There are so many reasons to eat outside in San Francisco. One might be to challenge the pure moxie of Karl the Fog in the cold weather. Another might be to leap at the chance to enjoy the rare warm weather. But for many, a special occasion like a birthday or holiday simply means getting a group of six or more together for a celebratory feast. Plus, with long COVID on many people’s minds, it can feel like a wise choice to get that big table al fresco. So whether you’re looking to reserve a private outdoor area or just take a meal under the warm glow of a heat lamp, here are 12 restaurants in San Francisco ideal for outdoor dining with a big group.Read More
12 Restaurants Perfect for Outdoor Dining in a Group
Places to dine outdoors with friends
The Devil's Acre
Sporting an enormous parklet on Columbus Avenue, Devil’s Acre is one of the biggest social distance-designed outdoor options in North Beach, though Red Window, Tosca, and others have parklets of their own. Come for the late-night hangs and top-tier drinks, though be warned the bar does not serve food.
Colibri Mexican Bistro
Tucked in San Francisco’s former naval base-turned national park, Colibri offers handmade tortillas, decadent pato en mole, and panuchos aplenty. Chef Edgar Castro and team are happy to seat a big group looking for a luscious lunch after touring the Disney museum or the new Tunnel Tops Park.
Known for its vegan soft serve and bodacious burgers, Gott’s Roadside offers a stellar option for casual outdoor dining at its Ferry Building outpost. Keep in mind this spot is in high demand — getting a big table could be competitive — but it's ideal for a mid-week team lunch kind of thing. Beyond the burgers and ice cream, Gott’s offers salads, sandwiches, and loads of meatless protiens and vegetarian options.
Across the street from the ritzier and pricier Spruce lies a sunken patio that’s ideal for big, adorable gatherings. The restaurant hosts private events for up to 50 people with lots of twinkly lights above the classy vibes below. The game hen, cooked beneath a brick, is a worthwhile entree, flanked by brussels and kale sprouts.
Amongst the best rooftop hangouts in the city, Kaiyo lives above the Hyatt Place Hotel in SoMa. Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei food is the move here, as are the craft cocktails. Reserve in advance for larger groups. Fans come for primo sushi, sashimi, and sake.
On the north side of Golden Gate Park there’s a neighborhood staple for watching the Niners and eating wings. Now with a Sunset sister location on Irving Street, Foghorn Taproom has a big parklet on a block with loads of other outdoor dining options. Vegan wings are on hand, and local breweries are always on tap.
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Spark Social SF
This food truck park is an east side favorite for everything from specialty coffee to soccer games to s’mores around the fire pit. Various parts of the park are open to reservations of different sizes, and it’s entirely outside. Stagecoach Greens, a mini golf wonderland, is just across the street, too.
The newest addition to the 9th Avenue corridor, Richmond District-born Italian restaurant Fiorella serves big pies and big groups outdoors. The rooftop seating is an elite dining experience, especially if you dip in for a trip to hidden Bar Nonnina. Pizza and fresh pasta make up the bulk of the menu, paired with a list of wine, beer, and Italian amari.
Pioneering innovative outdoor dining during the pandemic, this Chamorro cuisine destination in the Mission District is well worth visiting with a big group. Prubechu geared their outdoor seating for social distancing specifically, taking over part of the nearby alley, and can take nine or more guests on a reservation. Vegan coconut flatbread, sweet and sour pork belly, and fried branzino are all available at this restaurant.
For a Castro classic, and an old Oprah Winfrey favorite, head to 18th Street Italian restaurant Poesia. The back patio has a DIY Italian vibe, and the downstairs was recently retrofitted into an expanded cafe and seating area. Big groups can enjoy the big portions including ravioli di zucca ($23) and filet mignon ($38) in a classy yet down-to-earth atmopshere.
Trattoria da Vittorio
West Portal doesn’t have too much in the way of robust outdoor dining options. That makes Trattoria da Vittorio all the more special, a go-to for fans of family-style Southern Italian cuisine. The restaurant was given the stamp of approval by the local tastemakers at KQED’s Check, Please! and is host to loads of outdoor seating.
Ocean Ale House
On Ocean Avenue’s Ocean Ale House, a trio of friends serves powerful cocktails and tri-tip sandwiches to the adoration of loyal fans. There are plenty of beers on tap, Northern California wines, and, importantly, loads of outdoor options for groups looking to get the party started.
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