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Great view in San Francisco?

  • l

I'd love to make reservations at a restaurant with a beautiful view of the city. I've heard great things about Carnelian Room but thought there might be off-the-beaten-path places that I'm not aware of. I'd appreciate any help from locals-- it's my first visit to San Francisco, and I'm quite excited!

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  1. There was actually a pretty good write-up by Michael Bauer on the Carnelian Room in either last Friday's or the Friday befores Cron. I don't remember the complete review but I think it was pretty favorable. And, if you want a view, that's the place.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Monty

      Provided it's a clear day!

      1. re: nooodles
        Bob Huenemann

        Don't know how the food is these days, but both Sinbad's and the Franciscan have a nice view of the bay, similar to Slanted Door?

      2. re: Monty

        If you're thinking of lunch, you might want to try Butterfly on the Embarcadero at Pier 33 (between downtown and Pier 39/Fisherman's Wharf.) There is at least an attempt to make more interesting food than the usual waterfront places, parking is marginally easier and I think it's one of the best views of the Bay. (This would not be true after dark.)

      3. If quality of food is secondary to the quality of the view, then go to Julius' Castle. I ate there once many moons ago and was astounded at the view, bored with the food, and aghast at the bill. Link below to a recent review by Meredith Brody of the SF Weekly.

        Link: http://www.sfweekly.com/Issues/2005-0...

        5 Replies
        1. re: Eugene Park

          That pretty much sums up my one experience[at the insistance of out-of-town friends] at the Carnelian Room, as well. I always urge my visiting friends to separate their legitimate desires for "beautiful views"-widely available for free- from their desire for a great/ good value meal. I urge you to do likewise.

          1. re: Jimbo

            There is also the option of enjoying a drink in the bar at the Carnelian, same view with less commitment.

          2. re: Eugene Park

            Thanks so much to that link to the review which had a great description of the food while being really entertaining as well. This summary made me laugh out loud.

            "The meal wasn't insulting -- I got the feeling that there was a certain level of sincerity in the kitchen -- but, well, the food was certainly not going to distract you from the main event, which was unfolding before our dazzled eyes. ... a view that evolved from sunny brilliance through gorgeous sunset into velvety night, set with jeweled artificial light. It was San Francisco at its best. The quintet clustered around the prime table directly in front of us was so overcome that a couple of its members regularly broke into song: Alas, what they warbled, over and over again, was, "Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat."

            Cityscape is supposed to have a great view. I keep meaning to check out the buffet brunch on Sunday, but haven't done it yet. Anyone been to cityscape?

            Link: http://chowhound.safeshopper.com/23/c...

            1. re: rworange

              Have been to Cityscape, but only for drinks. No idea how good the food is.

              1. re: Eugene Park

                I was there about 8 years ago. Food was awful.

          3. r
            Robert Lauriston

            Bloom's Saloon on 18th St. Not a restaurant and no reservations but you can't beat the view.

            Boulevard. Ask for a table with a view when reserving.

            McCormick & Kuleto.

            Slanted Door.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              yeah second on boulevard. i havent eaten there but have read things on here about the view and of coruse thefood is supposed to be pretty rad.

              maybe chaya brasserie? but it gets eh food reviews.

            2. Cityscape at the top of the Hilton has great view of the city and beyond. The food and service on the other hand...

              1. Best view - Top of the Mark - Mark Hopkins hotel. Although, I believe they only serve weekend brunch.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Offal Lover

                  Top of the Mark does have beautiful views--but usually only during the day. By 4:00 the fog starts to roll in and many times once that happens you can't see a thing.

                  Link: http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/ic/1...

                2. There is also Greens, which has a view of the bay and the GG bridge rather than the city. I haven't been in many years, but the food used to be really wonderful. More recently there may have been mixed reviews. It's vegetarian, but don't let that stop you b/c you really don't miss the meat at this place.

                  Link: http://greensrestaurant.com/

                  1. Great view, provided it is not foggy which happens a lot. Foodwise, I've had decent meals there, not great, not bad, though not in the last 2 years or so. Maybe just go up for drinks, take in the view, and then go elsewhere. Or stay if it is a beautiful evening.

                    1. If you would like a great view of San Francisco, try Equinox at the top of the Hyatt Regency. It is a rotating bar. However, don't eat there because the food is terrible. A late night drink might be worthwhile though.

                      Someone else mentioned Greens. If you get a window seat and it is a clear day, the view is fantastic.

                      The other option would be to leave San Francisco. Some of the best views of San Francisco are in Marin or the East Bay. Guaymas in Tiburon has a great view of San Francisco.

                      1. I recommend Chaya Brasserie. This place is great and has one of the most spectacular views in the city. The industrical-chic decor blends well with the Franco-Jaopanese cooking Chaya introduced to the Bay Area in 2000 (and Los Angeles 1984). In Japan, the legendary and original Chaya restaurant has been around for 358 years. Wow.

                        Try to get one of the few window tables up front with the Oakland Bay Bridge view. The 1989 earthquake helped by collapsing the unsightly freeway out front.

                        As per usual in this town, we all had a great dining experience. The food, ambiance and service were all up to the high-end San Francisco standards. As a Seattle native, I am almost embarrassed to say that the Salmon entrée was as good as I have ever had.

                        However, Allyn, who is a Sea Bass aficionado, did not care for her fish. She was not even sure that it was Sea Bass. Her decision to return ithe mystery fish was an easy one, as it was dry and overcooked. Our helpful and appologetic waitress was very quick to accommodate.

                        Barry Shulman

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jetetway


                          Chaya Brasserie
                          132 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105

                        2. The Cliff House/ Sutro's has killer views of seal rock and the Mighty Pacific. George Morrone (of Aqua fame) is their new exec. chef as of this week. Sounds promising.....

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: adamshoe

                            Has he started yet? If he hasn't, try going to the lounge during off-hours for a drink and a snack. I had a good margarita and so-so crab cakes there a couple weeks ago. The view is better than at either of the restaurants and what's especially nice is that they don't rush people at all. There was a woman reading a novel and nursing a glass of champagne when we came in and she was still there when we left.

                            Edit: I'm guessing Liz has come and gone.....

                            1. re: Glencora

                              A friend on the waitstaff told me he was in the kitchen last week. I didn't think to ask if he was already running things, but he was definitely reviewing recipes when he was there.

                          2. The Empress of China has a nice view, iof you liike Chinese food. We also had brunch one day at the place beyond the park by the seaside (sorry, forgot the name - the Cliffhouse?) after walking the length of Golden Gate park. Took a bus back to our hotel since the taxi never showed, and had a wonderful excursion through the various neighborhoods of SF

                            1. I would go to the Carnelian Room for drinks only if it is a clear day.
                              I recommend going to Waterbar or Epic. They are right on the waterfront and have beautiful views of the Bay Bridge and the food is better than all the other restaurants mentioned. La Mar is great too if you would like Peruvian food. Equinox is close to the public and the Hyatt is now closed as well (double check on this one because I am only 80%sure). Happy Dining!