Skates on the Bay

4.3
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6077 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Seafood
Skates on the Bay is known for their fresh market ingredients, innovative menu, and spectacular views of the bay, Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, and San Francisco. This beautiful and historic waterfront gathering place for fresh seafood and unmatched views of the San Francisco Bay, recently completed (April, 2012) a major interior design renovation, including the addition of a new raw bar, glass-walled private dining room and innovative menus. Originally opened in 1983 in the Berkeley Marina, the reimagined Skates on the Bay is a stunning restaurant to enjoy cocktails at sunset, late night Happy Hour, weekday lunch, weekend lunch or brunch with the family or dinner with a date any time of year.
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What 6077 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
4.4
service
4.5
ambience
4.0
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DD
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall2food2service2ambience3

We went for first night Berkeley Restaurant week. Extremely slow for a not so busy night. At least an hour wait before entrees came. Food ok, not great. Sushi appetizer particularly sad, not fresh. Have not been here for a while and now I remember why.

d
San Francisco
81 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The weather was disappointing: rain and no view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate. However, the food made up for that; it was excellent!
I started with a crab and artichoke dip, served with delicious bread. My main course was a Filet Mignon with asparagus, parmesan potato wedges, roasted garlic, Dungeness Crab Bernaise Sauce with fresh cherry tomatoes. I really appreciated the crab add-on. Key-lime pie, with a glass of Limoncello on the side, made this meal outstanding. As always, the service left nothing to be desired.

v
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience4

The view is always worth a trip, but the food is not what it was. We went for the Restaurant Week specials, and I did not find anything I wanted to eat. My friend had squid appetizer, poke bowl, creme brûlée's. The squid was quite good, poke acceptable, dessert was coldish and kind of congealed. Both the appetizer and dessert were very large, enough for 2. I had seared tuna, overdone on the outside, raw on inside. Basically disappointing.

SL
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Waitresses both offered great service, food was good, I would go again. Lovely view of the water.

p
San Francisco
16 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great service and awesome food. Great for our business meeting!

GM
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service4ambience4

It’s a good experience. Food & service is very good!

N
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love it here! Great view, great food. Our server Brittany went above and beyond to make sure our party of 6 had a wonderful time. Highly recommend Skates & ask for Brittany!

EA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food3service4ambience5

Birthday celebration

OT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday lunch. It was a great. The service was excellent. We had a server Jacob who went above and beyond to accommodate our son’s food requests and make my mother in law feel special for her birthday. We will definitely be back the next time we are in town.

HH
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall2food3service2ambience2

We were freezing the whole time even with jackets on. They had a special lunch menu advertised online and refused to honor it when we got there. The place was really empty and they seated a party of 5 right behind us - so close the waitress had to ask us to slide out seats in so she could get by. When I went to the restroom I had to scoot around a plastic cart someone had just left there, blocking the entrance while 4 ladies at the front desk just watched. It was still there when I came out.
My husband's meal, one of the specials, was quite good. My crab sandwich was underwhelming - loads of mayo and the pieces of crab we so minute it was more of a mush.
Not impressed at all and won't be going back.

s
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall3food4service4ambience4

The food was great but the wine pairing left a lot to be desired.

JZ
Salt Lake City
3 reviews
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

This is a great restaurant for lunch with friends. Great food, varied menu, excellent bar. Also a great area to walk around. Plenty of parking. Our waiter had some issues but he was relatively new.

DE
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 14, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

I have always loved dining at Skates. I still do.

The food, service, and ambience were fine as usual, and the recommended Chardonnay was excellent.

The only reason that I gave the overall rating only 4 stars is that the main restrooms were out of order, and the secondary men's restroom was out of order, leaving (apparently?) only one restroom for the entire restaurant. Maybe there was a good reason, but generally I might expect that in a gas station downtown ... not in a fine restaurant like Skates. Apologies if I have been overly critical on that.

The only reason that I gave the value rating only 4 stars is that the serving of hamachi sashimi was the stingiest I have encountered yet, and I am over 70, having loved sushi since my mid-20s. The sashimi itself was excellent in taste and quality. But there were 5 (a prime number, divisible only by itself and 1) of the thinnest slices ever. I had to cut one in half to share, and I do not share sashimi lightly.

OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

The hostess was very gracious. The prefix $35.00 3-purse meal was delicious.

f
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall2food3service3ambience4

Skates is a beautiful setting, perfect for drinks and appetizers. The food, the main courses especially, is very expensive and very mediocre. I would rather go to Chez Panisse Cafe to eat and have a similar bill. The service was hit and miss. Some were great, others not. The restaurant was very cold and you could feel the AC blasting. I really don't appreciate that in the dead of winter. I had to eat with my down coat on as did my 14-year-old son.

B
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Another great meal at Skates. The 3 course meal for $35 was a great deal. The day was beautiful so the view was outstanding. It is always a pleasure to go the Skates for special occasions and just a night out.

G
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was a second date night. We had a really nice time. The drinks were good. The appetizers were delicious. The main course was full of flavor and set the bar for desert. The service was attentive and checked on us frequently. Our waiter had a great sense of humor and was very knowledgeable about the menu. The view out the window at night was amazing.

K
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Dry noisy place!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Salle trop vieille

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P
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

From the moment we walked we felt so welcomed. We were seated right by the window, it was a beautiful day. I had the Grilled Caesar with Crab , and the Poke appetizer, both were outstanding! My husband had the Salmon Burger, it was AMAZING, best salmon ever! The service was perfect.

