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15 San Francisco Restaurants With Spectacular Views

Restaurants to best view San Francisco’s natural splendor and gorgeous man-made wonders

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Every direction of San Francisco offers a lovely view, and in its center, there’s a vibrant urban landscape that offers its own kind of beauty. For this list of restaurants with absolutely stunning surroundings, we're focusing on the spots that give you the greatest vistas to gaze upon; some of these restaurants have good food and some of them have great food. Either way, all of them get you an eyeful of the best the city has to offer. Here are 15 places to gaze over your date's shoulder at the view.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Mersea Restaurant, Bar and Venue

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699 Avenue of the Palms
San Francisco, CA 94130
(415) 999-9836
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Treasure Island is still technically part of San Francisco — in fact, it offers the best views of the city, from halfway across the Bay Bridge. Mersea is a restaurant built into an old shipping container, and the cafe serves comforting burgers, fish and chips, chowder, and cioppino.

Sarah Chorey

2. Scoma's Restaurant

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1965 Al Scoma Way
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 771-4383
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Sitting on the proverbial dock of the bay, Scoma’s is a seafood institution, serving local fish pulled straight from the boat since 1965. The restaurant is kind of slung low like a ship’s cabin, winding through several bars and dining rooms, filled with warm woods and rich leather. But slide into a booth and look out the window, and the bay is lapping just outside, with boats floating by.

3. Greens

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Building A, 2 Marina Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 771-6222
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This groundbreaking vegetarian restaurant first opened as part of the San Francisco Zen Center in 1979. It was a pioneer of Calfornian farm-to-table cooking in the 80s and 90s, with all due respects to the legendary nut loaf. Today, it’s still well worth a visit to Fort Mason, where it serves fresh vegetable soups, salads, pastas, pizzas, and more in a warehouse space with views of the bay, bridge, and headlands.

4. Radhaus

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Landmark Building A
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 445-4556
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Fort Mason beer hall Radhaus is lined on one side with large windows that offer a panoramic view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Bavarian-style restaurant has a menu of wursts, salads, and cheeses, as well as nine taps of German brews.

5. La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

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Pier 1½
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 397-8880
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At La Mar, you can dine on Peruvian seafood and cocktails, all while gazing out at the Bay. If you really want the best view, choose the patio.

6. Empress by Boon

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838 Grant Ave
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 757-0728
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The Empress of China — a Chinese banquet hall that ruled for nearly half a century — always had a regal view from its sixth-story vantage above Chinatown. It sadly shuttered in 2014, but now the new Empress by Boon has opened in the historic space and is serving modern Cantonese fare, as well as views north across Chinatown and North Beach, and east looking down into Portsmouth Square and the Financial District.

Jean Bai

7. Mister Jiu's

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28 Waverly Pl.
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 857-9688
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Chinatown is notoriously dense, though the occasional rooftop access yields a great view. Diners at Mister Jiu’s can gaze down Commercial street at the Transamerica Pyramid and the very distinct beauty of the neighborhood. It's definitely not a 360-degree view of the Bay, but it's a beautiful and very San Francisco scene.

8. Top of the Mark

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1 Nob Hl
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 616-6916
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High atop the Intercontinental is the Top of the Mark, offering small plates, a pricey Sunday brunch, and views of the city, bays, and bridges. It’s occasionally greyed-out by the fog, but that's gorgeous, too.

9. Epic Steak

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369 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 369-9955
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The patio views are unparalleled at Epic Steak, where diners find themselves gazing up at the Bay Bridge. On clear days this is a power lunch destination, but at night, the lights of the Bay Bridge are ideal for a sassy date, or just people who love looking at nice things.

10. Waterbar

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399 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 284-9922
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There's even more Bay Bridge gawking to be done at Waterbar, made easy by a dining room full of huge, floor-to-ceiling windows. Epic and Waterbar are sister restaurants, pairing steak with seafood, so seafood, cocktails, and bay views are the draw here.

11. ATwater Tavern

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295 Terry a Francois Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94158
(415) 512-7153
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This view may not be of water, but when it's game night and you can't get in the actual ballpark, Atwater Tavern may be your second best option. The Spanish seafood tavern plays the game, while looking directly at AT&T Park.

12. Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant

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1000 Great Hwy
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 386-8439
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There may be a parking lot between the Beach Chalet and Ocean Beach, but eventually your gaze will meet the horizon. A great view of kite-boarders, beach-goers and turbulent Pacific Ocean waves is available from this second-floor restaurant, which brews its own beer, offers a full bar, and serves lunch, dinner, and brunch.

13. Mission Rock Resort

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817 Terry A Francois Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94107

This double-deck waterfront restaurant hovers over the Bay, providing a great view of passing boats and ships. The lunch and dinner menu is focused on seafood, and brunch (which, on warm days, is best enjoyed in its outdoor seating area) is an eggs and oysters affair.

14. The Lookout

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3600 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94114

Perched above 16th and Market streets, the Lookout isn’t just a Castro District gay bar with a reliable menu of sandwiches, tacos, and pizzas: It’s also one of the best views one can get of one of the city’s busiest and most fascinating intersections.

15. El Techo de Lolinda

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2518 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 550-6970
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Ascend to the rooftop to gaze on Mission Street below. El Techo de Lolinda offers great city views right in the middle of the Mission, and serves rooftop cocktails and Latin street food-style snacks.

