Bay Boozing

The best drinking with a view in SF

What San Francisco lacks in rooftop bars (though we're making strides), it makes up for in drinking destinations with serious views.

From Bay-front vistas to skyline panoramas, consider these 10 spots in San Francisco—and beyond—your scenic Bay Area outdoor drinking itinerary.

① Sam's Anchor Cafe in Tiburon
There's a reason Sam's has become a serious sunny weekend destination. The sprawling, always jam-packed dockside patio looks out over the Bay, Angel Island and SF. Skip the so-so food and go for rounds of Bloody Marys ($10) and local beers.

② Half Moon Bay Brewing Company in Half Moon Bay
We love this microbrewery hugging the Pacific coast about 30 minutes south of the city. Snag a spot around one of their outdoor fire pits and sample HMB Brewing's goods, named after the famous Mavericks surf break.

③ Waterbar on the Embarcadero, SF
It's hard to beat Waterbar's prime location. The outdoor patio flanks the Bay Bridge and is the perfect spot for a glass of rosé and a huge platter of oysters. Be sure not to miss their famed $1 oyster happy hour.

④ Mission Rock Resort in Potrero Hill, SF
Check out another side of the Bay: The restaurant's multi-level outdoor deck looks to the East Bay over the SF's shipyards and is a great place to spend an afternoon over oysters and Moscow Mules ($10).

⑤ Forge Pizza in Jack London Square, Oakland
What's better than good pizza and great cocktails? Neapolitan 'za, like the Cherry Pie ($16) with roasted heirloom cherry tomatoes, and a Jacks Martini ($9) served on a gorgeous outdoor patio with fire pits and a stunning view of the Jack London Square Marina. Bonus points if you can score a seat at sunset, when the sailboats are lit with a fiery orange glow.

⑥ Red's Java House in Embarcadero, SF
One of our favorite Giants game-day destinations, for good reason. The no-frills, no-apologies joint's concrete slab of a back patio always has us feeling straight out of an Otis Redding song. Get a bucket of beers and douse your French fries ($2) in Tapatío for the ultimate Red's experience.

⑦ Wild Side West in Bernal Heights, SF
The "view" at this institution is untraditional, but it has a secret garden-slash-backyard filled with hidden corners, leafy benches and groups of friends whiling away a weekend day.

⑧ Barrel House Tavern in Sausalito
Barrel House makes the most of Sausalito's view of the SF skyline and Golden Gate Bridge with a bar-counter patio. The cocktails, like barrel-aged Manhattans ($11), are solid, too, and you can add ingredients like truffle salt and thick-cut bacon to the DIY Bloody Marys ($9 to $15).

⑨ Lake Chalet in Lake Merritt, Oakland
Hugging the shores of Lake Merritt, the Chalet features ample outdoor seating and microbrews—like the Lady of the Lake golden ale ($7.50), brewed in SF at the Beach Chalet—at the daily happy hour (3 to 6 p.m., 9 p.m. 'til close). Often, there will be live music too.

⑩ Bar Bocce in Sausalito
Bar Bocce has it all: an outdoor space stretching down to the water, a gorgeous view of Sausalito sailboats, fire pits and, of course, bocce courts. The beer and wine selection and menu of wood-fired pizzas, such as one topped with crab, Meyer lemon and avocado ($17.50) are both great, too. Make sure you get here early on sunny weekend days to score a spot.