Where to Eat Outside: The Ultimate Guide to San Francisco’s Patio Scene

27 Jul

Where to Eat Outside: The Ultimate Guide to San Francisco’s Patio Scene

Come every sunny day in San Francisco, whether it’s Saturday or Wednesday, SF shares the collective urge for cocktails. Here’s where drink (and eat) outside in the city.


(Photo courtesy of SF Gate)


A mecca for all things Italian, this upscale restaurant and bar is nestled right under the Bay Bridge. And, with a heated and shaded outside patio overlooking the bay, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place to sip a blueberry smash under clear summer day. Oh, and your pooch can come, too. Happy hour: 3-11p.m. // 345 Sear St. (Embarcadero), palomino.com

Isa Restaurant

A gated garden area with seating that’s tented in the colder months awaits at this cozy Marina spot. Don’t pass-up their sublime corn soup—perfect for those chilly summer nights. // 3324 Steiner St. (Marina),isarestaurant.com


(Courtesy of Waterbar)


This two-story restaurant on the Embarcadero offers up more than just dollar-and-change oysters. With spellbinding views of the bay, you’ll be here for another round, or three. The drink menu goes through multiple changes per day, so you can switch up your cocktails as the sun moves across the sky. // 399 The Embarcadero (Embarcadero), waterbarsf.com

Bistro Aix

Simmer down, sip wine, and relax. With a wine list the length of a religious scroll, Bistro Aix has got you covered…under a heated patio on Steiner Street. // 3340 Steiner St. (Marina), bistroaix.com


(Courtesy of thefoodbitchblog.com)

The Tipsy Pig

You had us at forty craft beers and nd bottomless mimosas. Even better? There’s a well-furnished open patio to savor all that The Tipsy Pig as to offer—which includes bacon, lots of bacon. Happy Hour: 5:30-6:30 p.m. // 2231 Chestnut St. (Marina), thetipsypigsf.com

Coffee Bar

Are you someone who thinks in shots of espresso? WIth its made-from-scratch pastries and sustainably sourced beans, you can’t go wrong with a mid-day pick me up on the patio at Coffee Bar. // 1909 Bryant St. (South Park), coffeebarsf.com


Park Chalet

On the western edge of Golden Gate Park, Park Chalet’s in house brewery churns out (or rather, ferments in sterilized steel drums) their own craft beers. Ask for their signature V.F.W. Golden Ale and take a seat in the sunny garden. Happy Hour: 3–6 p.m. // 100 Great Highway (Golden Gate Park), parkchalet.com


(Courtesy of barnco.com)

Stem Kitchen And Garden

This place is every minimalist’s dream: squared-off patio chairs, perfectly aligned tables, and a garden that’s mindfully put together with perfectly trimmed shrubs. Best of all, STEM Kitchen and Garden actually grows some of their imgredients around the cozy fire pits. Order a round of Apple in the Rye cocktails for the whole table! // 499 Illinois St.(Dogpatch), stemkitchensf.com

Sens Restaurant

Head to Sens Restaurant on the Embarcadero for its dreamy views of the bay (especially once the sun goes down), romantic ambience, awesome happy hour, and of course, the mouth-watering Mediterranean-inspired cuisine from veteran Chef Michel Adams. Combine all four elements, and you get the perfect spot for an excellent date night. Now make sure to order the cocktail called Date Night. Happy Hour: Monday–Friday, 3-8 p.m. and Saturday, 5 p.m.-close. // 4 Embarcadero Center (FiDi), sens-sf.com


(The Commissary; courtesy of sfchronicle.com)

The Commissary

A former military barrack’s hall, The Commissary’s offers refreshing blanco sangria and tasty, local squid stuffed with house-made pork sausage, among other award-winning bites on a small patio in the middle of the Presidio. // 101 Montgomery St. (Presidio), thecommissarysf.com

Presidio Social Club

How could you not check-out a place where their signature afternoon drink is “Death In the Afternoon”? (Don’t worry, it’s just absinthe and champagne—who knew that’d work, right?) Be sure to indulge in their plump offerings during both their brunch and dinner services while you’re relaxing in the back patio! // 563 Rudger Street (Presidio Heights), presidiosocialclub.com


