We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“The view the view the view!”

The Bistro at Cliff House
Ranked #204 of 6,298 Restaurants in San Francisco
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Seafood
Restaurant details
Reviewed 15 June 2016 via mobile

We stopped at the Cliff House at the bistro and did not have to wait at all on a Friday night. We were seated at the window overlooking seal rocks and had a delightful cappuccino then delicious seafood pasta. We had a wonderful waiter and the meal was as perfect as the view. It was a gorgeous sunset and we had the added bonus of seeing the camera obscura as well as sutro baths. We loved it so much we returned again. While a bit pricey, you are dining overlooking the ocean in San Francisco. Service was excellent and the pasta was inventive as well as delicious and presented well. Highly recommend!!!

Thank fulgulite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (203)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More languages

114 - 118 of 203 reviews

Reviewed 6 June 2016

The view was spectacular and the food was really good too. You MUST get there early to try the popovers! It IS expensive, but the food is good and the atmosphere is great.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank B R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2016

Just a drive from the city but a world away. Come for the spectacular scenery - from our table we saw a pod of whales surfacing - and be surprised by the excellent fish. I never expect much from an historical restaurant in a scenic landmark setting but Cliff House delivered. The service was outstanding and the fish entrees delicious. Take in a bit of history. Soak in the savagery of the mighty Pacific just outside of SF Bay and dine in a world apart from San Francisco.

Thank lwsara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2016 via mobile

We have decided to have our Memorial Day weekend here at The Bistro. Being a Saturday, it was expected to be crowded. All members of the party must be present to be seated. We got in at 6 pm and got seated around 6:15 pm. Not bad for a Saturday. The view is unbeatable. The beach is literally underneath the restaurant.
We ordered crab cakes, crab cocktail, clam chowder, pork chop, crab salad, Cioppino. Servers were swift despite the crowded dining room. Everything was fresh and delicious. I had the Cioppino, a seafood stew with clams, mussels, salmon, crab legs. I finished the whole thing. I also tried the crab cocktail and crab cakes which were both fresh and delicious.
The restaurant seating area is showing signs of age. Cliff House is part of National Park Service and a historic building. I suggest come early and be flexible with seating areas. Last but not least, make reservations.

Thank singinggigi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2016

I thought, "Let's walk around to get another perspective of the Golden Gate Bridge, and then maybe visit the Sutro Bath ruins", about which more possibly on some other review.

"Oh," said the other half, from our cosy sofa eight time zones away (this was the last day of my business trip to the USA). "And afterwards you should stop and eat at the Bistro at Cliff House. It's your last day in California, after all, so you should treat yourself."

"Mmm," said I, thinking that it wouldn't surprise me at all if the place were fully booked on a Saturday afternoon. But I went in and asked anyway whether they had a place for one person to eat dinner, fully prepared for disappointment.

"We have self-seating at the bar if that's any good to you. You can eat there."

Sure, said I, sat at the bar, and waited. They sold me a beer, and disappeared. I politely waited, then waited some more, then drank some of my beer and waited some more. Slowly but surely it became obvious to me that nobody was going to broach the thorny topic of menus with me, or of food. By the time I finished my beer it was clear that nobody was interested enough to check whether I wanted another drink, either.

I politely attempted to ask about food, but apparently I am both invisible and inaudible, as easily ignored as a performance of John Cage's 4′ 33". So after 45 minutes I said, "Oh, expletive deleted this" and got a cab to Chinatown, where I was at least able to find a restaurant where the staff could sustain the phenomenally high attention span required to provide menu, take order, provide drink, provide food and sound mildly interested in the outcome. Admittedly lemon chicken and rice isn't exactly the sort of treat that the other half probably had in mind, but I'd given up on the concept of 'fine dining' at that point and was simply happy to find a place where the staff were happy to acknowledge my existence. It's not so much the fact that they wouldn't serve me that bothers me; it's the fact that they strung me along for 45 minutes of my last evening in San Francisco, a place to which I am unlikely to return for a long time, if ever.

In short: service unhelpful (in a way that I personally read as snooty, though possibly that's unfair).

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank mmmtt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed The Bistro at Cliff House also viewed

San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco, CA

Been to The Bistro at Cliff House? Share your experiences!

Turn Your Opinions into Points!
Turn your opinions into JPMiles
Turn your opinions into PAYBACK Points
*You can enroll in only one programme at a time to earn rewards for reviews.
JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing