It finally feels like summer in SF. Here are the best spots to eat (and drink) outdoors.
The best news we've heard in a while? Fourty-four seats have just opened up on the Slanted Door's patio, overlooking the waterfront. An order of summer rolls, cold beef carpaccio with peanuts and lime and cellophane noodles with fresh crab, make perfect warm-weather fare. Cocktail aficionados will appreciate the ice program here too; just ask.
Although the booze might be the draw for the happy hour afterwork Fi-Di crowd that packs the big patio on a warm evening, there's actually a nice patio menu to accompany it, including a "margarita" pizza (literally) with nopales, pickles jalapenos and lime as well as a grilled chicken panini with tomato conserva.
Trust us, you're not the only person who will have the brilliant idea to spend the evening drinking beer on Tipsy Pig's back patio. But go early and you can colonize a corner of the large back deck before the rest of the city does and make an evening meal of pork sliders and ice cold beer. 2231 Chestnut St., 415-292-2300
Taylor's Automatic Refresher
The lines might look daunting, but this burger and bottle joint at the Ferry Building is the model of fast-food efficiency, so you won't wait for long. Sit out on the huge patio overlooking the Embarcadero and tuck into a signature ahi burger and a milkshake, or better yet, a glass of crisp white wine.
A glass of Italian white, a bruschette or platter of charcuterie and a sunny Mission evening—if you're got a care in the world, this trifecta should cure you. While the sun is shining, opt for a table in the back yard. 2931 16th St., 415-701-8466
Don't go telling all your friends, but Spork's lovely back deck—where they spin 45s and you can chow down on fresh salads and the signature in-side-out burger—is where Missionites can go once they've tired of the scene at Zeitgeist. 1058 Valencia St., 415-643-5000
We officially nominate Ducca as home base for summer happy hour. The big slate patio has ample seating, heat lamps aplenty and, best of all, you can accompany your cocktail with various snacks—from addictive arancini to fried, gorgonzola-stuffed olives. 50 Third Street, 415-977-0271
You’d never know from looking at it that the narrow hallway at the back of Metro Kathmandu leads to one of the finest patios in town, generously planted and shaded by mature trees. Note, however, that the patio is only open for weekend brunch, when the menu walks the line between American classic (eggs and toast) to Nepalese traditional (momos and curry). 311 Divisadero St., 415-552-0903
B Star Bar
Who among us hasn’t hoped to eat at Burma Superstar, only to be dissuaded by the line snaking down the street? Ever since sister restaurant B Star Bar opened, though, there’s been another option, and this one has a sunny back deck, perfect for a leisurely lunch under the flowering vines. At night, heat lamps combat the chill. Bonus: The pan-Asian menu (with a Burmese flair) features some favorites from Burma Superstar. 127 Clement St. 415-933-9900
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana
La Mar has been waiting for this kind of weather since the day it first opened. This Peruvian restaurant smack-dab on the water is an al fresco diners paradise: sunshine, a view of the Bay and killer Pisco sours and ceviche. Pier 1.5, The Embarcadero, 415-397-8880
Though Universal Café has been around for 15 years, coming upon it on its residential stretch of 19th Street still feels like a happy discovery. A tight knot of four tables flank the entrance—it’s not much, but it’s a great spot to while away a warm night or Saturday morning while working your way through Leslie Carr-Avalos’ farm-fresh California menu. 2814 19th St., 415-821-4608
This perennial favorite tops every list of best outdoor dining destinations, and for good reason. The mid-block courtyard, filled with umbrella-bedecked tables, has a charming, European feel, and is open at both lunch and dinner. The great wine list and rustic Italian food are added incentives to pay a visit. 3665 Sacramento St. 415-921-3200