399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9410537.790456 -122.388966
Happy hour is the time to go for $1 oysters and cocktail and drink specials. On a sunny day, sit on the outdoor patio with waterfront views of the Bay Bridge.
Waterbar is one of my favorite restaurants in SF: some of the best bay views in the city, a classy and lively atmosphere, solid service, and creative, seasonal, delicious food. Pricey, yes (inevitable due to location), but portions are generous and the kitchen puts a lot of heart and imagination into their dishes. Great spot for business, pleasure, and everything in between.
Good location, Great food, nice facilty – I read a few mixed reviews here on City Search, but I had a good experience at the Waterbar in San Fran.
The restaurant is beautiful, the fried osters, seared scallops, soup and cocktail bar were good. the service was good, the men's room was very clean, the wine selection and kitchen looked imporessive. There were a few managers mingeling around making sure everyone was happy and attended too.
I recommend the restaurant and give it 4 stars.
Love the $1 Oysters! – What could be better...sitting in a beautiful restaurant with the best view of the Bay eating $1 oytsters and sipping on champagne?
This is one of the best deals in the city and I think it's offered 7 days a week until 6p.
Don't waste your money at the Waterbar – I have to say that the service was excellent and the scenary/atmosphere was great. My party of six enjoyed a Saturday night at the Waterbar until our food came. 3 of 6 thought the food was terrible. That is because I did not know the other three people to get there opinion. My suggestion is to not try so hard on appearance and work a little harder on taste. I see a for sale sign in the window in the near future.
Near perfect dining experience – We were debating where to go for dinner and at the last minute decided to stroll over to the Waterbar to see if we could get a table. The hostess was very friendly, greeted us and said it would be no problem getting us seated. About 5 minutes later we were sitting next to one of the massive aquariums, such a fantastic seat! I think they must reserve a row of 2 tops nearer to the kitchen for walk-ins, just a guess. Their wine list was amazing, by far one of the best I've ever seen. We had a nice light 2005 pinot, a great recommendation by their wine expert and then we shared the tuna tar-tar and Filet Mignon. Best steak I've had in a long long time, along the lines of Ruth Chris. If you end up going, keep an eye out for the 4-5ft eel in the tank on the left!
Hands down the best restaurant I've been to so far in San Francisco.
Splashy Embarcadero seafood spot provides fresher-than-fresh fare, a large-yet-cozy space, a wealth of wine options and killer Bay views. – An impressive shellfish bar lit by a hand-blown glass chandelier and two 19-foot-tall pillar aquariums teeming with an array of colorful sea life--not to mention unbelievable views of the bay and bridge--greet well-heeled out-of-towners, after-work crowds, special-occasion diners and romantic couples. Unlike the other seafood-themed establishments found on the waterfront, Waterbar is the real, raw deal when it comes to fish: An unmatched selection of fresh oysters (Hog Island kumamotos, Virginia olde salts, British Columbia Fanny Bays, Washington Deer Creeks and Massachusetts wellfleets, to name a few), and house specialties like a fried rock cod "Colbert", a simple, succulent lobster roll, and a whole roasted halibut are just a few of the aquatic offerings at this bayside powerhouse. On the turf side there are Creekstone Farms ribeye and a pancetta-wrapped rabbit as well as some vegetarian options, though these options miss the point of this restaurant completely.
Spendy seafood with a view – My favorite parts of the experience were:
1) that gorgeous view at night
2) the vya con dios cocktail that started my night right (Meyers dark rum, raspberry puree, OJ, and some other goodies)
3) the awesome friend I brought along with me
That said, seafood and service weren't on that list.
Pay more for a lot less – The presentation was pretentious given that the food was very underwhelming. The $90 raw seafood plate was small. Go next door to the Waterfront and pay $80 for three times. My wife found the salad flavors odd and had trouble finishing it. My fish and chips main course was visually ugly and the cole slaw flavorless. We had friends from SoCal with us and were embarrassed by the food and shocked by its cost! Never again.
