Ambiance! ah, This restaurant is what I would call Eco Friendly since it is the first restaurant chain to feature rainforests as a theme! Part adventure, part restaurant and wholly entertaining for the whole family (especially if you have kids in tow), the Rainforest Café recreates a tropical rainforest with waterfalls, lush vegetation, and lovable creatures. Heck it even has a merchandise store where you can buy stuff (a Genuine Tourist Trap! as I would say, that is why I prefer to munch Clam Chowder and Biscuits at the boardwalk of pier 39 instead, ok sometimes I'm a cheapskate too!).
Opens: Sunday - Thursday, 8:00am - 11pm
Friday & Saturday, 8:00am - midnight
Favorite Dish: the food continues the rainforest themes! Rasta Pasta which is typical Amrican-Italian large servings at $ 16. A Steakman like me likes the Primal Steak and it costs $ 20 (way cheaper than House of Prime Rib), and the flying dragon pizza, again typical american-italian (18') at $ 18 an order. Come now and join the eco-friendly cafe tourist trap.
This restaurant is amazing it really looks like a rainforest! There are vines hanging from the ceiling, aquariums full of fish, real waterfalls, dimmed lights, fake animals that move and make sounds, and the sounds of a real thunderstorm which even made the ceiling drop a little. Even in the bathroom the walls are painted with great detail of a rainforest! When me and my friends were waiting for the food we walked around the restaurant looking at everything and touching waterfalls...ect. I really encourage anybody to go especially kids just for the scenary.
Favorite Dish: When the food came it wasn't amazing, just typical american food such as hamburgers or pasta but it tasted good. My favorite part was when we ordered this chocolate volcano that sparkled on the top! It was delicious!
This place is clearly geared towards familes with kids, but the food is absolutely awful, and I mean AWFUL! The setting, decorations, ect., with fake storms and animatronic animals could be somewhat entertaining for the family, and kids do seem to like it, but this cannot make up for the terrible food. We ate there with my then-three-year-old, and not one of us liked the food at all. My kid later, at age 4, expressed some interest in going there when we were later in the City, but only for the ambience. She said "I want to go to the place with the jungle but I don't want to eat anything there." My 7-year-old nephew was of the same opinion. I think that this pretty much sums up the quality.
It seems that every dish comes with potato chips (to avoid confusion, by this I mean the things from Lay's bags, which someone from the UK would call crisps, not chips).
To top it off, the prices are pretty high and the wait can be long.
For similar experiences, go elsewhere. If you want a "rainstorm" whilst eating, go to the Tonga Room downstairs in the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill. It's not cheap, but it's not much more expensive than this place, and it's fun while the food and drinks are pretty good.
Favorite Dish: Nothing. Avoid, at all costs, the "crab cakes" since they do not even deserve that name.
Also, avoid the "cocktails" since they are bland, exceedingly weak, and taste of watery mixers. This wasn't really too surprising, but the fact remains they are not even decent.
My family and I had a great experience at Rainforest Cafe during our first nite in San Franciso. The staff was wonderful and the food was pretty good, too. The atmosphere is fantastic. You feel like you are in a rainforest;anamatronics are everywhere. They have a gift shop in the front and 3 levels to seat the hungry! It was so good, when we were looking for dinner on the last nite of our trip, we found ourselves back in Rainforest Cafe!
Favorite Dish: the VOLCANO. The best desert I have ever tasted. It was 3 HUGE brownies smashed together at an angle with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream underneath. On top, it had caramel and other wonderful things to top it off. The best part about it was how a large number of the staff scream VOLCANO VOLCANO as your waiter brings the delicious dessert to your table. It fed five women with Much left over!
True, this restaurant is not San Francisco - specific, but nevertheless, if you are coming from Europe, like me, and theme restaurants are something unfamiliar to you, Rainforest Cafe is a great place for you. The restaurant is huge, it can seat 500 people, yet it doesn't feel as nearly big once you're inside. The seats near the waterfalls can be very noisy, but I guess that's the price you pay for having an amazing view. There's a lot of fish tanks everywhere which I love. Don't forget to look up, there's a sky full of stars! Congrats to the interior designers of these restaurants, they thought of everything - the tables, chairs and all the decor is very fun to see, especially for the kids... well... and us, kids by heart :)
The service was fast and friendly, the food yummy. You will definetely pay more for a burger here than in some other less-touristy restaurant, nevertheless, I think it's worth it to have one meal there during your visit. I call it a part of "American experience".
Dining with a monkey above your head an elephant left of you and a huge butterfly on your right side and sometimes a small tropical thunderstorm....need I say more! It's one unique experience!!