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Five great places to drink outside

By Jordan Mackay | May 27, 2010 | Story

The hordes make it hard to enjoy the Hotel Vitale's bar on Fridays at 5. But at any other time of the week, the wide-open deck with views of the Ferry Building and the bay is a great place to relax with a finely crafted cocktail or a glass from the excellent wine list. 8 Mission St., S.F., 415-278-3777

El Rio
This patio of this sprawling Outer Mission bar bustles almost as much as its activity calendar, which features free oysters, salsa dancing, $3 margaritas, live music, and the occasional barbecue. 3158 Mission St., S.F., 415-282-3325

The Ramp
This bayfront bar and restaurant sits in an unlikely location in the seafaring/light-industrial atmosphere of China Basin. It accepts walk-ins from both the street side and the sailboat dock, giving it a laid-back, Jimmy Buffett-ish vibe that will comfort anyone familiar with recreational boating. 855 Terry A. François Blvd., S.F., 415-621-2378

Wild Side West

This backyard garden—filled with plants, sculptures, and other doodads—is one of Bernal Height's little treasures. Its verdant nooks provide ample privacy in which to enjoy a beer or a well-made, classic mixed drink. 424 Cortland Ave., S.F., 415-647-3099

It's easy to while away an afternoon at San Francisco's premier beer garden, with its wide selection of brews and picnic tables. And the colorful, punky clientele makes for good people-watching, as long as you can stand the smoke and the sometimes deafening hard rock. 199 Valencia St., S.F., 415-255-7505


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