Modern Guide to the Marina: A Life of Leisure With Stunning SF Bay Views
Homes overlooking Marina Green. (Photo by Carson Masterson on Unsplash)

Modern Guide to the Marina: A Life of Leisure With Stunning SF Bay Views


The Marina has historically gotten a lot of flack for its athleisure-clad mommies who juice-lunch between Pilates and shopping and for its puffer-vest-wearing bros who share investment tips over beers.

But let's be real: We all like it for its (sometimes-sun-soaked) Marina Green—the expansive lawn with a waterfront view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz is hands down the city's best spot for running, biking, and playing with the pups. Plus there's something to be said for a 'hood where day drinking is encouraged and brunch is basically a sport.

Much has changed here in the post-Covid era. Yes, some spots have shuttered, but there's more than one new opening for each of them with several fresh places to grab a snack, retail stores with cult followings, and a brand new cocktail bar that's vying for Instagram stardom.

Here's what's happening on and around Chestnut Street in San Francisco's Marina District.

The Best Restaurants + Bars in SF's Marina District

Shoot before shots: The drinks at new bar Rendezvous are IG-ready.

(Albert Law, courtesy of Hoodline)

A16 (2355 Chestnut St.) is a neighborhood mainstay, dishing regional Italian fare like blistered Neapolitan pies, ricotta gnocchi, and porchetta. Fun fact: A16 is named after the highway that connects Naples and Canosa, Puglia in Italy. // For the quintessential Marina experience, line up at Delarosa(2175 Chestnut St.) to share a table full of antipasti and pizza carbonara plus brunch dishes on weekends. // Causwells(2346 Chestnut St.) is beloved for its burger, but we bet you knew that already. // Wilder(3154 Fillmore St.) specializes in comfort fare inspired by international cuisines and the great outdoors. At brunch, chow down on shakshuka and smoked brisket hash; dinner brings skillet mussels, grilled pork chops, and daily specials. The bar is a perfect spot for grabbing a drink with a friend. // Norcina(3251 Pierce St.) plates Italian favorites like sourdough crust pizzas, housemade pastas, and a ton of bites intended for sharing—chicken liver toast, burrata, and meatballs. // Enjoy Peruvian flavors in a modern, upbeat setting at Jaranita(3340 Steiner St.), which gets us every time with all day happy hour on Mondays and a free bottle of bubbles when you wear your pajamas to brunch.// Blue Barn(3344 Steiner St.) has an amazing salad menu, offering combinations of locally sourced ingredients that you could never come up with on your own. // Serving Greek sandwiches and salads starring spit-fired meats and vegan "lamb" in a comfy-casual space, Souvla (2272 Chestnut St.) is ideal for lunch on the go or a friendly catch-up with a glass of rosé. Order it "Greek-style" to get it stuffed with fries, and do not miss the fro-yo with an olive oil drizzle. // Build your own sandwich or order the #1 Italian combo at Lucca Delicatessen(2120 Chestnut St.), a charming neighborhood staple since 1929. Take home prepared salads, cheeses, and bottles of wine. // Fuel up for a night out in the Marina with a quality, budget-friendly burger at Super Duper (2201 Chestnut St.). // Mel's Drive In(2165 Lombard St.) serves a taste of Americana: the legendary diner that has appeared in quite a few Hollywood movies. // Cracked and Battered(2240 Chestnut St.) serves fluffy pancakes, crispy chicken sandwiches, and spicy shakshuka. // Try all the Colombian-style arepas at MaMo(3659 Buchanan St). // Cafe Boho(3321 Steiner St.) bring European flair to brunch and dinner with seacuterie boards, hearty pastas, and savory crepes. // Yucatan specialities such as cochinita pibil tacos and tamales wrapped in banana leaves are great for takeout at Las Mestizas (2280 Chestnut St.). // In the mood for dumplings? Who isn't. Get your fix of Sichuan wontons, Grandma's pork potstickers, and xiao long bao at United Dumplings(2015 Chestnut St.).

Snacks + Sweets

New from the Cafe Boho team is Boho Petite(2146 Chestnut St.), a patisserie with all the droolworthy essentials—think freshly baked croissants, French pastries, cakes, sandwiches, and Illy coffee. // In search of a post workout pick-me-up? Look no further than Earthbar(2234 Chestnut St.) superfood smoothies, bowls, juices, and healthy bites. // Your sweet tooth will thank you for a trip to Susie Cakes(2109 Chestnut St.), which has shelves upon shelves of cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. //There's always room left for a donut from Dynamo(110 Yacht Rd.). The original kiosk at the Yacht Harbor remains our favorite pit-stop after a long walk at Crissy Field or the newly opened Presidio Tunnel Tops. Will it be maple bacon apple or chocolate star anise?


