One of the greatest things about San Francisco are its views. The city is a series of hills, so a gorgeous vista of the Bay, Alcatraz, Ocean, or skyline is available from virtually any vantage point be it the corner of Fillmore and Pacific Streets or a crest in Billy Goat Park. When you need delicious eats and thirst-quenching drinks with your view, head to one of the following places.
Waterbar is a seafood restaurant institution on the Embarcadero. It has huge glass windows that look out on to the Bay and at night when the Bay Bridge is lit up with Leo Villarreal’s Bay Light installation, it’s incredibly romantic and beautiful. On a warm day, the back patio is almost always packed with stylish young people slurping oysters and sipping Riesling.
399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105
2 Top of the Mark
The Top of the Mark has sensational 360° views of San Francisco and the Bay Area. It’s located on the 19th floor of the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel on top of Russian Hill making it one of the highest places to enjoy a cocktail. The nightly menu consists of hearty small bites—cheese, caviar, bruschetta, flatbread, and our personal favorite: housemade thick-cut Yukon gold potato chips with buttermilk herb dip. The martinis are shaken to icy cold perfection. On Tuesday nights throughout April, it’s jazz appreciation month. Local singer Claridge and jazz pianist Ken French will perform nightly from 6 to 8 p.m.
InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco, 999 California St, San Francisco, CA 94108
3 Beach Chalet
For a relaxing view of the endless stretch of Pacific Ocean, head to Beach Chalet. The eatery is at the edge of Golden Gate Park in a historic building that looks out on to Ocean Beach. The restaurant and brewery has been a dining destination for the past 20 years. It’s open all day, every day with breakfast served until 11 a.m., happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close weekdays, and nightly dinner special starting at 5 p.m. Order a classic bowl of cioppino or Pacific chowder, a sampler of ceviche, or lobster macaroni and cheese.
1000 Great Highway, San Francisco, CA 94121
4 Cliff House
The Cliff House is near Beach Chalet, but perched on top of a cliff north of Ocean Beach. It’s one of the best places to watch the sunset in the city and it overlooks the historic Sutro Baths. The Cliff House has been around since 1858 when it was originally built as a private home. Today it’s a restaurant with excellent brunch, hearty appetizers, and SF favorites like Dungeness crab cakes, grilled pork chops, and linguini with shellfish.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, 1090 Point Lobos Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94121
Greens, in Fort Mason Center, has panoramic views of the Bay with a prime vista of the famed Golden Gate Bridge. Greens is an iconic restaurant among locals known for being one of the first places to serve an all vegetarian menu. The dishes are seasonal and farm fresh. Think green curry with spring vegetables and coconut milk, wild mushroom shepherd’s pie with caramelized onions, and cauliflower quinoa griddle cakes with romesco.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Landmark Building A, Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94123