Right around July is when that "summer" funk creeps in. Sundresses hang lonely in San Francisco closets, and we walk around pasty in pea coats. Though it is a bit chilly, it makes it that much more exciting waking up to a balmy day in the city. And what can make it even better? Parks and sandwiches. To prepare for your upcoming sunny adventures, here are some awesome parks, and what treats you should eat and drink nearby.
Washington Square Park: Molinari's - Liguria Bakery
Molinari is a solid choice for an Italian-style deli sandwich near Washington Square Park. When you walk in the Italian deli, take a number, hand them the roll you've picked out and relay your selection of meats and cheeses (of which there are plenty to choose from). Or if you feel like bread smothered in Italian spices, you could go the Liguria route; their soft, spongy foccacia is wrapped in butcher paper, bundled in twine, and is an awesome treat to eat under the gaze of St. Peter & Paul.
Image by Eva Frye
Dolores Park: Bar Tartine - Bi-Rite Creamery
On the way to Dolores, make a quick stop at Bar Tartine's new daytime sandwich counter, which opened August 1st. Chef Nick Balla is serving Smørrebrød, open-faced Danish sandwiches, which you might have tasted on his brunch menu at Bar Tartine (RIP- brunch is no longer served). I love the smoked sturgeon with purple potato and dill sauce. But if a closed sandwich is your idea of park food, then try one with lentil croquettes, yogurt, cucumber, and padrones, or a pork melt, pressed with barbecued pork, cured ham, and their famous pickles. On the way out of Dolores, don't forget about Bi-Rite. The soft-serve lines move exponentially quicker than at the creamery next door, and salted caramel is nice at any consistency.
Photo via Yelpuser Garland W.
Stern Grove: Guerra Quality Meats
Finding food around Stern Grove is actually pretty tricky, so try to pick something up along the way. I like stopping at Guerra Quality Meats on Taraval at 15th. Their sandwiches are great, but I'll sometimes go for a loaf of freshly-baked bread and a few different meats, cheeses, and wine (shh, bring a brown bag). Once situated on a hill in the shade of the eucalyptus trees, spread on that SPF (and camembert) and enjoy a few hours of free groovy tunes by rad bands in the Sunday Summer concert series.
Duboce Park: Duboce Cafe - Churchill
If you're headed to upper Market, bite a sammy from Duboce Cafe (I like the turkey pesto special, with caramelized onions and mushrooms on baguette) and eat it in Duboce Park across the street. Then when the sun sets, walk over to Churchill, for any of their fabulous specials. See if they'll make you their cilantro/jalapeno/creme de cassis cocktail from a few weeks ago. They're spicy, not too sweet, and go down deceivingly smooth (you've been warned).
Image via Foodspotting, Scott Shadiow
Golden Gate Park: Roadside BBQ - Nopalito #2
Golden Gate is expansive, so limiting your options is hard. But why not get a pulled pork sandwich from Roadside BBQ, and eat it in Bunny Meadow? The spot is as cute as the name implies- a secret nook tucked around the corner from the Conservatory of flowers. When you're all Meadowed out, walk across the park to the Sunset and grab a margarita at Nopalito's newest location at 9th and Irving.
Alamo Square Park: Alamo Square Market & Deli - Bean Bag Cafe - Cafe Divis
Before you sun in Alamo Square, definitely head to Alamo Square Market & Deli for an East coast style deli sandwich. The owners, from Boston, don't skimp on the meat (or the accents). Get "Zig's Wicked Pissah'," piled high with turkey, ham, pastrami, melted provolone, and coleslaw. Before it gets wicked cold (because it always does), enjoy one of Beanbag Cafe's smoothies. Otherwise, sip up a pour-over Blue Bottle coffee at Cafe Divis/Vinyl.
Have fun in the sun! And remember kids, wear your sunscreen.
What treats do you like to grab to-go for sunny park days in SF?