San Francisco’s Embarcadero is inherently charming. It’s home to the city’s most iconic Bay Bridge views, a serene and peaceful waterfront, as well as Hornblower Cruises & Events (who, coincidentally, also offer romantic dinner cruises).
Amongst some of the most upscale dining destinations in the city, you’ll also find a few of the most awarded in the country. So be sure to snag a reservation before you cement your date night plans!
Peruse our Embarcadero picks, and let us know where you’re headed on your romantic night out. Enjoy!
399 The Embarcadero | Facebook | Reservations
Photo courtesy of Waterbar and Matt Wronski
Named as one of the Bay Area’s best seafood restaurants and one of the most romantic restaurants in all of San Francisco, Waterbar is a no-brainer for date night. Located right on the waterfront, you can taste selections from Chef Parke Ulrich’s daily changing menu. A reflection of the day’s best fresh-caught and sustainably sourced fish and the most expansive selection of oysters on the West Coast, the menu includes everything from Fried Local Squid to Soy Glazed Pork Cheeks and everything in between.
Pier 5 The Embarcadero | Facebook | Reservations
Coqueta means “flirt” or “infatuation” in Spanish and while it represents passion and exploration of Spanish Cuisine for the restaurant team, it translates pretty well for a romantic date night, too. The eatery is owned by Chef, Vintner, TV Host and Specialty Foods Pioneer Michael Chiarello who also owns Napa Valley’s critically-acclaimed Bottega, and it has been named a Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient for four consecutive years — so you know you’re in for a treat.
Chef Dominick Maietta creates inspired seasonal tapas and raciones including Paella, famed Patatas Bravas, and salmon-topped open-face sandwiches, all alongside stunning cocktails, regional wines and sumptuous desserts.
One Ferry Building | Facebook | No reservations
Photo courtesy of Hog Island Oyster Co. and Paul Dyer
Hog Island Oyster Co. hand raises and shucks every oyster, mussel and clam at their Tomales Bay farm in Marshall. Inside the San Francisco Ferry Building, just an hour and a half from the farm, you can see for yourself why their oysters are some of the best in the Bay.
Nestled along the waterfront with iconic views of the Bay Bridge, this restaurant offers a seasonally changing seafood menu and an impressive list of craft cocktails — all prepared in true ‘Bay to Bar’ fashion.
One Ferry Building | Facebook | Reservations
In 2014, The Slanted Door won the James Beard award for Outstanding Restaurant and it has been engendering local pride ever since. The team serves up a menu of Vietnamese-inspired dishes born from in-depth ingredient studies, test kitchen successes and local, California ingredients. For every item on the menu, Executive Chef Charles Phan goes to the original source region of that item so he can fully understand its uses, its inspiration and its flavors. There’s a lunch menu, a dinner menu, a prix fixe menu and a dessert menu, but ultimately, we just recommend stopping by to see what all the hype is about.
7 The Embarcadero | Reservations
Located on the north end of the Embarcadero, just one mile from Fisherman’s Wharf, this upscale, waterfront restaurant has been a neighborhood favorite since it opened in 1969. Boasting a breathtaking bayscape, farm-to-table produce and sustainable seafood, it’s everything an iconic San Francisco restaurant should be. From the warm, rustic design to the artful cocktail list — your date night will be a cut above all the others, just like this SF classic.
161 Steuart St | Facebook | Reservations
Photo courtesy of Ozumo
Ozumo is authentic Japanese from the sleek, zen garden-inspired space to the 30-person sushi bar, traditional robata grill and sake lounge. After 16 years serving the city, they’ve developed an indulgent experience from the authentic, contemporary food menu to the curated sake list which is one of the largest anywhere in North America.
In the Sake Lounge, they offer a Ramen tasting and a hand roll bar every Sunday evening — perfect for a cozy, fun date night experience! SoMa Sunday features a set menu and a la carte items like fresh hand rolls and tasty ramen specials including Lobster Ramen, Spicy Miso, and Nagasaki Champon.
Pier 3 The Embarcadero | Facebook | No reservations
Is there anything more romantic than a whiskey bar? Hard Water is an American whiskey bar with one of the biggest and deepest collections in the world. But that’s not all! Their impressive and stunningly displayed whiskeys are paired with New Orleans–inspired dishes. Influenced by local ingredients, you’ll find seasonal items like a Soft Shell Crab Po’Boy, a Spicy Fried Chicken Sandwich, Boudin Balls and Bourbon Cherry-Glazed Pork Ribs. Start with a flight of whiskey and good luck narrowing down your entrees from the mouth-watering menu!
1 Mission St | Facebook | Reservations
Boulevard won the James Beard Foundation’s best restaurant in the nation in 2012 and has been consistently impressing us ever since. Located inside the beautiful Aûdiffred Building, the atmosphere is elegant with vibrant Belle Epoque details and spectacular Bay Bridge views. Request a table facing the Embarcadero close to the front windows for views of the clearest and most romantic vista.
The high-end food menu is constructed by Executive Chef and Owner, Nancy Oakes. Her accessible yet groundbreaking dishes have kept diners returning for decades!
8 Mission St | Facebook | Reservations
Photo courtesy of Americano Restaurant & Bar
Located inside the luxury Hotel Vitale, Americano boasts a gorgeous dining room, a circular cocktail lounge and an outdoor patio — all with sweeping views of the Bay. The culinary program is rooted in lasting partnerships with local San Francisco producers and seasonal ingredients to create handcrafted, farm-to-table Italian dishes. Amongst jaw-dropping dishes like grilled octopus and pork loin with cranberry pork sausage, you’ll find approachable craft pizzas, burgers and short ribs as well. Grab a seat, grab a craft cocktail or a glass of local wine, and enjoy your luxury date night!
Pier 1 ½ The Embarcadero | Facebook | Reservations
According to La Mar, Peruvian cuisine is heavily influenced by the variety of climates and ethnic backgrounds found throughout the South American country. Driven by this vast and diverse inspiration, the culinary team creates a contemporary, Californian and Peruvian blend that will impress you every single time you sit down for a meal. Surrounded by stunning blues and stark whites, the minimalist decor complements each signature cocktail and every delicious dish — from sharable cebiche to Whole Tri-tip Beef: an eight-hour slow roast with a grilled finish and a plate full of delicious side dishes.
1300 Battery St | Facebook | Reservations
Photo courtesy of Fog City
The history of this SF icon goes back to 1985 and Fog City Diner. From a casual, neighborhood eatery serving the city’s sailors to a sophisticated and historic waterfront restaurant serving every single foodie in the region, it is a must for locals and tourists alike. Though the spot is driven by their approachable and locally-inspired menu of diner food turned upscale cuisine, you can’t make a stop here without trying a crafted signature cocktail made from the finest American-made spirits and selections from local distilleries.
Share your favorites!
If you have a favorite Embarcadero date night spot, let us know in the comments below.