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Fern chandeliers at Nightingale

10 Lush Green Restaurants and Bars Overgrown With Plants

Venture into the jungle of the wildest dining rooms in SF and Oakland

It’s a design trend that’s been growing over the past few years, but it suddenly exploded — these days, bars and restaurants seem to be downright dripping with plants. No longer an accent or an afterthought, plants seem to be everywhere, patterned in the wallpaper, printed on the menus, and living and thriving in dining rooms across the Bay. For all those craving green, here are some of the lushest, greenest, most overgrown dining rooms in San Francisco and Oakland.

Wildseed

Buzzy and newish vegan restaurant Wildseed centers plants on the plate and carries them through the design. In addition to brushes of green paint and turquoise tiles, spiky palms wave from corners, lacy ferns festoon the railings, and even outside in the parklets, thick little succulents root between the seats.

Blue chairs and planters
Plant pots at Wildseed
Bar seating at Wildseed

Macondray

Macondray cocktail bar in Russian Hill serves spicy margaritas and lobster rolls in a gorgeous green space with plants literally climbing the walls. Designer Marissa Jade Marsh specifically installed a shelf running the length of the dining room, so owner-bartender Aaron Paul could rack up 50 to 60 plants, many gifted by friends and family.

Overhead view of Macondray
The plant shelf at Macondray
Plants at Macondray

Nari

From the team behind Michelin-starred Kin Khao, sister restaurant Nari opened within Hotel Kabuki and promptly won the Eater Award for Design of the Year for 2019. Lundberg Design pared down the space to minimalist wood and concrete, installed Thai fabric banquettes and sweeping light fixtures, and brought it to life with lush plants, transforming the two-story space into a Thai greenhouse.

Overhead view of the dining room at Nari
Tables in a side nook at Nari

Propagation

Propagation is a hot new cocktail bar in the Tenderloin, with well-worn leather Chesterfields and wingbacks, and an array of nearly 60 plants, like the overgrown living room of your dreams. Co-owner and designer Lauren Nguyen says she often has to hold back on the plants she recommends to clients who are scared of maintenance, but for her own bar, she went all in.

Plants inside Propagation
Plants at Macondray

Leo’s Oyster Bar

One could argue that Leo’s was an early tastemaker on the plant trend. It opened a good five years ago as a glam garden party with tropical patterned wallpaper, green-and-white tiled floors, and an atrium filled with feathery ferns. And despite a few fits and starts during the pandemic, it is officially back open, so grab a reservation for oysters, caviar, and lobster roll.

Exterior entry of Leo’s Oyster Bar
Seating nook at Leo’s
Atrium with ferns at Leo’s

Nightingale

Bringing a breath of fresh air to downtown happy hour, Nightingale channels inspiration from the fern bars of the 70s. But instead of the traditional Tiffany lamps and sticky sweet drinks, the Future Bars team updated the concept with green walls, hot pink neon, disco balls, and fresh punches. Over-the-top frilly ferns hang from chandeliers and cacti are ensconced in the walls.

Fern chandeliers at Nightingale
Fern chandelier at Nightingale
Cactus sconce at Nightingale

Son & Garden

From the always colorful and creative Farmhouse Kitchen team, Son & Garden is an over-the-top garden tea party in the Tenderloin. A breathtaking 20,000 artificial flowersthe space, which the team says they painted, cut, and installed themselves. It quickly became a social media sensation with dreamy reels on Instagram and TikTok.

Floral dining room at Son & Garden
Floral nook at Son & Garden
Floral wall at Son & Garden
Cloud cocktail at Son & Garden

Peacekeeper

Peacekeeper cocktail bar in the Tendernob digs into Oaxacan flavors, and the agave goes further than the drinks. Designer Brit Hull installed a big skylight that actually retracts to open the roof and drench the space in light, and Kelly Valentine, wife of co-owner Nate Valentine, filled the room with nearly 50 plants, cultivating an urban sanctuary.

Vines at Peacekeeper
Vines at Peacekeeper

Duende

In Uptown Oakland, Duende serves tapas and cocktails in a vibrant space, but with social distancing and capacity restrictions, the team didn’t want to pull out tables and leave dead space. General manager Oona Wong worked with Lauren Borden of Delano Nursery to fill the gaps and bring new life to the space in the form of nearly 20 plants and growing.

Plant entry at Duende
Plants between seats at Duende

Sobre Mesa

Sobre Mesa in Oakland swung open as a lush tropical lounge in 2020, serving rum cocktails and snacks reflecting the Afro-Latino diaspora. Designer Cassandra McCall of Gold and Rust styled out the jungle green space, layering leaves in the pattern of the wallpaper, printed on the menus, and yes, in the form of nearly 30 live plants, from small vines hanging from the ceiling to massive potted palms secluding booths.

The bar at Sobre Mesa
The bar at Sobre Mesa
A booth at Sobre Mesa

Still craving something green?

Propagation

895 Post Street, , CA 94109 Visit Website

Peacekeeper

925 Bush Street, , CA 94109 (415) 504-2502 Visit Website

Nari

1625 Post Street, , CA 94115 (415) 868-6274 Visit Website

Nightingale

239 Kearny St, SF, CA 94108

Leo's Oyster Bar

568 Sacramento Street, , CA 94111 (415) 872-9982 Visit Website

Son & Garden

700 Polk Street, , CA 94109 (415) 913-7404 Visit Website

Macondray

2209 Polk Street, , CA 94109 (415) 829-3464 Visit Website

Sobre Mesa

1618 Franklin Street, , CA 94612 (510) 858-7544 Visit Website

Duende

468 19th Street, , CA 94612 (510) 893-0174 Visit Website

Wildseed

2000 Union Street, , CA 94123 (415) 872-7350 Visit Website
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