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San Francisco Rainy Day Guide: What to Do When The Storm Hits This Weekend

Written by Joe BurnPublished Sep. 17, 2022 • 12:00pm
A fisherman, who chose to remain anonymous, casts off Torpedo Wharf at Fort Point as misty skies cloud a view of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Calif. on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. | Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Brace yourselves. San Francisco is set to be soaked on Sunday with a chance of thunderstorms from late Saturday night.

The first downpour of storm season will likely ruin any picnic plans with between a quarter and half of an inch possible for Sunday morning, with scattered showers throughout the rest of the day and into Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

With highs of 70 expected Sunday, you might feel brave enough to dust off the old raincoat and make the most of it—using The Standard’s guide to rainy days on your quest for cultural fulfillment in the city.

We’ve mapped everything from movie theaters—a classic of the rainy day activity genre—to the best places to indulge yourself with a day of exploring new restaurants, wine bars, cultural experiences or a day of sports bar fun.

These SF Sports Bars Are a Home Away From Home for Out-of-Town Football Fans

Bar goers enjoy themselves while an NFL preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Texans plays on the televisions at Bus Stop sports bar on Aug. 25, 2022. | Jungho Kim for The Standard

Bored of Niners fans lamenting the starting line-up replacement of their chosen idol, Jimmy “GQ” Garoppolo?  Who isn’t? 

Why not visit Turtle at the Bus Stop, a favorite for Cincinnati Bengals fans. Turtle is an Ohio transplant who moved to the Bay Area in 2008. As a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, he found home at the Bus Stop when then-owner Gabe Ferroni supported him bringing in fans to watch the games. 

The Union Street bar is a stalwart Bengals hangout thanks to Turtle—just Turtle—who’s even organized trips to London and Los Angeles for ardent fans to watch the Bengals play. 

If Joe Burrow’s mighty Bengals aren’t your bag, we’ve plenty of other option to watch Sunday’s NFL action as the downpour strikes, including bars for Dolphins, Steelers, Patriots and even 49ers fans—here

And yes, there is a actual bus stop right in front of the Bus Stop.

5 New Spots to Eat and Drink in SF

United Dumplings
United Dumplings launches a second location in the Marina. | Courtesy of United Dumplings

This city is blessed with a plethora of amazing places to eat, but if you’ve eaten your way through your usual favorites, perhaps these new spots will give you an outlet to escape the rain.

How does Northern Chinese comfort food sound on this blustery, sodden day? Well if you’re close enough to the Marina to evade the elements, United Dumpling’s new location on the north side of the city is the place to be.

Two years ago, their Bernal Heights location shook up the dumpling game by filling theirs with unexpected ingredients like mac ‘n’ cheese and truffle oil. 

Owners Julia Zhu and Sandy Zheng combine familiar flavors from their childhoods in Northern China with international influences from their time in San Francisco—the beef bulgogi dumpling is a prime example—the perfect rainy day treat.

If you’re not in the mood for the Marina, check out other new restaurants across the city here—with everything from Venezulan food to Thai.

A Guide to SF’s Independent Bookstores

A storefront of City Lights Books with a man walking by.
The City Lights Bookstore is an independent bookstore founded in 1953. | Photo by Robert Alexander via Getty Images

If the outside world has become too hostile for you with the downpour, you can always transport your mind elsewhere with the power of the written word. 

San Francisco is home to more than 40 independent bookstores to serve the diverse desires of city shoppers.

From the god of modern bookstores, City Lights, to the graphic paradise, Amazing Fantasy, from the social activism of Bolerium Books to the used titles of Dog Eared Books.

Finding the perfect tonic to feed your head is hardly a quest in the city, and if you’d like to quench your thirst while you do it, why not hump it out to Haight Street’s Booksmith, which is conveniently located next door to Alembic, a cool spot for cocktails—you won’t even know its raining if you sit in the back.

Independent bookstores across the city have been helpfully mapped for you by The Standard here.

The Standard Guide to Wine Bars in San Francisco

Wayne Ng and Brandon Eng dine at 20 Spot in San Francisco. | Juliana Yamada/The Standard

As the sky pops open and releases its liquid goodness onto the Earth, why not treat yourself and pop a cork at one of the city’s more than 60 wine bars.

We’ve compiled a 2022 map and guide that would suit any rain-dodging palate here

You could drown on the rain drops with a smooth vinyl soundtrack at the Mission’s 20 Spot wine bar. 

Or be charmed at an intimate corner wine bar tucked up in Bernal Heights, VinoRosso, which specializes in wines and bites from Italy.

Back to the Big Screen: A Map of SF Movie Theaters

Balboa Theatre is one of the last independent movie theaters in San Francisco. (Photo By Liz Hafalia/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

If you’re well-versed in escaping “extreme” weather, you’ll know movie theaters have long been the perfect spot to shut away for hours at a time.

SF has over 10 beautiful picture-houses dotted across the city. With new blockbusters and cult-classics played in a weather-free setting. 

Why not support a struggling industry that was perhaps one of the hardest hit by the dual advent of streaming and the pandemic.

Besides, the popcorn you make at home just isn’t the same. 

We’ve built this handy map to inform your movie-day adventure.

Joe Burn can be reached at

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