The Only List You Need for Visiting Wine Bars in the City by The Bay
I’ve been putting this off for quite a while but since I’m a wine blogger based in San Francisco I think it’s finally time for me to share some of my wine bar secrets. Whether you’re a local or visiting from out of town, you will not regret checking a few (or all, if you’re ambitious) of these off your list. Enjoy, wine lovers!
West Coast Wine Bar – Cow Hollow
Situated in Cow Hollow Neighborhood, the West Coast Wine bar highlights wines specifically from California, Washington, or Oregon. You will notice the wall of wines to the right as you walk in the door (and just hope an earthquake doesn’t strike while you’re there). Make sure to show up hungry because they have a great menu including a good selection of cheese, charcuterie, and deviled eggs.
The Riddler – Hayes Valley
You will instantly feel chic the moment you walk into The Riddler, which is one of the hottest locations in the trendy Hayes Valley neighborhood. The champagne and sparkling wine menu is endless, but don’t be intimidated – the staff will help you pick something you’ll like. Oh, and you may want to stay longer just to indulge in the free popcorn (I know from experience).
Fig & Thistle – Hayes Valley
Photo by Iann Ivy
Photo by Iann Ivy
The Fig & Thistle is a cozy wine and beer bar in Hayes Valley that features mostly domestic wines and beers from California. They also have a small menu for “light bites” such as cheese, olives, or popcorn but don’t expect to eat dinner here. Ideal date spot if you want to grab a few drinks before heading to one of the hip restaurants within walking distance in Hayes Valley.
Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant – Financial District
The Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant is located in the iconic Ferry Building which sits on the Embarcadero at the end of Market Street. This location is usually bustling with both tourists and locals, but don’t let that steer you away. They offer a rotating list of wines from all over the world and usually have some fun wine (and beer) flight options. Tip: Order some cheese next door at Cowgirl Creamery and bring it in with you – they are very accepting of bringing in food from other locations in the building.
Jamber Wine Pub – SOMA
Located in SOMA neighborhood, Jamber offers both wine and beer on tap. I think they might be the only bar I’ve been to where they give you coasters that list the type of wine you’re drinking so you don’t mix them up in your tasting flight. Also, do yourself a favor and order the mashed potato tots.
Bluxome Street Winery – SOMA
Unlike most places in San Francisco, Bluxome Street Winery is spacious enough for larger groups, which makes it an ideal location for birthdays and corporate events. It is one of the very few actual wineries located in San Francisco and they serve mostly Pinot Noirs and Chardonnay which come from their vineyard in Russian River. They also have a menu for small bites if you need something to nibble on.
Aquitaine Wine Bistro – Financial District
Aquitaine is very unassuming as you walk in, but I was very impressed by its charming atmosphere and delightful staff. They have an extensive menu featuring mostly French wines – in fact its so long that you will likely struggle with choosing just one. They also have a full lunch and dinner menu with some delicious French cuisine.
Scopo Divino – Lower Pacific Heights
Scopo Divino is both a wine bar and store, offering a library of 1,000 bottles that are available for purchase. High recommend stopping in for some oysters or #brunchtherapy. They have a full brunch menu that would pair nicely with bubbles!