A wonderful experience – I can not imagine that I ate at the same restaurant as the other reviewers. A group of 3, we sat in the main dining room. The review that said that they only took groups of 6 or more must have been mistaken, most of the tables were for 4.We were near the window with a wonderful view of the bay on one side and the large marine enclosures on the other. It was a little loud when we arrived but when the large group at the bar moved on, it was very tolerable noise level.
Every employee we had contact with was helpful and charming. Managers were attentive. Lowell our waiter was always there when needed.
Our cocktails were great. Had a 'Jenn's Biss' from the signature menu and will definitely be back to sip this refreshing drink. It was a cocktail developed by our bartender - Jenn-, who won a award for it . She also served our other drinks which were all equally good.
The food was exceptional. We had starters to share, one was the crab and bone marrow,very unusual and very good; another was a scallop and beet dish on which the scallops were done to perfection! Grilled to just the right crustiness on the outside, and like butter in the center. We had Emma's favorite salad, which was refreshing and imaginative.
For main dishes, our non-fish eater had the Pork Chop, the portion was very generous and cooked to perfection. I had the Wreckfish, which was recommended by the waiter. I had never hear of it. It was cooked to perfection and is dish I will repeat and recommend. Our third had the Sturgeon, again excellent. The dishes were not 'unusual' , but they were excellent, well prepared and well matched with the other items that accompanied them on the plate. Our sides of English Peas and French Fries, were well executed.
The Wine our beverage server Jennifer suggested was just right for our meal choices, and also a great price. I was very impressed that in addition to some higher priced wines, she pointed out a wine that was very affordable.
Dessert was YUMMM
Big Disappointment! – Okay, we're all used to paying high prices for dinner and drinks, but usually the cost is matched with quality food and quality service. Not here. We had a hard time flagging down our waiter most of the evening, when he did make an appearance, it came with an attitude, and a surprising unprofessional knowledge of his own menu. One of our table guests asked if they had any Mexican beer, he replied no, only to see that they had Corona on the bar list. The food was bland, paying way too much attention on the "been-there-done-that" presentations and not packing any flavor...appetizers were attractive but completely uneventful to the palette, everything lacked taste, except for the oysters were basically okay, although not as described by the waiter. My husband inquired about the stone crab as a final course, however, we went with the waiters preference of the shrimp, which according to him were a much better selection! When the plate arrived about a 45 minutes later, we had 3 shrimp the size of half dollars, burnt to a crisp at $24! Is anyone watching the grill? Come on, that's $8 bucks each if you do the math. Oh and did I mention, my Grey Goose Martini was served warm with mushy olives. The best thing, are the fish tanks,
Uninspired, over-priced seafood – I was not impressed with this restaurant. I had lunch there a few weeks ago. Yes, the view is nice, but I wouldn't call it spectacular. You can get a similar view from the Ferry Building or the Waterfront Restaurant and the view at Pier 23 is also pretty nice. The exterior of the building is boring at best. The food was uninspired but fine. It was edible but not nearly as good as the Waterfront, certainly not worth the price. The restaurant is very large inside and can get fairly loud. The servers seemed to know their job and the menu but also came across a bit elitist and not warm. The hostess was cordial but cool and I think she may have been chosen more for her physical appearance than people skills. This place is just not welcoming and the food doesn't measure up to San Francisco standards for high-end seafood. Also, the waiter made a point of telling us that some of the fish is flown in daily from Great Britain and Japan. He seemed to think we'd be impressed but all I could think of was the environmental impact of that kind of cavalier use of airplane fuel. We have excellent fish in the Pacific waters right off our own coast. Again, not in keeping with San Francisco standards. I will add though, that the restaurant has a couple of very large, and spectacular, column aquariums created by the folks at the Monterey Bay Aquarium that add to a nice decor if you are seated near them. If what you want is a good view of the bay and good seafood go to the Waterfront, don't waste your money at Waterbar.
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