10 Best Unforgettable Views of San Francisco (with a Side of Restaurant)

If you believe the perfect meal can make an entire trip, we'd suggest that an unforgettable view can make that perfect meal. From the Italian expertise of North Beach to the cultural adventures of Chinatown to the comfort food of the Mission, San Francisco has no end of restaurant choices. What really makes these restaurant experiences distinct and memorable is the atmosphere, and what can really make that atmosphere is an mesmerizing, signature view. These restaurants have gone to great lengths and expenses to showcase the gorgeous topography of San Francisco. So whether you're taking in the crashing waves of the Pacific at the Cliff House, or having a more tranquil, romantic evening by the calm waters of the bay at Greens, or feeling cosmopolitan and chic while drinking martinis and soaking up the city lights at The View, these restaurants will leave an indelible impression for you to carry back home.

All cities have special traits, and the qualities that make them memorable also give rise to unique dining scenes. In San Francisco, we share our favorite selection of Restaurants with Views. These restaurants grant a distinctive experience, allowing you not only to indulge in great food but also to soak up the city's character and charm. One of the best, Slanted Door, has a sure hand with cuisine and hospitality, and Scoma's keeps folks returning again and again.

McCormick & Kuleto's


Looking out over Aquatic Park and toward the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, this restaurant presents picture-postcard views of the City by the Bay. Inside, polished woods, faux tortoiseshell light fixtures and crisp detailing welcome diners....  Read More

Hog Island Oyster Bar


Sometimes, the simplest things in life are best, a premise wholeheartedly embraced by the people who run this fantastic oyster bar. In fact, they raise the oysters about an hour north of the city, and their sweet, succulent mollusks are some of...  Read More

Photo courtesy of used in book.


What began in 1965 as a small coffee shop has evolved into an oft-frequented, family-run restaurant. It's also the only place amid Fisherman's Wharf's touristy eateries that locals recommend for quality of food and generous portions. Celebrity...  Read More



The Beach Chalet sits right on Ocean Beach, so it's a great spot to watch the sun set. Quality comfort food with a California twist, inventive but not too radical, definitely offers something for everyone. Start off with the crispy calamari,...  Read More



Located on the 39th floor of a downtown hotel, "The View" earns its namesake. Although this is not a full service restaurant, we had to put this on the list because it has such a magnificent view of downtown. And the barbites menu shouldn't be...  Read More

Waterfront Restaurant


For more than a generation, Waterfront has tempted diners with a host of fresh seafood offerings. These days, with renewed interest in the Embarcadero, the upscale restaurant enjoys an added dose of attention. Its amazing views of the Bay, and...  Read More



Established in 1925, Alioto's has been a reliable sea food restaurant on Fisherman's Wharf for years. Simply put, these people know how to prepare great sea food. And they've been consistently doing just that ever since their restaurant was just...  Read More



High ceilings and awesome Bay views establish a unique atmosphere at this well-received waterfront venue. Style and spectacle are grounded, though, by Slanted Door's authentic country Vietnamese dishes, which get a California kick from local...  Read More

Sutro's at the Cliff House


If you're looking for an ocean rather than a bay view, Sutro's at the Cliff House is your spot. After fires and earthquakes destroyed the previous Cliff houses, this newly restored and beautifully modern space offers dramatic views of the...  Read More

Marina District
Greens Restaurant
Photo courtesy of used in book.


Greens, one of the city's finest vegetarian establishments, is owned and operated by the San Francisco Zen Center, which helps supply it with organic produce. Inside the voluminous space, diners are afforded spectacular views of the Golden Gate...  Read More


Meet Tom Molanphy

The only thing that Tom Molanphy loves more than the food, art, music, and culture of San Francisco is sharing it with others. San Francisco never gets old for Tom.

Tom has lived in the San...  More About Tom