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Best Romantic Restaurants in San Francisco with a View

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Introduction

San Francisco is renowned for its vibrant culinary scene and stunning vistas. When it comes to planning a romantic evening, combining delicious food with breathtaking views can create an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply enjoying a night out, the city’s romantic restaurants with scenic views offer the perfect backdrop for an intimate meal. In this guide, we will explore some of the best romantic restaurants in San Francisco with a view, helping you choose the ideal spot for your next date night.

Top Romantic Restaurants in San Francisco with a View

1. Top of the Mark

Location: Mark Hopkins Hotel, Nob Hill, Website | Phone: (415) 616-6916

Top of the Mark RESTAURANT
 

Top of the Mark is an iconic lounge located on the 19th floor of the Mark Hopkins Hotel in Nob Hill. Known for its panoramic views of the San Francisco skyline, this elegant spot offers a romantic setting perfect for special occasions. The lounge has been a favorite among locals and visitors since it opened in 1939.

Type of Cuisine: American, Contemporary

The menu at Top of the Mark features contemporary American cuisine with a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Guests can enjoy a variety of dishes, from small plates to hearty entrees, all designed to complement the stunning views.

Specialty Dishes and Drinks

Top of the Mark is famous for its extensive martini menu, featuring over 100 different martinis. Some popular choices include the classic Martini, the Espresso Martini, and the Chocolate Martini. In addition to martinis, the lounge offers a selection of fine wines and craft cocktails.

View Details

The highlight of Top of the Mark is its 360-degree city views, including iconic landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the Transamerica Pyramid. The floor-to-ceiling windows ensure that every seat offers a spectacular view.

Ambiance and Setting

The ambiance at Top of the Mark is sophisticated and romantic, with dim lighting, elegant decor, and a relaxing atmosphere. The live piano music adds to the intimate setting, making it a perfect choice for a romantic evening.

2. EPIC Steak

Location: Embarcadero, Website | Phone: (415) 369-9955

EPIC Steak Restaurant

EPIC Steak is situated along the picturesque Embarcadero, offering diners stunning views of the Bay Bridge and the waterfront. This modern steakhouse is known for its high-quality meats and seafood, as well as its contemporary design and inviting ambiance.

Type of Cuisine: Steakhouse

EPIC Steak specializes in prime cuts of beef, expertly prepared to showcase their natural flavors. The menu also features a variety of seafood dishes, salads, and sides, ensuring that there is something for every palate.

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Specialty Dishes

Some of the standout dishes at EPIC Steak include the Dry-Aged Ribeye, the Filet Mignon, and the Lobster Tail. The restaurant also offers a selection of house-made sauces and sides, such as Truffle Mac & Cheese and Grilled Asparagus.

View Details

The restaurant’s location along the Embarcadero provides diners with breathtaking views of the Bay Bridge, especially at night when the bridge is illuminated. The outdoor patio is a popular spot for couples looking to enjoy a romantic dinner with a view of the water.

Ambiance and Setting

EPIC Steak’s sleek, modern design creates a sophisticated yet comfortable atmosphere. The open kitchen allows diners to watch the chefs at work, adding an element of excitement to the dining experience. The combination of excellent food, attentive service, and stunning views makes EPIC Steak a top choice for a romantic evening.

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3. Waterbar

Location: Embarcadero, Website | Phone: (415) 284-9922

Waterbar RESTAURANT
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Waterbar is another prime destination along the Embarcadero, renowned for its unparalleled views of the Bay Bridge and its commitment to sustainable seafood. Since opening its doors, Waterbar has become a favorite spot for couples seeking a romantic dining experience with a waterfront backdrop.

Type of Cuisine: Seafood

Waterbar’s menu showcases a variety of fresh, sustainably sourced seafood. The restaurant prides itself on offering the best oysters, fish, and shellfish, with a focus on seasonal ingredients and responsible fishing practices.

Specialty Dishes

Waterbar is particularly famous for its oyster selection, offering a rotating variety from both coasts. Other popular dishes include the Whole Grilled Fish, Dungeness Crab, and Seafood Tower, which features an impressive assortment of shellfish.

View Details

The restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows provide diners with stunning views of the Bay Bridge. Whether you’re seated inside or on the outdoor patio, the visual appeal of the bridge and the bay enhances the romantic ambiance, especially at night when the bridge lights up.

