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looking for neighborhood w/ good outdoor bars, patio dining

Raleigh, North...
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looking for neighborhood w/ good outdoor bars, patio dining

Short trip (4 days). Plan to do a lot of eating and drinking and if weather permits, strolling. So wife and I are looking for a neighborhood with a high concentration of bars with outdoor seating. Cafes, patios, beer gardens and what have you. We are more the beer types, so pretentious clubby cocktail lounges need not apply. We are pretty simple. "Hipster" is fine within reason, annoying yuppy or sorority girl hangouts would be best avoided. Dives are great. Classic, old timey gritty spots. But really want to enjoy some outdoors to if possible.

Bonus points for cool, classic architecture. Access to Transit is good as is other adjacent, walk able cool neighborhoods. Lite shopping is ok too (independent stores; affordable art/boutiques). Research leads me to Mission area, maybe Castro or up into SOMA?

Never been to the CIty. So I am starting from ground zero. Can't wait! Any ideas appreciated

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Baltimore
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1. Re: looking for neighborhood w/ good outdoor bars, patio dining

North Beach, Valencia Street, Castro, and Hayes Valley come to mind. I guess you've disqualified Union Street and the Marina with the sorority girl nix.

San Francisco
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2. Re: looking for neighborhood w/ good outdoor bars, patio dining

When will you be here?

SF isn't much of an al fresco dining scene -- at least without outdoor heaters, even in summer (and I'm sure that is a surprise).

There are a lot of café spots around town for outdoor dining but they work best at lunch. The one that comes to mind specifically is Belden Alley ... the entire alley is lined with restaurants of all different types. www.belden-place.com

Also nearby is Café Claude which has outdoor dining as well.

My favorite place for evening outdoor dining is Aziza in Cole Valley. Great patio space. Another favorite is Sociale on Sacramento (past Presidio) which has a duck paperdelle that's to die for.

However, when you say <<if weather permits, strolling.>> I'm perplexed. What time of year are you planning on visiting?

Also ... what does <<Bonus points for cool, classic architecture>> mean to you? We have some incredibly beautiful Victorians (that survived the 1906 EQ and Fire).

<<Access to Transit is good as is other adjacent, walk able cool neighborhoods>> Again, I'm not sure what you mean by this. Our transit system, affectionately called Muni, prides itself on being within 2 blocks of 90%+ of all addresses in town. And the downtown area is small and relatively walkable.

Where are you staying? There is a Top Question (right side of screen) that includes Muni directions from most sights using Union Square or Fisherman's Wharf as a starting point.

Baltimore
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3. Re: looking for neighborhood w/ good outdoor bars, patio dining

These guys might enjoy Foreign Cinema: http://www.foreigncinema.com/

Raleigh, North...
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4. Re: looking for neighborhood w/ good outdoor bars, patio dining

we are planning one of the next 3 weekends. yes - love the Victorian buildings' that's what I am going for. where we are staying is up for debate. would like to stay back in a cool neighborhood that would make for good walking. apartment/flat rental if possible. maybe B&B. we're not much for hotels.

yeah, I was wondering whether al fresco dining was much of a deal there. kind of thought not.no biggie.

"weather permitting" means I'd like to avoid walking long distances if its pouring and like 54 degrees.

sounds like the transit is amazing, thanks for the details!

Santa Cruz...
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5. Re: looking for neighborhood w/ good outdoor bars, patio dining

I don't think I would go for an apt/flat rental for only 4 days. By the time you pay the cleaning fee and give them the damage deposit, which will take some time to get back, it isn't really cost effective.

You should be aware that from now for the next few months, San Francisco is full of conventions, which bring up the price of lodgings tremendously and cut down on the number of vacancies. If you are coming this fall you should take care of lodgings right away.

San Francisco...
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6. Re: looking for neighborhood w/ good outdoor bars, patio dining

If you find yourself in the Mission district and like alcohol you should check out Zeitgeist at Valencia and Duboce. It's a little grungy but they pour a strong drink, have 40 beers on tap, and also have decent hamburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches - all of which can be enjoyed in their backyard

http://www.zeitgeistsf.com/

Santa Clara...
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7. Re: looking for neighborhood w/ good outdoor bars, patio dining

I wouldn't completely rule out vacation rentals especially if you are looking at the Mission, Cole Valley, or Hayes Valley. Most cleaning fees are $80-$150 for a small pad. The savings and elbow room for an apt may be worthwhile esp if you are coming during high seasons with jacked up hotel rates. The deposit is fully refundable if you don't trash the place. I have rented from vrbo the last many years and have found last mins great deals. Good hunting for lodging!

San Francisco
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8. Re: looking for neighborhood w/ good outdoor bars, patio dining

For dinner, try the patio at Foreign Cinema. I've always found the food to be pretty solid and the atmosphere is really nice.

The Biergarten in Hayes Valley is a fun place to go if it's not freezing out. German snacks, beer, outdoors, blankets. http://biergartensf.com

The Mission has a high concentration of bars, though I can't think of too many with an outdoor area- there's Techo which is on a rooftop, and also Mayhem, Zeitgeist, El Rio. For beer specifically, maybe try Southern Pacific Brewing Company.

San Francisco, Ca
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9. Re: looking for neighborhood w/ good outdoor bars, patio dining

There's also the Streat Food Park at 428 11th in the SOMA area... food trucks, with a biergarten area and hipster vibe.

Raleigh, North...
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10. Re: looking for neighborhood w/ good outdoor bars, patio dining

thanks for all the suggestions. we usually go the rental route just to get a feel for the neighborhood for a few days, but not a requirement.

thanks for the heads up on the conventions ans such