One of the great reasons to visit San Francisco in the fall is our seemingly never ending Indian summer. While the rest of the country is hunkering down for winter, we continue to kick back and enjoy our forever light-sweater-weather climate. We recommend taking full advantage of our bonus warm weeks with these can’t fail park and picnic combinations, sure to delight the most seasoned picnicker.
Looking for options? Then The Sandwich Spot is for you. With 40+ sandwich choices, the only thing that makes it easier to choose is knowing that all of them are delicious! Order ahead to make your experience a breeze (and put yourself less on the spot for making a decision), then head to the Marina Green to enjoy unparalleled views of the Bay.
While there is much debate over the best burrito in town, it is almost certainly safe to say that Tony’s offers up the best pizza (with Golden Boy coming in a very close second). The slice house offers rotating options of some of the tastiest slices in town. This is a great lunch spot, but word to the wise- it can get a little crazy during the late night weekend rush. Take your slice to Washington Park for a true North Beach experience.
We can certainly all make a grilled cheese at home, but the combinations of ooey-gooey deliciousness being served up at the AGCK will prove their worth. You have the option to do half of any sandwich, and pair it with either a choice of salads or the classic tomato soup. If you can wait a block to dig in, South Park is one street away with a bonus playground for the little ones.
If you haven’t made it to the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco (and even many city locals haven yet) we recommend making the trip! The most recently up-and-coming neighborhood offers a Portland-eque feeling, along with a plethora of local chocolate, gift, and cheese shops in addition to cafes. Check out Gilberths to pick up a salad or sandwich, before walking over to Esprit Park to enjoy the Dogpatch sunshine, along with the neighborhood dogs that like to hang here.
In the mood for a bagel or a good old-fashioned, made right sandwich? Then head down deep in the Mission to Charlie’s Deli. For a great lunch that won’t set you back, Charlie’s will deliver. Once you’re ready to grub, you’re just a few footsteps away from one of the city’s best kept secrets- Precita Park.
Ike’s Place is a local favorite, with lines that can stretch around the block during peak lunchtime hours. This location is one of the originals, and Ike himself is something of a local legend. Pro-tip: Order your sandwiches ahead to skip the line, or arrive around 11:30AM to beat the rush. Each sandwich order comes with a bag of chips and a sweet surprise. Once you’ve got your food, head over to Dolores park for some of San Francisco’s best people watching.
Looking for your lovable, hole-in-the-wall, vegetarian deli? Then look no further than Love N Haight. Family owned and operated, Love N Haight offers thirteen faux-meat alternatives for the sandwiches they construct with fresh veggies and “all the fixings”. This deli is one of the few that won’t make your wallet groan- though it is cash only. Pick up your lunch here and then head over to Duboce Park, a dog and family friendly locale.
The Arizmendi Bakery is part of a worker owned cooperative that turns out unbelievably delicious baked goods, along with pizza that is nearly too good to be true. With every slice you purchase you’re also given a sliver slice to dig into immediately. The type of pizza changes daily, so be sure to check out the Arizmendi pizza calendar if you have any picky eaters in tow. With pizza in tow, you’re just a few blocks from all of Golden Gate Park.
So there you have it- our top eight parks and picnic recommendations (for this week at least). With about a million more to choose from, what are your favorites?
About the Author // Eliza Dropkin is the newest member of Vantigo. She enjoys live music, good food, and cruising around town in Jerry (the other newest member of Vantigo).