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Hard Water

Hard Water

(Now Closed)
Whisky Bar, Southern Food Restaurant, and Cocktail Bar$$$$
Northern Waterfront, San Francisco
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  • Stars
    The experts at SFGate and tablehopper recommend this place
    • SFGate
    • tablehopper
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  • Cowboy G.heart icon on user image
    Cowboy GBJune 16, 2018
    THE most amazing bourbon bar! Awesome collection & vast catalogue of rare bottles with an exceptional “whiskey flights” menu. Al combined with great tasting New Orleans inspired cuisine. Must Visit!
  • Time Out San Francisco
    Time Out San FranciscoOctober 16, 2014
    Sit at the bar and order a flight. Well-priced flights of small-batch whiskeys or single-ounce pours make it possible to explore many of these rare gems without serious damage to your wallet. Read more
  • Chris M.
    Chris MessinaNovember 19, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Whiskey aficionados could die happy delving into Erik Adkins' deep selection of American brown spirits at this waterfront bar. That $100 flight of Pappy van Winkles will light up your life.
  • Jacqueline O.heart icon on user image
    Jacqueline O.June 29, 2015
    Not your typical bar food. It's pretty tasty. The pork cracklings and shrimp hush puppies are delicious. Good whiskey selection. If you get a window there's nice views.
  • Stavria K.heart icon on user image
    Stavria K.June 7, 2018
    Yes Hard Water you tried really hard to give me a very good old fashioned. It was good but not as sweet as I want it. The mecca of whisky 🥃
  • Nicole H.
    Nicole HaimeAugust 11, 2015
    Lots of killer bars popping up in SF (including Trick Dog and Bar Agricole) but Pappy devotees gather round this new watering hole's bright, horseshoe-shaped bar in a vaulted space on the Embarcadero.
  • Jereme B.heart icon on user image
    Jereme BivinsOctober 8, 2015
    Whiskey selection is a thing of beauty—they have it set up like books on library shelves. The Hardwood selects are also affordable and solid whiskey/bourbons.
  • CITY GRIT
    CITY GRITAugust 1, 2014
    Honestly, we came for the wall of whiskey - we were skeptical Charles Phan could impress us with his Southern fare. In addition to eating crow, we also ate one of the best Fried Chicken sandwiches.
  • tablehopper
    tablehopperAugust 3, 2014
    I would order the fried chicken ($20). Every. Single. Time. Fried in rice flour, the exterior is ethereally light, crisp, and well seasoned, and it’s damn juicy too. And gluten-free! Read more
  • tablehopper
    tablehopperAugust 3, 2014
    Go the decadent path with a half dozen of the baked oysters ($22), which are the color of mahogany. Try all three kinds; everyone I know has a different favorite. Read more
  • Steve F.
    Steve FaddenMarch 15, 2018
    Been here 5+ times
    Delicious drinks and tasty food is offset by overbearing reserved seating rules and rude service. This place has trended down over the years, unfortunately.
  • Salvador T.heart icon on user image
    Salvador TovarJune 8, 2013
    The staff and food exceeded out expectations! If you are a whiskey man or woman, the selection is off the hook!
  • Joey C.
    Joey CombsApril 15, 2016
    This place has a really intense whisky library. I would get a flight if you're not sure where to start. I like the Craft Flight!
  • Arlynne C.heart icon on user image
    Arlynne CakesDecember 14, 2014
    Whisky selection is awesome and their cocktails are some of the better ones downtown. The Orange Whisky Sour is an easy favorite.
  • David ☕️ K.heart icon on user image
    David ☕️ KleinAugust 8, 2014
    Great flights. I had the Four Roses. Try the Mac N Cheese. Also the Pimm's Cup is good. I've never heard one with strawberries.
  • Amayaheart icon on user image
    AmayaSeptember 4, 2017
    Went in for a drink and ended up ordering fried chicken. Not the most amazing fried chicken but I did enjoy my drink. Next time I would go for the raw options.
  • Mariheart icon on user image
    MariApril 30, 2018
    Lots of great bourbons to sample. The spicy fried chicken is great.
  • Lucille F.
    Lucille FisherJune 16, 2017
    Extensive selection of American whiskey & bourbon. Great atmosphere.
  • John R.heart icon on user image
    John RogersSeptember 13, 2016
    Really great whiskey collection, and their ice game is on point.
  • Jason A.
    Jason AckermanSeptember 1, 2014
    Whiskey Cocktails were outstanding. Oh and try the Alligator-super crunchy and delicious
  • Josh P.
    Josh PhillipsDecember 7, 2014
    If you're looking for an amazing, rich, mid-range Bourbon, start with the Michter's 10 year.
  • Heather T.
    Heather TerrellNovember 18, 2013
    Best for 2-4 people; small space not conducive to large group dynamics. However, service is stellar and the food & cocktails are unqualifiedly fantastic.
