Districts, Restaurants, San Francisco Highlights

On the Waterfront – The Embarcadero

The San Francisco Waterfront or “The Embarcadero” as its known has gone through many changes over the decades.


During Word War II, The Embarcadero was a hub for military logistics. It was lined with ships at most piers as well troops and equipment to support the war effort.

The Embarcadero fell into decline after the construction of The Bay Bridge in the 30s. The rise of automobile traffic subsequently led to the decline of the Ferry Building which was the lynch pin of the neighborhood. In order to allow better access to The Bay Bridge, a double decker freeway was constructed. This vastly improved automobile access in and out of San Francisco but it was an eyesore and cut the waterfront off from Downtown.


In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake rocked San Francisco and severely damaged the Embarcadero Freeway. This resulted in it ultimately being torn down in 1991. The removal of the freeway heralded a rejuvenation of The Embarcadero. Palm trees were planted all the way from King Street to Jefferson street, plazas were constructed and renovated and Muni began service of the F Line which runs from Fishermans Wharf to the Ferry Building and onwards to The Castro.

The central focus of The Embarcadero rejuvenation was of course The Ferry Building. The goal was not only to return Ferry Service but to improve public access and make the area a place people wanted to spend time rather than just a transportation hub. After a long period of careful restoration, The Ferry Building was reopened in 2003.


The Embarcadero today is a very different place to all its incarnations before the 1989 earthquake. North of the Ferry Building, The Embarcadero is home to amazing restaurants, the picturesque Pier 7, The Exploratorium, Pier 27 Cruise Terminal and Alcatraz Landing at Pier 33. South of The Ferry Building you have Pier 14, Cupids Span, South Beach Harbor and China Basin.

The Embarcadero is home to some of the best Restaurants in San Francisco such as Coqueta at Pier 7 and the Michelin Star rated Slanted Door located in The Ferry Building.

Pier 7

The Embarcadero truly is an amazing place to explore day or night.