Ambiance and Setting

The elegant yet relaxed atmosphere at Waterbar is perfect for a romantic dinner. The decor combines modern elements with nautical touches, creating a sophisticated setting. The attentive service and attention to detail ensure that guests feel special and well-cared for throughout their meal.

4. The Cliff House

Location: Ocean Beach, Website | Phone: (415) 386-3330

The Cliff House Restaurant
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The Cliff House is a historic San Francisco restaurant perched on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. With a rich history dating back to the 19th century, The Cliff House offers a unique blend of historic charm and breathtaking ocean views, making it a perfect spot for a romantic meal.

Type of Cuisine: American

The menu at The Cliff House features classic American cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, local ingredients. Diners can enjoy a variety of seafood, meat, and vegetarian dishes, all expertly prepared to highlight the natural flavors of the ingredients.

Specialty Dishes

Signature dishes at The Cliff House include the Dungeness Crab Cakes, Pacific Coast Cioppino, and the Roasted Half Chicken. The restaurant also offers an impressive selection of wines and cocktails to complement the meal.

View Details

The restaurant’s location offers unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean, with the sound of the waves adding to the romantic atmosphere. The best time to visit is during sunset, when the sky turns vibrant shades of orange and pink, providing a stunning backdrop for your meal.

Ambiance and Setting

The historic charm of The Cliff House is evident in its elegant decor and timeless architecture. The warm, inviting ambiance is perfect for a romantic evening, and the attentive service ensures a memorable dining experience.

5. Scoma’s

Location: Fisherman’s Wharf, Website | Phone: (415) 771-4383

Scoma's  RESTAURANT
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Scoma’s is a beloved family-owned seafood restaurant located on Fisherman’s Wharf. With its spectacular views of the harbor and Alcatraz Island, Scoma’s offers a cozy and romantic setting for couples looking to enjoy a delicious meal by the water.

Type of Cuisine: Seafood, Italian-American

Scoma’s menu features a variety of fresh, locally sourced seafood dishes, as well as classic Italian-American favorites. The restaurant’s focus on quality ingredients and traditional recipes has made it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

Specialty Dishes

Popular dishes at Scoma’s include the Crab Cioppino, Seafood Risotto, and the Fisherman’s Platter. The restaurant is also known for its extensive wine list and handcrafted cocktails.

View Details

The waterfront location of Scoma’s provides diners with beautiful views of the harbor and Alcatraz Island. The large windows and outdoor seating area allow guests to take in the scenery while enjoying their meal.

Ambiance and Setting

Scoma’s offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, with a decor that reflects its maritime heritage. The friendly and attentive service, combined with the charming setting, makes it an ideal choice for a romantic dinner.

6. Greens Restaurant

Location: Fort Mason, Website | Phone: (415) 771-6222

Greens Restaurant
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Greens Restaurant is a celebrated vegetarian restaurant located at Fort Mason, offering stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the marina. Known for its innovative, seasonal cuisine, Greens provides a romantic and health-conscious dining option.

Type of Cuisine: Vegetarian

The menu at Greens features a variety of creative vegetarian dishes, made with fresh, seasonal produce. The restaurant’s commitment to sustainability and local sourcing is evident in every dish.

Specialty Dishes

Signature dishes at Greens include the Mesquite Grilled Brochettes, Wild Mushroom and Roasted Garlic Pizza, and the Moroccan Vegetable Tagine. The dessert menu, featuring items like the Chocolate Turtle Tart, is also not to be missed.

View Details

The large windows at Greens offer picturesque views of the marina and the Golden Gate Bridge. The tranquil setting, combined with the beautiful scenery, creates a perfect environment for a romantic meal.

Ambiance and Setting

The warm, inviting atmosphere at Greens is complemented by its minimalist decor and focus on natural elements. The attentive service and beautifully presented dishes make dining at Greens a truly special experience.

7. The View Lounge

Location: Marriott Marquis, Downtown, Website | Phone: (415) 896-1600

The View Lounge Restaurant

The View Lounge is located on the 39th floor of the Marriott Marquis in downtown San Francisco. As its name suggests, the lounge offers sweeping views of the city skyline, making it a fantastic choice for a romantic evening high above the bustling streets.

Type of Cuisine: American, Small Plates

The menu at The View Lounge features a variety of small plates and appetizers, perfect for sharing. The focus is on high-quality ingredients and creative presentations, designed to complement the panoramic views.

Specialty Dishes

Popular items on the menu include the Truffle Fries, Tuna Tartare, and the Charcuterie Board. The lounge also offers an extensive selection of craft cocktails, wines, and beers.

