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“A Rather Unique Experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Forbes Island

Forbes Island
Between Pier 39 and 41, San Francisco, CA 94133-1009 (North Beach)
415 951 4900
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Ranked #102 of 5,007 Restaurants in San Francisco
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: American, Cajun & Creole, French, Californian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Special occasions, Scenic view, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Neighborhood: North Beach
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“A Rather Unique Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

Being a local this kind of restaurant is by definition touristy and so is usually avoided. However, that being said it does not detract from the fun and special kind of experience of dinning there. You take a shuttle boat from a Fisherman's Wharf dock next to Pier 39 for a few minutes ride to the "island". There you go down into "the ship" for the main dinning area. Really it is all cute and fun. The menu fare is above average as are the prices. But the experience is one that will usually have you with a smile on your face when you leave. Views from the island, especially from the lighthouse top, are fabulous. The service is efficient and good. We took another local friend there recently for his birthday and he thoroughly enjoyed the whole package experience.
Just don't make the mistake of expecting a serious dinning experience and you'll have a good time.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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135 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    80
    39
    9
    5
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Jacksonville, Florida, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Overrated”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

It is an experience to take a boat shuttle to this unique location and enter down into what appears to be the hull of a boat. Unfortunately, as others have stated the food is not that great for the money (it is expensive). For example, my green salad with a balsamic vinegarette dressing was drenched in what seemed to be all balsamic vinegar and nothing else. My meal arrived before I had finished eating my salad. My husband had two appetizers (instead of a main course) and we shared a bottle of wine. Cost without tip was $130.

As far as atmosphere is concerned, there is a large fireplace in the middle of the main dining area which was roaring in July, making the room very stuffy. It was also extremely dark (there are a few portholes with stained glass windows, but very little interior lighting) - very difficult to actually see what you were eating.

There are better choices - plenty to choose from on Pier 39.

  • Visited July 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Great unique experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2012 via mobile

Visited with my spouse for our anniversary. Dining experience, food, atmosphere was fantastic. Water taxi to island was a nice touch.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Great food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2012

Great food and a fun experience taking the boat to and from the island. Would be 5* but we (along with plenty of others) had to wait for a long time in the cold for the boat back to the pier after eating

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Great to bring out-of-towners”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2012

Great experience. Were leaving Alcatraz and called and got a table right away. Forbes, the boat captain told us how he built the island years ago and floated it over from Cupertino. The meal was great. Going underneath makes you feel queezy at first, but you get used to it quickly.

  • Visited May 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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