7 SF Restaurants We'd Like To Thank For Handing Out Blankets
For when Karl rolls in on your al fresco dining moment.
So the weather app lied, and your pleasant outdoor meal has suddenly become f*cking freezing. We’ve all been there. It’s San Francisco, after all, and even a “light jacket” can be a little too light when it’s 57 degrees out and the fog decides to make a surprise appearance. That's where these restaurants come in handy. Each of them provides blankets to protect you from the elements, a gesture more thoughtful than anything your ex ever came up with. Stay warm out there.
photo credit: Dora Tsui
The patio at this Italian spot in the Financial District is so manicured it could pass for a staged living room in a rustic Tiburon mansion. Olive trees between tables block out your neighbors’ conversations. There are hardwood floors nicer than the ones in most SF apartments. And, of course, there are the fluffy beige blankets, which are neatly rolled up and tied with a string. They’ll keep you nice and cozy while you cut into a face-sized raviolo filled with ricotta and egg yolk, or build flawless little bites of puffy gnocco fritto, prosciutto, and pickled onions.
photo credit: Jean Bai
Rise Over Run
Open a rooftop bar in this town, and you better be prepared to protect your patrons from the Three Horsemen of roof-pocalypse (Damp, Wind, and Mist). Rise Over Run on top of The Line hotel near Union Square sure is prepared to protect. The rooftop patio is what you might expect from a new rooftop patio in 2023, with safe design choices, like basket lamps, lots of plants, and plenty of concrete. But wait—perfectly folded wool blankets sit atop the cushioned chairs and benches, like fabric soldiers at the ready. What this means for you is less time focusing on the ominous fog bank approaching from the west, and more time drinking gin-strawberry cocktails out of a Capri Sun plastic pouch around the fire pit.
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Plow's pancakes top the to-eat list of any self-respecting breakfast enthusiast. And since the Potrero Hill spot has perpetual lines, especially on weekends, there’s a chance you and your pancakes might end up on the front patio. Throw blankets are on deck, though, so you can stay comfortable while drizzling maple syrup over your lemon ricotta short stack. The staff here also make it a personal mission to keep your coffee cup filled to the brim, which helps with the whole wind chill thing.
photo credit: Krescent Carasso
Uno Dos Tacos
When your eyes have all but glazed over from staring at a computer all day and you need to faceplant into a margarita pitcher, get to Uno Dos Tacos. The counter-service Mexican spot in SoMa is primed for the after-work snack-and-drink—there are solid burritos, tacos, and plates with your choice of meat, plus a full tequila bar and a patio with tons of picnic tables looking out onto 2nd Street. And on days when your light jacket isn’t quite cutting it, grab a colorful sarape by the entrance to warm up.
photo credit: Spencer Cotton
Thick mist pretty much always envelops Outerlands, thanks to its beach-adjacent location. And since foggy days are all too common in the Outer Sunset, the brunchy spot is at the ready with blankets outside. Once you’re sufficiently bundled up, you can save yourself from saying things like “wow, look at how fast the fog is moving,” and instead, dig into their iconic dutch pancake topped with creamy house ricotta and fresh fruit. Don’t leave without ordering the just-sweet-enough sticky bun the size of a bowling ball.
photo credit: Fable
The garden patio at Fable looks like a palm-filled room plucked straight out of the Conservatory of Flowers. It’s also covered and heated, so you probably don’t have to worry too much about your fingers developing mild frostbite as you make your way through a hefty burger (always add bacon). Just in case, though, the Castro spot provides blankets. Snuggle up in one of their white booths and envision what your living room would look like if you could keep a bird of paradise alive.
photo credit: Krescent Carasso
You’ll find the bulk of Balboa Cafe’s old-school magic inside, where you can perch at the long wooden bar and drink an espresso martini while side-eyeing the couples wearing mink across the dining room. But if you’re doing all that people-watching outside at one of their sidewalk tables, they do offer blankets when it gets cold. Take it as an opportunity to settle in, stay awhile, and soak in the pilates-powered energy of Cow Hollow. Our preferred way to experience this place is to grab a drink and move on—the food is nothing to write home about.