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1. Mersea Restaurant, Bar and Venue

699 Avenue of the Palms, San Francisco, CA 94130
Sarah Chorey

Treasure Island is still technically part of San Francisco — in fact, it offers the best views of the city, from halfway across the Bay Bridge. Mersea is a restaurant built into an old shipping container, and the cafe serves comforting burgers, fish and chips, chowder, and cioppino.

699 Avenue of the Palms
San Francisco, CA 94130

2. Scoma's Restaurant

1965 Al Scoma Way, San Francisco, CA 94133

Sitting on the proverbial dock of the bay, Scoma’s is a seafood institution, serving local fish pulled straight from the boat since 1965. The restaurant is kind of slung low like a ship’s cabin, winding through several bars and dining rooms, filled with warm woods and rich leather. But slide into a booth and look out the window, and the bay is lapping just outside, with boats floating by.

1965 Al Scoma Way
San Francisco, CA 94133

3. Greens

Building A, 2 Marina Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94123

This groundbreaking vegetarian restaurant first opened as part of the San Francisco Zen Center in 1979. It was a pioneer of Calfornian farm-to-table cooking in the 80s and 90s, with all due respects to the legendary nut loaf. Today, it’s still well worth a visit to Fort Mason, where it serves fresh vegetable soups, salads, pastas, pizzas, and more in a warehouse space with views of the bay, bridge, and headlands.

Building A, 2 Marina Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94123

4. Radhaus

Landmark Building A, San Francisco, CA 94109
Read Review |

Fort Mason beer hall Radhaus is lined on one side with large windows that offer a panoramic view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Bavarian-style restaurant has a menu of wursts, salads, and cheeses, as well as nine taps of German brews.

Landmark Building A
San Francisco, CA 94109

5. La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

Pier 1½, San Francisco, CA 94111

At La Mar, you can dine on Peruvian seafood and cocktails, all while gazing out at the Bay. If you really want the best view, choose the patio.

Pier 1½
San Francisco, CA 94111

6. Empress by Boon

838 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94108
Jean Bai

The Empress of China — a Chinese banquet hall that ruled for nearly half a century — always had a regal view from its sixth-story vantage above Chinatown. It sadly shuttered in 2014, but now the new Empress by Boon has opened in the historic space and is serving modern Cantonese fare, as well as views north across Chinatown and North Beach, and east looking down into Portsmouth Square and the Financial District.

838 Grant Ave
San Francisco, CA 94108

7. Mister Jiu's

28 Waverly Pl., San Francisco, CA 94108

Chinatown is notoriously dense, though the occasional rooftop access yields a great view. Diners at Mister Jiu’s can gaze down Commercial street at the Transamerica Pyramid and the very distinct beauty of the neighborhood. It's definitely not a 360-degree view of the Bay, but it's a beautiful and very San Francisco scene.

28 Waverly Pl.
San Francisco, CA 94108

8. Top of the Mark

1 Nob Hl, San Francisco, CA 94108

High atop the Intercontinental is the Top of the Mark, offering small plates, a pricey Sunday brunch, and views of the city, bays, and bridges. It’s occasionally greyed-out by the fog, but that's gorgeous, too.

1 Nob Hl
San Francisco, CA 94108

9. Epic Steak

369 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105

The patio views are unparalleled at Epic Steak, where diners find themselves gazing up at the Bay Bridge. On clear days this is a power lunch destination, but at night, the lights of the Bay Bridge are ideal for a sassy date, or just people who love looking at nice things.

369 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105

10. Waterbar

399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105

There's even more Bay Bridge gawking to be done at Waterbar, made easy by a dining room full of huge, floor-to-ceiling windows. Epic and Waterbar are sister restaurants, pairing steak with seafood, so seafood, cocktails, and bay views are the draw here.

399 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105

11. ATwater Tavern

295 Terry a Francois Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94158

This view may not be of water, but when it's game night and you can't get in the actual ballpark, Atwater Tavern may be your second best option. The Spanish seafood tavern plays the game, while looking directly at AT&T Park.

295 Terry a Francois Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94158

12. Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant

1000 Great Hwy, San Francisco, CA 94121

There may be a parking lot between the Beach Chalet and Ocean Beach, but eventually your gaze will meet the horizon. A great view of kite-boarders, beach-goers and turbulent Pacific Ocean waves is available from this second-floor restaurant, which brews its own beer, offers a full bar, and serves lunch, dinner, and brunch.

1000 Great Hwy
San Francisco, CA 94121

13. Mission Rock Resort

817 Terry A Francois Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94107

This double-deck waterfront restaurant hovers over the Bay, providing a great view of passing boats and ships. The lunch and dinner menu is focused on seafood, and brunch (which, on warm days, is best enjoyed in its outdoor seating area) is an eggs and oysters affair.

817 Terry A Francois Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94107

14. The Lookout

3600 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94114

Perched above 16th and Market streets, the Lookout isn’t just a Castro District gay bar with a reliable menu of sandwiches, tacos, and pizzas: It’s also one of the best views one can get of one of the city’s busiest and most fascinating intersections.

3600 16th St
San Francisco, CA 94114

15. El Techo de Lolinda

2518 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Ascend to the rooftop to gaze on Mission Street below. El Techo de Lolinda offers great city views right in the middle of the Mission, and serves rooftop cocktails and Latin street food-style snacks.

2518 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

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