The 9 Coolest Parklets In S.F. For Outdoor R&R

[UPDATE: This story was originally published on April 30, 2012.]
If there's one thing we want to do on the weekends it's…well…nothing! And while the Bay's plethora of lush parks are definitely conducive to outdoor chilling, we're also lucky enough to have a host of alternative, more urban R&R spots in the form of the parklets popping up all over town. The best tiny, park-like structures make their home in the parking spaces in front of some of the coolest city spots (Four Barrel, Delfina, Trouble Coffee, and Farm:Table among them), and they don't just consist of a few uninspired tables and chairs on the sidewalk. Instead, the mini venues are getting made over by some of the coolest design firms and creative types in town. Don't believe that these auto zones can be jazzed up to stunning effect? Just take a virtual walk through our slideshow and plan your summertime sit-ins accordingly.
Photographed by Christine Ting
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Martha & Bros. Coffee Co. Parklet
Want to watch a barrage of strollers, toddlers, and Apple employees in their natural habitat? Then cop a squat in front of this Noe Valley java staple, where there are plenty of benches and chairs to soak up the rays in the oft-sunny 'hood. The spacious seating area is the brainchild of Riyad Ghannam, who has five parklets under his belt, including the city's first.
Martha & Bros. Coffee Co. Parklet, 3868 24th Street (between Church and Sanchez streets).

Photographed by Christine Ting
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Fabric8 Parklet
Designed by local artist Erik Otto, this 22nd Street beauty is about as playful as they come, with a tiny house-like structure, an artful hill made of wood, bean-bag chairs, and even a television! Expect to see it all change, however, thanks to Fabric8's goal to employ a different artist to revamp the space from time to time.
Fabric8 Parklet, 3318 22nd Street (at Valencia Street).

Photographed by Christine Ting
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Farm:Table Parklet
Still in the works, the plans for this parklet include a mix of seating and an urban landscape filled with lush, edible plants, and two bike racks. The angular space, which is possible thanks to $15,327 worth of Kickstarter donations, will open in Spring 2012, bringing a welcome dose of green to the Tenderloin.
Farm:Table Parklet, 754 Post Street (between Leavenworth and Jones streets).

Photo: Courtesy of Ogrydziak/Prillinger Architects
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Arlequin Cafe Parklet
Situated in front of Arlequin Cafe (sister restaurant to next-door-neighbor Absinthe), this sleek parklet features classic black furniture, wild plants, wood benches, and is a solid alternative to the more over-populated PROXY space further down Hayes Street.
Arlequin Cafe Parklet, 384 Hayes Street (at Gough Street).

Photographed by Christine Ting
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Delfina Parklet
A newbie to the parklet game, this brand-new area parked in front of the Delfina restaurant in Pac Heights, might also get the most action thanks to the eatery's notoriously long lines and wait times. The spacious area with cool wind-blown plants is the creation of Siol Studios, costed $25,000 to build, and captures bragging rights for being its neighborhood's very first parklet.
Delfina Parklet, 2406 California Street (at Fillmore Street).

Photographed by Christine Ting
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Four Barrel Parklet
Perhap's S.F.'s most well-known parklet, this woodsy outpost in front of the cult-followed (and gorgeous!) Four Barrel is a Mission cyclist's dream, thanks to its plethora of bike racks. We think it's also arguably the city's best people-watching perch. Need proof? Peep our street style roundup taken smack dab in the middle of it all!
Four Barrel Parklet, 375 Valencia Street (between 14th and 15th streets).

Photographed by Christine Ting
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Devil's Teeth Baking Company Parklet
If you'd rather hit a bench than the beach to enjoy your fresh-out-the-over baked goods, this perfect little area is for you. Located a few blocks away from the ocean in the Outer Sunset, the woodsy creation stuffed with a succulent garden is the perfect backdrop for a slightly chilly alfresco brunch.
Devil's Teeth Baking Company Parklet, 3876 Noriega Street (between 46th and 45th avenues).

Photographed by Christine Ting
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Trouble Coffee Parklet
Just four blocks directly north of Devil's Teeth is the equally inventive and extra nature-y parklet outside of Trouble Coffee. The java hut's owner Giulietta Maria Carrelli, along with builder Ajax Oakford, scoured the Bay for used wood in order to make this dreamy, shipwreck-inspired creation, which is truly a sight to behold.
Trouble Coffee Parklet, 4033 Judah Street (between 45th and 46th avenues).

Photographed by Christine Ting
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Tony's Pizza Parklet
Need somewhere to rest it while waiting to get into North Beach's famed Tony's Pizza spot? Look no further than this stylish little nook right out front. Dotted with purple and yellow chairs and flowers, it's definitely one of the more colorful versions in town. Bonus: it's just steps away from the lovely Washington Square Park.
Tony's Pizza Parklet, 1570 Stockton Street (at Union Street).

Photographed by Christine Ting