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.
Update June 19, 2020: Many San Francisco restaurants are still closed due to the pandemic. For a full list of SF spots currently open for outdoor dining, check out our reopenings guide.
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.
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.
A not-terrible place with outdoor space near Union Square! Dirty Habit has strong cocktails, tasty shareable plates (get the fries), and best of all, an enormous patio situation. Ideal for post-work situations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.