Best Restaurants in Embarcadero

Local Love
July 21, 2016
by Zagat Staff

The top-rated places in the Embarcadero neighborhood of San Francisco.

Boulevard Restaurant
Gastropub · Embarcadero · $$$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

This "top-end" Embarcadero "landmark" showcasing the "culinary vision" of Nancy Oakes "continues to excel" thanks to the "robust flavors" of its "mindblowing" , "market-driven" American cuisine, paired with a "terrific wine list" and served with "the ultimate in professionalism" ; set amid "vibrant" belle epoque "elegance" with "spectacular" Bay Bridge views and a "delightfully fun" counter "to watch the chefs in action" , it’s "always busy" with admirers who find it "well worth the hefty price tag."
Hog Island Oyster Co.
Oyster Bar · Embarcadero · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.2

This "sensational" Ferry Building seafooder is a "dream come true for oyster lovers" , now boasting even "more beautiful views of the bay" courtesy of a heated patio; ok, it’s "not cheap" and there’s always a "crowd" , but somehow the staff holds it together with "wit and charm" ; P.S. there’s also a wine-country satellite in Napa’s Oxbow Market.
The Slanted Door
Vietnamese · Embarcadero · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.2

"All that it’s cracked up to be" , Charles Phan’s "vibrant" Embarcadero "icon" still draws "throngs" with its "outstanding" array of "contemporary" Vietnamese dishes fashioned from local, sustainable ingredients and an "interesting wine list" focused on German and Austrian whites; be sure to "make reservations" (or snag a seat at the bar), and don’t mind the "pricey" tabs and "deafening" din since it’s "hard to beat" the "stunning" Ferry Building berth overlooking the bay.
Cowgirl Creamery Sidekick Cafe & Milk Bar
Sandwich · Embarcadero · $
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

"Silky, flavorful" "cheeses galore" are the main attraction in the "delicious" breakfast and lunch bites – including "amazing mac ’n’ cheese" and "decadent" grilled cheese sandwiches – at this Ferry Building "walk-up counter" from the namesake gourmet dairy; while "not inexpensive" for a nook with "no sit-down area" , it’s "unique" "for a quick snack" on the run.
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana
Peruvian · Embarcadero · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.3

"Ceviche better than Lima's" and "empanadas to die for" anchor the menu at this "fresh and fabulous" seafood spot, the Embarcadero outpost of Gastón Acurio's international empire, where "Peruvian high cuisine" is presented against a "beautiful" waterside backdrop (check out the "awesome views" from the patio) alongside "artfully mixed" cocktails; despite "high prices" for "small plates" and service that – though "well-informed" – can be "overwhelmed by the crowds" , most feel "it's everything you want in a restaurant."
Spanish · Embarcadero · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.2

Experience Michael Chiarello's "magic at its best" at this "happening" Spaniard (and Bottega sibling) on the Embarcadero, where a "rustic" locale with "perfect bay views" sets the stage for sharing the "delectable" likes of paella, bite-size pintxos and tapas, all punched up with "American twirl and show" and ferried by an "efficient" staff; even with "platinum-card" pricing, it's a "very popular" spot with a "lively" bar for "sipping cleverly constructed cocktails" and regional wines.
Boulettes Larder
New American · Embarcadero · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.0

Owners "Amaryll and Lori clearly do what they love" at their Ferry Building eatery overlooking the bay, where they've "raised the bar" with the likes of "warm morning buns" and other "beautifully prepared" (and relatively "expensive" ) New American breakfast and lunch fare out of the open kitchen, plus the "absolute best beignets" at Sunday brunch; the communal tables are an "experience" , and you can also pick up "delicious" premade meals to go (now on Saturdays only); P.S. the adjacent Bouli Bar offers more seating plus full lunch, dinner and drink menus.