For a city that’s only 7 by 7 miles, San Francisco offers a remarkable number of places to enjoy the outdoors; it also has a reputation for great food, and it only makes sense to combine the two. Whether for a picnic in the park or brunch on the beach, fall is a great time to enjoy a meal outdoors. Fortunately, a few prime spots around town specialize in cuisine you can carry.
The boutique-sized grocery store is stacked almost to the ceiling with quality goods, many under the Bi-Rite label. It also offers fresh produce, a deli-and-meat counter, a surprisingly large selection of wine and beer, aged cheeses, artisanal breads, made-to-order sandwiches and a grab-and-go case full of prepared salads, hum-mus, olives and jars of pot de creme. The store is a block from popular Mission Dolores Park and opposite the beloved Bi-Rite Creamery ice cream shop. 3639 18th St., 415.241.9760. biritemarket.com
This unassuming spot offers Mediterranean staples ideal for a carry-out feast a block away in Golden Gate Park. Consider chicken or lamb shawarma or veggie falafels to go; round out the repast with pints of mujadarra, lentil soup, pickled turnips, dolmas and cucumber-and-yogurt salad (above). 2115 Irving St., 415.664.8210, sunrisedelisf.com. Also downtown: 54 2nd St., 415.495.9999, sunrisedelisf.com
Not only is this one of the most en-during Italian businesses in North Beach, it is one of the oldest delis in the United States. It’s famous for its menu of take-out sandwiches featuring Old Country flavors, such as the popular Luciano Special with Parma prosciutto, sweet coppa, fresh mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and onions on grilled focaccia bread. Or create your own antipasto course with cured meats, cheeses, artichoke hearts and olive oil—and enjoy it two blocks away in Washington Square Park. 373 Columbus Ave., 415.421.2337, molinaridelisf.com
This petite cafe is a hot property with SOMA’s tech-worker crowd, in large part because of the long list of meaty, savory, spicy sandwiches with fresh ingredients and creative names. The “$$$,” for instance, is packed with corned beef, brisket, kosher salami, cherry peppers, Muenster cheese, cheddar cheese and coleslaw on a french roll. The menu—which can change daily and is posted online—includes salads that are inventive takes on standards, topped with house-made dressings. 1058 Folsom St., 415.552.7687, deliboardsf.com
More top spots for sandwiches and other picnic fare.
3505 17th St. B (Mission District), 415.621.3505. turnerskitchensf.com
345 Taraval St. (West Portal), 415.564.5201. guerrastogo.com
2120 Chestnut St. (the Marina), 415.921.7873. luccadeli.com
Seakor Polish Deli
5957 Geary Blvd. (the Richmond), 415.387.8660
Jane the Bakery
1881 Geary Blvd. (Western Addition), 415.658.7971. itsjane.com
Photos by Spud Hilton. Bi-Rite Market photo courtesy Bi-Rite Family of Businesses.