Outdoor Dining in San Francisco: 21 Great Options

Jill on a windy day at the Golden Gate Bridge

by Jill Loeffler  •

Published: March 13, 2023

You'll find outdoor dining restaurants in San Francisco in districts all around town. There are dozens of places with permanent outdoor patios and a few with temporary parklets.

My list includes everything from high-end seafood spots to casual places with sidewalk seating which might be in the form of picnic tables.

Here you will find some of the best outdoor dining options in Fisherman's Wharf, Union Square, downtown, and some of the other best restaurants I love all around San Francisco.

Outdoor dining in San Francisco

8 Best Options in Fisherman's Wharf

This district in San Francisco offers dozens of outdoor dining options. You'll find everything from sidewalk tables to full patio seating. Many of these options are along Jefferson Street, the main pedestrian walkway in this neighborhood.

You'll also find several options along the boardwalk in Pier 39. These are just a few of my favorite picks.

The Buena Vista

Outdoor Dining at Buena Vista

Located on Jefferson Street, The Buena Vista is an excellent choice for al fresco dining in San Francisco. With plenty of outdoor seating and a variety of dishes, this is a favorite of locals and a must for visitors.

The theme is classic American dishes such as Dungeness crab, burgers, and a variety of lunch and dinner options, with a heated patio for evenings. They also offer indoor dining for those cool and windy San Francisco nights.

Prices range from $15 to $40 with the lobster and steak dishes being the priciest. 

It's on one my favorite places to eat when I visit this district. 

Address: 2765 Hyde St (@ Beach), San Francisco, CA 94109

>> Find out more about this historic gem

The Codmother Fish and Chips

A popular traditional fish and chip vendor, The Codmother is a catering truck occupying a permanent spot in Fisherman’s Wharf and is highly regarded for excellent seafood at sensible prices when dining in San Francisco.

With just a few picnic tables you may find it hard to get a seat at busy times, but don’t let that put you off as the delicious food is well worth it.

Locally sourced fish and chips at $16.99 gives an idea of the prices, which we believe are competitive for the quality.

Address: 496 Beach Street, San Francisco, California 94133


Surisan Outdoors

The Korean-themed menu at Surisan, a friendly and lively restaurant popular with San Francisco locals as well as visitors, offers a wide choice of noodle dishes at sensible prices.

Highly recommended are the Korean BBQ sets - $49 for a meal for two - and the fried chicken dishes, or go American with one of their choice of burgers.

A permanent spacious outdoor patio is ideal for enjoying a meal in the sun.

Address: 505 Beach Street, San Francisco, CA 94133

San Francisco Brewing Company

Outdoor Patio at San Francisco Brewing Company

Located within the courtyard of Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco Brewing Company is a great choice for outdoor dining.

Sample delightful beers brewed on-site in this wonderful outdoor patio setting, and choose from a sensibly priced menu that includes local specialties such as clam chowder, a wide choice of burgers, pizzas, and classic fish and chips.

Prices range from $17 to $26 and the drinks menu is comprehensive.

Address: 3150 Polk St. SF 94109 Ghirardelli Square

>> More things to see and do in Ghirardelli Square

>> More great breweries around SF

Wipeout Bar & Grill

Wipe Out Outdoor Seating on Pier 39

Walk along the Pier 39 boardwalk and you can't miss Wipeout Bar and Grill, one of the best outdoor dining choices in Fisherman's Wharf and San Francisco.

Offering a choice of traditional American food - burgers, steaks, surf and turf, and locally sourced seafood dishes - and with a delightful outdoor space, this is a place for casual restaurant dining and dishes start at around $10 with many under $20.

Address: Pier 39, San Francisco, CA 94133

>> Fun things to see and do in Pier 39


Scomas Outdoor Dining

There are many outdoor patio dining options along the waterfront, yet few have been in business as long as the famous Scoma's. Seafood is the order of the day here and the 'Pier to Plate Menu' is served all day, and uses locally sourced ingredients where possible.

Try the Dungeness crab cakes at $23 for an appetizer, or if you want burgers there are many on the menu. Prices can be high here, but it's worth the visit to this legendary restaurant.

What I love about eating outside here is that you are right on the water. Even on a cool day, I love that it offers a great vibe. My dishes here have always been amazing as well.

Address: 1965 Al Scoma Way, Pier 47, Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, CA 94133

>> Additional places for amazing seafood

Capurro's Restaurant

Capurro's Fisherman's Wharf

Famous as the original seafood restaurant in Fisherman's Wharf, Capurro's is a local favorite and has been in business since 1946.

The relaxed atmosphere of the outdoor patio dining area makes it a popular choice for lunch, and the restaurant serves everything from fish and chips, plenty of crab dishes, and a fish of the day that depends on the catch.

