Golden Gate Park maintains many a jaw-dropping accolade. It’s the largest park in San Francisco, which many already know, but it’s also home to the Murphy Windmill, the world’s largest windmill by sail length. The arboretum in the park is home to the Helen Crocker Russell Library, northern California’s largest horticultural library, and the park itself is 153 years old. More relevantly, probably, is the fact that the park plays host to the massively popular Outside Lands music festival — named so thanks to the tremendous sand dunes the park was built on in the 1870s — and the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, amongst dozens of other events all year long. Here are just 13 ideal places to hit before or after any park adventure, be it a boat ride on Stow Lake or a stroll through the California Academy of Science to visit Claude the albino alligator.Read More
13 Excellent Restaurants Around Golden Gate Park
When you need a pre-tennis snack or a post-Botanical Gardens meal
Empero Taste hosts big groups of 10 or more at its classic circular tables, lazy susan and all. Diners can head here if they need a large table, one preferably laden with crispy and sweet duck, honey walnut prawns, and ginger and scallion crab.
This wine bar and hoagie haven is a truly essential San Francisco restaurant. It’s the kind of place to catch a hip vibe before or after a venture into Golden Gate Park, draining a glass of natural wine while enkoying a Philly-style sandwich full of California ingredients.
Wood-fired pizza and a full ba are the main attractions at this Judah Street pizza parlor. In 2021 owner Laura Seymour installed a 5,500-pound, wood-burning oven in the expansive location next door to Sunset Cantina. Coffee was enough of a love for the pesto pie-loving entrepreneur that she and Colin O’Malley took over the former Trouble Coffee space to house companion shop DamnFine Coffee.
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Yuanbao Jiaozi 元寶餃子
This dumpling shop in the Outer Sunset is probably your cool Bay Area friend’s favorite place for xiao long bao in the foggy Avenues. Fish and mushroom dumplings are not to be missed, nor the beef noodle soup, nor the celery and pork — you get the idea.
Han Il Kwan
This no-frills Korean barbecue destination is ideal for a jaunt from the park for a small group looking to tie one off before headed home for the day. Beyond barbecue, though, this ultra-popular, decades-old restaurant offers fine soups, noodles, and hot pot, too.
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Open Book Project
This new cafe and wine bar comes from a former Queens employee after the Korean superette closed in May 2023. Run by Vietnamese American business and life partners Meegan Nguyen and Linh Dan Le, the pourovers and pastries are decadent and affordable; the shop even features a pay-what-you-can model on Tuesdays.
This Clement Street original expanded to the Inner Sunset in 2021, eventually unveiling rooftop hidden bar Bar Nonnina and its old school ice shaver. Both floors of this pizza powerhouse are well worth a visit, and the Italian dishes, including cacio e pepe and gluten-free almond Meyer lemon ricotta cake, are unmatched.
Cinderella Bakery & Cafe
This bakery is a Richmond District classic for Russian pastries and lunch-y food. It’s the only bakery in the area that sells a full suite of kvas, pelmeni, borscht, and blinchiki. Mind the enormous lines that inevitably form outside each day.
This vegetarian restaurant made its bones in a former coffee shop on the corner of 5th Avenue and Irving Street. It’s from chef and owner Mohamed Aboghanem, who used to run Saha in Berkeley, and centers creamy hummus, tofu mujadera, and a host of rotating North African, Middle Eastern, and Meditteranean fare.
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Got a game night to head to? Need a juice-dripping, cost-saving burger that’s as San Francisco as it gets? Uncle Boy’s is the Golden Gate Park-adjacent answer for any get-togethers. The O.G. Burger is just $9.50, full of wagyu beef and all the classic fixings.
Velo Rouge Cafe
To-go sandwiches, classic breakfast scrambles, and French roast coffee keep the wheels spinning at this bike-loving cafe. A smart shopper grabs a burrito or a tuna melt to tote through Golden Gate Park’s concourse.
The Kezar Pub
Sports fans are well acquainted with Kezar Pub, but for the park-goers this bar is a familiar sight as it is just across the street from the mouth of the park on Stanyan Street. Come here for a basket of fries and a pint after traipsing through the great outdoors.
With hookah fuming out of whole watermelons plus banana splits and falafel plates, Laguna Cafe brings another level of fun to San Francisco’s late-night scene. The business is open until 2 a.m. less than a block from the park and serves tea, coffee, and a veritable basket of fruits to smoke out of including coconut, watermelon, and the seasonal pumpkin.