Even though indoor dining is back on in San Francisco, albeit in tandem with a long list of COVID-19 safety protocols, locals have grown to love the city’s burgeoning al fresco dining scene.
In an effort to showcase some of the best outdoor dining areas in SF (before it gets too cold), we’re going to be spotlighting our favorites around the seven-by-seven in an effort to — fingers crossed — give you a complete guide to the best parklets in each neighborhood.
With that said, scroll through our must-dine-at parklets in the Mission District.
Raw Sugar Factory
Raw Sugar Factory’s comfy, unassuming outdoor dining area is a bright blue oasis amid Valencia Street’s sea of less vibrant parklets. The Cal-Asian food fare is a favorite among those in the area, and the wooden tables and seats are well spaced to provide proper social distancing. Despite the parklet’s translucent roof paneling, the area’s well shaded; you’d be remiss not to try their kimchi fries.
Raw Sugar Factory is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day at 525 Valencia Street (Mission District); rawsugarfactorysf.com
Panchita’s Restaurant off 16th and Valencia streets has a small, vibrant parklet that features Christmas lights, real planted succulents, and plexiglass guards that shield eaters from the respiratory droplets of passersby. Much like the interior dining area, the outside space is humble and provides ample room to enjoy the Salvadoran staples coming out of the kitchen; it goes without saying that their fantastic pupusas are the main draw.
Panchita’s Restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day of the week at 3091 16th Street (Mission District); more info
Curry Up Now
Curry Up Now’s Mission District location is one of the few parklets we know of in the Mission District that actually features plexiglass separators between the tables — which immediately puts it high up on our list. The muted blue parklet is strung with lights that stay lit from open to close, and the benches have ample room to spread out. And being that the whole concept is based around fast-casual Indian street food, the now-built parkette definitely helps echo that sentiment.
Curry Up Now is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and closes at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 659 Valencia Street (Mission District); curryupnow.com
The Morris is the unpretentious bistro-brainchild of founder Paul Einbund where you can eat and drink at a world-class level — now at one of the neighborhood’s best parklets. Chef Gavin Schmidt’s straightforward cuisine takes advantage of seasonal offerings and pairs them with a unique collection of wines and spirits amassed by beverage connoisseur Einbund — including one of the city’s best collections of vintage Chartreuse. Reservations are strongly suggested and the smoked and roasted, crispy-skin duck is a standout.
The Morris is open 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and Wednesday and Thursday at 2501 Mariposa Street (Mission District); themorris-sf.com
Long before the pandemic came down with a shuttering thud, Stable Cafe’s outdoor patio and parklet area in the back served as a source of respite from the Mission District’s deafening foot and car traffic. Having recently opened earlier in July, the parklet still features the same array of outdoor art and seating patrons are accustomed to — though far more spaced out. WiFi is blazingly fast, so you can munch on bagels and lox whilst answering emails away from your current WFH set up.
Stable Cafe is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day of the week at 2128 Folsom Street (Mission District); stablecafe.com