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San Francisco Restaurants with the Best Views

If you are looking for San Francisco restaurants with the best views, you’ve come to the right place! San Francisco is known for having some iconic views and what better way to observe them than sitting in a restaurant drinking wine from Napa Valley?!

Alioto’s Restaurant

The oldest of the family-run San Francisco restaurants, Alioto’s Restaurant has been in business for more than 90 years! Their seafood and Italian dishes aren’t the only draws of this restaurant, the view is also pretty awesome. If you like views of boats with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background, this is the restaurant for you!

Update March 2020: Alioto’s has closed indefinitely. I’m assuming due to COVID. I’ve removed the photo I had linked to their website with their envious view, but be sure to check their website to see if they’ve managed to open back up:

If you want a view like this, you’re going to want to make a reservation. Showing up at 8 p.m. will almost guarantee you an hour wait. So make a reservation! And pay attention to the time, you can’t see much after the sun has gone down. Order a bowl of their crab bisque to snack on before dinner, while you sip on glass of wine, of course!

Crabs and fish Aliotos Vintage Menu

If you’re not wanting to wait or make reservations, you can still try Alioto’s by visiting Cafe 8 on the first floor. Though you’ll miss out on the views of the bay, certain tables will still allow you to have a great people watching seat! Besides the crab bisque being delicious, our dinners were great as well! Click here to view Alioto’s menu and here to view Cafe 8’s. For those that would like to know, our dinner total was $125.23 for our appetizer, bottle of wine and two dinner plates. Our service at Alioto’s was exceptional from the host to the server and those that filled our water glasses and bread bowl.

Couple at Aliotos

Me and Ben at Aliotos!

Chart House

Still with a view of the bay, Chart House also offers views of Alcatraz! Don’t forget to head downstairs after your meal to take unobstructed pictures of Alcatraz and to see the sea lions!

Click here to view Chart House’s menus. I would recommend visiting at lunch time and then strolling around Pier 39 in the afternoon. The bread bowl was good at Chart House, but see what other options you might like besides the lobster bisque (pictured below). The total for our two dinners, glasses of wine and lobster bisque was $104.01.

Lobster bisque from Chart House

Cliff House

My favorite view from the San Francisco restaurants on this list! I couldn’t recommend going to this area enough, however, I would HIGHLY recommend you take an Uber, Lyft or taxi! This is a high risk area for car break ins. And as someone who only had paper coffee cups in a poorly tinted rental car, and still had their car broken into, we wish we would have!

San Francisco Restaurants - Cliffhouse

Above is a bit of a zoomed in photo and below is what my view for the afternoon was from the top floor (there were a lot of rocks to see)!

Since we did not make a reservation and we wanted to have the ocean view at lunch we sat on the top floor. We were only able to order appetizers and drinks, which was totally fine for us since we got the amazing view! I’m not sure I’d recommend the pot stickers, but the fries were nice and crispy. If you’re looking for a nice strong drink, the Irish coffee was pretty stiff! Our drinks and appetizers were $46.04 and our service here was really great.

Appetizers at Cliffhouse

Travel Tip #21: Make a Reservation for San Francisco Restaurants

If you want a table in a reasonable time, with one of these great views, I highly suggest making a reservation! We didn’t for Alioto’s and waited for about 45 minutes and missed all the great views from the dining room since the sun had gone down. For Cliff House we were limited on food choices since we didn’t make a reservation and Chart House was the only place we were prepared for!

– Texan Travels

Hi friends! This is one post of my blog series for San Francisco! Be sure to check out all the great blogs I will post for this semi-spontaneous Labor Day trip to San Francisco. Also, don’t be shy! Let me know if you’ve eaten at one of these San Francisco restaurants and what you loved and *gasp* hated!

San Fran Restaurants San Francisco Restaurants

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