October 2023 kicked off with a heat wave that was properly sweat-inducing in San Francisco, a rarity even considering the summery vibes that usually define autumn in the Bay Area. There are a bunch of terrific places for dining in a big group outdoors, and on the other end of the spectrum, there are plenty of restaurants for solo diners eating alfresco, too. But this map is the quintessential resource for the typical night out in San Francisco when that cozy energy strikes and the weather starts to turn toward winter.Read More
13 Cozy Places to Eat and Drink Outside in San Francisco This Fall
All the best patios and parklets for outdoor dining
Fort Mason’s go-to for cold beers and bountiful German fare is also ideal for wind-protected, heated outdoor dining. There’s a ton of well-lit seating inside, sure, but who doesn’t want to smell a bit of the sea air as they chomp into a well-grilled braut?
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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 and is home to rich hummus flights and ritzy cocktails perfect for ogling at the sunset over the Bay Bridge. Outdoor heat lamps scatter the area, too.
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. 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 a 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, ideal for enjoying that Florentine eggs benny or pancake flight.
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 while enjoying a meticulously-stuffed chicken wing? And, yes, there are heaters up there.
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. Enjoy this restaurant’s robust alfresco dining while working through a pickle bag or a bowl of chicken kelaguen.
Whether it be for a stiff margarita before hitting DamnFine Pizza Co. next door or sidling in to catch a Warriors game over a plate of tacos, Sunset Cantina on Judah Street is a neighborhood favorite for good reason. The outdoor patio in the restaurant’s rear is heated, well-lit, and vibey as can be.
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 — ordering the baguette French toast is a must — and the new-ish additions of lunch and “charcuterie & wine time” happy hour create 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. But real ones know Piccino is home to a snug, jacaranda tree-laden patio with tons of heated seating perfect for tucking into an order of corn raviolini. Given its East Side location, the typical San Francisco fog is even less likely to strike those outbound diners.
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Bernal Heights’ Blue Plate has kept the community fed for more than 25 years, and the restaurant’s outdoor dining is not to be slept on. There’s a bit of outdoor seating out front, but the heated back patio is ideal for any windy or cloudy weather that may roll in this fall. Those classic smoked trout deviled eggs taste all the better when one isn’t shivering at a picnic table out back.
This Ulloa Street dive has been a San Francisco icon since 1960. Little do some know, the business sports a semi-heated, wind-protected succulent garden out back to take those whiskey sours, watch the game, and dine on another classic: juicy burgers from next-door neighbor Bullshead.
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From the same ownership behind Tato’s and All Good Pizza comes from this here-today-gone-tomorrow India Basin cafe. There’s a tremendous roll-up door that provides a ton of fresh air and seating that straddles indoor and outdoor dining. For water-adjacent coffee and open-faced egg sandwiches, there are few better places on the city’s east side.