Cliff House, San Francisco

4 out of 5 stars 15 Reviews

1090 Point Lobos Ave., San Francisco, CA 94121 (415) 386-3330
  • photos compliments of The Cliff House
    photos compliments of The Cliff House
    by JulieJueletha
  • Sunset photo 3
    Sunset photo 3
    by binkieloo
  • Newly renovated Cliff House Restaurant
    Newly renovated Cliff House Restaurant
    by Jeannette1

Been here? Rate It!

  • smschley's Profile Photo

    Cliff House: Cliff House - Spectacular view

    by smschley Written Mar 27, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Since 1863, the Cliff House has been a gathering place for San Franciscans and their guests. Four different variations of this building have stood on the cliffs overlooking Seal Rocks, at the northwest corner of San Francisco. Two earlier versions were rather modestly small in size, especially when compared with the elaborate eight-story Victorian building, which stood on that spot from 1896 to 1907 as the third Cliff House. But when that ornate building burned down, the fourth version to be built was designed more like the first two, simple, and made to blend in with the ocean and cliffs surrounding it. That fourth version is still standing today. The National Park Service acquired the Cliff House in 1977, and today it is preserved as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

    One thing all the Cliff Houses have in common is that they all offered breathtaking ocean views. From their windows you could see for miles down the coast, and watch any ships that might be sailing in or out of the Golden Gate. Regardless of which incarnation of the building a person was visiting, they always had a spectacular view.

    While the Cliff House is a wonderful find for visitors from around the world, the vast majority of its customers are local San Franciscans. Because of this reservations are recommended, especially for the brunch which only seats 140 people. Since the view is a large part of the experience I recommend going there for the Sunday brunch, lunch or an early dinner. These times also allows you time to stroll the beach area, which is a treat in itself. For us the food there is ok, nothing special and not worth the high price

    Was this review helpful?

  • Jeannette1's Profile Photo

    Cliff House: Spectacular view

    by Jeannette1 Updated Nov 29, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Cliff House Restaurant is a landmark in San Francisco. The view is superb and the restaurant has been recently completely renovated in a modern style.

    I have not eaten there since renovation but I did go inside and judging by the waiting list for the dining area, it must be pretty good !!

    Newly renovated Cliff House Restaurant

    Was this review helpful?

  • JulieJueletha's Profile Photo

    The Cliff House: San Francisco's best seafood with ocean views!

    by JulieJueletha Written Dec 10, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cliff House
    1090 Point Lobos Ave., San Francisco CA 94121
    Tel. 1.888.448.2186

    Since 1863, serving breakfast lunch and dinner. Stylish architecture and spectacular ocean views with the freshest seafood. Three eateries suit every mood and style.

    Sutro’s is both casual and chic, offering a blend of modern style and architecture inspired by the rich history of the Sutro Baths. The award-winning wine list compliments the seasonally changing menu, which focuses on organic produce, locally harvested ingredients, and the freshest, highest quality seafood.
    LUNCH Monday — Saturday 11:30 am — 3:30 pm
    Sunday 11:00 am — 3:30 pm
    DINNER Every Evening 5 pm — 9:30 pm
    To make a phone reservation at Sutro's please call 415-386-3330

    The adjacent Balcony Lounge comes to life every Friday night with live jazz from 7pm to 11pm. Outstanding acoustics allow guests to enjoy the music whether they’re having dinner in Sutro’s or sipping cocktails in the lounge.

    The Bistro restaurant serves San Francisco classics for breakfast, lunch and dinner to both San Franciscans and visitors and are met with equal raves. Omelets, sandwiches, salads and famous options like the popovers and clam chowder are served in front of the same magnificent views the rest of the Cliff House enjoys. Additionally, the Bistro has an interesting collection of signed pictures of classic and contemporary movie stars to compliment its relaxed and hip atmosphere.

    The Bistro Restaurant is seated on a walk-in basis only.

    Breakfast & Lunch
    Monday – Saturday 9 am – 3:30 pm
    Sunday 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
    Dinner Every Evening 4:15 pm - 9:30 pm

    The Terrace Room is another elegant space and has a Champagne Brunch Buffet on Sundays with seatings at 10:00 AM, 12 noon and 2:00 PM with unlimited food, unlimited Champagne and live Harp music.
    Reservations are highly recommended; parties of 8 or more are advised to call at least three weeks in advance.

