Food & Drink

Everything You Need to Know About Outdoor Dining in SF

Be safe.

San Francisco’s restaurant world has been in a state of flux, and turmoil, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. As the Bay Area cautiously continues its reopening process, many restaurants and bars are taking steps to welcome back dine-in customers, while keeping both diners and staff as safe as possible. Wondering how and when you might be eating out in San Francisco this summer? Below, a brief explainer on the state of dining. As always, we encourage you to be responsible and still recommend takeout and delivery for maximum safety. And, as any good San Franciscan knows, should you plan on eating al fresco, layer accordingly.

Is outdoor dining open yet in San Francisco?

Yes. Mayor London Breed announced that restaurants in San Francisco were permitted to start outdoor dining service on June 12.

When will dine-in service resume in San Francisco?

TBD. Indoor dining is considered a part of Phase 2C of reopening, which is currently targeting July 13.

What about drinking outdoors on the street?

Restaurants that had pre-existing outdoor seating, and permits allowing alcohol sales for those seats, are serving drinks. Restaurants that have newly created outdoor seating are required to apply for a Covid-19-specific temporary permit to allow drinking outdoors. Check with specific restaurants before you go.
 
Get more details on San Francisco-specific rules for outdoor dining here, and check in on San Francisco’s proposed opening timeline here.
 
While more and more restaurants seem to be springing into the outdoor dining game by the day, opening statuses change quickly, so be sure to plan ahead, check social media, or call before you go out to eat. For now, here are 10 restaurants that are currently opening for outdoor dining, or are planning to open in the coming days and weeks. 

Da Flora

North Beach
Status: Currently open for outdoor dining Tuesday to Saturday
This beloved North Beach Italian restaurant, helmed by husband-and-wife team Jen McMahon and Darren Lacey, has opened its outdoor tables lining Columbus Street for happy hour and dinner service Tuesdays through Saturdays. Happy hour is 4 to 5pm, and dinner, with seasonal dishes like risotto with sweet corn and manicotti stuffed with ricotta and summer squash, is available from 5 to 8pm. Call 415-981-4664 for more information.

All Good Pizza

Bayview
Status: Currently open for outdoor dining Tuesday to Saturday
All Good Pizza’s expansive outdoor beer garden is a well-situated spot for a socially distanced pizza feast. They’re currently open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:30am to 5pm. And, being in The Bayview, you’ve got as good a chance of a sunny day as anywhere.

Zazie

Cole Valley
Status: Currently open daily for outdoor dining
Zazie has long been beloved for their charming back patio; it’s now open for daily brunch and dinner service along with 10 additional sidewalk tables, courtesy of neighboring bar Finnegans Wake. Zazie is not taking reservations, but is using Yelp Waitlist, which you can sign up for via the Yelp app or in person at the restaurant. They’re strongly encouraging patrons to not plan on waiting outside of the restaurant, but rather in your car, in Golden Gate Park, or elsewhere to avoid crowding. 

Violet’s

Richmond
Status: Currently open evenings for outdoor dining 
This cozy neighborhood bar, beloved for their on-point cocktails and bacon cheeseburger, is open for sidewalk dinner and drinks every evening from 4:30 to 9pm. Reserve your spot online or by calling 415-682-4861; they’ll have limited space for walk-ins, too.  

4505 Burgers & BBQ

Western Addition
Status: Currently open daily for outdoor dining
4505’s Divisadero patio, long a go-to for warm days and barbecue cravings, is open daily from 10:30am to 9pm. The counter service model remains, and while diners are required to maintain six feet of distance while waiting to order, you can also order online for pick-up ahead of time. Bonus: They now have pitchers of beer available for dine-in, too.

Prubechu

Mission
Status: Opening for outdoor dining on June 27; hosting a pop-up June 19
Prubechu, a destination for Guamanian food and flavors courtesy of chef Shawn Naputi and GM Shawn Camacho, is officially opening for outdoor patio dining in a plant-bedecked lot adjacent to their Mission Street restaurant on June 27. Until then, satiate your cravings for Chamorro flavors at a “Fiesta Friday” pop-up this June 19 with Guam-style barbecue, empanadas, beer, natural wine, and more.

Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company

Outer Sunset
Status: Currently open for outdoor dinner nightly and weekend brunch
Sunset Reservoir, usually a neighborhood go-to for beers, burgers, and trivia, might be best known for its sister company, Devil’s Teeth Baking Company, purveyor of one of San Francisco’s most justifiably famous breakfast sandwiches. Those are on offer, along with a limited dinner menu of snacks, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and tacos, and can now be enjoyed alongside a cold one or three at one of their first come, first serve outdoor tables on Noriega Street. They’re open every day from 3 to 9pm, plus additional brunch hours on weekends from 10am to 2pm.

Red’s Java House

Embarcadero
Status: Currently open daily for outdoor dining
The patio at Red’s is as essential to summer in San Francisco as Giants baseball, and an unbeatable place for a pre- or post-game beer (and a giant pile of fries, naturally). The Giants might be on hiatus this year, but Red’s patio is open for business. The patio, jutting over the water in the shadow of the Bay Bridge, is open from 7am to 6pm, and is as fine a place as ever for a cold one and a cheeseburger on a sourdough roll. Go on and rock that gameday attire -- it just feels right.

Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store

North Beach
Status: Currently open daily for outdoor dining
Mario’s, a legendary all-day cafe and a go-to for in-the-know North Beach regulars, has been holding court on the corner of Columbus and Union since 1971. Now, you can grab a seat at one of their sidewalk tables for a cappuccino, pitchers of cold beer, and most importantly, their unbeatable, oven-baked focaccia sandwiches, made on green-onion flecked slabs of olive oil-rich glory from Liguria Bakery, located right across Washington Square Park. Mario’s is open from 11am to 7pm, with the last call for food at 6:30pm.

The Vault Garden

Downtown
Status: Opening for outdoor dining June 18, Tuesday to Sunday
Opening a restaurant in the midst of a pandemic is no small feat; opening a restaurant concept specifically designed to fit our pandemic moment is an exercise of true agility. Hi Neighbor Hospitality Group, the team behind Trestle and Corridor, is undertaking just that with The Vault Garden, a 100-seat, fully outdoor restaurant. In addition to a roster of built-in safety protocols, expect an all-day food menu from chef Robin Song, along with wine, beer, and cocktails. Reservations are available, and recommended, though 30 percent of tables will be held for walk-ins. The Vault Garden will be open from Tuesday to Sunday, 11:30am to 7pm.

Sign up here for our daily San Francisco email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun SF has to offer.

Lauren Sloss is a contributor for Thrillist.