My favorite dishes here are their Gnocchi with pesto and their Angel Hair pasta with Crab.

Almost everything on their menu is under $30 except their Classic Cioppino, which is usually around $40.

Address: 498 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA 94109


Cioppino's Dining

Another restaurant along Jefferson Street, Cioppino's offers a variety of Italian-themed fresh pasta dishes, plus a wide range of seafood options and has a delightful outdoor patio with sidewalk seating.

Pasta dishes are priced around $20, but I recommend you check out the signature dish, the Cioppino. 

A wonderful mix of crab, clams, mussels, and various fish, and worth the outlay at $49, this is a meal that I think you will really enjoy when in San Francisco.

Address: 400 Jefferson Street (across from The Cannery), San Francisco, CA

>> More about visiting Fisherman's Wharf

>> More great places to eat in Fisherman's Wharf

Disclaimer: I receive a small commission from some of the links on this page.

Popular Fisherman's Wharf Activities

8 Best Options in Downtown San Francisco

This list of 8 in downtown San Francisco includes options in the Ferry Building, in Union Square, the Financial District, and South of Market.

In addition to those listed here, you will find a variety of small outdoor dining spots all around these districts. My list includes those with highly rated food and options set back from the street a little bit.

However, just walking around this area, you will find dozens of additional options.

>> More fun things to do in downtown SF

Gott's Roadside

Burgers at Gott's Roadside

Located in the iconic Ferry Building, facing the Embarcadero, Gott's Roadside caters for private events in what can only be described as a stunning setting.

A choice of two outdoor patio spaces - one seating up to 200, the other 72 - can be hired for parties and events, with Gott's providing award-winning catering.

Check out their boxes which can be pre-ordered and picked up, or contact them for prices.

Address: 1 Ferry Building #6, San Francisco, CA 94111

>> More about the Ferry Building

>> Additional places in SF for the best burgers


Off the busy street and with a stunning outdoor dining setup, Barcha specializes in Turkish and Persian dishes and is hugely popular with locals.

I like their lunch menu with the dishes such as Turkish Shawarma lamb and beef sandwiches. I also love their excellent salad dishes that are in the $12 to $16 range.

Items on their lunch menu range from around $12 to $36.

The items on their dinner menu are a bit heartier, so you will find the prices increase a bit. I love their kebabs and steaks. And...of course I rarely leave without having some of their baklava! 

Their dinner menu offers dishes in the $12 to $65 range.

Address: 28 Fremont Street, San Francisco, CA, 94105


Delarosa Dining

For classy and relaxed outdoor dining along the car-free Yerba Buena pedestrian path, there is little in downtown San Francisco to match Delarosa.

The Italian dishes are served family-style at communal tables making for a unique and casual dining experience, and we recommend you also sample the amazing inventive cocktails.

With pasta dishes for around $20 and a choice of antipasti options between $12 and $25, this is a great place for a lunch or dinner. In addition to their tasty pasta, I also love their pizza.

Even though Delarosa is well known for their tasty dishes, I also LOVE their cocktails. Their monarch is one of my favorites! 

Address: 37 Yerba Buena Ln, San Francisco, CA 94103

>> More about visiting the South of Market District


Waterbar SF Outdoor Seating

An outdoor waterside setting is one appealing factor of Waterbar, which offers stunning views of the iconic Bay Bridge which is why it's on my best outdoor dining list.

Locally sourced seafood dishes are a specialty here, with oysters from around $5 to their entrees ranging from around $25 to $30 each.

Visit during the day for a relaxed and friendly atmosphere or wait until the sun goes down and experience outdoor dining SF style with a great choice from the dinner menu.

The prices for dinner range from around $28 to $55 with two seafood dishes and their caviar costing quite a bit more.

Address: 399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105

>> More about the Bay Bridge

Burma Love - Downtown

Burmese cuisine is a rarity even in cosmopolitan San Francisco, yet Burma Love is a hidden gem among the many restaurants downtown with outdoor seating.

My favorite here is their choice of Burmese curries priced at around $26. When I'm in the mood for something with a kick, I order their spicy and crispy chicken.

Asian cuisine does noodles like no other, and Burma Love has a great selection at around $20 a dish. This is street food in Burma, and a delight to find in Downtown San Francisco.

Address: 8 Mint Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94103

Hog Island Oyster Company

Hog Island Oyster Company in the Ferry Building

Located in the iconic San Francisco Ferry Building, and with a charming enclosed patio along the waterfront, Hog Island Oyster Company is a simply superb eatery with views of Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, and the ferries coming and going from SF.

Various oysters are available - depending on the latest catch - or you can choose from traditional fish and chips, plus a variety of small plates, grilled oysters, and many more seafood dishes.

If you love seafood as much as me and also want to eat outdoors, this is one of my top recommendations! 

