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Diners' Choice: Best Ambiance restaurants in San Francisco Bay Area

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Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants with the best ambiance in San Francisco Bay Area? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of Sushi Hashiri restaurant
5 (203)
$50 and over
About the restaurant
A progressive approach executed from a deep history of Kappo and Omakase Edomae Sushi. Two of Japan’s historical culinary concepts brought together combining hyper-seasonal ingredients and premium fish selections direct from our private purveyor inside the world renown Toyosu fish market in Tokyo, Japan. Hashiri’s focus is to exemplify its re-evolving cuisine to showcase Japan’s richest seasonal ingredients.

Hyper seasonal multi course Kappo & Omakase Edomae Sushi dining experience at the sushi counter.

Hyper seasonal Omakase Edomae Sushi dining experience at the sushi counter. Tue & Wed

Due to limited seating capacity, internationally imported goods to curating your daily menu, cancellations or "no-shows" within 72-hours of the reservation will incur the full amount of their dining experience. Cancellations for parties 5 and more requires 5 day
Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined on May 18, 2024
The most procured omakase experience that I’ve tried in the Bay Area. Ken and Chef Ono were both relaxed and focused at the same time, making the 3 hour experience felt too short. We wished it lasted for longer. Every course was immaculately designed and of the utmost quality. Hashiri remains our favorite place for omasake.
A photo of Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge restaurant
4.9 (390)
$30 and under
Cocktail Bar
About the restaurant
Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge is a tropical vacation spot right in the middle of your hometown! Serving award-winning, world famous classic and exotic cocktails along with many original recipes, along with some tasty snacks, Forbidden Island is a retro-oasis in the desert of your busy modern day! Now open indoors (seated capacity only) as well as outdoors in our Tiki Garden/ Patio, 7 days a week.

* Please note that all reservations are limited to 90 minutes for groups of 1-3 and 2 hours for groups of 4-8.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
Forbidden Island is the premier Tiki bar in the Bay Area. Great cocktails, service and decor.
A photo of Commis Bar restaurant
4.9 (14)
$50 and over
About the restaurant
With only 10 bar height chairs at the cocktail bar, the COMMIS BAR experience offers a fixed 4-course menu highlighting some the best seasonal Northern California ingredients through modern and classic cooking techniques.

Diners at the bar are invited for 1.5 to 2 hours over the entire course of the meal with the shorter fixed menu compared to our full length DINING ROOM menu experience.

Top review
Dined 7 days ago
This review is not about the food - the presentation was beautiful and the food delicious - it's about the service. We arrived a few mins before 5pm for a 5pm bar reservation and the door was unlocked so we entered and were kindly seated near the entrance, but the BIPOC person who greeted us at the door was reprimanded by another white member of staff in our presence for the door being unlocked before 5pm. We would've happily waited outside if asked and/or the reprimand could've occurred outside of sight and ear shot. We were eventually seated at the bar and provided the drinks menu and I asked for wine recommendations given the tasting menu we were about to enjoy (because I didn't know what the meal would consist of) but the response I got was dismissive and somewhat condescending, as if we'd walked in off the street and stumbled onto a bar and were just there for cocktails and not deserving of an actual answer to the question. It was very strange and disappointing. I can't imagine this is the response white diners would've received. This particular member of staff did not remain behind the bar, and we were ultimately served by several other wait staff who were lovely, stoic, professional, I guess all the things you would expect from a Michelin-starred establishment. They explained the wine pairings, but by then I was committed to only finishing the glass of wine I'd ordered initially. Given the restaurant's location in gentrifying Oakland where a person can sell incense on the next corner, the pet food store is across the street, and the restaurant is flanked by casual fare bars, I expected it to be a little less stodgy/a little more approachable, but maybe unapproachable is the goal. Perhaps we came on an off day, but if we're wondering whether we're experiencing bias (or if the BIPOC staff are being treated differently), that's energy I'm not spending enjoying the food and experience. At the price point for how we felt, we'll call this one and done.
A photo of Fare Play restaurant
4.9 (25)
$50 and over
About the restaurant
Fare Play is a pop-up restaurant created by Chef Brenden Blaine Darby, a San Fanfrisco chef, farmer, and artist with a diverse background of culinary collaborations with NOMA, Manresa, Martin Berasategui, and Yoshi's SF. The menu of Fare Play is inspired by Brenden's grandmothers while also showcasing hyper-local and their time working at Michelin-starred restaurants as well as jungles, deserts, and regenerative farms across the globe.

Our atmosphere strives to be a new third place for SF Locals with a unique service style reminiscent of eating with family.

Fare (/fer/) -noun
A range of food of a particular type.

Play (/plā/) -verb
-engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.

Our menu features local produce from queer farmers across the Bay Area from roots, stems, seeds, and flowers.

