In the San Francisco Bay Area, summer usually means really cold in the city and finally pleasant everywhere else. Even if it’s been one of the craziest, weirdest years for weather — therefore making it nigh impossible to predict sunny weather — it’s time to bring out those big patios and moody cafe sidewalk tables. There’s vibey relative newcomer Good Good Culture Club on 18th Street for insane stuffed chicken wings and a more than 60-year-old Philosopher’s Club in West Portal. Plus, there are restaurants with outdoor dining enough for those with a big group. Any of these 12 restaurants sports a patio or an outdoor seating option well worth braving any weather.Read More
12 Prime Places to Eat and Drink Outside in San Francisco This Summer
All the best patios and parklets for outdoor dining
Right along the Embarcadero, lying in plain sight, is one of the city’s most sprawling patios poised with the best views. Terrene is known for hosting big groups, too, and is home to rich hummus flights and ritzy cocktails perfect for ogling at the sun over the Bay Bridge.
Red's Java House
Classic San Francisco is alive and well and eating a cheeseburger served on a roll at Red’s Java House. The waterfront business has operated since the 1930s, under the name Red’s since 1955. There’s nothing fancy about the food — fish and chips are a popular order — and not much fuss about the unheated patio, where old tables have a prime view of the water and the Bay Bridge.
This bakery and coffee pioneer is a Richmond District destination for those all throughout the Bay Area. It’s an entirely outdoor operation, meaning all the seating is in a robust parklet in front of the shop. There will no doubt be plenty of room to enjoy those kaya buns at the business’ new outpost incoming at Pier 70.
Horsefeather’s outdoor area is more atrium than al fresco, but for those who get chilly quickly, that could be a plus. Enjoy golden hour vibes under the glass ceiling amongst the hanging greenery, with a Golden Hour gin cocktail and some shareable bites to eat. The bar and restaurant’s heated parklet also stretches out down Divis if you need more room for your group to sprawl out.
This cool Korean barbecue spot in the Sunset not only has a sweet back patio, complete with powerful heaters, but it’s actually setting out grills on those picnic tables so diners can get the full Korean barbecue experience with fire and smoke — think short ribs, rib eye, and pork belly, and all of the works.
Zazie is an San Francisco classic for brunch; it’s also a winner for its charming patio, which is desirable day and night. Lush vines climb up the walls, giving brunch a garden party vibe. Don’t worry, there are heat lamps for when the fog inevitably rolls in. There’s also a simple but sizable parklet out front for more outdoor dining options — though it is often crowded with diners and dogs.
Good Good Culture Club
Good Good Culture Club’s rooftop patio is the kind of place that screams for a lively pre-game in the rare summer sun. Sure, there’s El Techo on Mission Street and loads of other rooftop bars throughout the Bay. But where else can one dine where guests can rest assured knowing the staff are paid fairly and family meal is a mid-afternoon fiesta?
Guamanian restaurant Prubechu took over the parking lot just alongside its building, moving the Chamorro party outside in the heart of the Mission. It’s a big patio setup, perfect for the occasional pig roast, though you may need to ask for your heater to be turned on.
Fable updated its outdoor patio in 2020 and created a lush, inviting environment with birds of paradise, palms, and climbing bougainvillea plants filling every corner. The brunch remains ever-popular, and the new-ish additions of lunch and “charcuterie & wine time” happy hour creates more excuses to enjoy the manicured outdoors, but with heat lamps.
Piccino is known for many things, including its array of pizzas, adorable yellow facade, and its relatively new extension Bar Piccino. The real ones know Piccino is home to a snug, jacaranda tree-laden patio with tons of seating. Given its East Side location, the typical San Francisco fog is even less likely to strike those outbound diners.
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This Ulloa Street dive has been a San Francisco icon since 1960. Little do some know the business sports a succulent garden out back to take those whiskey sours, watch the game, and dine on another classic: Neighbor Bullshead and its juicy burgers. Plus, West Portal is charming as hell.
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All Good Pizza
Outdoor beer gardens will never not be an easy place to recommend for being outdoors, but pair it with a good pizza, and it becomes golden. All Good Pizza easily has the slices and the heated outdoor space for groups to gather, eat, and drink, in the Bayview.