Where to Eat Before Chase Center: STEM Kitchen & Garden

Where to Eat Before Chase Center San Francisco

The Chase Center has finally opened, after 40 years of urban planning to develop San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood.

The new arena on San Francisco’s waterfront is not just home to the Golden State Warriors; it is a magnet for superstar talent. In just the first month of the Chase Center opening, San Francisco will have hosted Metallica (with the San Francisco Symphony), Elton John (twice, for his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour), John Mayer, Mumford & Sons, and Janet Jackson. Previously, San Franciscans would have to travel across the bridge to the Oakland Coliseum or down the Peninsula to Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara or the SAP Center in San Jose to see a mega pop star perform.

The Chase Center isn’t stopping there: the arena has also attracted superstar dining options in and around the arena. Notably, the Chase Center has a La Corneta Taqueria, Tacolicious, Triple Voodoo Brewery, and Magnolia Brewing on-site.

While the Chase Center has many options in the arena — where should you gather with friends for bites and drinks before the concert or game at the Chase Center?

Here’s our pick: STEM Kitchen & Garden.

Chase Center Pre-Game Bites and Drinks: STEM Kitchen & Garden

STEM Kitchen & Garden quietly opened in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood five years ago. Located on the waterfront and just steps away from the Chase Center, this farm-to-table Cal-Mediterranean restaurant is a casual yet elegant place to gather with friends before games or concerts.

STEM features a modern interior, an open kitchen, an expansive patio, and a garden, where ingredients are sourced from. With all of the construction in Mission Bay over the past few years, it’s remained a hidden gem. Now, with the opening of the Chase Center and Mission Bay finally maturing, it’s about to be discovered.

If you plan to visit the restaurant before any Chase Center event, be sure to make a reservation.

STEM’s menu is simple, offering small plates perfect for the pre-game like patatas bravas and fresh salads, pizzas — perfectly sized for sharing, and larger plates including a delicious salmon served over corn chowder.

Of course, one of the most notable features of STEM Kitchen & Garden is its outdoor space.

While elevated and set a bit inland, the patio enjoys Bay views just beyond the garden; on a sunny day or warm late-summer night, this is the place to be.

There’s an outdoor bar, so there’s no need to go inside to order a cocktail or glass of wine at the counter. STEM’s expansive garden is open for diners and walkers to stroll, sit, sip, and enjoy. Also inside the garden is a bocce ball court.

And did we mention the garden’s aisleways make for the perfect pre-show catwalk to show off your concert outfits? Here are a few before Sir Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.

Stem Garden & Kitchen | $$$ | 499 Illinois Street | San Francisco | Make a Reservation

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