(Dirty Habit; courtesy of sfeater.com)

Dirty Habit

Though the film-noir-inspired dining room at Dirty Habit is far from shabby, the outdoor lounge area, with long couches, a fire pit, and room for 50, is an outdoor oasis that feels worlds apart from the chaos of SoMa five floors below. Tiki enthusiasts might spring for the Karl “The Fog” Cutter, a punch bowl take on the fog cutter cocktail with scotch and rum, while cocktail classicists will appreciate Dirty Habit’s take on the Brandy Crusta, made with Pierre Ferrand 1840 Cognac. // 12 4th Street (SoMa), dirtyhabitsf.com


This neighborhood restaurant owned by seafood master John’s Hearnsberger has a drink selection as fresh as their locally grown produce. The secluded back patio is covered in string lights and heat lamps, perfect for sipping reasonably priced wines by the glass while admiring the garden. Just know that their liquor license requires them to stop serving in the patio at 9 p.m. // 558 Castro St. (The Castro), fablesf.com



(Palm House; courtesy of blissandbourbon.com)

Palm House

Yearning for a tropical getaway, but can’t exactly afford the airfare? Settle for Palm House’s coastal vibes, courtesy of their Brazilian, Cuban, Hawaiian, Indonesian, and Caribbean influences and decidedly tropical cocktail menu. You’ll surely hear the ocean breeze sipping your chipotle mango margarita on the outdoor patio. Happy Hour: Tuesday-Friday, 5-6:30 p.m.) // 2032 Union St. (Cow Hollow), palmhousesf.com

El Rio

Neighborhood staple El Rio has been welcoming guests to its sunny patio for the past four decades. Sit back on the rustic patio chairs and enjoy some slow blues all while nursing a $1 Tecate. Happy Hour: Monday–Saturday, 1-8 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m.) // 3158 Mission St. (Mission), elriosf.com


(Virgil’s Sea Room; courtesy of onlyinyourstate.com)

Virgil’s Sea Room

Right next door to El Rio sits this nautical bar with a huge back patio. Each of their signature cocktails is named after a different SF local hero. From our man of the 12 Galaxies, Frank Chu, to The City’s musical philanthropist, Warren Hellman, to the pioneering transgender performer, Vicki Marlane. Get cozy and salute to San Francisco. // 3152 Mission St. (Mission)

Wild Side West

Around since 1962, Wild Side West is an LGBT institution which welcomed Bob Dylan and Janis Joplin back in the day. With two lovely back patios open 365 days a year, you’ll be making fond memories and sipping cocktails all year round! // 424 Cortland Ave. (Bernal Heights), wildsidewest.com


(Courtesy of catchsf.com)


Eat fresh local seafood in this comfortable, relaxed, and covered back patio setting, complete with a fire pit. For drinks, we recommend the Chamomile Conundrum (gin, St. Germain, agave nectar, chamomile syrup, lime juice and white cranberry juice) to sip by the fire. // 2362 Market St. (Castro), catchsf.com


With sublime coffee offerings served in the morning and well-slung drink specials in the evening, Reverie is the perfect hangout for any time of day. Plus, their heated and covered patio will keep you toasty until the wee hours. // 848 Cole St. (Cole Valley), reveriempls.com


(Broken Record; courtesy of Pinterest)

Broken Record

This spacious bar and heated patio boasts one of the best single-grain whiskey selections around—everything from Bulleit 10 year to Johnny Walker Blue 25. Pair your spirit of choice with any of their upscale bar snacks (think: Sweet Tater Tots with candied Hobb’s Bacon aioli and Moroccan spiced pot pies) for a night you won’t soon forget. // 1166 Geneva Ave (Outer Mission), brokenrecordbar.com

Americano Restaurant and Bar

What more can you ask for than a waterfront patio and a good glass of wine? Americano offers Italian classics such as Pizza Salsiccia and pork meatballs with a panoramic view of the Bay Bridge. // 8 Mission St. (SoMa), jdvhotels.com

Belden Taverna

Belden Place is a hidden gem in the Financial District where tourists, European ex-pats, and locals alike go for a European vibe and sidewalk seating. While the food at some of the restaurants may not be the best, the charming alley lined with tables and hung with lights make it a enjoyable experience none the less. Head to Belden Taverna, where beautifully executed veal and sweetbread ravioli and chicken and squab b’steeya call as loudly as any barker. // 52 Belden Pl. (FiDi), btaverna.com

