When sunshine and warm...ish temperatures arrive in the city, the natural next question is where to let the kids run around (or at least be loud!) outside while the grownups enjoy a meal and maybe even an adult beverage. Grab a jacket and take Arwen Griffith's advice on the best family-friendly spots to dine al fresco.
Park Chalet, 1000 Great Hwy
Park Chalet is a classic. With its extensive kids menu, relaxed atmosphere, and lovely outdoor space by the beach, it rarely disappoints.
Biergarten, 424 Octavia Blvd.
Outdoor tables make this a fun spot to unwind on a sunny afternoon. There’s no kids menu, but if your kid will eat a hot dog or giant pretzel, you’ll be ok (not to mention there are plenty of nearby options if hunger strikes after you leave). The Octavia playground is also conveniently across the street.
Crossroads, 699 Delancey St.
Good café food meets a large outdoor garden, and proceeds go to the Delancey Street Foundation. Win-win! Walk along the Embarcadero after dinner to stretch your legs.
The Ramp, 855 Terry Francois St.
Originally a bait shop,this popular spot is right on the Dogpatch waterfront and home to a huge patio where you can enjoy brunch, lunch, dinner, weekend BBQs, and even salsa dancing.
Spark Social, 601 Mission Bay Blvd. North
There’s plenty to like about this food truck hot spot in Mission Bay. There’s a beer and sangria garden, a rotating roster of food trucks, a giant retired bus to play around, and a wonderful playground nearby.
Presidio Social Club, 563 Ruger St.
This charming eatery has a patio and outdoor area for those among us who have the wiggles. There’s no kids menu, but plenty of kid-friendly food.
Bar Bocce, 1250 Bridgeway, Sausalito
Right on the water, this stellar spot has a bocce court, a fire pit, and a beach. Kids will love their pizza! Check out the website for a weather cam to see if it’s foggy or sunny.
Terrapin Crossroads, 100 Yacht Club Dr., San Rafael
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more kid-friendly outdoor space in the Bay Area. There are multiple playgrounds, an indoor train room, and Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead hosts a story time for kids on weekends.
Westbrae Biergarten, 1280 Gilman St., Berkeley
Beer, food trucks, kids menu, and a giant sand pit for kids? We’re in! Keep in mind that there is no indoor space, so save this one for good weather days.
Rock Wall Winery, 3401 Monarch St., Alameda
Alameda can feel off the beaten path, but it has a protected beach and one of the best sunsets around. Perched on the edge of the old naval base, Rock Wall has good food, a wine-tasting room, a geodesic dome, and a sprawling blacktop runway kids can make their own.
Presidio Picnic (11AM-4PM Sundays through October 21, Presidio)
Presidio Twilight (5PM-9PM Thursdays through September 20, Presidio)
Jupiter (2181 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley)
Murray Circle (601 Murray Circle, Sausalito)
Fish. (350 Harbor Drive, Sausalito)
Mission Rock Resort (817 Terry Francois Blvd., Mission Bay)
Arwen Griffith grew up on the East Coast, and is still trying to recreate those warm evenings spent playing outdoors while the grown-ups chatted. But with down jackets on.
This article originally appeared in the August/September 2017 issue of GGMG Magazine. Photo of Crossroads Cafe via Flickr.
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