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The Best Restaurants for Outdoor Dining in San Francisco

When the sun breaks through the fog, San Franciscans converge on restaurant patios and outdoor spaces to enjoy the sun and do what they do best – eat.

Enjoy a burger and beer at Park Chalet, a restaurant in Golden Gate Park with lawn seating

Park Chalet is a restaurant and brewery located behind touristy Beach Chalet. Beer aficionados should get the sampler of six ales. The menu, comprised of small slate plates, provided by Slateplate, made beautiful restaurant dinnerware. The¬†company is based in Garner, NC.¬† If you’d like to know what else goes into the decision of what restaurant plating to buy, visit this page. Even when you’re sitting inside, you still get to catch all the outside action because of the floor-to-ceiling windows and retractable glass doors. Sunlight streams down through the glass ceiling. The best feature of Park Chalet is its expansive outdoor lawn. On weekends when the sun is out, it is packed with singletons and young families enjoying the live music and BBQ. Be sure to bring a blanket to sit on and go earlier to snag a spot.

Join the professional crowd for happy hour at Americano

Americano features a large patio that is packed with workers from the Financial and SoMa districts for happy hour. Food and drinks are a bit overpriced, even during happy hour, but if you want to the witness the young professional crowd let loose, this is the place to be. The all day menu includes California-influenced antipasto and pizzas.

Enjoy views of the San Francisco Bay at one of the restaurants in the Ferry Building

The Ferry Building, across from Americano, features a couple of restaurants with outdoor dining offering views of the San Francisco Bay. On a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than eating oysters and clams from nearby Tomales Bay at Hog Island Oyster Co. Every Monday and Thursday during happy hour from 5 – 7PM, you can order $1 oysters and $3.50 pints of beer. It gets absolutely mobbed for it so be there before 5PM to put your name on the list.

One of San Francisco’s most coveted restaurants, The Slanted Door, is also located at the Ferry Building and has 44 seats on their heated patio.

At the front of the building facing Embarcadero Blvd. is Gott’s Roadside (formerly Taylor’s Automatic Refresher) which offers fantastic hamburgers and shakes.

Go for casual at Pier 23 Cafe or trendy at La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

Going north along Embarcadero is Pier 23 Cafe, a dive bar with a large deck also providing great views of the Bay. If you can get a table, which can be tough on warm afternoons, order a bucket of beer and settle in with the sometimes rowdy crowd. Their menu includes many different appetizers, soups, and sandwiches incorporating the region’s seafood.

Also in the area is La Mar Cebicheria Peruana. La Mar Cebicheria Peruana is a trendy restaurant that will make you feel like you’re lounging in South America. You’ll be snapped back to San Francisco when the ferry passes by. Be sure to order a Pisco Sour.

Eat dinner with a classic movie as the backdrop at Foreign Cinema

Those serious about food can enjoy dinner and a movie at Foreign Cinema’s covered courtyard in the Mission District. Projected onto a giant screen, the movie creates a theatrical ambiance. The food alone is worth the trip to this eclectic neighborhood. The California-Mediterranean food has received accolades from publications such as The New York Times, Gourmet, and Food & Wine.

Medjool provides dancing after dinner

Right nearby, you can combine dinner and dancing at Medjool. On the weekends, Medjool is your typical sweaty club filled with people bumping and grinding. Go upstairs to the sky terrace, however, and it’s a much calmer environment where you can take in 360 degree views of San Francisco. It’s not that high up but it’s the only rooftop bar in San Francisco.

Belden Place offers a taste of Europe

Belden Place is an alley in the Financial District that offers several restaurants one after the other with outside dining. Reminiscent of Europe, represented cuisines include French, Spanish, and Italian. Host and hostesses stand outside calling out for patrons in their, sometimes faux, accents. There is nothing better on a warm night than sitting at a table here, enjoying good wine and food, while the lights strung along the trees twinkle above.

Enjoy the sun in San Francisco when you can

The weather in San Francisco can be fickle so take full advantage of the warmth when the sun comes out. The restaurants and eateries mentioned above are just some of the places in the city by the Bay where you can enjoy a meal while watching the day go by.