The Outer Sunset used to be just for surfers. In the last decade though, this neighborhood has gone from sleepy to happening. Spend a day with the kiddos checking out the latest and greatest in this hip neighborhood where the land meets the sea.

 

PLAY

West Sunset Playground
A hidden gem in the outer sunset, this spot is tucked behind the Ortega Public Library you will find a sweet spot to let the kids get their wiggles out. It’s got a large rope climbing structure, monkey bars, spinning features and swings! My daughter has already requested to go back.

3223 Ortega St. & 39th Ave.
San Francisco, CA

Sava Pool
This pool is one of the nicest public pools in San Francisco. It was renovated and reopened in 2009 after a 17 million dollar renovation. Swim Lessons and classes are available but you can also just pop in and splash around for 6 dollars per adult and 1 dollar per child. Bring exact change; no change is available on the premises.

19th Ave & Wawona Street
San Francisco, CA
Online: sfrecpark.org

photo: Marianne Hale

The San Francisco Zoo
Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Open 365 days a year, the SF Zoo is the perfect outing on those days that other cultural hot spots are closed. It’s just the right size to explore with your little one, don’t miss the giraffes in the African Region and the kangaroos in The Outback. Be sure to leave plenty of time to experience the playground, filled with iceberg slides! Read our insider’s guide to the zoo here.

Sloat Blvd & Great Hwy
San Francisco, CA
415-753-8141
Online: sfzoo.org

Boat Park in Golden Gate Park
If your kids love playing pirate, this park is a great spot to check out. Obviously, the large boat is the main attraction. Enjoy watching the kids walk the plank while you sip on your coffee.

Lincoln Way & 45th Ave.
San Francisco, CA

photo: Candice G. via Yelp

EAT

Outerlands
Is a cozy spot to have brunch and take in the salt air and chill vibe of the Outer Sunset. The menu is filled with American classics to please both young and grown-up palates. The brunch is delicious but expect a wait. Luckily, there are plenty of places on Judah to keep you occupied as you wait for your table. Pro tip: Get your name on the list before they open for service and you can cut down on wait time. Outdoor seating is available for those days you want to bring the dog to brunch too. Word on the street is that a separate bakery is in the works!

4001 Judah St.
San Francisco, CA
Online: Outerlandssf.com

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Hook Fish Co.
If you’re in the neighborhood and hunger hits, head to Hook Fish Co. This new seafood-focused spot is serious about sustainable fishing practices. All fish is sourced locally, they even let you know what boat and where your fish was caught. The fish and chips are great for the kiddos and big enough to share. Inside seating is limited so bring a coat and snag a spot in the rock garden. A perfect place to keep the little ones entertained as you sip on your wine.

4542 Irving St
San Francisco, CA
Online: hookfishco.com

Devil’s Teeth Baking Company
If you’re in the mood to indulge, this is the spot for you. The egg and bacon sandwich on a buttermilk biscuit is what breakfast dreams are made of. Lunch options available too like the classic combo of soup and grilled cheese. Of course, no trip to a bakery is complete without a little sweet treat. Our favorite is the cinnamon roll, large enough to share with the whole family.

3876 Noriega St.
San Francisco, CA
Online: devilsteethbakingcompany.com

The Pizza Place on Noriega
This is a chill spot where you can get a pitcher of beer with some buffalo wings and you don’t have to worry about the kid’s volume level. Order a few slices or a whole pie, gluten-free crust available upon request. Bonus: Crayons and paper for entertainment purposes. Win-win!

3901 Noriega St.
San Francisco, CA
Online: pizzaplacesf.com

Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company
If you’re in the mood for elevated pub food and beer, this is a family friendly spot to watch a game or chill with a large group. The hamburger and wings are delicious. You will leave with full bellies!

1735 Noriega St.
San Francisco, CA
Online: sunsetbeersf.com

photo: Lauren Crabbe

SIP

Andytown Coffee Roasters
Andytown has quickly become the place to get coffee in the Outer Sunset. With three locations you are not far from an amazing cup of coffee. Try their soda bread and jam, simple but sweet. Taraval location will have a back garden soon to hangout and soak up the Sunset vibes.

3655 Lawton St., 3629 Taraval St. and 3016 Taraval St.
San Francisco, CA
Online: andytownsf.com

Trouble Coffee Co.
One of the first businesses to set up shop in the Outer Sunset about a decade ago, this place has a cult following. Order the cinnamon toast and a freshly cracked coconut for the munchkins. While you get your cappuccino and surf bar.

4033 Judah St.
San Francisco, CA
Online: trouble.coffee

White Cap
If you happen to have the grandparents in town and want to have a grown-up play date this is the new spot to grab a cocktail. Designed by two surfers, it’s a chill but classy spot to hang.

3608 Taraval St.
San Francisco, CA
Online: whitecapsf.com

photo: Stern Grove Festival

EXPLORE

Stern Grove
The Summer programs are not to be missed at Stern Grove. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors while exposing your little one to the ballet or symphony.

Sloat Blvd.
San Francisco, CA
Onlinesterngrove.org

Ocean Beach
A trip to the Outer Sunset would not be complete without a visit to the beach! Bring a bucket and a picnic, you will have hours of endless fun for all. Be sure to bring layers as you never know when the fog will start to roll in.

Walking/Bike Path along the Great Highway
Bring the scooter or a bike and let the kids ride as you take in the breath taking view of the Pacific Ocean.

Great Highway
San Francisco, CA

SHOP

General Store
The place for all things Bohemian chic now has two locations in Outer Sunset, the Judah location is for clothing and the Irving location now houses all the home goods. It is always a great spot to grab a gift for a loved one or yourself. From new and vintage fashion to beautiful home goods you are sure to find something amazing.

4035 Judah St. and 3928 Irving St.
San Francisco, CA
Online: shop-generalstore.com

Mollusk
The surf shop that made the Outer Sunset cool. Even if you don’t surf, stopping by Mollusk is always a delight. The surfboards and the art are equally fun to look at. Be sure to check out the adorable pint sized t-shirts for the little ones.

4500 Irving St.
San Francisco, CA
Online: mollusksurfshop.com

Black Bird Bookstore
Filled with thoughtful book selections for kids and grown-ups, a cozy seating area and a tree house! The toy selection is well curated too, making this the most enjoyable place to chill while you wait an hour for your table at Outerlands.

4033 Judah St.
San Francisco, CA
Online: blackbirdbooksf.com

Case for Making
Case for Making has a beautiful selection of well curated must haves for the artist in your family. Grab some paper, paints and brushes for your next art session.

4037 Judah St.
San Francisco, CA
Online: caseformaking.com

3 Fish Studios
Expose the little ones to some art in this gallery shop. You can buy their adorable prints that are California themed while learning how they are made.

4541 Irving St.
San Francisco, CA
Online: 3fishstudios.com

Woodshop
A great place to show the kids some beautifully handcrafted wooden items. Started by three surfer dads as a workshop and showroom, you can book an appointment to see how wood gets turned into cool objects.

3725 Noriega St.
San Francisco, CA
Online: woodshopsf.com

What’s your favorite spot in the Outer Sunset? Share the love with us!

—Carleigh Lowe

Photos by the author except where noted. 

 

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