Address: 1 Ferry Building 11A, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111


You will find Perbacco on California Street where there is a comfortable and pleasant outdoor dining area in which you can enjoy a relaxed casual meal.

A varied lunch menu offers a full range of Italian cuisine, with antipasti dishes alongside pasta and shellfish dishes. Dinner is equally impressive with a choice of traditional Italian food plus dishes including pork loin and roast beef.

With the dinner menu priced at between $20 and $48 for their entrees, this is a sensibly priced downtown restaurant.

It's also one of my favorite places for happy hour. They offer some great discounts on their cocktails, wines, and snacks from 4 pm to 6 pm every Tuesday through Friday.

Address: 230 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

The Irish Bank

The outdoor seating area at The Irish Bank is in a car-free alley, and the menu is as eclectic as it gets.

The restaurant and bar occupy an old bank building, and you can choose from dishes such as traditional fish and chips at $20, although I recommend an Irish classic - Irish Stew, made with prime Angus beef - at an affordable $19.

A choice of burgers, sausage and beans, and other classic dishes are also well priced. You have to check out the Irish whiskey when you visit.

Address: 10 Mark Lane, San Francisco, CA 94108

>> Additional Irish pubs in SF

5 Other Great Outdoor Dining Options Around San Francisco

This is just a small sample of the additional options for outdoor dining in San Francisco. You will find dozens of places all around SF, but these are some of my favorites.

All offer a large outdoor dining area with plenty of tables. They also have amazing food that I know you will love!

The Ramp

Sandwich at the RampThis is one of my favorites each time I'm at The Ramp. It's their fried chicken sandwich. You can try it mild or add a little spice!

A casual and welcoming restaurant in the Mission Bay Area of San Francisco, The Ramp is a popular choice for al fresco dining.

A lively and enjoyable venue, you can watch big matches on the TV screens and take advantage of happy hour on Monday to Wednesday between 3 and 5pm.

Offering a choice of traditional American and international cuisine there is something for everyone on a menu where most items are less than $30.

Address: 855 Terry Francois Blvd. San Francisco, CA 94158

>> More to see and do in Mission Bay

El Techo

Head to the Mission Bay district and check out El Techo and its superb rooftop bar. With a happy hour Monday to Friday between 4 and 6 pm you can sample the amazing cocktails the bar is famous for. 

My personal favorite from the bar is their Sangria, which you can buy by the pitcher and it's a great deal during happy hour.

The menu is influenced by Latin American street food with small plates such as chips and salsa for a mere $5, their pollo frito for $14, and a half pound roast pork shoulder at $26.

Address: 2516 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

>> More to see and do in the Mission

Foreign Cinema

The Foreign Cinema offers a unique dining experience in which foreign and independent films are screened against the white wall in the covered spacious patio, while you indulge in an eclectic menu that is simply delightful.

Oysters are available for around $4 to $4.50 each. I tend to steer toward their risotto, duck breast or one of their seafood dishes. The prices for these are n the $25 to $42 range (with their steak sometime being priced up to $70). 

I find it's always a fun experience eating here and just one more thing that adds to the charm of San Francisco.

Address: 2534 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Stinking Rose

Stinking Rose in North Beach

The Stinking Rose offers comfortable outdoor dining along Columbus Avenue in their new location. The daily menu is largely Italian - and plentiful garlic is involved - with garlic mussels a popular choice at around $20.

I like their Cioppino at $40, while meat lovers will appreciate the garlic ribeye steak at $40. Popular with locals who appreciate the unique atmosphere and eclectic choice, this is a recommended eatery if you want something different.

Address: 430 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133

>> More to see and do in North Beach

More Spots Along Columbus Avenue in North Beach

In addition to outdoor dining at the Stinking Rose, you will find more than a dozen other outdoor sidewalk dining along Columbus Avenue in North Beach.

Some other top spots here include Pat's Cafe (one of my favorite breakfast spots in the area), Piazza Pellegrini (a nice Italian spot), and Mona Lisa Restaurant (a budget-friendly Italian restaurant).

Park Chalet

Lunch at Park ChaletPark Chalet updates its menu from time to time, but this is what I ordered the last time I was there. It was a tasty seafood roll with freshly made chips!

Enjoy fine dining on the grass at Golden Gate Park at Park Chalet, an excellent restaurant offering a wide choice of dishes.

An all-day menu with starters such as their parmesan truffle fries at just $12 and classic Pacific clam chowder at $11 (or $13 if you choose it with their sourdough bread bowl) is perhaps the one to go for to enjoy a relaxed and casual outdoor dining experience in this stunning location.

With a choice of burgers at around $21 and traditional fish and chips at $23, this is a great venue for a family meal.

Address: 1000 Great Highway, San Francisco, California 94121

>> More about Park and Beach Chalet

Outdoor restaurants in San Francisco pin

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