How to Find San Francisco Restaurants That Are Open for Outdoor Dining

The best ways to figure out where to sit outside for a bite

Eater SF | Eve Batey

Sodini’s Trattoria has opened for outdoor dining. Credit: Patricia Chang

Well, it’s official: Outdoor dining has resumed in San Francisco, with picnic tables taking over sidewalks, plazas repurposed as dining gardens, and tables plopped down where parking used to be.

Some restaurants say that they’re not going to open for outdoor dining due to factors like the San Francisco cold, the expense of temporary tables and chairs, or fears of the new coronavirus (COVID-19). But according to the San Francisco Council of District Merchants, over 350 restaurants have been allowed to add outdoor dining in the week since the city’s permitting program began.

San Francisco is home about 4,000 or so restaurants, and — if the pandemic-era pivot to takeout is any indication — more of those venues than not will also make a move to open outside. That makes any single, comprehensive, list a significant challenge to manage, but several local publications have launched lists that should get you well on your way.

SF Restaurants Get Ready for New Al Fresco Era — Here’s a Running List Of Who Will Be Open [SFist]

This is an alphabetical list of San Francisco spots that includes a brief description of each, as well as hours and specials. Each restaurant’s name links to its site, so you can confirm details before heading out. It loads swiftly via a mobile connection, even if you’re low on bars.

It’s patio time! Here’s our running list of San Francisco restaurants reopening in June. [7x7]

This list loads a bit more slowly on mobile, but it’s not bad via a desktop/laptop browser. The restaurant descriptions are meaty and aren't in any apparent order, which makes it ideal as a browse-for-inspiration experience. Unlike the other lists in this guide, many of the entries include a restaurant’s capacity size, which is vital for those who want to avoid crowds.

Here are all the San Francisco restaurants reopening outdoor patio seating [SF Gate]

The autoplay pop-up video ads on SF Gate’s mobile and desktop sites can make opening this list a frustrating experience (on mobile, closing the video prompts an animated ad that slows performance significantly). The list, itself, is divided by neighborhood, which is great if you’re looking for a spot close by. Each entry is a linked restaurant name, address, phone, and hours.

86 Bay Area restaurants now open for outdoor dining [SF Chronicle]

By the time you look at this list, which is on the SF Chronicle’s metered-paywall site (that means subscribers to the paper can view it endlessly, while non-subscribers only have access to a few Chron articles every month), the “86” number is likely to be much higher, especially given that as of Friday, June 19, every Bay Area restaurant will be allowed to serve sit-down diners outdoors. The list is broken down by county, and unlike the others in this guide, makes no promises that it is comprehensive, saying “here are some restaurants where eager diners can enjoy a meal al fresco again.”

70+ Restaurant and Bar Patios Now Open in San Francisco – Outdoor Dining Guide [SF Station]

SF Station’s list is also broken down by neighborhood, and while some entries contain details like food type and hours, most are just linked restaurant names — not a bad idea when promising “a rolling list of patio and outdoor dining now open.” Making a list that’s easy to update allows for a more comprehensive accounting than one that requires more details.

San Francisco Restaurants Reopened For Outdoor Dining [The Infatuation]

This list has a nifty click-to-jump-to-a-neighborhood navigation at its top, which means that you don’t have to scroll through entries for, say, the Bayview, Bernal Heights, Castro, and Cole Valley before you can see what spots in Cow Hollow are available. It’s not the most comprehensive list in this guide, but many entries include a rating number, which the Infatuation says is a 1–10 ranking of quality.

105+ Outdoor Patios in San Francisco Now Open [Funcheap SF]

Each entry on this list leads with the neighborhood in which the restaurant is located, the linked restaurant name, and follows with details like food type, number of tables, and even how windy a spot might be. It also loads lightning-fast on a mobile connection.

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