Come with an open mind and leave with a full heart.
Top review
Dined 5 days ago
The decor was fun, and the chef was personable and gracious.
A photo of The Bar at Auberge du Soleil restaurant
4.8 (698)
$31 to $50
About the restaurant
Join us at The Bar for a leisurely lunch, drinks and something to share, or an informal dinner at sunset. A favorite among visitors and locals alike, the venue offers an ideal mid-valley respite during a day of wine tasting, or a delicious meal on the terrace at day's end. Enjoy an integrated menu featuring both fine dining dishes and casual Bistro-inspired fare.

Advance reservations are encouraged.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined on Jun 6, 2024
I would definitely recommend the Bar at Auberge du Soleil. The view and food are both worth the trip. The service was great and a great way to spend your afternoon or evening.
A photo of The Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil restaurant
4.8 (4622)
$50 and over
About the restaurant
With 16 consecutive Michelin Star awards, The Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil provides a memorable feast for the eyes and the senses. Nestled within a sun-lit hillside overlooking lush vineyards and distant mountains, the spectacular vista views from the intimate dining room or the expansive outdoor terrace serve as an idyllic backdrop for one of wine country's most renown fine dining experiences. Showcasing fresh, seasonal ingredients, sourced from local purveyors, the Mediterranean-inspired menu is complemented by an extensive selection of international wines from the hotel’s award-winning 15,000 bottle cellar.

Enjoy a two- or three-course prix fixe lunch or your choice of a multi-course prix fixe or chef's tasting menu at dinner. Advance reservations required.
Top review
Dined 3 days ago
An excellent meal with impeccable service! Auberge never fails to be an outstanding experience, and food is always perfection.
A photo of The Palm Court at RH San Francisco restaurant
4.7 (1578)
$50 and over
Potrero Hill / Dogpatch
About the restaurant
The Palm Court is located in RH San Francisco's Gallery at the Historic Bethlehem Steel Building. Recalling the distinctive glamour of San Francisco's Gilded Age, the stunning statement space is sheathed in Italian Calacatta gold marble and features a cascading center fountain, towering Medjool date palms and glimmering chandeliers. Adjacent to the restaurant, two luminous wine bars offer exceptional wines and Champagnes from around the world.

For group dining inquiries, please email: sfhospitality@rh.com
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 4 days ago
Super amazing and cute place to eat I love it will come back again
A photo of Cafe Wisteria restaurant
4.6 (525)
$31 to $50
Menlo Park
About the restaurant
Classic Ambiance. Savory Fares. Locally Sourced Produce.

Cafe Wisteria is a woman owned & operated restaurant & catering company located on the 3.5 acre blossom-filled grounds of the Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park. Our ethos include using organic and local produce, supporting our community vendors, and always executing exceptional epicurean experiences—for a table of one to a banquet for all.

We invite you to dine with us in the serene setting of our restaurant, host your special event in our elegant and historic space, or simply use our catering service to bring a customized feast to your next celebration.
Top review
Dined 3 days ago
This is a lovely spot for an outdoor lunch especially if the weather is nice. The umbrellas shade the patio and the sound of the fountain blocks some of the conversations with the sound of water. The menu has many options and the waiters and staff were quick and helpful. The surrounding small shops and gardens provide a nice walk and shop experience after your meal....and all for a good cause, raising money for the Hospital.
A photo of Auro restaurant
4.9 (153)
$50 and over
About the restaurant
Join us in celebrating Calistoga’s only Michelin-rated fine dining destination, Auro. Our intimate dining space showcases a seasonally inspired, five-course tasting menu by acclaimed Chef Rogelio Garcia and his team. Set against the stunning backdrop of sprawling the Palisades Mountains, this is wine country dining at its finest.
Top review
Dined 5 days ago
Adam and all of the staff were so friendly and knowledgeable! Great experience!
A photo of Sushi Hakko restaurant
4.9 (245)
$50 and over
Marina / Cow Hollow / Presidio
About the restaurant
**Welcome to Sushi Hakko on Union St. + Fillmore St.**
We'd like to offer our tasting menu that's reflecting Chef Alex Kim and his team's pursuit of top notch sushi experience. Our approach is a harmonious crossover of authentic Edo-mae style with Western skill. From fish to rice, cooking rice to garnish prep - a true synergy of not only Californian but Japan.

**Sushi Bar Experience**
For the best experience of our tasting menu, we'd recommend the sushi bar seating, where chef will serve and explain the dish by dish, piece by piece with an extensive information of the skills and ingredients.

**Regular Tables**
Our regular tables are also available for the tasting menu and you can make a reservation at any time slot to your convenience.

*Large Group*
For any party of 7 or more, please kindly call us at 415.814.2886​ or email at sushihakko@gmail.com. We will get back to you asap.

All parties will be subject to a 20% service charge.

We look forward to serving you soon.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
One of the best omakase spots in SF, Chef Alex does a wonderful job
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