H
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall3food2service2ambience5

Skates on the Bay is a Bay Area staple and I've had many happy, celebratory dinners here. Unfortunately, the quality of the food and the service just isn't quite what it used to be, especially for the price.
The location and feel of the restaurant is still beautiful but maybe just go for an appetizer and a drink rather than for your whole meal.

KG
San Francisco
15 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had the 35th Anniversary special, which was very good. Deliciously prepared, great selections on the 3 course menu for $35. Very good value, included opening soup or salad, main entree and dessert! Loved it!

ST
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience4

We had a great time and our waitress Ebonie was wonderful. Thank you.

JM
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love Skates on the Bay and go there often with friends. In addition, three of my friends and I celebrate each other's birthdays there, and when there's a birthday the server brings out a dazzling dessert with enough spoons for the table - gratis. The views are stunning, and, if we're lucky, we'll get a window table for maximum pleasure. We all love their seafood, their vegetarian options, their sushi. It's our favorite place to meet and talk and watch the sailboats and the ducks on the Bay. Skates on the Bay forever!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall2food2service2ambience4

I came here with my parents for my birthday this evening and the experience just didn’t fit the venue. It’s a gorgeous restaurant right on the water and the decor is high class. As we walked in, we were greeted by who I assume was a manager who said he would be “harassing us” all night. Odd... the nice host takes us to the table where our server talks over me and my parents as we try to order, takes three tries to even let us order drinks because we can’t get a word in over him, insists I order my entree the way he likes it, and overall just a pretty pushy waiter.

The food was average for the price. The crab and artichoke dip was delicious, but the steamed clams were bland. My parents got the buttered prawns and said they needed butter (go figure) and salt, but enjoyed the mashed potatoes. I got the whole lobster which needed seasoning, but the asparagus was outstanding. For dessert, we got the molten lava cake, toffee cake, and chocolate decadence cake - all were just ok. No mention of my birthday at all even though I made a note in the reservation and told the waiter.

Overall, just an odd experience that didn’t match the beautiful location. Pushy waiter. Weird mix of items on the menu. Everything needed more seasoning. I don’t think we will be coming back.

LT
Central Coast
7 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall4food3service3ambience5

Service was average, nothing special. I informed the server no pork, yet the clam chowder had some bacon crumbles on top (I returned it) and there was bacon on my turkey sandwich. Lastly, I was surprised the food was very salty. I

Other than that, the dining atmosphere was very nice and the view of the GGB was beautiful.

O
Miami
10 reviews
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience5

Server was great. I think the kitchen forgot about our order.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall2food1service4ambience3

The shrimp was so dry my wife couldn’t eat it. And my prime rib was so tough it was hard to cut. Won’t be going there again.

RA
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall1food3service1ambience3

We were very disappointed this time. We frequent Skates on the Bay and bring clients in often. The hostess was curt and rude. She was not friendly or service oriented. Sorry I didn't get her name. After being in the restaurant business for years myself, I was really shocked that such a popular restaurant like Skates would have a hostess greeting the people with such attitude. The Bay Area has so many eateries to choose from so why would we frequent such unfriendly service. Sorry but it was not a good experience this time at all...

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Birthday. The waitress said she couldn’t split the bill when I asked. Staff walked around counting people while we were eating as if they wanted people out right after eating. Our salmon was undercooked. There was a slight odor near dishwashing area.

d
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience5

Skates is always a special experience. Today’s late lunch was 4.5 stars. Just a few timing issues kept it from being a solid 5. Our server was amazing.

d
San Francisco
34 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2020
Overall3food5service3ambience3

Hadn't been here since the new ownership. Came for brunch & food was excellent. However, their drinks are really more than they need to be. Even at upscale restaurants, I've only spent $13 for a cocktail & these were $15. Also, the hostess seated us next to a table with a baby stroller in the way that I had to awkwardly scoot by. Really? There were PLENTY of other tables NOT right next to other diners. I don't get the logic. Nice panoramic view of the bay on a clear day, though.

KM
Oklahoma City
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall2food5service1ambience5

Food was great. Service was horrible. Food took forever to come out. Server charged us wrong amount. Restaurant was too cold.

w
San Francisco
19 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food2service3ambience5

Come for the view, not the food. We had a 5 pm reservation and managed a day with a clear view of the GG Bridge and the sunset. It was fantastic. As night fell, the lights of SF and Marin were beautiful. The food is mediocre at best. I had the stuffed mahi-mahi; it was ok but a little on the mushy side without much flavor from the stuffing. My wife had the poke, and it was a small portion with only fish and onions; not very exciting. Food prices are expensive for what you get. Place was hopping with walk-ins pushed off until after 8 pm. Fairly noisy.

OT
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall3food5service2ambience5

The food was fantastic as usual! I couldn’t have been more pleased. Everything was tasty and timely. The manager Matt was fantastic and super helpful. Our server needed some training/help though. Our drinks stayed empty several times and she had a bit of an attitude. She is a rarity for this place and hopefully the rest of the staff will bring her up to standard quickly.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience5

Nice ambiance/location. Food can be better.
Service is good.

JB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2020
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Excellent food and ambiance. Server rushed us too much.

DS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Impressed. Food and service excellent. They were very busy but it didn’t phase the staff. Definitely a return visit necessary. Bought a gift certificate for a very picking brother.

JF
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on January 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

so busy first day of year; beautiful corner table, good space for wheelchair better than other area of restaurant. Service fun some servers wearing party hats, lights.

KA
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall1food1service2ambience2

The worst rib eye I ever had. Very dry and bland. The mash potato taste spoiled and the side green was undercooked. My boyfriend’s Ribs was ok but too fatty. Service was under expected and we felt rushed.

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