Reliably fantastic weather pretty much year-round makes outdoor imbibing a no-brainer in San Diego. Fittingly, many bars and restaurants have equally fantastic outdoor dining spaces... but not all are created equal. To assist your quest for a dose of vitamin D with your IPA, we’ve ranked 10 of San Diego’s best patios.

Sara Norris/Thrillist

10. Station Tavern

South Park
The covered outdoor patio at South Park’s Station Tavern is a great bet for a classic cocktail, local beer, or wine (and a burger) in a casual setting complete with picnic table seating. Fair warning: the on-site playground makes this place popular with neighborhood locals with littles, so if you want to relax solely among adults, it’s best to time your visit for later in the evening.

BALI HAI

9. Bali Hai

Shelter Island
For six decades, locals have been heading to this island paradise for sweet and potent Tiki drinks served with a jaw-dropping view of the Downtown skyline. Indoor seating far outnumbers the tables on the elevated patio, but if you can snag one, you’re in for a treat. The restaurant’s most famous cocktail is a signature Bali Hai Mai Tai, which is so strong, it needs six exclamation points on the menu to drive the message home. If you want something a less intense, try a drink from the "mild to medium potency" list. Either way, you’ll need something substantial to eat, like the cheeseburger with truffle black pepper mayo or some beef skewers.

Queenstown Public House

8. Queenstown Public House

Little Italy
This charming house-turned-restaurant looks like it was designed by Little Red Riding Hood with some lingering PTSD symptoms (example: there are sheep grazing on the ceiling of the dining room, for some reason). Bypass the interior seating and head directly to the semi-covered side patio for sangria or a beer. If you choose to sit out a round, try the sun tea. It’s brewed right on the porch. 

FAIRWEATHER/LYUDMILA ZOTOVA

7. Fairweather

East Village
Just because San Diegans live in Vacation Town, USA doesn’t mean we don’t need a tropical island escape from time to time. With its beachy decor and lineup of "drinks from sunny places," Fairweather comes pretty close. Views of Petco Park and the ability to order food from Rare Form (downstairs) are two notable pluses.

SARA NORRIS/THRILLIST 

6. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens Liberty Station and Escondido

Point Loma and Escondido
Bocce ball courts are a highlight of the massive outdoor space at Stone Brewing Co.’s outpost in Liberty Station, while the one-acre beer garden and serene koi ponds at the Escondido location provides the perfect setting for some deep thoughts over a pint of Stone Smoked Porter. 

SARA NORRIS/THRILLIST

5. Kettner Exchange

Little Italy
The stunning decor at this stylish, multi-level hotspot is enough to make it worthy of a visit. The rooftop is complete with a swinging daybed, bar & table seating, and semi-private cabanas that come equipped with their own wet bar, flat screen TV, and a tap for a private keg. The inspired craft cocktails are best enjoyed with some shared small plates, like big eye tuna tacos or lobster tempura.

TIDAL

4. Tidal

Mission Bay
It’s tough to beat the Mission Bay views (and dramatic sunsets) from Tidal’s cozy back patio. Factor in the happy hour deals ($4 craft drafts and $7 cocktails from 4 to 6pm, Monday-Friday), killer cheese boards, and piece-of-cake parking, and you might want to move in, permanently.

PUESTO

3. Puesto 

Marina District and La Jolla
Refreshing, tropical cocktails are the name of the game at Puesto, where you can lounge among fire pits on the large outdoor patio (at the Marina District location), or snag a seat on the sidewalk patio for some people-watching at the La Jolla location. If you’re stuck on what to order, try the newest addition to the cocktail menu: the RumChata, made with Puesto’s house-made frozen horchata and a splash of small batch white rum from Malahat Spirits Co.

QUARTYARD

2. Quartyard

East Village
This all-in-one urban park in the East Village populated with repurposed shipping containers and long, communal tables has a dog run, free Wi-Fi, and a bar with 26 local brews on tap. Beer-friendly food, like sausage sandwiches from S&M Sausage and Meat, and a host of grub provided by rotating food trucks makes it a great place to make new friends in the neighborhood, whether you’re a human or a dog.

BAGBY BEER COMPANY

1. Bagby Beer Company

Oceanside
There’s plenty of different outdoor seating options at Jeff Bagby’s 8,500sqft brewery, including covered tables and Adirondack chairs on the ground floor level and an upstairs patio with a dedicated bar -- but even the indoor spaces feel breezy, thanks to giant, roll-up windows. Libations range from 40 beers on tap (including a dozen brewed on site), classic cocktails, and a hefty selection of whiskeys. A full menu spanning sandwiches, tacos, pizza, and desserts (fried PB&J, anyone?) will help to soak up all the suds.

