Waterbar is a two-story restaurant on the Embarcadero with mind-numbing views of the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island. You come here for two reasons: to take in the aforementioned views and to eat oysters. The seafood-centric menu features all of that seasonal, locally sourced good stuff, but the best thing about Waterbar is the daily $1 oyster happy hour and chilled glasses of white wine.
At Waterbar, you’re not just paying for the great seafood, you’re paying for great seafood that is fresh-caught and sustainably sourced with respect to the seasons and the sea—definitely worth it. You’re also paying for the panoramic views of the Bay that you’ll get no matter where you sit—also definitely worth it. All of the tables are great, but if weather permits and you can snag one on the patio, that’s the way to go—usually more feasible for a seafood lunch or a happy hour—2:30 pm to 5 pm, daily. And about that happy hour: it’s actually many happy hours, at least in terms of oysters. One featured oyster is just $1.55/each every day between 11:30 am and 5 pm, which makes the $29 deep-fried Soft Shell Crab Burger feel much more reasonable.
Any fancy restaurant with stunning up-close views of the waterfront and the Bay Bridge lights is going to feel a little sexy, but add in sustainably sourced fish, floor-to-ceiling aquariums, and a heated patio, and the sex appeal shoots through this two-story roof. And did we mention the oyster bar? Waterbar has one of the most expansive selections on the entire West Coast. Not ready to commit to an over-the-top $140 seafood tower? Waterbar has an excellent happy hour from 2–5 pm every day (and $1.05 oysters) from noon to 5 pm every day.
How to book: online.