August is almost over and you know what that means—we’re getting close to the warmest time of the year for the Bay Area. September is San Francisco’s sunniest month and it’s the perfect time to dine outdoors. Below are 5 Bay Area restaurants with perfect patios to check out in the coming months..
Stem Kitchen & Garden (Mission Bay)
Next time you find yourself in San Francisco and want a delicious meal while looking out at the water, head up the road from AT&T Park to STEM to get your fix. If you’re looking for some fun while waiting for the delicious food to arrive at your table, they have two bocce ball courts in their garden overlooking the water. Not only is their garden beautiful, but the produce from that garden is used on their ever changing Mediterranean-themed menu everyday at this modern restaurant. With plenty of seating outside, you can lounge on their heated terrace by a fire pit with a delicious cocktail (that often includes some of that produce you’re sitting next to).
Pro Tip: Bocce ball is first come first serve, so if you’re heading out on a Saturday then arrive just before they open at 4:00pm to beat the line. Make a reservation.
Chambers is one of the best kept secrets of SF locals, probably because the front of this place fools everyone who walks by. Located inside the Phoenix Hotel, Chambers provides one of the best outdoor drinking experiences in San Francisco. Inside the restaurant it’s low-lit and loungy, but once you head towards the pool this place immediately becomes bright and fun. Even if the weather isn’t warm, the heaters on the patio give it a beachy feel. Don’t skimp on the food. The food at Chambers has options for all. You can stick to the classics and order the pancetta wrapped dates and a NY strip steak, or try a few of their fun dishes like the cucumber gazpacho and unagi bao buns. If you love drinking craft cocktails poolside in a cabana near a fire pit, then this retro-chic place is for you.
Pro Tip: Head over at 5pm for $5 happy hour drinks (as opposed to the normal $12) and a good spot on the patio. Then, when dinner starts at 6pm, order the pork belly. Make a reservation.
Palm House (Marina)
For those who love people watching and a tasty cocktail in the sun, this place delivers. This “street facing” patio on Union in the Marina district couldn’t be a more perfect place to grab brunch before a day of shopping. Even if you can’t get a spot on the patio, there is a huge sunroof inside that gives you the outdoor feel you need to match that tropical cocktail in your hand. Sometimes you have to wait for a seat on the patio, but it’s worth it once you are presented with that punch bowl and macadamia nut-crusted mac ‘n cheese you ordered. The refreshing cocktails and tasty appetizers make this place the perfect getaway after a long work week.
Pro Tip: The patio is dog-friendly and has TVs, so you can watch the Giants with your pup and in the sun at the same time! Win-win-win! Make a reservation.
Barrel House Tavern (Sausalito)
Want to have an experience in Sausalito that isn’t touristy? Then take the Ferry up and go to Barrel House Tavern. Their patio offers a view of San Francisco that is unparalleled and even the interior, with its reclaimed wood decor, makes you feel like you are on the water. The chef cooks local food with french techniques and everything has a fresh and chill Northern California vibe. The menu highlights the local fish with items like the classic Clam Chowder or their fresh tuna tartare. Even the beer selection is all about the California microbrews in the bottle and on tap. There’s nothing that screams “Northern California” more than sitting on a deck overlooking the city of San Francisco, while eating some flatbread with a California microbrew in hand.
Pro Tip: On a Sunday, take the 10:40am ferry from the San Francisco Ferry Building to Sausalito. This gets you to Barrel House when they open at 11:30am so you can get a seat on the patio since they don’t take reservations for patio dining. Make a reservation.
Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill (Oakland)
If you’re in the East Bay and need a gorgeous waterfront fix then Lake Chalet will give it to you. Sit outside on the lovely patio that sits over their beautiful boathouse dock. Not only does the menu have a killer Caesar salad, but they have daily specials highlighting classics like fried chicken and cioppino. Come here for Taco Tuesday to hear local live music, and while you’re at it order one of the many margarita options they have. Don’t worry about driving here because they have a valet service right up front. The next time you’re looking for a great meal with a gorgeous view of the water but without the San Francisco prices, get to Lake Chalet and look no further.
Pro Tip: Before or after you eat, walk down to the dock and take a gondola ride. That’s right, gondola. Not only does the patio offer show stopping views of Lake Merritt, but after your meal is over you can take an authentic Venetian gondola ride around the gorgeous lake. Make a reservation.