User's Guide

Where to Eat for Fleet Week (And Where to Avoid it)

If it’s early October, this must be Fleet Week, which means Saturday you’re either going to be all up in Crissy Field watching the airshow and getting slightly more deaf, or you’re going to be hiding from the noise, crowds, and displays of military might. Either way, Grub Street has you covered. Check below for our guide of where to eat near the airshow, and where to avoid it as effectively as possible.

If you go:
You’re probably going to watch the show from either Crissy Field or Fisherman’s Wharf, and there have been some noteworthy recent openings in both.

• Aside from Fleet Week, the only reason you probably ever go to the Fisherman’s Wharf area is for the In-N-Out there, but they unfortunately don’t serve beer. Just in time for your post (or during)-airshow drinks, The Parlor opens today in the former Dirty Martini space. It’s a throwback-style cocktail bar with house-infused spirits and an old-timey whiskey library space, so you can get a little more serious than the beer in plastic cups you might find on the pier. [2801 Leavenworth St., at Beach Street, 415-775-5110]

• In the Marina, a couple of recent pizza openings have made for easy access to an overdose of pepperoni. Just this week, Chicago-style joint Patxi’s opened on Fillmore and Lombard streets, serving (very) deep-dish pie with a decent selection of beers on tap. On the west end of Lombard Street, just by the Presidio, Pizzeria Avellino opened over the summer with a pizzaiolo who apparently knows his business.

• Finally, for those who require a tablecloth and a new paintjob, Three Seasons reopened last month after a months-long closure. The Marina Vietnamese place is nice, but not so fancy you can’t go in your airshow clothes. They’ve now got a new bar and bar menu, as well as their classic fare, and of course, a new paint job.

If you wish the Blue Angels were never invented:

• You’ll probably want to get as far away from the Marina/Wharf as possible, while also avoiding bar-heavy neighborhoods that will catch the post-show revelers. May we suggest: The Sunset. Specifically the Outer Sunset, where the Parkside Tavern serves quiet steaks and cocktails to neighborhood residents and refugees seeking some peace. Johnny Foley’s executive chef Larry Doyle opened it as a neighborhood hangout in August, and denizens of the Avenues have been casually eating and drinking there since.

• Of course, you can’t always run away to the Sunset when the city gets crazy, or you may as well move there. Some quiet corner of the Mission may be good, to which end we’d direct you to 20th Street, in the neighborhood of Folsom and Harrison Streets. That’s where you can find the relatively new (spring) Schmidt’s and Flour + Water, both of which cater to the sophisticated 30-something crowd that would rather get a glass of wine and a nice bite than be blown away by an afterburner.

• Really, though, if you want to avoid the noise you may have to go underground. Come 5 p.m. your best bet would be the Tonga Room, buried as it is under the Fairmont. There’s also the basement at Li Po Lounge, where bands will drown out whatever jet noise may seep in. Both of these places are downtown, and both are wonderfully dingy and boozy.

Where to Eat for Fleet Week (And Where to Avoid it)