    Favorite Dish: The crab cakes are to die for and I always have Clam Cowder with fresh sour dough bread or their famous popovers. It is just delicious! Foods are artfully plated and served on immaculate white table cloths. The staff is very professional and pleasant. Even if you don't want to go in for dinner stop by for a soup and salad (with sour dough bread or popovers) lunch and you will be fully satisfied. The cost is less and the food still delicious. They offer a full array of fresh seafood.

    If you are not quite ready for food, try their cocktail lounges. Appetizers and drinks are served in the Zinc Bar or Sutro’s Bar & Lounge on the grounds. You can walk and hike around Point Lobos and take amazing pictures of the ocean and Seal Rock.

    photos compliments of The Cliff House
    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Food and Dining
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

  • loveadventure's Profile Photo

    Cliff House: Watch the water and seals

    by loveadventure Updated Jan 26, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Cliff house sits on the cliffs overlooking the Front beach. Often fog covers the coastline and creates a beautiful scene of seals, water and rocks . You can have a snack, coffee specialty or lunch and dinner. It's a busy place at times, depending on the time of year. The ride to get there is winding and right next to the Cliff House is Front beach. Waves pound the cosast here. On warm days the beach can be quite full but it's usually a pretty cold beach, Few people are in the water .

    Favorite Dish: Cocktails! Forget the food and sit by the window and watch the Pacific!

    Was this review helpful?

  • wrldtravler's Profile Photo

    Cliff House: Exhilarating Views for a Special Date

    by wrldtravler Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    A stunning, sunset-perfect view of the Pacific makes up for tourist-quality fare at this oceanside landmark.
    The historic Cliff House is perched atop the north end of Ocean Beach, offering tourists and locals alike a warm and inviting respite from the cold ocean air--not to mention an ideal spot from which to view a sunset. The old-fashioned bar next to the restaurant is a great spot to down a cocktail while watching the waves.

    Favorite Dish: The food is your typical upscale tourist fare, but if you stick with simple dishes and save your attention for the unbeatable ocean vistas outside the windows, you'll have a visit worth the price.


    Was this review helpful?

  • Lornabug's Profile Photo

    Louis' diner: Cliff House sucks! Go to Louis' instead!

    by Lornabug Updated Mar 14, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    O.K. take my advice, SKIP THE CLIFFHOUSE!! What did you come to SF for, anyway, pandering or history and fun?

    Louis' diner sits precariously on the cliffs next to the Cliffhouse overlooking the beautiful waves splashing against the ruins of Sutro Baths and has all the views and flavor if not more. Plus, Louis' is a family diner, operated by the grandsons of the depression-era immigrant founders, who have kept it going ever since. Clam chowder (red), sourdough sandwiches, and all that good stuff you're looking for are here, as well as Sutro Bath souvenirs and posters without the long wait. Plus the service is friendly and epic (see this sfgate article on Louis' history including Rose, the waitress there for going on 60 years If Rose isn't there, the rest of the staff is super friendly, too.

    Don't eat at the Cliffhouse's new remodel prices, enjoy Louis'!

    Thanks,! Thanks, google maps!
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

  • binkieloo's Profile Photo

    Cliff House: Best Sunset drinks possible

    by binkieloo Written Apr 3, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It's worth the wait for a window table. Esspecially if you've come for the sunset into the pacific ocean. (I took 17 photos just of the sunset).

    The food was an interesting combination of Californian Fusion. I had a burger with brie and carmelised onions. But started with sushi. My partner had seared tuna with an interesting sauce.

    The appletini's were good, as were their golden margaritas. But the best part about it is the view. Even if you're not there for the sunset, the view of the ocean crashing against the rocks below you is beautiful.

    Favorite Dish: I wouldn't say there was a particularly good dish, but the view of the sunset and the large picture windows were great. The food is good, but nothing spectacular that I had.

    Sunset photo 3

    Was this review helpful?

