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SF Dining with a tall Building & Great View

Looking for a restaurant in San Fran in a really tall building with obviously, a very good view.

There used to be a restaurant in the (old) bank of America tower near California. Is there still a restaurant there?

I am open to any SF suggestions. Thanks

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  1. Good food and views are scarce. Good food in a high building with good views is practically non-existent. IMO of course :)

    1. The Carnelian Room in the BofA building closed several years ago. The hotels on Nob Hill, Top of the Mark and Fairmont, have view restaurants, or at least bars.

      The Marriot at 3rd and Mission also has a view bar, don't know if they have a restaurant up there.

      Epic and Waterbar, on the Embarcadero, are not in a tall building but have good views over the bay and the Bay Bridge lights.

      3 Replies
      1. re: pamf

        What restaurant in Fairmont has a view?

        There's a banquet room with tables and chairs for catered events in the far end of the building (beside the back courtayrd) facing the Bay, but the only other restaurant in operation year-round is the one in the main lobby with no view or windows. The Tonga Room is in the basement, underground.

        1. re: OliverB

          True. And non-guests can't ride the elevator.

          1. re: Glencora

            Fairmont's Crown room at the top of the new tower (again not my scene, but never had a problem the few times I tried), and of course you can ride the elevator even if not a guest, all they can do is send you back down...

      2. Lolinda in the Mission has a rooftop bar/restaurant next door - El Techo de Lolinda - that has rooftop views from the Mission (5th floor I think), which is higher than majority of the surronding buildings.

        Views are mostly of the valleys and not of the water, probably better during the day as a result.

        1 Reply
        1. re: avial

          Note that on good weather days there is often a sizeable wait to get up to El Techo. It's casual - foodwise but the food and cocktails are good.

        2. sadly good views and good food are usually mutually exclusive.

          good views and a few good drinks before scuttling off to a good restaurant makes for a better strategy.

          does the Jukebox Marriott still grant a discount if you claim/can prove you're a local? they used to give 10% off, I only tried it once (not my sort of place) and was not asked for proof.

          so yeah drinks at the Mark or the Starlight Room or the Fairmont (I just like the glass elevator ride there) and then off to somewhere else if the food is important.

          1. I'll second the recommendation for drinks with a view, and food without. Harder to screw up the former than the latter.

            Cliff House isn't tall but it does have a swell view, so it's worth considering a cocktail or two there.

            1. I'll echo what the other said: go for drinks with a view then find a good restaurant. That said, if you would accept a city view rather than a water view, Leathernecks in the Marines Memorial building supposedly has a good view and some of the best steaks in town.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                I'm not a big fan of the remodeled Cliff House but it's worth going for lunch if you're seated by the window. The tuna tartare is a pretty good choice, as is their crab sandwich. Nothing destination worthy food-wise but my routine is usually to walk the park all the way to Ocean Beach (or Land's End from Legion of Honor, depending on which direction I'm coming) and stop in for a light lunch and a ramos gin fizz or three. You can usually see dolphins splashing around by Seal Rock on a clear day and watch the pelicans soar around overhead. I've never been at night.

              2. The back part of Bloom's on Potrero Hill has the best view in town. Drinks only.

                1. Empress of China. Request a windowside table and you've got clear views over Russian Hill, North Beach, Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower, the Bay, Alcatraz, etc. Food is servicable old school Cantonese (every dish dressed in oyster or black bean sauce) and cocktails aren't worth your time or money, but the atmosphere makes up for all. To be clear, I actually enjoy the food and never had a bad meal. I'm not sure I'd consider it CHOW-worthy though. It's second to the ambiance and view and yet Empress is destination worthy nonetheless.

                  1. Also if you have a car and don't mind driving 25 mins. out to Belmont, I recommend The Van's.