For festival goers, it’s not just the food and drink inside Golden Gate Park that makes something as extravagant as Outside Lands worth it. Some attendees are traveling to San Francisco for the series of shows, maybe staying for the weekend, and looking to take in everything that this fine Fogust in the city has to offer.
There are plenty of incredible local restaurants and bars in the Inner Sunset, right around San Francisco’s sprawling Olmstead-designed park. Plus there are after-parties and touristy things to check out all weekend long. Finally, there are restaurants all over San Francisco, like possibly the city’s best pizzeria Outta Sight, which is giving discounts to band-wearing Outside Lands attendees. But the restaurants, bars, and coffee shops within walking distance deserve a lot of love, too. Here are seven places to refuel, decompress, or generally kick it before making the difficult choice between SZA and Phoebe Bridgers.
Where to eat and drink before OSL
Rise and Grind
There are many, many wonderful coffee shops in San Francisco, but, necessarily, that list shrinks as the radius in question contracts. Around the park, Rise and Grind is as good an option as any, and offers an especially wide range of drinks for those interested in a bit of a sugary pick-me-up the morning after Green Day blows your mind for the first time since you were thirteen. Breakfast sandwiches and plenty of coffee options, like the horchata latte, are top-tier choices.
Flywheel Coffee Roasters
Technically on the east side of the park, at the very end of the Haight Ashbury neighborhood, Flywheel has both a full sit-in cafe with an outdoor area and a kiosk dropped next to a bocce court just across the street. Pour-over coffees and flash brew are choice options here, but, significantly for any late-night party people, vegan doughnuts to bring that blood sugar level back up.
Willy and Ronny Ng’s dim sum empire is a well-documented phenomenon, and for good reason. Nestled on Geary Boulevard, about four blocks from Golden Gate Park on the north side, Dragon Beaux is open as of 10 a.m. and makes for an edifying, if not indulgent, and quick breakfast or lunch option. The quality is undeniable; the chicken claw and abalone chicken sticky rice in lotus leaf are two delectable picks. If one is frugal, this is a not too expensive choice for quite a lot of sustenance.
Where to eat and drink after OSL
This Italian restaurant spread from Clement Street (still near Golden Gate Park but a bit of a walk) to Ninth Avenue in the Sunset, literally less than a block from the festivities, and everyone is happy about it. Fiorella marks a momre luxe choice — food and drink aren’t terribly cheap, and getting a seat could be hard on such a jam-packed weekend. That said, the little speakeasy upstairs Bar Nonnina is adorable and offers worth-it rare fare, and the wallpaper alone is worth a peek for music fans.
If the walk isn’t too much a struggle — the furthest walk from the park on this list — then the entire block surrounding Judah Avenue’s Sunset Cantina is a treasure in itself. DamnFine offers big ol’ wood-fired pizzas next door, and Tazaki Sushi is just on the other side. But the Mexican food and outdoor patio at Sunset Cantina are worth paying attention to. This is a destination for any festival-goers looking to kick off their day with a proper meal, or, alternatively, end it a bit early and are willing to make the jaunt.
The Sage and Drifter
Brought to you by three industry vets, this relatively new Sunset bar is for lowkey hangs with an eye toward quality. Seth Murray, Will Konevich, and Kevin Behrens teamed up to take the former Corner Spot on 14th Avenue and Irving Street in a bold new direction: a neighborhood watering hole, but with craft and care on an elevated level. Also, the Sage and Drifter team put together a watermelon, basil, and lemon cocktail served in a pouch for the weekend — do with that information what you will.
If you missed this Outer Sunset’s Outside Lands kickoff party on August 4, don’t fret — there’s another one on Friday, August 5. This recently remodeled and rebranded dive bar is a local fixture and is most certainly for the overstimulated festival goer looking to chill out and have a cheap drink. That said, if Pitt’s new lease on life is everything it’s cracked up to be, the night could still be a wild one.