Best Outdoor Dining in San Francisco

December 9, 2014
by Zagat Staff

San Francisco's best restaurants to dine alfresco.

Hog Island Oyster Co.
Oyster Bar · Embarcadero · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.2

This "sensational" Ferry Building seafooder is a "dream come true for oyster lovers" , now boasting even "more beautiful views of the bay" courtesy of a heated patio; ok, it’s "not cheap" and there’s always a "crowd" , but somehow the staff holds it together with "wit and charm" ; P.S. there’s also a wine-country satellite in Napa’s Oxbow Market.
Foreign Cinema
Californian · The Mission · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.3

This "semi-hidden" "hipster" Mission stalwart may be known for its "fun drive-in movie accents" , but the "inventive" , locally sourced Cal-Med dinners (and "amazing" brunches) get a "standing ovation" too; whether dining alfresco on the "awesome patio" beneath the "twinkly lights" – while the likes of "My Dinner With Andre" screens "on the wall behind you" – or nestled inside by the fire, the "festive" vibe, "delicious" cocktails and "accommodating" service all help make it the ultimate "first-date" or "special-occasion" go-to.
La Mar Cebicheria Peruana
Peruvian · Embarcadero · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.3

"Ceviche better than Lima's" and "empanadas to die for" anchor the menu at this "fresh and fabulous" seafood spot, the Embarcadero outpost of Gastón Acurio's international empire, where "Peruvian high cuisine" is presented against a "beautiful" waterside backdrop (check out the "awesome views" from the patio) alongside "artfully mixed" cocktails; despite "high prices" for "small plates" and service that – though "well-informed" – can be "overwhelmed by the crowds" , most feel "it's everything you want in a restaurant."
Italian · Presidio Heights · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.4

Down a "side alley" in Presidio Heights, this "charming" "hideaway" serving "first-rate" seasonal Northern Italian fare is a neighborhood "favorite" for a "romantic dinner" or "catch-up time with good friends" , particularly on the "secret patio" ; it's run by a "gracious and knowledgeable" staff, though the "tiny" dining room's "tight seating" means "you'll get to know your neighbors."