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San Francisco View Restaurants

San Francisco View Restaurants

If you're looking for a restaurant with a view, the best opportunities are found along the waterfront. Here's a selection of restaurants with a view in the city. Remember that is you want to be assured of having a table with a view, you should request that when you make your reservation.


On the Embarcadero at Pier 33, Butterfly Restaurant serves Pan-Asian food. The dining room has floor to ceiling windows looking onto the bay. Open for lunch, weekend brunch, dinner, and happy hour; closed Mondays.

The Cliff House

On Point Lobos, the historic Cliff House offers dining with views of Seal Rocks, the Sutro Bath ruins, and the Pacific Ocean. Sutro's, the main dining room, has floor to ceiling windows offering panoramic views and a seasonal menu. A lavish Sunday buffet brunch is served in the Terrace Room on the lower level of the Cliff House, also with views. Not only is it a scenic place to dine, but it's also a good place to take a look at the city's history.

Empress of China

In the heart of Chinatown, Empress of China serves standard Chinese fare with great views of North Beach and Coit Tower.

Epic Roasthouse

Taking steak house dining to a new level, Epic Roasthouse, on the Embarcadero south of Market, serves traditional and contemporary meat dishes. Views include the Bay Bridge and the open kitchen. There's patio dining on nice days, too. Open daily for dinner and weekends for brunch. There's also a good happy hour.

Ferry Building

San Francisco's renovated Ferry Building features a farmer's market and a variety of shops and small restaurants that have views from their outdoor tables. On a nice day you can dine outside at several restaurants facing the bay and ferry terminal or in front of the building, you'll find two restaurants with patios that are great for people watching and views of the historic trolleys running along the Embarcadero.

The Franciscan Crab Restaurant

At Fisherman's Wharf, the Franciscan Crab Restaurant is famous for their fresh Dungeness crab dishes but there are lots of other seafood dishes to choose from as well. Set right on the water, the window tables and booths offer spectacular views of Treasure Island and the bay. Open daily, 11:30AM to 10:00PM.

Grandviews at the Grand Hyatt

On the 36th floor of the Grand Hyatt downtown, Grandviews does indeed have grand views over the city. One of my favorites for the view, Grandviews is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.


For vegetarian fare you can't beat Greens in Fort Mason. A pioneer in vegetarian dining, the restaurant serves creative dishes using fresh, local ingredients. Window tables face the Golden Gate Bridge and have good views of the coast. Open for lunch or brunch, Tuesday - Sunday, cafe dinner Sunday - Friday, and prix fixe dinner on Saturdays.

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

La Mar Cebicheria, on the Embarcadero near the ferry building, serves a variety of ceviche and Peruvian dishes in a dining room looking out on the bay. Open daily for lunch and dinner.

McCormick & Kuleto's Seafood Restaurant

In Ghirardelli Square facing the bay, McCormick & Kuleto's serves excellent seafood dishes. Ask for a window seat to get a bay view. Open for lunch and dinner.

Samovar Tea Lounge

While it doesn't have sweeping bay views or panoramic city views, the outdoor dining area at the Samovar Tea Lounge in the Yerba Buena Gardens, is one of my favorite places to go for a view. On the upper terrace of Yerba Buena Gardens, the outdoor tables offer peaceful dining in a garden setting with views over the gardens and to the buildings beyond. Open at 10AM for breakfast, lunch, light dinner, or tea.


On the Embarcadero south of Market by Rincon Park, Waterbar features fresh, sustainable seafood and panoramic views of the Bay and San Francisco skyline from the main dining room. If you want a table with a view, be sure to reserve for the main dining room where there are floor to ceiling window as well as floor-to-ceiling circular aquariums in the center of the room. Open for lunch, weekend brunch, and dinner and there's also a bar menu.

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