  • Russ H.
    Russ HohenseeJune 11, 2014
    Obviously you pay more to sip a great whiskey at their location but they do have amazing service and an incredible collection.
  • Ryan L.
    Ryan LeggettNovember 19, 2013
    An excellent selection of hard to find and unique whiskeys. The food is also quite good, especially the oysters.
  • Hazel D.
    Hazel DemonteverdeJune 7, 2013
    I ADORE the pork cracklings! The fried chicken w pepper jelly was crunchy & juicy but not worth $16 only for two pieces. The Mac n cheese had a spicy bite to them, is only on the lunch menu.
  • CJ D.heart icon on user image
    CJ DelVecchioNovember 10, 2013
    Bourbon Lift a work of art, as was the charming bartender Steve. Gotta have the pork belly cracklins. Full of tasty wow!
  • Kevin C.heart icon on user image
    Kevin ColacoMay 14, 2015
    Knowledgeable bartenders and the flights are fun and interesting...did I mentioned then fried pork belly
  • Michael C.
    Michael CoxJanuary 3, 2017
    Get a flight of whiskey or one of their tasty cocktails!
  • Sasha T.heart icon on user image
    Sasha TkachenkoJanuary 6, 2015
    They have several whiskey flights, 5 varieties each. The cheapest is $20 and the most expensive is $250.
  • Benjy W.
    Benjy WeinbergerJuly 13, 2018
    Try one of the Low Gap whiskies out of Ukiah. Just the right balance of complex and drinkable.
  • SFGate
    SFGateMay 6, 2015
    At Charles Phan's Embarcadero whisky bar, andouille sausage mac & cheese is tossed with a zesty Creole mornay sauce. Read more
  • Sarel R.heart icon on user image
    Sarel RoetsMarch 5, 2018
    What a great whiskey selection! Paired with pork crackling....put a fork in me, im done!
  • Maya R.
    Maya RNovember 20, 2013
    Do not miss the pork cracklings or the scotch kisses. Amazing whiskey selection and awesome service.
  • Dennis P.
    Dennis PilarinosJanuary 26, 2015
    Most extensive collection of Whiskey, Bourbon and Scotch I've ever seen. Bring your A-game.
  • Brian W.heart icon on user image
    Brian WilliamsonJuly 31, 2014
    Over 220 Whiskeys (yes, I counted). Perfect for whiskey fans, especially if you need a pre-ferry pick-me-up.
  • Hannah G.heart icon on user image
    Hannah GMJune 27, 2016
    Epic whiskey selection. The cocktail list is also really thoughtful.
  • Tony X.
    Tony XerriMay 20, 2013
    Just because you're the only whiskey bar in town, it doesn't give you permission to be high brow and pretentious. The patrons in here need to chill out and stop taking things so seriously. Grow up.
  • Michal K.heart icon on user image
    Michal KlofacJune 28, 2019
    Incredible bourbon selection, although I’m not a fan of the narrow top glasses
  • Amy L.
    Amy LinFebruary 16, 2014
    Cornmeal crusted alligator is great!! Perfectly prepared and good quality too!!
  • Carrie N.heart icon on user image
    Carrie NydenMarch 6, 2016
    Get a whiskey flight and learn all about the whiskeys!
  • Daniel M.heart icon on user image
    Daniel MarkhamFebruary 14, 2015
    Cocktails, the wall of booze, and the view … if you get the seats facing the water
  • Eric M.heart icon on user image
    Eric M.September 17, 2014
    I have a real problem with a place that serves an American distilled spirit and calls it "Scotch".
  • Thiago F.
    Thiago FigueiróSeptember 7, 2013
    The pork belly crackling goes beautifully with beer.
  • Marc J.
    Marc JacobsMay 13, 2014
    The bone marrow and chicken liver pate small plate is amazing.
  • Edward H.heart icon on user image
    Edward HenryMarch 16, 2016
    Awesome whiskey bar. The bartender was very helpful too
  • Garrett O.heart icon on user image
    Garrett OlsonMay 20, 2013
    You can't go wrong with their Mint Julep. Fancy serving with a metal straw.
  • test
    testMarch 24, 2013
    Get the bourbon lift cocktail. FYI some of the bar tenders are rude here, and the wait staff needs to be more pro active on serving customers.
  • Lauren M.
    Lauren MiyamotoAugust 20, 2013
    The seating situation is annoying- if you want to be able to have a decent conversation with someone don't come here. The Presbyterian cocktail made me overlook this though.
  • Lauren B.heart icon on user image
    Lauren BAugust 13, 2016
    Whiskey cocktails and fried chicken. Sign me up.
  • Bill D.
    Bill DJanuary 13, 2014
    Drinks were reasonably priced. Not a large food selection though. Service was good. Pork cracklings bad for you, but tasty.
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