With its reputation for foggy weather, it is rather surprising just how many rooftop spaces there are in the Golden City. From laidback lounges serving light bites to elegant dining rooms with extravagant feasts, there are elevated places to eat and drink to suit all tastes and budgets. Looking for cuisine in the clouds and food with views? We got you covered with our pick of some of the best rooftop restaurants in San Francisco, California.
The 7 Best Rooftop Restaurants in San Francisco
1. Rooftop25, South of Market (SoMa)
You’ll find Rooftop25 in the heart of the SoMa neighbourhood above 25 Lusk. The spacious, open-air rooftop restaurant has stunning downtown views and serves pizzas, handmade burgers and pretzel hot dogs straight from the wood-fired oven. This place is the best place to come for a sundowner – the atmosphere and views are just unbeatable. You can even pop up here on windy and cold days, as the windscreens and heat lamps protect you from the elements and keep you cosy.
2. 620 Jones, Tenderloin
620 Jones is the largest rooftop bar in San Francisco. Located on the second storey, what it lacks in views it makes up for in ambience – although, you can still get good views of the Transamerica Pyramid and the Tenderloin neighbourhood below. With a beautiful open-air terrace adorned with fairy lights, potted plants and neon inspirational signs, this place is enchanting. Oh, there are heaters too, so don’t let the cold put up off from visiting. On the seasonal menu is everything from classic American bar food to twists on favourites. Chefs make all the dishes with local, ethically sourced ingredients.
3. Charmaine’s, Mid–Market district
Charmaine’s is a cosy and elegant rooftop space on top of the Property Hotel soaring 120-foot (36 metres) above the Mid-Market neighbourhood. On the dinner menu, you’ll find a tantalizing selection of dishes, for instance, pork belly skewers, pretzel rolls fish tacos and hamburgers. But we highly advise saving room for the Black Sesame Creme Brulee with Chocolate Shortbread – it is divine. The city skyline views from up here are also pretty great.
4. B Restaurant and Bar, South of Market (SoMa)
B is a cool, contemporary restaurant that sits atop the George R. Moscone Convention Center popularly known as the Moscone Center and Gardens. This lush outdoor rooftop terrace overlooks Yerba Buena Gardens, a waterfall, and has panoramic views of the San Francisco skyline. B has a raw bar and a menu with dishes made from local ingredients. Some of those dishes include peach Panzanella salad, tomato cream pasta and halibut ceviche. Desserts include panna cotta and fruit parfait.
5. Dirty Habit, South of Market (SoMa)
Located on the fifth floor of the Hotel Zelos, the terrace at Dirty Habit is surrounded by the high rise buildings of the SoMa neighbourhood. This means that the views aren’t as impressive as other nearby rooftop restaurants, but it makes up for it with its delicious food. On the menu, in this intimate hideaway, you’ll find gourmet light bites served up for both breakfast and dinner. Dishes include brioche French toast, BBQ beef hash, roasted halibut and venison yakitori.
6. Bluestem Restaurant & Market, Downtown
Looking to dine al fresco, downtown? Then make your way to the Bluestem Restaurant & Market located in the heart of downtown San Francisco – at the crossroads of Union Square and Yerba Buena Gardens. Bluestem Restaurant & Market serves California coastal cuisine made with a vibrant bounty of ingredients native to Northern California. For example, on the menu, you can expect to find dishes made with halibut, razor shells, scallops and Kumamotos.
7. Oeste, Old Oakland
Oeste is a laidback, warm and welcoming rooftop restaurant with a menu laden with dishes that focus on fresh, organic and sustainably farmed California ingredients. The cuisine represents each of the heritages of co-owners Sandra, Lea and Anna. It is a fusion of Latino recipes with Southern flavours and techniques. For instance, you’ll find shrimp and grits, fried brussels sprouts, and steak frites on the menu, alongside fried plantains, tacos and pecan bread pudding. Come hungry.