We are incredibly lucky to be able to eat outside all year in sunny California. But few things feel more like summer than dining outside. Eating out becomes more chill and relaxing as you let the kids venture away from their chairs and explore, while you enjoy sunshine, fresh air and maybe a beautiful view or two. Check out these options with ample outdoor seating!

photo: Kate Loweth

MerSea

This spot is the perfect option for summer dining with its unbeatable view of SF and super kid-friendly vibe. With its Treasure Island location, you can grab a Lyft across the bridge and you will feel miles away from the downtown SF congestion. Dine in one of the funky shipping containers or grab a spot on the expansive patio complete with bocce ball, putt putt and a plot of artificial grass to spread out the toddler blankets. Get yourself a P3 Sandwich (Philly-style shaved pork shoulder, pepperoni and provolone) or the out-of-this-world brioche French toast. Walk off your meal along the water or head over to the grassy area to fly your kite.

699 Avenue of the Palms
Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA
415-851-8118
Hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Online: mersea.restaurant

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Fiorella

This neighborhood Italian restaurant is best known for its wood-fired pizzas—favorites include the mushroom and salcissia pies. There are extensive vegetarian options and the restaurant is able to modify their dishes to exclude meat. The back patio is welcome on a warm day, but don’t miss the famous wallpaper in the main dining room, which features portraits of famous Bay Area natives, from Joe Montana to E-40 to Alice Waters.

2339 Clement St.
San Francisco, CA 94121
415-340-3049
Hours: Sun.–Thurs., 5 p.m.- 10 p.m., Fri.–Sat., 5 p.m.- 11 p.m., Brunch Sat.–Sun., 10:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.
Online: Fiorella-sf.com

Outerlands

Outerland’s beautiful and seasonal menu is only rivaled by the stunning interior of this restaurant by Ocean Beach. They make their breads on site and they only use the freshest ingredients. Outerlands favorites include their famous grilled cheese sandwich, hearty soups and scrumptious brunch offerings. If you don’t have a reservation be prepared to wait, but if you are lucky enough snag a seat on the patio, the ocean-inspired murals will be the perfect backdrop for your meal.

4001 Judah St.
San Francisco, CA
415-661-6140
Hours: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-10 p.m. daily
Online: outerlandssf.com

Park Chalet

Nestled between Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park, this is a favorite for families and dog lovers. The Beach Chalet restaurant and brewery features a beautiful lawn and patio secluded from the ocean breeze, called Park Chalet. There’s plenty of space for kids to roam around, play or climb trees while you sip on a house-made beer and nibble delicious appetizers or small plates. They have an extensive menu including a delicious weekend brunch, lots of choices for kids and fun homemade drinks like fresh strawberry lemonade. Watch out for special events, live music and $1 oyster days.

1000 Great Hwy.
San Francisco, CA
415-386-8439
Hours: Mon.–Fri., noon–7 p.m.; 11 a.m.–7 p.m. on weekends
Online: parkchalet.com

Mestiza Taqueria

Mestiva calls itself a taqueria but it’s more than that. This cheery spot features a fusion of street-food fare from cultures around the world, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Some of our favorites include the adobo tacos, empanadas and grilled imperial corn. You will be licking your fingers! Dine inside and enjoy the vibrant décor, or al fresco in their spacious and equally colorful patio.

595 Bryant St.
San Francisco, CA
Hours: Mon. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Online: mestizasf.com 

Zazie

This classic SF brunch spot is a classic for good reason: the food is always out of this world, the atmosphere is warm and cozy and service is great. French toast, pancakes, eggs and sandwich options galore mean everyone will find something to like. Lines do get long, especially on the weekends, so if you can try getting there early, or plan to put your name down and then explore the neighborhood while you wait.

