Paradise Escape: Dining at Forbes Island, San Francisco

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Forbes Island San Francisco

Whether you live there or are on vacation, every city has a special something, or several special somethings, that make you fall in love. In this week’s Feature Friday we are highlighting the city by the bay, San Francisco. While we enjoy the main attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and of course the classic Full House homes in Alamo Square, there is a little restaurant that some may consider San Fran’s best kept secret.

When walking around Fisherman’s Wharf down by the bay, smelling the delicious sourdough bread from Boudin Bakery, hearing the barking sea lions by the piers, and enjoying the sites out in the water, most don’t realize that the small island with a 40 foot lighthouse is actually a floating restaurant.


Photo via Forbes Island

Forbes Thor Kiddoo brought his 700-ton houseboat to the San Francisco Bay, next to Pier 39, in 1999 when it became known as Forbes Island. The restaurant features the United States only privately built lighthouse providing incredibly breathtaking views of all angles of the bay. Guest feel as though they have traveled to a far away island paradise amongst the outdoor bar surrounded by palm trees and white sand patios. But, that’s not all. The real experience begins when you head downstairs into the underwater dining room. That’s right, enjoy your meal under the water’s surface! Look out into the bay waters from the antique decorated dining room’s port holes, and enjoy an elegant experience (at a reasonable price) sipping clam chowder by the fireplace.

Making a reservation – preferably just before sunset for the perfect photo op – at Forbes Island not only gives you the opportunity to have a delicious meal, but also a unique dining experience in the Golden City. How do you get to Forbes Island, you ask? Although only a short swim from land, Forbes Thor Kiddoo himself makes for the perfect taxi service after picking you up in his pontoon boat from Dock H.

If you call San Francisco home, or are planning to, live near Forbes Island and escape the hussle and bussle of the city to partake in this fantasy dining experience as often as you’d like when you sign a lease at these luxury apartments close by: The Gateway, Pinnacle at Nob Hill, and Geary Courtyard.