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Best Outdoor Drinking in San Francisco

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13/10/2020 There are still a lot of places around the city where you and your friends can eat or drink al fresco. Check them out below.

(Header image credit: Foreign Cinema)

In early autumn, San Francisco is not known for its balmy weather except for a few all-too-short weeks.

Karl Fog's cold embrace can make a dampener appeal for some outdoor dining, but the sophisticated San Franciscans know that while we may have to get together, there are still a lot of places around the city where you and your friends can eat or drink al fresco.

Here are some of the best of the Chronicle Food team:

Foreign Cinema

Whether it is a leisurely brunch or an intimate dinner for two, nothing is so magical as Gayle Pirie's enclosed courtyard and the longstanding Mission Street restaurant of John Clark. If you were not, please and order the "pop tarts" berries.

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Biergarten

The only things absent from this beer garden (Sister Eatery of nearby Suppenkuche) of Hayes Vallée are lederhosen-clad bands and an old-fashioned band. Beers here are usually sold by the liter, bratwurst, and pretzels.

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Zeitgeist

The formula for this ancient classroom dive bar on Valencia Street is simple: Burger + Bloody Mary + Beer Gardens = good times guaranteed.

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Charmaine's

The fireplace outside and spectacular views of Mid-Market are enough to visit the rooftop bar and lounge of Proper Hotel, but throw some of the city's best French fries in fantastic cocktails from Chronicle Bar Stars Josh Harris and Morgan Schick (also called Trick Dog). Maybe you never want to go back to street level.

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El Techo

Another favorite rooftop is the Mission District, where tropical drinks and Latin American street food are tempting the crowds of San Francisco hips to wait in line on a sunny day. Pro advice: Cooler weather means less to reach El Techo. You may have to put on your jacket, but windshields and a lot of hot lamps make this room almost comfortable.

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Samovar

This Tea House chain in San Francisco is located in many places in the area, but none boasts such beautiful views of downtown San Francisco as Yerba Buena Gardens. You can linger over a Pu-erh pot while you have a break from the busy town here.

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Bar Agricole

Thad Vogler's South Market Temple is also one of the most beautiful outdoor dining areas in town with the craftsmanship and Northern California produce.

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Wild West Side

Do you want a shot of fuck with your lesbian bar neighborhood? You will find it in spades at Bernal Heights, a century-old institution with a lavish backyard beer garden packed with sculptures.

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Dirty Habit

The seductive atmosphere of the five-story restaurant and bar of Hotel Zelos leads into its enclosed 45-seat patio. Crushed, low sofas and fireplaces facilitate a cocktail lingering meal.

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Mersea

This Treasure Island restaurant and bar provide one of the best views of San Francisco from the Epic Steak and water bar Chef Parke Ulrich. (It's also the only fully licensed restaurant on the island.)

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Anina

This bright and airy bar, opposite Patricia's Green, is another great place to drink daytime. On the lighter hand, pick one of the many spritzes in the bar or go out and share with friends a punch cup.

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Americano Restaurant & Bar

The large courtyard of the Hotel Vitale's Italian-inspired restaurant and bar is the ideal spot for people to watch during peak hours. Take a look at one of the outdoor tables, put an Aperol spritz and a few bar bites, then relax and get your bustle washed away at the Embarcadero.

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Arguello

You will find it difficult to find a lush place to eat and eat better than the Presidio. The restaurant Traci Des Jardins 'Mexican takes full advantage of the stunning Presidio Officers' Club, but the main attraction is the margarita on the heated courtyard.

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Sessions at the Presidio

The patio in this beer-centered Presidio restaurant is great for a cold evening or a lazy afternoon. (The meetings, after all, are named after low-alcoholic, easy-to-drink ales that are suitable for long term imbibing.) It has one of the best beer lists in the region, with about 100 beers (about two dozen of those on the tap).

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