View Details

The View Lounge provides one of the best vantage points in the city, with floor-to-ceiling windows that offer unobstructed views of the San Francisco skyline. The sight of the city lights twinkling at night adds to the romantic atmosphere.

Ambiance and Setting

The elegant and contemporary decor at The View Lounge creates a chic and sophisticated setting. The relaxed yet upscale atmosphere, combined with the stunning views, makes it an ideal spot for a romantic date night.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Romantic Restaurant

Ambiance

When selecting a romantic restaurant, the ambiance is key. Look for places with soft lighting, cozy seating, and a relaxing atmosphere. Candlelit tables, gentle background music, and elegant decor can all contribute to creating a romantic setting.

Service

Excellent service can make a big difference in your dining experience. Choose restaurants known for their attentive and professional staff. Personalized touches such as recommending the perfect wine or offering a complimentary dessert can enhance the romantic atmosphere.

Menu

A diverse and high-quality menu is essential. Make sure the restaurant offers a variety of dishes that cater to different dietary preferences. Beautifully presented food made with fresh, local ingredients adds to the overall experience.

Location

The location of the restaurant can greatly influence its romantic appeal. Restaurants with waterfront views, panoramic cityscapes, or picturesque natural settings are ideal. Proximity to iconic landmarks or scenic spots can also enhance the romance.

Special Features

Consider any special features the restaurant may offer. Outdoor seating, live music, and private dining options can all add to the romantic experience. These elements provide couples with unique ways to enjoy their evening.

Tips for Planning the Perfect Romantic Dinner

Tips for Planning the Perfect Romantic Dinner
  1. Make Reservations in Advance: Popular romantic restaurants can fill up quickly, especially on weekends and special occasions. Booking ahead ensures you get the best table with a view.
  2. Request a Table with the Best View: When making your reservation, ask for a table with the best view. Mention any special occasions you’re celebrating to increase your chances of getting a prime spot.
  3. Check for Special Events or Offers: Some restaurants offer special menus or events for holidays and anniversaries. Look into these options to make your evening even more special.
  4. Consider Dietary Preferences and Restrictions: Ensure the restaurant can accommodate any dietary needs. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options should be available if required.
  5. Plan the Timing: Arriving at the right time can enhance your experience. Plan your dinner to coincide with the sunset or when the city lights are just coming on for the most picturesque views.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the best time to visit these restaurants for a view?

The best time to visit romantic restaurants in San Francisco with a view is during sunset or in the evening. Sunset offers beautiful natural light and a changing sky, while evening dining provides stunning night views of illuminated cityscapes and landmarks.

Are these restaurants suitable for special occasions?

Yes, all the mentioned restaurants are perfect for special occasions such as anniversaries, birthdays, and proposals. Their romantic settings and excellent service make them ideal for celebrating significant moments.

Do these restaurants accommodate dietary restrictions?

Most of these restaurants offer a variety of options to accommodate dietary restrictions. From vegetarian and vegan dishes at Greens Restaurant to gluten-free choices at many locations, they strive to cater to diverse dietary needs.

How far in advance should I make a reservation?

It is recommended to make reservations at least one to two weeks in advance for regular dining. For special occasions or peak times, booking a month ahead is advisable to ensure you get the best table.

Conclusion

San Francisco offers an array of romantic restaurants with stunning views that are sure to impress. Whether you prefer a cozy spot by the ocean, a chic cityscape backdrop, or a historic setting, the city’s dining scene has something for every romantic occasion. Make your reservation today and enjoy an unforgettable evening with delicious food and breathtaking vistas.

Additional Resources

  • Related Articles: Check out our other guides on San Francisco dining, including “Top Rooftop Bars in San Francisco” and “Best Seafood Restaurants in San Francisco.”
  • Romantic Activities: Enhance your romantic evening with a stroll along the Embarcadero, a sunset sail on the bay, or a visit to the Palace of Fine Arts.
  • Reservation Contacts: Below are the contact details for making reservations at the mentioned restaurants:
  • Top of the Mark: Website | Phone: (415) 616-6916
  • EPIC Steak: Website | Phone: (415) 369-9955
  • Waterbar: Website | Phone: (415) 284-9922
  • The Cliff House: Website | Phone: (415) 386-3330
  • Scoma’s: Website | Phone: (415) 771-4383
  • Greens Restaurant: Website | Phone: (415) 771-6222
  • The View Lounge: Website | Phone: (415) 896-1600