After what was one of the coldest Augusts on record, San Franciscans are shedding the layers and celebrating the arrival of September’s Indian summer. The sun is shining and the temperatures are rising above 70°F—finally! There is no better time to enjoy a flute of champagne or frosty mug of beer outdoors. Hit up a rooftop bar or dine at a restaurant with outdoor seating and a waterfront view—or simply get your drink on at one of our favorite spots for happy hour outside. Cheers!
On a hot Friday afternoon, Americano is the place to be. This bar and restaurant inside the Hotel Vitale has a massive outdoor patio with a variety of seating, from picnic tables to lounges and wooden coffee tables. To stake out a prime spot, arrive early. The Americano staff sets up a couple of satellite bars outside and there is a festive mood in the air. Order a craft cocktail or glass of Sauvignon Blanc and prepare to people watch. The crowd is young and professional, but definitely down to party. Hungry? Americano has an extensive menu of delectable snacks. Soak up that third martini with addictive coriander French fries, grilled octopus with romesco and potatoes, and sausage pizza with piquillo peppers.
Hotel Vitale 8 Mission Street San Francisco, CA 94105
2 Tipsy Pig
It’s incredibly easy to while away an afternoon chilling at Tipsy Pig’s spacious back patio. You show up for one drink, but the sun is too warm and the strawberry fields, Tipsy’s signature fruity, yet potent libation, is too delicious. Before you know it, four hours have passed and you’ve consumed three strawberry fields and two bottles of Pinot Grigio. No shame in that—as long as you’re with your crew and you’ve got a prime spot on the wooden patio you’re set. Tipsy Pig, which is on Union Street in the Marina, also has a menu of American gastropub fare. Think pretzel bites with smoked cheddar beer dip, barbecue pork sliders, and meatballs with rustic tomato sauce and burrata cheese.
2231 Chestnut Street San Francisco, CA 94123
3 Park Chalet
Want to feel the grass between your toes while you sip that IPA? Head to Park Chalet directly across from Ocean Beach. It has an extensive lawn, where live musical acts often perform, and large patio with dining tables and arderondack chairs. The coastal beer garden is connected to Beach Chalet, but Park Chalet’s vibe is more relaxed and casual. Order a beer or two from the brewery, a dozen raw oysters, and a Dungeness crab roll. As there is plenty of room to run around, Park Chalet is a great place to bring kids and dogs. Note that on warm weekend days, it can get crowded, so be prepared for long bathroom lines.
1000 Great Highway San Francisco, CA 94121
Chambers is a bar and restaurant located inside the Phoenix Hotel in the Tenderloin. While the bar at Chambers is a scene and be seen sort of place on weekends after 9pm, the poolside patio is where you want to be come a hot happy hour. The retro-chic pool is surrounded by bright orange lounge chairs, white umbrellas, and plenty of tables. Order an excellent cocktail—the play with fire (a mixture of mezcal, carpano antica, pineapple, lime, and jalapeño) is a personal favorite or a bottle of Schramsberg’s Mirabelle brut rosé and prepare to stay awhile. Chambers has a sensational brunch, so if you’re in the mood for soft scrambled eggs and a green chile bloody Mary, poolside, make a reservation for Sunday now.
Phoenix Hotel 601 Eddy Street San Francisco, CA 94109
Walk by Hayes Valley’s Biergarten on a beautiful day and you’ll start to wonder if anyone in San Francisco is working. This beer garden is almost always packed—sometimes with a line around the block to get in. And for good reason, it’s a laid back spot to savor a few pints and German-inspired snacks. The Bavarian style neighborhood beer garden serves up sausages, sandwiches, and sliders alongside a rotating selection of the world’s finest beers. Biergarten is like a well-oiled machine—the staff are friendly and fast, so even though you may have to wait to get a beer, you won’t have to wait too long. No pets are allowed inside the garden, so be sure to leave your beloved pup at home.
424 Octavia Street San Francisco, CA 94102