S.F.'s Latest Hot Dining Neighborhood:... The Presidio?

Consider it a headline we never thought we'd write. The Presidio, a former military base turned national park, is mostly known for its pretty views, spiral art, and exercise trails. It hasn't been much of a drinking and dining destination — until now.

Scenery, history, and a true sense of place may have something to do with a new crop of projects to call the Presidio home (the views are killer, too). Celebrity chef Traci des Jardin's new Cali-Spanish restaurant will be called The Commissary and is slated for a spring opening; the Presidio Trust and Des Jardins decided on the name as a wise nod to the Presidio's military background. Another newcomer is the Fort Point Beer Company, a craft brewery on Crissy Field that just started shipping beer to restaurants, bars, and retailers in the greater Bay Area, including Tosca (a spot with its own history and recent change).

These are mingling with the more established spots, the oldest being the former military barracks Presidio Social Club, which just celebrated a seventh birthday. Surviving seven years is a good sign for any restaurant, and PSC's ability to serve foie gras post-ban — and its excellent barrel-aged cocktails — may help things along. There's also Dixie Restaurant, a hidden Southern gem with fried chicken that has its share of grateful fans. All of these spots share easy, free parking in a beautiful green setting.

Even Off the Grid has gotten in on the action with last year's launch of the incredibly fun Sunday Picnic at the Presidio, an outdoor festival that combines food trucks, a farmers' market, DJs, and drinks of the caffeinated and boozy variety. The picnic returns this spring and is a mellow hang worth penciling in the calendar. With all these new spots, we'll keep a close watch to see who else feels the pull of the Presidio in coming months.

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You barely did justice to the eateries in the Presidio...  The bowling alley serves excellent burger and fries amidst the sounds of clanking balls and pins...  The Thoreau Center has a fine eatery and an excellent dining space...  The Tansit Cafe offers fine fair...  The Disney Museum has a restaurant...  Plus the old standbuy like Starbucks when the coffee wanted...

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