  • bluewilldo's Profile Photo

    The Cliff House: Seafood and Sea Views

    by bluewilldo Written Sep 29, 2002

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Cliff House is divided into several individual, and very different restaurants/ bars. The Seafood & Beverage Company is the most expensive section, but the food, especially form the sea, is good and the view is clouded with sea otters. In sharp contrast is Phineas T. Barnacle Bar. It's a sports bar with TVs and a fireplace... why? I don't know. They have very good coffee and a snack bar for clam chowder, seafood, chicken wings, etc. The other sections of the restaurant have exquisite brunches... one has 20 different omelettes and another has a champagne brunch. The food is generally very good California cuisine.

    Was this review helpful?

  • keeweechic's Profile Photo

    The Cliff House

    by keeweechic Updated Dec 26, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Cliff House is a landmark in San francisco, has existed in various forms since 1863 and now houses three dining rooms and two bars. All have spectacular ocean views.

    Favorite Dish: The Seafood & Beverage Company is the most formal dining room and is great for Sunday brunch. Upstairs at the Cliff House there is a more informal atmosphere which is better suited for families.

    Was this review helpful?

  • feline01's Profile Photo

    Cliff House: Cliff House

    by feline01 Updated Jul 14, 2004

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We had a wonderful meal here during sunset. The maitre-d was extremely nice + seated us at a window even though we did not look as fancy as all the other diners. Very professional staff. The Cliff House is an entire complex with several restaurants and a Mechanical Museum which we missed because it had just closed for the evening. This is a protected site because of its history.

    Favorite Dish: The vegetarian tofu entree I had was good, not great. It's really the view at sunset that makes it worth coming here.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Kay_C's Profile Photo

    Cliff House: Cliff House

    by Kay_C Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The location is awesome overlooking the ocean. Nothing beats the sound of the waves crashing up against the rocks! The history of Cliff House is very interesting - I would have loved to have the seen the original which was built in 1863 and definitely fits the description of cliff house. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner 365 days a year.

    Favorite Dish: Great Breakfast and Sunday Brunch - try an omelette, they have 20 different kinds!

    Was this review helpful?

  • ejroberts's Profile Photo

    The Cliff House restaurant is...

    by ejroberts Written Aug 24, 2002

    0.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Cliff House restaurant is a nice place to eat and it provides beautiful views of the waves crashing into the rocks below. This part of the coast is wild and beautiful and is well worth the effort to get there.

    Was this review helpful?

  • My favorite reataurant in S.F....

    by studioblue Updated Aug 24, 2002

    0.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My favorite reataurant in S.F. was the Cliff House.
    The Cliff House is situated on a small ridge of cliffs overlooking Seal Rock and a small beach. It has a nickel and dime arcade in the basement with many antique arcade games and novelties.

    Was this review helpful?

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    Cliff House: Oceanfront Dining

    by grandmaR Written Nov 21, 2005

    Cliff House (the original) was built in 1863. The building in this c. 1965 photo is the 1909 building which was the third one.

    The structure next door, which until recently housed a snack shop and the National Park Service visitors center (which wasn't there when we visited as NPS didn't buy the property until 1977), has been demolished. In its place, the new building will be constructed which will include a two-story dining room with vast views of the ocean, an observation deck and a grand entrance lobby. Included in the $14 million renovation program are repairs to the "camera obscura" located just below the Cliff House.

    Favorite Dish: I understand that the new restaurant at this location has now opened. We obviously haven't been.

    My daughter at Cliff House in early 60s
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Family Travel
    • Beaches

    Was this review helpful?

  • sftravelertips's Profile Photo

    Cliff House: Lovely View You Wouldn't Want to Miss

    by sftravelertips Written Mar 23, 2011

    With the rich history of Cliff House, I always ponder how the old Cliff House would look like if it did not get burn down. However, the food at Cliff House is a bit pricy, and not as good as I have hoped. I ordered a $40 steak, but it was over-cooked. I spent $90 for a two person meal; I didn't get the satisfaction that I was hoping to get.

    I would highly recommend the visiting the Cliff House for the beautiful view and awesome Land's End Hiking Trail, but I would not go back to Cliff's House again.

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: San Francisco

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

32 travelers online now


Hotels Near Cliff House
3.5 out of 5 stars
1 Review
0.3 miles away
4.0 out of 5 stars
2.3 miles away
Show Prices
4.5 out of 5 stars
3 Reviews
2.8 miles away

View all San Francisco hotels