Park Chow Food Bar

Finally, a place designed for the whole family. This rustic diner near Golden Gate Park has kids in mind, and most of the menu is kid-friendly offering mac n cheese, burgers, and organic chicken fingers. Let them roam outside on the patio while you sip a much-deserved cocktail. // 1240 9th Ave. (Inner Sunset),chowfoodbar.com


(Biergarten; courtesy of sfgate.com)


With a wide selection of niche beers to enjoy outside on their spacious patio, Beer Garden is a must-do on a blue-sky afternoon. There’s also German food, communal picnic tables, hanging lights, and blankets for when it gets cold. // 424 Octavia St. (Hayes Valley), biergartensf.com

Cigar Bar and Grill

Cigarette and cigar smokers will find a rare haven at Cigar Bar and Grill, where anyone can light up (no matter how close you are to the building.) The bar hosts a wide range of premium and hand rolled cigars, while the large back patio provides live music lively conversation. // 850 Montgomery St. (FiDi),cigarbarandgrill.com

13(Courtesy of pier23cafe.com)

Pier 23 Cafe

Nothing says a good time like placing a cool, sweating beer mug atop of a pier’s railing. And, at Pier 23 Cafe, that’s exactly what you’ll get—seemingly endless lines of half-full glasses with happy patrons chatting up a storm. You’d be considered a castaway if you didn’t try their famous Bloody Mary. // Pier 23 (North Beach), pier23cafe.com

Thorough Bread and Pastry

You’d be hard-pressed not to find a pastry (or bread) you don’t like at Thorough. Once you’ve swiped your card, step outside and enjoy the spacious, tree-filled back patio with a few tables and chairs to enjoy your treat. // 248 Church St. (Mission), thoroughbreadandpastry.com

14(The Ramp; courtesy of keyword-search.com)

The Ramp

You’re gonna want to stop by for brunch at this oceanside patio with gorgeous views of the bay. When it’s clear, you can see all the way to Oakland. Happy Hour: 4:30-7 p.m. // 855 Terry A Francois Blvd. (Dogpatch), theramprestaurant.com

Marla Bakery

Opt for pastries and coffee (or Champagne!) at this gorgeous back garden designed by Paxton Gate. It’s not always sunny in the Richmond, but this is where we head when it is. // 3619 Balboa St. (Outer Richmond), marlabakery.com


(Jones; courtesy of timeout.com)

Jones Restaurant

Jones is a go-to for signature cocktails and early-afternoon brunches. The ginormous rooftop dining room is perfect for casual drinks overlooking the Tenderloin. // 620 Jones St. (Tenderloin), 620-jones.com

Le Colonial

We’ve always been a sucker for a good alleyway bar. Open most of the year, Le Colonial’s front patio looks kind of like a conservatory, with a glass roof and tons of hanging greenery.// 20 Cosmo Pl. (Tenderloin),lecolonialsf.com

Sparrow Bar and Kitchen

With fifteen rotating taps and tons of seating, feel free to get comfortable at this patio found beyond the kitchen. Stop by for happy hour bites or brunch—there’s never too long of a wait. // 1640 Haight St. (Haight Ashbury), sparrowbarandkitchen.com


(Momo’s; courtesy of ericroer.com)


MoMo’s is a quaint American bistro serving-up simple yet refined dishes. Don’t miss out on their umbrella patio sitting with a perfect view of AT&T Park. Happy hour: Monday–Friday, 3–7 p.m. // 760 2nd St. (South Park), sfmomos.com


You’ve heard of this place, right? I mean, it’s packed 24/7. They have over forty beers on tap, but e sure to hunt down your patio seats first! // 199 Valencia St. (Mission), zeitgeistsf.com


(Courtesy of samovartea.com)

Samovar Tea Lounge

Artfully done architecture, perfuming oolong, and inspired snacking await at this garden oasis. Upper-level terrace seating affords awesome views of Yerba Buena Gardens below. // 730 Howard St. (SoMa),samovartea.com

Source: 7×7.com