941 Cole St.
San Francisco, CA 94117
415-564-5332
Hours: Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.- 2 p.m., 5 p.m.- 9:30 p.m.; Sat.–Sun., 9 a.m.- 3 p.m., 5-10 p.m.
Online: zaziesf.com

photo: Erin Feher

Lemonade

Is there a more perfect lunch than a veggie-full, flavor-packed salad accompanied by a tall, cold glass of lemonade infused with flavors like cucumber-mint, blood orange or coconut-apple? For parents who want an easy meal that won’t weigh them down and kids who love to eat the rainbow, it’s Lemonade to the rescue. The covered, heated patio features upholstered bright yellow booths and the interiors are equally as comfortable for a leisurely lunch. Options for family fun in and around the eatery are endless, as the patio virtually opens onto the rolling lawn of Yerba Buena Park. The waterfall is within view, there’s a multiplex showing the latest flicks right upstairs and just a short stroll through the park takes you to the Creativity Museum, the classic carousel, the ice rink and bowling alley.

781 Mission St. (4th and Mission Sts.)
San Francisco, CA
415-522-0191
Other locations: Burlingame, Palo Alto, Inner Sunset and Walnut Creek
Hours: 8 a.m.–9 p.m.
Onlinelemonadela.com

Reverie Cafe

This Cole Valley gem is well known for its delicious breakfast and lunch, but mostly for its spacious and secluded garden patio. There’s even a little stream that runs through the outdoor seating area, which is fenced and completely safe for kids to play around while you stay seated enjoying your treats. Remember that this place is a cash only, but don’t worry, there is an ATM just down the street.

848 Cole St.
San Francisco, CA
415-242-0200
Hours: Mon.–Fri. 7 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 7 a.m.–7 p.m.
Onlinehttps://www.reveriesf.com/menu

Hog Island Oyster Co.

If you and your kids are seafood lovers, this is the place for you. The outdoor patio has an amazing view of the Bay Bridge and it’s away from traffic so your kids can leave the table and play nearby, or simply watch the ferries chug in and out of the harbor. Hog Island has their own oyster farm in Marin and their oyster sampler is to die for. They have many options for kids and the non-seafood eaters as well. Don’t despair if the patio line is long, it moves fast and it’s worth the wait (and there are plenty of tasty, outdoor alternatives just next door—this is the Ferry Building after all).

1 Ferry Bldg.
Shop 11
415-391-7117
San Francisco, CA
Hours: Open daily from 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
Online: hogislandoysters.com

Surisan

Surisan offers one of the most unique brunch menus in the city, with several Korean-influenced dishes including jook (rice porridge), kimchi fried rice and bulgogi alongside omelets, burgers and some really stellar French toast. Don’t miss the famous millionaire’s bacon, which is basically bacon dialed up to 11. Another thing not to miss the expansive patio right next to Fisherman’s Wharf. Dinner is a more strictly Korean affair, featuring Korean-style fried chicken, short ribs and seafood claypots. Afterwards, take the kids to Pier 39 and play tourist.

505 Beach St.
San Francisco, CA 94133
415-771-8449
Hours: Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.- 2:30 p.m., 5-10 p.m.; Sat.–Sun., 8:30 a.m.- 3 p.m., 5-10 p.m.
Online: https://www.surisansf.com/

Stem Kitchen and Garden

This hidden Mission Bay gem oozes cool from every pore. Stem Kitchen & Garden is a farm-to-table restaurant that celebrates seasonal and local ingredients with produce harvested from the on-site garden. The expansive outdoor patio also features bocce ball, fire pits and some truly sweeping views of San Francisco Bay. Stem also offers kids’ workshops in the garden that teach them how to make dishes with freshly-picked fruits and vegetables; check the website for when they’re next offered.

499 Illinois St.
San Francisco, CA
415-915-1000
Hours: Mon.–Fri., 11 a.m.- 9 p.m., Sat. 4-9 p.m., Sundays closed
Onlinestemkitchensf.com

Mission Rock Resort

This scenic Mission Bay restaurant has one of the best views in town. You can’t get any closer to the water—you’ll feel like you are dining on a boat! Don’t miss the oyster happy hour (daily from 3 to 7 p.m.), Thai chili wings, crispy calamari or Dungeness crab special.

817 Terry Francois Blvd.
San Francisco, CA
415-701-7625
Hours: Mon.–Sat., 10 a.m.- 9 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Online: missionrockresort.com

—Anita Chu

Featured image: stocksnap via Pixabay

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