Food & Drink

Power-ranking the best patios in all of SF

Published On 06/28/2013 Published On 06/28/2013
Beautiful people enjoying outdoor beers
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1. Pier 23 Cafe Pier 23, San Francisco, CA 94111 (Embarcadero)

When it comes to seafood, you want to be fairly close to the sea so that you know it's fresh. At Pier 23, you couldn't be any closer to the water, so much so that they've got a shoulder-height railing enclosing their patio. Add to that the fact that they've got a famously good Bloody Mary, and you just might be docked here for a while.

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2. Arlequin Cafe 384 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Hayes Valley)

This Hayes Valley eat spot boasts a flagstone seating area out back that's shaded by trees (and other green stuff) to ensure your ultimate enjoyment of the "Staff Meal" -- three crispy skin duck confit tacos on corn tortillas in a spicy mole sauce.

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3. The Tipsy Pig 2231 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123 (The Marina)

Brunch and the Marina go together like bacon and eggs (and bottomless mimosas), and The Tipsy Pig has all these things, plus everything else you could ever want in a gastropub. Outdoor patio? Check. 40 local and worldly brews? Check. Cocktails? You get the idea. You’re going to want to get here early on a Sunday morning to stake out a spot outside and stay here all day chowing down on huevos rancheros, old-fashioned doughnuts, and the killer burger.

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4. Zeitgeist 199 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (The Mission)

Zeitgeist is a fascinating combo of a dive and a biergarten that houses an eclectic blend of friendly patrons who are all there for the same reasons: to sample a bodacious variety of beer, enjoy the nice weather on the numerous outdoor picnic tables, or slug an award-winning Bloody Mary (and in many cases, all three).

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5. Jones 620 Jones St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (The Tenderloin)

Jones is a Nob Hill hot spot where you can sip fresh cocktails on the expansive and impressive heated rooftop -- perfect for a sunny brunch with friends or drinks under the stars. It’s the biggest rooftop bar in the city, meaning there’s plenty of room for you and your crew to gather for some live music, which it offers six nights a week.

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6. Biergarten 424 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Hayes Valley)

With quintessential large mugs, sausages and sauerkraut, long picnic tables in the sun (hopefully), and a rotating selection of impressive German beers, Biergarten everything you want in, well, a beer garden. It’s owned by the masterminds behind Suppenküche, so you know you can bank on them having a way with Teutonic suds and snacks. With no roof, it’s not the ideal spot for a rainy day pint, but you’ll be clamoring for a space come summertime.

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7. El Techo de Lolinda 2518 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

El Techo, the more casual version of the downstairs Argentinean steakhouse Lolinda, serves Latin American street food and pitchers of margaritas. You’re gonna want to get the chicharrones de carne, which come in half pound, one pound, or one and a half pound orders (in other words, you'll need to come with friends). These aren’t your basic sidewalk cracklin's -- these are massive fried chunks of roasted pork shoulder that you’ll devour with housemade tortillas, lime, salsa, and escabeche meant to be enjoyed alongside one of the best rooftop views San Francisco has to offer.