really what happened to the other half??? Are you eating it in the kitchen???

BS
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding service, wow factor view and delicious food! We plan to book here each time we have clients - amazing!

l
Atlantic City
9 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Was good with a great view the food was excellent

OT
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on November 10, 2019
Overall5food3service5ambience5

I wasn't very impressed by the food given the prices. The service and atmosphere were fantastic tho and I really enjoyed the lavender mojito

k
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall2food4service4ambience1

We booked our reservation two weeks in advance for a table for two. When we arrived 15 minutes early we were asked to wait, no problem we were early. We were taken to a table for two out in the walkway where three such tables were lined up. We immediately said no this is too noisy our hostess blankly stared at us and said, "We're busy this is all we have. We are booked with large parties that have taken up a lot of the tables so nothing more will be available." Then she turned on her heel and walked away! For the next hour we watched several couples escorted to tables for two all over the restaurant! We have eaten here at least 50 times over the years. The server was excellent and the food was excellent but the evening was ruined for us when we walked in the door and met the hostess! Maybe there was an invisible velvet rope and we didn't meet the criteria to get through! Maybe I can find cioppino somewhere else!

LJ
Hawaii
54 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall4food3service4ambience4

Great location with a view. Good service. Food was a bit of a disappointment....

m
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a beautiful view. Meal was well paced and delicious

L
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Wonderful window view. Service was outstanding, but gave a four instead of 5. , because they only gave us 2 pieces of bread and that was in between appetizer and main entree.

R
Sacramento
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall1food3service1ambience2

Very poor service. After waiting over an hour and only received soup , we finally received our 12 oysters. Waiter never came and checked on us during any of this time. We then declined to order entrees and left.

j
Greensboro
18 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience5

We went with some friends to dine here to celebrate my husband’s birthday while in San Francisco. What a disappointing experience. When we arrived we were told our table wasn’t ready (despite having made a reservation) and ushered to a seating area where we wait half an hour. They gave us drink menus but then didn’t come back to see if we wanted drinks. Once seated our table was very nice with a great view. My husband and I ordered oysters to share, a cocktail, and the mixed grill. Our raw oysters came but apparently had not been properly cleaned. Both oysters had pieces of shell in them. Luckily I realized it before chewing and spit the shell out. My husband was not so lucky and the roof of his mouth was cut and he started bleeding. When our server finally came back to the table, my husband showed him all the blood on his napkin and that he was pretty upset about being cut by the oyster. A manage came over and apologized and told us dinner would be on her. Our entree came and the seafood was cooked perfectly. Our friends had ordered the same and thought so too. When the bill arrived at the end of the night, they charged us for our drink and an oyster!! What? I told our server (who had been mostly absent for the dining experience) that we had been told the manager was taking care of our dinner. He took off the oyster and still charged us for our cocktail. Our friends were charged full price for their meals as well. Not once did they mention happy birthday to my husband nor acknowledge the special occasion. Pretty disgraceful experience at a restaurant that is supposed to be a landmark in the city.