The Beach Chalet San Francisco is a popular stop for visitors near Ocean Beach. This newly remodeled 1925 Spanish Revival Building includes two restaurants, the Golden Gate Park Visitor Center, and some beautiful murals and mosaics.
It's a great place to grab some lunch, find out a little bit more about Golden Gate Park, and spend some time admiring the Pacific Ocean.
At one point in time, the food here was expensive and not very good. The restaurant used its location and the amazing views of the Pacific Ocean as a way to attract customers.
However, in recent years, the Beach Chalet San Francisco has done a lot to improve their menu and the entire dining experience. It's now a place I would recommend for either lunch or dinner if you're in the area.
Their menu has a variety of food including soups, salads, and pastas. You can also try out a number of seafood dishes such as Beer Battered Fish and Chips, Atlantic Salmon, and Halibut. If seafood is a your thing, you can also try their Slow Cooked Baby Back Ribs, Pan Roasted Chicken, or the New York Strip.
They also have their own on-site brewery, so I also recommend trying some of their great beers. Here's a list of the beers on the menu during my last visit (this menu is actually from their Park Chalet restaurant - but both places serve the same beers daily):
In addition to the Beach Chalet San Francisco restaurant, here you also find the garden level Park Chalet. This is the newer of the two restaurants and is located behind the visitor center. Here you get views of Golden Gate Park.
The other great thing about this restaurant is that they have quite a bit of outdoor seating. On a beautiful day near the ocean, it's one of my favorite places to grab something to eat.
The food and atmosphere here is little more casual than the Beach Chalet San Francisco. On their menu, they state that the food at the Park Chalet is designed to be eaten anywhere in or near the park.
On the menu here, you'll find pizzas, sandwiches and even some hot wings. You can also sample the great beers from the on-site brewery.
One my favorite things on their menu is the Crab Sandwich. Here is a picture of this yummy treat from my last visit.
Another thing I love about the Park Chalet is their 3-6-9 Happy Hour every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. They have a great happy hour menu and it's the perfect time to sample some of their beers. This happy hour is also popular with many of the locals.
In the last few years, they also moved the Golden Gate Park Visitor Center to this building. Here you can find maps of Golden Gate Park, get your questions answered, and even see a full model of the park.
This is also where you will find several Works Progress Administration (WPA) era murals. Many of them were originally painted in the mid to late 30s. Here are just a couple of pictures that I took during my last visit.
The easiest way to get to the Beach Chalet San Francisco is by driving. There is plenty of free parking in the front of the building – or cross the street at Ocean Beach.
If you want to take public transportation, you can take the 5-Fulton bus from Union Square or Downtown San Francisco. Take this bus all the way to the La Playa Avenue stop.
After you get off the bus, walk toward the beach, take a left at the Great Highway, and it's about two blocks down.
You can also take the N-Judah light rail train. You will take it to the end of the line. At that stop, head north (with the ocean on your left hand side) and walk along the Great Highway to the Beach Chalet. The walk is a little longer from this stop - but the light rail train is a little faster than the bus.
Here is a map showing both options. The black star is the Beach Chalet.