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BY ALISSA MILLER
Top 10 Best Restaurants In San Francisco With A View
San Francisco is a beautiful metropolis full of amazing views. To the north, gaze upon the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island; to the east, you’ll see the Bay Bridge and San Francisco Bay; and to the west, you can’t miss the wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean. And that isn’t even accounting for the views within the city — Chinatown, the Painted Ladies, and Fisherman’s Wharf are all stunning viewpoints, just to name a few.
If you’re planning a trip to the Golden City, you’re no doubt aware that San Fran is just as notable for its gourmet cuisine as for its stunning views. You can kill two birds with one stone by dining at one of these fabulous San Francisco restaurants with a view. With tip-top views of the cityscape or waterfront, you can’t go wrong with any of these — from fine dining and haute cuisine to small-time cafés and bars, these are the 10 best restaurants in San Francisco with a view.
Housed in a historic city landmark originally built in 1925, the Beach Chalet was constructed in the Spanish colonial revival style and is situated right across from Ocean Beach, offering unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean. The restaurant is on the second floor facing the ocean, and the menu is a chic combination of local seafood and farm-to-table cuisine, perfect for foodies and health nuts alike. Bonus: they have their own onsite brewery, so the handcrafted ales are sure to be good. As far as San Francisco restaurants with a view go, this is one of the best. $$$
Location: 1000 Great Highway, San Francisco, CA 94121
The View Lounge
Located on the 39th floor of the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, The View Lounge is at the top of one of San Francisco’s tallest buildings. It’s a peaceful location with an Art-Deco interior and great views of the city from on high, and is a great place to relax and unwind with a cocktail or two. Serving mainly small plates and shareables, the View focuses more on its identity as one of the best bars with a view San Francisco has to offer. Their menu proves it — the bar menu is exactly four times longer than the food menu. Arrive thirsty and leave happy. $$$
Location: 780 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Fog Harbor Fish House
This award-winning restaurant offers some of the best seafood in the city, with “views of the Golden Gate Bridge on the side!” From their prime location on Pier 39, locally owned and family-run Fog Harbor Fish House guarantees that every table offers a view of the Golden Gate, a not-to-be-missed San Francisco landmark. Guests enjoy complimentary sourdough bread baked in-house, and a menu of high-quality 100% sustainable seafood, including their famous clam chowder — a multi-year winner of the People’s Choice Award for best clam chowder in the city. $$$
Location: Pier 39, San Francisco, CA 94133
Empress by Boon
Chef Boon is a Michelin-starred, highly credentialed chef who has made a name for himself on the international restaurant scene after opening successful restaurants in London, Mumbai, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Morocco, Moscow, and Bangkok. Serving traditional Cantonese cuisine with a contemporary flair, Empress by Boon offers sweeping views of San Francisco’s Chinatown and iconic skyline. Chef Boon prides himself on serving mostly California-produced ingredients, and the restaurant’s menu is prix fixe, so guests can expect the very best Chef Boon has to offer. It’s one of the top San Francisco restaurants with a view. $$$$
Location: 838 Grant Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94108
Take a drive down the Bay Bridge for about three miles and you’ll come to Treasure Island, a small man-made islet that is home to Mersea, an eclectic restaurant built out of an old shipping container. Mersea means “island oasis” in Old English, and it’s no misnomer — Mersea is a stunning oasis that offers sweeping views of both San Francisco Bay and the city itself, a stunning vista well-worth the drive down the bridge. Serving typical diner food like burgers, pizza, fish ‘n chips, and tacos, at Mersea it’s comfort food all the way, baby. $$
Location: 699 Avenue of the Palms, San Francisco, CA 94130
It’s hard to beat the ambiance of alfresco dining, especially if the view is spectacular. At EPIC Steak, the view is definitely spectacular — in fact, some might call it epic. Overlooking the waterfront with the Bay Bridge at the forefront, you’ll feel a sense of awe as you gaze at the view over your meal. Serving environmentally responsible produce, meat, and seafood, EPIC’s meals are simple, fresh, and delicious. Offering heated patio seating and a contemporary vibe, they’re among the best of the best restaurants in San Francisco with a view. $$$$
Location: 369 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105
Red’s Java House
Red’s has been flipping burgers on Pier 30 since the 1950s, and not much has changed since then. They still serve burgers, hot dogs, and chili, they’re still a local favorite, and they still serve up some of the fastest grub in the city. Red’s Java House offers sidewalk seating so guests can see the stunning Bay Bridge over San Francisco Bay up close and personal. It’s a small place with an old-timey vibe and a down-to-earth attitude. Nobody leaves Red’s unhappy. $$
Location: Pier 30, San Francisco, CA 94105
Top of the Mark
More than 80 years ago, the top-floor penthouse suite of the Intercontinental Mark Collins Hotel was transformed into a glass-walled cocktail lounge. Now known as Top of the Mark, its 19th-floor views of the city’s skyline and San Francisco Bay are second to none, and its cocktails are the stuff of legends. As one of the best bars with a view San Francisco has to offer, its spirits menu is impressively long, and its tapas menu is respectably delicious. Make sure to try one of their signature martinis while you’re there! $$$
Location: 999 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108
Located on the 12th floor of the city’s Hyatt Place Hotel, KAIYŌ Rooftop is situated on (did you guess it?) the rooftop. It’s one of the newest bars with a view San Francisco has, and it’s billed as “an immersive Nikkei experience,” referring to the Japanese culinary influence within Peruvian culture. With an impressive menu of cocktails and small shareable plates, you’ll see things like ceviche served with sashimi — just one of many delicious cultural pairings you’ve likely never experienced before. From the heated rooftop patio, you’ll be surrounded by stunning skyscrapers — now that’s a view! $$
Location: 701 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
Boudin’s is famous for its sourdough bread, which is baked in their onsite bakery from a starter that has been continuously curated since 1849. Located on the second floor of the building, above the first-floor bakery, Bistro Boudin offers amazing views of Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate, and surrounding areas. Their location on Fisherman’s Wharf lends itself to ensuring seafood is the focal point of their menu, but they’ve found ways to work their famous sourdough into the menu as well, from sourdough baguettes and pizza crust to sourdough bread bowls and croutons. Boudin’s is definitely one of the best restaurants in San Francisco with a view. $$$
Location: 160 Jefferson Street, San Francisco, CA 94133