Summer Guide 2013: Al Fresco Dining and Drinking

Starbelly

This Castro comfort food outpost has a covered, heated patio, perfect in sunshine or clouds. Don't miss family-style patio picnics on Tuesdays featuring burgers, hot dogs, and (if you're lucky) a whole-roasted pig. 3583 16th, 252-7500. StarbellySF.com.

Arlequin Café

Lush foliage borders the meandering outdoor seating on one of the prettiest little patios in Hayes Valley. It's a great place breakfast through dinner, and serves beer and wine. 384 Hayes, 626-1211. ArlequinCafe.com.

El Techo de Lolinda

The Mission's newest — and only — panoramic rooftop bar serves Argentinian cuisine and pan-Latin American cocktails five stories up from its mother restaurant Lolinda. But be warned, it fills up quickly. 2518 Mission, 550-6970. LolindaSF.com.

The Ramp

This Potrero Hill place is a gorgeous, if slightly out of the way, spot to drink outside while boat gazing. The restaurant, with a modest booze selection and chaste hours, has great brunch — but go somewhere else for a wild night. 855 Terry Francois, 621-2378. TheRampRestaurant.com.

Pilsner Inn

Perhaps the most aesthetically beautiful patio on the list, Pilsner Inn's rear garden could pass as a remote annex of the Conservatory of Flowers. With lots of sunlight and a generally unassuming vibe, it's the perfect afternoon hideaway. 225 Church, 621-7058. PilsnerInn.com.

The Mix

Frozen margaritas. Heat lamps. And basically what amounts to perhaps the most happening patio on the list. This Castro bar lights up when the weather is even remotely pleasant. It's an amazing spot to down Buds, margs, or any other of the terribly strong and delicious drinks The Mix pours. 4086 18th, 431-8616. SFMixBar.com.

Zeitgeist

It's hard to imagine a better location for a patio than Valencia and Duboce. It's frequently packed on chilly days; on sunny ones, patrons are often turned away at the door. The bar offers service indoors and out for its daily barbecue of burgers and dogs (with veggie options). 199 Valencia, 255-7505. ZeitgeistSF.com.

Biergarten

There's little to find fault with at this Hayes Valley urban oasis. Sure, it's a little pricey, but you're getting massive German beers and pub food with impressively high authenticity, and don't you deserve a splurge? Arrive early to get a seat — on sunny afternoons the patio is packed to its chain-link fence. 424 Octavia. BiergartenSF.com.

Wild Side West

This quiet Bernal Heights bar is a converted Victorian with an epic garden/smoking area/patio in the back — we're talking multiple levels, jungle-y plants, and a low-key vibe. Inside you'll find a no-frills full bar with an impressive jukebox and an always-busy pool table. 424 Cortland, 647-3099. WildSideWest.com.

El Rio

El Rio's delicious encampment of Rocky's Frybread in its comfy overgrown backyard puts it over the top. But without Rocky, it still has an irresistibly welcoming patio, recession-friendly booze selection, and a house party atmosphere. 3158 Mission, 282-3325. ElRioSF.com.

Bar Agricole

The patio in this SOMA district bar is like a second dining room, and when the heat lamps are turned to high, it's warm enough for even a San Francisco summer night. The space also functions as an herb garden for the kitchen's seafood offerings. 355 11th, 355-9400. BarAgricole.com.

 
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