The Marina just wouldn't be the same without the The Tipsy Pig(2231 Chestnut St.). The gastropub serves rustic food as a solid foundation for the inevitable many drinks to come. // It's always a party at The Dorian(2001 Chestnut St.) where a posh interior sets the scene for martinis and Provocateur's Punch. // Calling all suckers for over-the-top, themed cocktail bars: From a Deck the Halls founder comes Rendezvous(2030 Lombard St.), serving up drinks designed for IG ops. Order the Netflix and Chill, a butter-washed bourbon situation served in a popcorn box, or the Mind Blazer shooter made with tequila and pineapple delivered in a smoking bong. // Order colorful cocktails, slushies, and punch bowls from a tiki lounge swing at Del Mar(2125 Lombard St.). There's always something happening here—think Throwback Thursdays and DJ day parties on weekends.

Things to Do in the Marina District, San Francisco

Fort Mason is an anchor of the neighborhood with public green spaces, restaurants and bars, art galleries and installations, and popular events.

(Hari Nandakumar)

Fitness + Outdoors

A grassy destination for residents from neighborhoods all over the city, Marina Green is the place for running, biking, picnicking, flying kites, and throwing the ball for the dogs at the edge of San Francisco Bay. This is a good jumping off point to check out the Wave Organ(1 Yacht Rd.), a sculptural installation of underground pipes that creates musical sound when water runs on top of them. Go at high tide to get the full experience. // Moscone Dog Park(1800 Chestnut St.) is popular among pets who love to sniff out stray tennis balls from the nearby courts. // Athleisure is the neighborhood uniform, and for good reason—how else do you work off all those boozy brunches? Sprint your way through a 50-minute run-meets-strength class at Barry's Bootcamp(2246 Lombard St.). It might feel like the worst hour of your life, but you can reward yourself with a smoothie from the Fuel Bar. // Feel the burn with a Sculpt reformer class or tap it back in a cycling class at BodyRok(2128 Lombard St.)—you'll leave the high intensity workout feeling like a rock star. // For a Megaformer class with a twist, try the Ramped class at Core40(1902 Lombard St.)—the machines move up and down throughout the session for an added challenge.

Arts + Culture

Built for the World Expo in 1915, the Beaux-Arts-style Palace of Fine Arts(3301 Lyon St.) is a romantic landmark, especially popular among brides looking for photo ops among the Grecian-inspired columns. Spread your blanket on the lawn overlooking the duck pond any day of the week, and check the online calendar for events including concerts and standup comedy. // Once a military base by the sea, Fort Mason Center(2 Marina Blvd.) is a hub for arts and cultural events. Popular regular happenings include Renegade Craft Fair (Nov. 4-5, 2023), Off the Grid (Friday nights March 24 through June 23rd and September and October, 2023), and West Coast Craft (June 10, 2023). On Sundays (9:30am to 1:30pm), you can fill your straw totes with fresh produce from more than 35 vendors at the Fort Mason Farmers Market.// The Art Deco neon sign still glows at the Lee Neighborhood Theatre(2340 Chestnut St.) where you can catch the latest Wes Anderson flick.

Shopping in the Marina, San Francisco

Chilly? Pick up an extra layer at San Francisco brand Marine Layer's Chestnut Street shop.

(Courtesy of @marinelayer)

Fashion + Beauty

Decked out with vintage surfboards and beachy vibes, recent arrival Faherty (2110 Chestnut St.) is stocked with all those super-soft sweater shirts, tees, and summery dresses we love so much. // Bay Area brand Marine Layer(2106 Chestnut St.) still makesthe softest T-shirts ever and maintains eco-friendly practices. // Taylor Stitch(2030 Chestnut St.) outfits guys with custom shirts and hip basics including denim, outerwear, and sturdy shoes. Every item is made sustainably and intended to be worn for the long haul. // Two Skirts(2124 Chestnut St.) is a Marina fashionista's heaven, stocked with all the on-trend brands such as Mother, See by Chloe, and Re/Done. // Carrying chic basics and standout pieces, Dress(2271 Chestnut St.) is another one stop shop for modern womenswear by the likes of IRO, Ulla Johnson, and Rails. // Luxury cosmetics store Blue Mercury(2060 Chestnut St.) is the place for high-end brands like Augustinus Bader, Tom Ford, Trish McEvoy, and La Mer. // Newcomer Malin + Goetz(2209 Chestnut St) draws a cult following that eats up all those fruity hair and body care products in iconic minimalist packaging.

Home + Garden

If you're in search of a hostess gift, calming candle, or some new decor, stop byEi Home(2176 Chestnut St.). // Even plants look fit and healthy in the Marina. Sloat Garden Center(3237 Pierce St.) has all hearty greens you need, from seeds to fiddle leaf figs.

An aerial view of the Marina including the harbor, St. Francis Yacht Club, and Palace of Fine Arts.

(Photo by Sasha • Stories)

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