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1. Station Tavern 2204 Fern St, San Diego, CA 92104 (South Park)

A South Park staple, Station Tavern helps foster friendships between carnivores and herbivores. The all-meat burgers here are just as good as the solid vegetarian options, including the house veggie burger (a chickpea patty topped with the regular burger accoutrements, with cucumbers and smoked paprika sauce to boot) and the spicy black bean burger (lime-cilantro aioli, anyone?). Combined with the cozy patio (heat lamps for cooler evenings, strings of light criss-crossing overhead, communal picnic tables and a train-themed play area for the little ones), it’s a veritable crowd pleaser for local dining options. Besides, we’re pretty sure anyone can get behind the addictive sweet potato fries and craft beer offerings at this joint.

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2. Bali Hai 2230 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

For six decades, locals have been heading to this island paradise for sweet and potent Tiki drinks served with a jaw-dropping view of the Downtown skyline. Indoor seating far outnumbers the tables on the elevated patio, but if you can snag one, you’re in for a treat. The restaurant’s most famous cocktail is a signature Bali Hai Mai Tai, which is so strong, it needs six exclamation points on the menu to drive the message home. If you want something a less intense, try a drink from the "mild to medium potency" list. Either way, you’ll need something substantial to eat, like the cheeseburger with truffle black pepper mayo or some beef skewers.

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3. Queenstown Public House 1557 Columbia St, San Diego, CA 92101 (Little Italy)

Queenstown Public House, from the New Zealander team behind Bareback Grill, is a totally vintage burger joint that looks like your grandma's house touched down in Little Italy.

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4. Fairweather 795 J St, San Diego, CA 92101 (East Village)

This Gaslamp Quarter spot, located above New American restaurant Rare Form, isn't perched very high above the city for a rooftop bar at one story tall, but it does offer a killer view of PetCo Park. Its cozy dotted blue sofas and fruit displays offer bright bursts of color amidst its white marble benches and mosaic-tile bar backdrop. You can take your pick of over a dozen specialty cocktails like the honey-and-lime flavored King Bee or the sugary Oh Captain My Captain, and if you get peckish, just head downstairs for a grilled cheese or hummus plate.

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5. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - Liberty Station 2816 Historic Decatur Rd #116‎, San Diego, CA 92106 (Point Loma)

At Stone Brewing's Liberty Station location, you can expect great beer and bocce ball courts in a massive outdoor space.

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6. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens 1999 Citracado Pkwy, Escondido, CA 92029 (Escondido)

At Stone Brewing's Escondido location, you can enjoy a one-acre beer garden and serene koi ponds with a cold brew in hand (we suggest the Stone Smoked Porter). The 10th largest craft brewer in the United States, Stone Brew makes bold, flavorful and super hoppy brews. If you're feeling hungry be sure to check out their brewpub menu (pro tip: try the slow-braised duck tinga tacos) which features ingredients sourced from Stone Brew's very own nearby farm, which you can also tour, seasons permitting.

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7. Kettner Exchange 2001 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101 (Little Italy)

This Little Italy spot's named after the highly held William Kettner, a democratic governor of San Diego in the early 1900s, and its theme does him justice. A sleek and welcoming space with a vague nautical theme hosts a slew of modern twists on American classics like roasted chicken, New York strip steak and Maine diver scallops. After dinner, head up to the rooftop bar to peruse the long wine and sprit lists or order a house cocktail like a spiked egg nog or the PD Collins with blood orange, cinnamon and peach bitters.

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8. Tidal 1404 Vacation Rd, San Diego, CA 92109 (Mission Bay)

At this relaxed, waterfront spot, you can sit on the porch, experience an ocean breeze as you sip "Monkey See Monkey Do," and nibble on fine cheese. Does it get any better? As far as eats go, they've got you covered with seafood dishes such as olive oil poached halibut and baja stone crab cake.

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9. Quartyard 1102 Market St, San Diego, CA 92101

This all-in-one urban park in the East Village populated with repurposed shipping containers and long, communal tables has a dog run, free Wi-Fi, and a bar with 26 local brews on tap. Beer-friendly food, like sausage sandwiches from S&M Sausage and Meat, and a host of grub provided by rotating food trucks makes it a great place to make new friends in the neighborhood, whether you’re a human or a dog.

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10. Bagby Beer Co 601 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054 (Oceanside)

An ambitious brewery taphouse can’t simply have one bar, it must have many: Oceanside’s Bagby Beer Co by award-winning brewer Jeff Bagby presents multiple bars and eating spaces in a former Saab dealership sporting a 20-barrel brewing system. A pub with 41 taps and space for eating burgers and pizza lives on the ground floor while upstairs there’s another 40-tap bar and a beer garden overlooking the ocean. Did we mention the 26 taps in the separate tasting room? At some 140 draft options, the beer list can seem a mile long, but do make space for the 15 or so house beers, from imperial red to cream ales.

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