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The 19 Best Places To Drink Outside In San Francisco

PHOTO: Krescent Carasso

It’s sunny, the wind is barely detectable, and Karl has yet to rear his foggy head. This calls for a drink outdoors. And maybe it will stay nice out long enough to grab some food too. While the picnicking at Dolores or Off the Grid move is a good one, everyone else in town knows it. Plus, sometimes it’s nice not to be brown-bagging your booze and eating out of cardboard boxes.

Hit one of these spots for a strong outdoor eating and drinking set-up and generally having a delightful time. PSA: Always bring a jacket.

THE SPOTS

1

Biergarten

Hayes Valley
424 Octavia St
MAP

If you’re looking for an afternoon of chill drinking in the sunshine, there is no better place than Biergarten. Sure, it’s surrounded by a chainlink fence, but it also has delicious pretzels and an extensive German beer list. The fence is just there to protect you from the people waiting to get in.

Photo: Krescent Carasso
2

Ragazza

311 Divisadero St
MAP

One of the stronger back patio situations around can be found at Ragazza. Throw in really good small plates, fancy thin crust pizzas and all the wine, and you have yourself a night. If you want to go little plates, the meatballs and burrata are our favorites.

Photo: Krescent Carasso
3

Dirty Habit

12 4th St Fl 5
MAP

A not-terrible place with outdoor space near Union Square! Dirty Habit has strong cocktails, tasty sharable plates (get the fries), and best of all, an enormous patio situation. Ideal for post-work situations.

4

Arguello

Presidio
50 Moraga Ave.
7.3
MAP

Hello, margaritas. We can’t resist the Presidio, plus outdoor tables, firepits, and strong cocktails. Arguello has all those things, plus delicious Mexican food. Service here can edge on infuriating - consider yourself warned that things may take forever and you definitely won’t have a fork.

5
MAP

Rooftop bars are few and far between, and generally way too windy or cold to enjoy. El Techo is one of the rare gems that stays warm and sunny and kick-ass almost all the time. Get some margaritas and guacamole and go from there.

6

Arlequin

Hayes Valley
384 Hayes St.
7.7
MAP

Want to be in the shade while you drink rose? This is your place. Arlequin is an adorable cafe and bakery attached to a wine shop with a massive outdoor back garden. Get a bottle of wine, a sandwich, a salad, or a pretzel croissant and live the dream. They also have an awesome bottled beer selection.

7

4505 Burgers & BBQ

Nopa
705 Divisadero St.
8.3
MAP

Patience is a virtue. Allegedly. If you have such virtues, get in line for 4505. The wait is long, but the payoff is worth it. The ribs and the cheeseburger are fantastic, and the beer tastes better after you wait for it.

8

Foreign Cinema

Mission
2534 Mission St.
8.2
MAP

Come for the food, stay for the cocktails. And the outdoor movie. And the all-around picture perfect California scene going on. Try to get a reservation and request an outdoor table and you should be good to go.

Photo: Krescent Carasso
9

Horsefeather

528 Divisadero St
MAP

Horsefeather is one of our favorite new bars. One, because we respect naming your bar a nonsensical thing (the f*ck is a horsefeather?) and two, because the cocktails are great. The outdoor area in front is wonderful and the small plates are spot on as well.

Photo: Krescent Carasso
10

Souvla

531 Divisadero St
MAP

Finally the second Souvla has risen and it is everything we dreamed it would be. The menu is the same as the Hayes Valley location, but the Nopa version has a back garden area with a long communal table that is heaven. Greek wine + beer + a gyro (lamb, duh) = magic.

Photo: Kassie Borreson
11

Sessions at the Presidio

Marina , Presidio
Building D, Letterman Dr.
7.8
MAP

You can’t beat the location or the beer list at Sessions. The sizable outdoor patio right inside the Presidio, off Chestnut Street pretty much calls to us all day long on a sunny Saturday. The burger and avocado toast are tasty, and the bloody marys are worth your time too. Heads up - service is slow, so get your orders in when you can.

12

Balboa Cafe

Cow Hollow
3199 Fillmore St
6.7
MAP

Cougars, off-sale liquors, strollers - Balboa Cafe is the Wild West and we are all in for day drinking. Get an outdoor table, get all the bloody marys, throw caution to the wind. The deviled eggs and sandwiches will do you right.

Photo: Krescent Carasso
13

Palm House

2032 Union St
MAP

Tropical vibes and alcoholic slushies? Where do we sign our lives over to these people? Palm House has an excellent happy hour and pretty good small plates and tacos to share over pina coladas. If you’re looking to be more serious in your drinking, the Old Cuban is the jam,

Photo: Remy Galvan-Hale
14

Uno Dos Tacos

Soma
595 Market St
6.8
MAP

Hate your job so much you need to drink at lunch? Or love your team and want to drink beers with them after work? Perfect. Uno Dos Tacos is here for either situation, and any other in between where you want to grab some beers or cocktails while hiding from the terrors of Market Street. The food is decent, and tastes much better after three Coronas.

Photo: Krescent Carasso
15

Belga

Cow Hollow
2000 Union St.
6.1
MAP

The people-parade of Union Street is exactly what you need while you down multiple Belgian beers. Tons of outdoor tables and hearty food to soak up the booze. Consider your Saturday afternoon or happy hour needs covered.

16
7.8
MAP

Plouf! Your French fairy godmother has magically appeared and summoned you to an alleyway to eat mussels and drink wine outdoors. Nope, not a fever dream. It’s real.

Photo: Krescent Carasso
17

Zeitgeist

Mission
199 Valencia St
MAP

The service is surly and the sanitation score might be close to what we scored on the Calc AP exam we stopped taking after the second question. But who cares? Zeitgeist is an institution and one of the best outdoor drinking spots in the city. Post up in the back yard area and stay awhile.

18

Marengo

1980 Union St
MAP

Sports on the TV and outdoor space at the same place are hard to come by. Marengo has killer sliders, good cocktails, and a big back patio with a retractable roof that is heavenly.

19

Hog & Rocks

Mission
3431 19th St.
7.5
MAP

Excellent oysters, a good beer list, and a bunch of outdoor tables make Hog & Rocks one of the best day drinking spots in the city. They have a great happy hour as well. The only problem is that everyone seems to know this. Hitting it on the weekends for brunch is usually your best bet to beat the crowds. Yes, they have mimosas.

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