The Embarcadero Restaurants

Establishment neighborhood
Pier 5, The Embarcadero, Embarcadero
Chef Michael Chiarello does traditional tapas in a totally new way. For one thing, the portions are hearty and filling, not the miniscule bites you might be used to; the ingredients lean heavily on what's in season rather than what's expected. For dessert, get the churros—served with drinking chocolate and a sci-fi-looking berry powder. While you wait for a table (call ahead for reservations), the outdoor bar is a fun scene to grab a drink.
Park Tavern
1652 Stockton St., North Beach
The "park" in Park Tavern is a reference to Washington Square Park, which sits directly in front of the history-steeped space that originally housed a wood and coal yard. Dinner at this Jennifer Puccio-run spot is a grand affair with a fish and meat-centric menu to match. In addition to just-caught roasted halibut and outstanding roasted chicken, you’ll also find the "Marlowe" burger—a carryover from their sister restaurant, Marlowe. Their private room on the Mezzanine level has cool black-and-white graphic wallpaper and a dedicated bar.
Hog Island Oyster Co.
1 Ferry Building 11A, Embarcadero
Fresh off a major expansion, which doubled capacity and added outdoor seating, this Ferry Building mainstay draws a consistently big crowd for its oysters. The cooked food menu is pretty enticing as well: The clam chowder is creamy but doesn’t weigh you down after just a few bites and the shrimp and grits is the ideal share plate. But back to the oysters. There are three different variations of grilled oysters in addition to an oyster po’ boy that actually rivals the original.
Slanted Door
1 Ferry Building, Embarcadero
The first thing you notice about this San Francisco standby are the views. Ever since The Slanted Door moved into the Ferry Building from its original Valencia street location, the bay has become a welcome addition to the minimalist interior (same goes for the sleek private dining rooms upstairs). But one thing hasn’t changed: this is still the place for Vietnamese. The emphasis is on fresh and organic ingredients. If you’re wanting a quick fix, you can also pick up food to-go at their Out the Door counter in the Ferry Building marketplace. Slanted Door also has a few sister restaurants including Out The Door on Bush Street, which is where the crowds are flocking these days.
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