Hardly Strictly 2022: Best restaurants and bars for takeout and drinks near the Bluegrass Music Festival


If you haven’t heard, Barely Strictly Bluegrass is back this year at Golden Gate Park. San Francisco’s free festival dedicated to country, folk and, of course, bluegrass is a hugely popular opportunity to see big names like Brandi Carlile and the Drive-By Truckers. A big difference between this festival and its contemporaries, like the much more expensive Outer Lands, is that Hardly Strictly allows attendees to bring their own food and drink.

Worth checking out the festival FAQs regarding containers and bags that can pass through security. And while there is some overlap with OSL in terms of places to eat and drink before and after shows, Hardly Strictly takes place primarily in the Outer Sunset and Richmond portion of the park. For those taking public transport, note that there are also many stops along the N MUNI line on the way to the festival. Here’s Eater San Francisco’s guide to the best restaurants and bars to fuel your music weekend.

If you are looking for takeaway

Marnee Thai

Hang your coat on the back of your chair at this beloved The Inner Sunset restaurant for enjoying Thai cuisine made with coconuts and spices is more or less a sacred act in this part of town. With a queue never too long, nor a bill too expensive, it’s hard to see why anyone would want not settle in Marnee Thai. For takeout, an order of pad se-ew and a side of coconut cakes is a good call.


The pizzas here, including the potato pesto pie and the sausage pie, are really, really good. A large pizza is around $24, and in San Francisco that’s a bargain. Working on one, perhaps taking on Jim Lauderdale, is a surefire guarantee that your day at Hardly Strictly will be a win.

El Cielito Lindo

Serving surprisingly hearty vegan enchiladas, this Balboa Avenue shop has a large park right outside and a downhill trail to the beach and park. Indoor dining is scarce or unavailable, so it’s perfect for a quick restart before heading back to the show. The ultra-popular quesabirria tacos and heavy tortas are not to be missed.

If you are going to dine there

Hook Fish Co.

There’s likely to be a huge queue outside this fish burrito mecca, but it’s worth the wait. Hook Fish is your place if you love tortilla wraps wrapped around freshly caught Pacific seafood. Ceviche, poke bowls and sandwiches are also options. Do it like a pro: Order ahead, and opt for the grilled fish-of-the-day burrito.

Taqueria Los Mayas

The Inner Richmond spot for panuchos and empanadas can now add awesome sister location, Cantina Los Mayas, to its long list of praise. Whether walking, biking, or driving to the westernmost entrances to the event, a stop at one of these Mexican restaurants is a smart move. You can dine at either, but lunch is only available at Taqueria Los Mayas, and beer and wine are available at both.

If you take drinks

hockey haven

It’s the absolute epitome of a neighborhood sports bar. Head here for cheap beer and booze, a big enough garden space to smoke, vape, and chat with other potentially bluegrass-loving folks, or relax after singing (and crying) on “The Eye” by Brandi Carlile.

Outgoing wood

Featuring beautiful wooden parkland, this Woods outpost lets beer lovers watch an ocean sunset just steps from the N line stop on 46th Avenue. It’s worth heading to the back patio to make new friends around the fire pit or rushing to the bar to try the crazy new beer on tap. Wine and, inexplicably, empanadas are also available.

city ​​of palms

This is the Outer Sunset’s go-to place for wine and nationally renowned Philly style sandwiches. Hoagie heaven is simply iconic at this point and ideal for a down-to-earth haunt to knock down a few glasses of natty wine and score a roasted cauliflower sammie.

Beanstalk Coffee

This low-key neighborhood store is great for a cup of cheap tea and a table to hide in for about an hour. Sandwiches and other food options are available, although this addition to the range is perhaps best thought of as the perfect no-frills cafe for a chance to refuel and get out of the sun (or fog, whatever).

And if you are looking for snacks and small bites


Eddo and Clara Lee’s ode to the Korean bodega hits the numbers when it comes to ready-to-eat chips, snacks and buns. If you have the time or the inclination, hop off the train to refuel at this popular addition to the Ninth Avenue corridor.

Baklava slut

It’s a bit of a hike up this piece of Balboa Avenue, but well worth the trek. Hidden within the walls of Egyptian restaurant Al Marsi are some of the best baklava in the city, and certainly in the neighborhood. Cashews, pecans, and traditional variations are all at your fingertips.

Ariadne’s Belly

This bakery and cafe earned its 2022 James Beard nomination. The horchata latte and egg coffee are terrific and robust pick-me-ups, and all the rotating baked goods (don’t sleep on the kaya bun) are worth every penny.


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