HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >
What are you cooking today? Tell us about it

Bay Lights [San Francisco]

nicedragonboy Mar 7, 2013 02:46 PM

So I don't get out to the Embarcadero much, but which Restaurant along the bay front would have the best view of the Bay Bridge lights for a nice dinner?

  1. r
    rubadubgdub Mar 9, 2013 09:12 AM

    Hog Island and the Ferry Plaza Seafood have a great view but only open til 8 Fri

    1. n
      nocharge Mar 7, 2013 05:56 PM

      Most of the restaurants along the Embarcadero to the north of the bridge will have a view if you get seated at a table facing the bridge. However, some restaurants have will have more tables with a bridge view than others. Both Boulevard and Perry's stretch from Steuart St. to the Embarcadero and are kind of narrow, so only a fraction of the tables would have a good view. Ozumo, too, stretches that span but is wider. (A pity, though, that the windows aren't larger.) Chaya, Waterbar, and Epic would probably have a decent amount of seating with a bridge view. As would Palomino, especially if you include the patio. Sinbad's has the views, for sure, although I wouldn't go there for dinner. (I don't mind going there for a drink in the bar.)

      1 Reply
      1. re: nocharge
        hyperbowler Jan 2, 2014 12:14 PM

        Nice tips!

        There are advantages to seeing the lights from far away, but if you want a close up view of Bay Lights, Palomino's outdoor patio is great! They have plenty of heaters and enough okay $5-$10 appetizers and $5-$6 beers on tap to keep you happy for a full cycle of the lights.

      2. h
        hyperbowler Mar 7, 2013 05:03 PM

        Wherever you dine, hopefully a place with decent food, make sure talk to the greeter about getting a seat with a good view. Reservations can help with this, but confirm once you get to the restaurant. And based on shape of your table, ask how many in your party will get a view. Also, since the days are getting longer, make sure to time your reservation with whenever dusk is going to fall.

        Despite the rain, tons of people populated Embarcadero on Tuesday night to enjoy the release of Bay Lights. It's very pretty, and will be going every night until 2015. There were lots of cool animations that I hadn't seen during its testing phase.

        We went to Boulevard. A table with no view was available for our 9pm reservation, but they allowed us to wait a while for one to open up in a better spot. We wound up in a spot with a very nice view. Being three people, it was nice that none of us had their back to the show.

        Except for some undercooked risotto, the food was skilfully prepared and used good quality ingredients. Nicely composed plates. The best thing I ate was a pinky-sized sausage that accompanied the lamb t-bone. Not my kind of joint when it comes down to it... I prefer plates served at the center of the table, and get a lot more excited by dough and vegetables and new flavor combinations than I do composed protein-centric mains.

        1. Robert Lauriston Mar 7, 2013 04:50 PM

          The map on the project's site currently suggests the Trident in Sausalito, Sens, Chaya, Perry's, and Epic, plus several other restaurants you'd probably want to avoid.


          1. l
            lakemerritter Mar 7, 2013 03:27 PM

            I took them in at Sinbad's. A tourist trap for sure, but it wasn't crowded, the view from the bar was great, and the calamari was not terrible. Just hung out a bit until my ferry came, not bad.

            1. Scott M Mar 7, 2013 03:06 PM

              Also Waterbar has a good view

              5 Replies
              1. re: Scott M
                Robert Lauriston Mar 7, 2013 04:45 PM

                Waterbar and Epic Roasthouse might have the most dramatic views.

                I guess the lights are only on the north side?

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  bbulkow Jan 2, 2014 02:36 PM

                  North side of the bridge, south side of Waterbar / Epic, which I agree have the best view. And it's pretty spectacular.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    Alan408 Jan 2, 2014 02:47 PM

                    Realize your post is old but the lights are viewable from the south side too

                    1. re: Alan408
                      Robert Lauriston Jan 2, 2014 03:11 PM

                      Not the lights we're talking about. They're mounted on the north side and the bridge blocks the view from the other side.


                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        Alan408 Jan 2, 2014 05:57 PM

                        I am thinking of the "dancing" lights one can see from Pier 30/32

                2. Robert Lauriston Mar 7, 2013 03:02 PM

                  Sens, La Mar, Slanted Door, Boulevard.

                  You'll need to specify a view of the bridge when you reserve.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    hungree Mar 7, 2013 06:23 PM

                    Can anybody confirm Slanted Door? Really wanted to try this place and Bay Lights seems like a good excuse.

                    1. re: hungree
                      nocharge Mar 7, 2013 10:21 PM

                      The Slanted Door has a pretty impressive fraction of tables with Bay Bridge views. That would come with the caveat that reflexions of interior lighting in the widows might be an issue, but that would be the case for any other indoor restaurant space as well.

                      Of course, the Slanted Door is sufficiently overrun with tourists to make it a somewhat difficult reservation even without the Bay Bridge lights.

                  Show Hidden Posts