One of the bounties of living in the Bay Area is the opportunity to regularly dine al fresco on the water. There’s an abundance of waterfront restaurants that not only offer fresh fare, but also a dramatic backdrop to enhance the experience. Here are a few of our favorites.
The Scoma’s boat, which follows the guidelines of the Seafood Watch Program, fishes for salmon and Dungeness crab seasonally, ensuring nothing but the freshest catch. Along with sweeping views and exceptional service, guests get tempting preparations from Gordon Drysdale, who has been the restaurant’s culinary director for the past three years.
With Mount Tamalpais as a backdrop and a beach scene straight out of a J. Crew catalog, there are a number of reasons why this place is always packed. Other highlights include a large fire pit, extensive salad offerings, sourdough pizza, pitchers of beer and sangria, and of course the restaurant’s namesake bocce court.
Since 1956, patrons have been relishing unobstructed Golden Gate Bridge views while feasting on the Caprice’s signature menu of American fare with a European flair. The location for myriad first dates and celebrations, the restaurant boasts an impressive list of specialty cocktails and is a favored holiday brunch spot.
Servino offers a range of ways to enjoy its food, drinks and views. Music fans will find local acts playing jazz and blues every Friday and Saturday night; there’s also a large deck for sun worshippers, an upstairs private banquet room for large parties, and a lounge with a happy hour for the over-21 crowd.
For the past 60 years, this restaurant has served breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week, making its crew among the hardest working in the county. A generous happy hour — daily from 3-7 p.m. — and a build-your-own bloody mary and mimosa bar on Saturdays and Sundays make Pier 15 difficult to resist.
Last year’s dust has brought this year’s grandeur at Terrapin Crossroads. Well, local grandeur to the tune of a kids’ playground, outdoor park, bocce courts, and revamped stage. Water views and plenty of free parking are a draw, but perhaps even more so is the chance to hear bassist Phil Lesh play live.
Hog Island has been a bucket list item since it first opened in 1983. Four of the five oysters found in the Northern Hemisphere are raised here, plus Manila clams and mussels. It all started with a Pacific variety dubbed the Hog Island Sweetwater, which is still the star of the show and harvested year-round.
On May 1 the Waterfront Lounge opened, marking the unofficial beginning of summer at Nick’s Cove. In a relaxed setting with outdoor couches and tables, guests can enjoy fresh meals and summer cocktails made with produce from the on-site farm and garden, the Croft.
This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine.