It’s the reason so many tourists flock to the Bay Area year after year, the reason so many poets have been inspired by our city, and the reason we post so many photos of our hometown to Instagram every week. It’s the views — and we can’t get enough.
Another factor that influences our love of the city is the food. So when we find a place that combines outstanding food with breathtaking views, we’re hooked. And we think you will be, too. Check out our top 15 in the city — with shout-outs to a couple Sausalito eateries thrown in as well. Then, make your reservations and get ready for an unforgettable dinner!
1090 Point Lobos Ave | Facebook | Water view
Photo courtesy of Cliff House
This famous, all-day eatery has been a part of San Francisco history since 1863. With a few tribulations, remodels and updates along the way, the Cliff House has become an essential eatery in the city — thanks to the food, the history and the view! Located at the waterfront of the largest urban national park in the United States, you can enjoy the walk-in only Bistro, the white tablecloth Sutro’s, or stop by for The Terrace Room Sunday Champagne Brunch Buffet.
Coqueta | The Embarcadero
Pier 5 | Facebook | Water view
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 has been named a Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient for four consecutive years. So you know you’re in for a treat! Located along The Embarcadero, the cozy dining room is framed by windows that offer views of the pier, the water and the Bay Bridge.
2516 Mission St | Facebook | City view
Photo courtesy of El Techo
El Techo is the rooftop bar located above Lolinda, an Argentinian steakhouse. Not only do they serve one of the best margaritas in the Bay Area, they also offer it alongside a spectacular city view. Thanks to heat lamps and windscreens, the rooftop stays open rain or shine so you can look out at The Mission with margarita in hand and Latin American street food on plate all year long.
Fort Mason Center | Facebook | Water view
Originally opened in 1979, Greens has become a destination vegetarian restaurant garnering awards and recognition from all over the world. In addition to sourcing from local, organic farmers, the team also harvests produce from their very own Green Gulch Farm in Marin County. While you taste plant-based dishes suitable for every diet and every taste, you’ll also enjoy expansive waterfront views of the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge.
369 The Embarcadero | Facebook | Water view
Photo courtesy of EPIC Steak
When you’re not taking in the views inside the stunning dining room of EPIC, you can turn your eyes to the windows which look out on the Bay, Bay Bridge, Treasure Island and the San Francisco Skyline. Preview the current menus for brunch, lunch and dinner here, and you won’t be able to resist a visit!
Waterbar | The Embarcadero
399 The Embarcadero | Facebook | Water view
Photo courtesy of Matt Wronski via Waterbar
This Embarcadero mainstay has been named one of the Bay Area’s best seafood restaurants and one of the most romantic restaurants in all of San Francisco. The daily changing menu represents the day’s best fresh-caught and sustainably sourced fish, as well as the most expansive selection of oysters on the West Coast. The fare perfectly suits the views offered from the indoor dining room and from the outdoor patios. From there, you can look out across the Bay as you dine beneath the Bay Bridge.
Alioto’s | Fisherman’s Wharf
8 Fishermans Wharf | Facebook | Water view
This landmark seafood restaurant has been serving some of the city’s best seafood right on Fisherman’s Wharf for over 90 years. As the city’s oldest family owned and operated restaurant, you can expect history and outstanding, fourth generation recipes along with your Bay views. Preview the seasonal lunch and dinner menus here.
Pier 43 1/2 | Facebook | Water view
Photo courtesy of Misha Bruk via The Franciscan Crab Restaurant
Fisherman’s Wharf is famous on its own for world-famous seafood, but The Franciscan Crab Restaurant offers some of the best. With high ceilings and twenty-foot windows, you can see the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz, and historic Fisherman’s Wharf — all while dining on Dungeness Crab, Crispy Crab Cakes, Seafood Antipasto, fresh oysters and more.
333 O’Farrell St | Facebook | City view
Photo courtesy of Cityscape Lounge
This bar and eatery is located on the 46th floor of Hilton San Francisco Union Square and offers unobstructed 360-degree views of the city skyline that reach all the way to the Golden Gate. The cocktail menu includes signature drinks and an impressive lineup of spirits — from Agave to Vodka and everything in between. The menu of shareable small plates includes savory items like Smoked Salmon Rillettes and sweeter items like the Panna Cotta & Olive Oil Cake.
588 Bridgeway | Facebook | Water view
Photo courtesy of Tom James and Scoma’s Sausalito
Scoma’s Sausalito is located across the Golden Gate on its own pier atop the San Francisco Bay. Originally the site of a tugboat and ferry service, the Victorian building is now listed in the National Register of Historic Buildings, and the menu features some of the best seafood in the region. The regularly rotating menu frequently includes local favorites like oysters, Dungeness crab, scallops, wagyu beef and more.
999 California St | Facebook | City view
Located on the 19th floor of InterContinental Mark Hopkins, this lounge-style bar and restaurant offers a 360-degree panorama of the city. As one of our favorite places for live jazz in San Francisco, you can also enjoy the dance floor and frequent live music while you sip craft cocktails and share tapas and small plates.
One Ferry Building | Facebook | Water view
Photo courtesy of Paul Dyer via Hog Island Oyster Co.
Hog Island Oyster Co. hand raises and shucks every oyster, mussel and clam at their Tomales Bay farm in Marshall, then prepares the food in Bay to Bar fashion inside the San Francisco Ferry Building. Dining in the same home as the Port of San Francisco, you can watch ferries come and go while appreciating views of the water and the stunning Bay Bridge.
780 Mission St | Facebook | City view
Located atop the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, The View Lounge offers handcrafted cocktails and locally inspired small plates accompanied by one of the best downtown views the city has to offer. On one side, you can appreciate the glamor of the vintage-inspired bar and on the other, you can look through a jaw-dropping Art Deco window for views that reach all the way to the water.
Pier 39 Concourse | Facebook | Water view
Photo courtesy of Eric Wolfinger via Fog Harbor Fish House
Created by the family who developed PIER 39, the history of Fog Harbor Fish House spans over three decades and three generations. Still family-owned and operated, the restaurant was also the first restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf to serve 100% sustainable seafood. Stop by to taste the food for yourself and enjoy complimentary sourdough bread baked in-house every hour. It all comes with stunning waterfront views!
100 Spinnaker Dr | Facebook | Water view
This famous Sausalito eatery is as notable for its view as it is for its food. Located just a few minutes from San Francisco in Sausalito’s historic downtown, the dining room has floor-to-ceiling glass walls so you can take in the sights of the water, the San Francisco skyline, Angel Island and Alcatraz while you enjoy some of the freshest seafood in the region.
Share your favorites
Because there are so many options in the city, this is not an exhaustive list of the stunning views and dining offered in San Francisco. If we missed your favorite, give them a shout-out in the comments below! Do you have a favorite in the East Bay, Marin or the Peninsula?