by Allie Pape - 10 Reviews - 45 List
On San Francisco's rare beautiful days, seemingly the entire city runs out to stake a spot at an outdoor bar. Whether you're soaking up the sun or enjoying the cool of the evening, our list covers the classic spots, as well as hidden alternatives that'll help you beat the crowds.
Updated: May 20, 2011
Synonymous with "outdoor drinking" in many San Franciscans' minds, this Mission outpost luckily has a massive beer garden to hold nearly all comers. Be prepared for snooty service, port-a-potties, and copious pot smoke, none of which will matter after you dive into your $14 pitcher of Racer 5. Oh, and don't miss their fantastic burgers-- both the meat and veggie offerings are mindblowing.
Known to locals as the famed "slice of the Marina in the Mission," Medjool attracts plenty of scenesters willing to shell out for $12 gin and tonics on its famed sky terrace. If you can get there early on a weekday, though, you'll have the truly magnificent view of the city all to yourself, which should ease the pain once the bill arrives.
Hidden in a dusty corner of the Design District, this little gem has a spacious back patio, complete with heat lamps for when things get chilly. While drinks are nothing special, the music is usually bumping and the pizzas are above-average for bar fare.
This punk club does double duty as a chilled-out drinking spot on early weekday evenings. Sip on $1 Olympias, order a burger from the in-house kitchen and enjoy the walled-garden vibe. On weekends, punk bands play all day, leading to gleeful mayhem out back.
Way out in the Excelsior, this whiskey-oriented bar has earned praise for its above-average pub grub. Thanks to its isolated location, however, few will make it all the way out to enjoy the spacious back patio, ensuring prime real estate on even the sunniest Saturday afternoon.
The crowd can get overwhelming at this Marina hotspot's gorgeous back patio, so be prepared for a wait if you're going on a prime weekend night. Even if you get stuck indoors, though, the acclaimed gastropub fare is still worth a trip.
With no heat lamps, this SOMA restaurant's undeniably gorgeous courtyard almost never sees use--a real shame. Take advantage of the rare gorgeous day by enjoying a perfectly crafted sunset cocktail amidst the garden beds that grow many of the restaurant's herbs and spices.
Tucked away on a gritty stretch of Mission, this sibling-owned beer bar features tasty drafts and noteworthy sliders. The back patio isn't huge, but its under-the-radar status usually means there's room. Bonus: the low-key crowd is far friendlier here than at nearby Zeitgeist's.