The 30 best wine bars and restaurants in San Francisco 2024

San Francisco has long welcomed newcomers from around the globe, resulting in a myriad of cultures mingling over the decades, as witnessed in today's vibrant food scene. While there's no shortage of unforgettable places to eat and drink in this foggy city by the Bay, the problem is one of too much of a good thing. So how to work out the places to go where you're assured of a decent wine list to accompany your dinner? Enter Star Wine List's tireless ambassadors, who have been pounding the streets in search of those venues which offer some of the most interesting and unusual wine lists to complement the food on offer and which will be sure to satisfy the most discerning of diners - and drinkers.

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  1. Phone: +1 415 624 3140

    Address: 3565 20th Street, San Francisco

    This cozy Mission District wine bar occupies a former record shop, referenced with stacks of actively enjoyed vinyl along the wall and the space’s original vintage neon sign still protruding above the corner entrance. The vibe is always inviting, with cozy couch options and spinning stools along a cozy bar. The kitchen, though small, manages to put out an impressive rotating assortment of mid-sized plates, including the best deviled eggs in town.

  2. Phone: +1 415 771-2216

    Address: 2355 Chestnut Street, San Francisco

    A16 draws a mix of neighborhood patrons and international visitors to Chestnut Street in the Marina District with its James-beard-Award-winning wine list centered around the grapes of Southern Italy and an assortment of handmade pizza and pastas to match. The space recently underwent some remodeling, but the special atrium at the back of the restaurant remains a favorite hideaway for lunch, dinner, and wine events.

  3. Phone: +1 415 551 1590

    Address: 398 Hayes Street, San Francisco

    Absinthe opened two decades ago just a stone’s throw from San Francisco’s Civic Center and quickly set the tone for the increasingly wine-friendly Hayes Valley we know today. This is one of the few restaurants in town where the best time to pop by sans reservation is actually around 7pm due to the odd ebb and flow of individuals attending nearby performances in the evenings. My preference is to tuck into a small table in the bar area at any hour (they offer continuous service throughout the day for most of the week), where one may enjoy smaller portions of bistro classics with a special bottle...

  4. Phone: +1 415 872-9442

    Address: 132 The Embarcadero, San Francisco

    With dramatic views of the Bay Bridge, there are few more handsome places to drink wine in San Francisco than Angler. And man, there’s a lot of wine to choose from. At 3000 selections, this Michelin-starred venue has the sort of maximalist American wine list, usually the domain of restaurants opened somewhere in the latter quarter of the last millennium, that you almost never find. It runs to over 150 broadsheet pages, and there’s truly something for everyone, with a keen balance between old-school collectables and new wave, farming-focused, cutting-edge selections. Nominally, the list focus...

  5. Phone: +1 (415) 567-5432

    Address: 1722 Sacramento Street NEAR VAN NESS &, Polk Street, San Francisco

    Michelin Two-Star Acquerello, opened in 1989, is one of San Francisco's most mature cellars, and one of its most charmingly old-school dining rooms. As they say on their website, “we believe that refined luxury is always in style.” Expect white table cloths, quiet jazz music, captains in sharply tailored suits and tableside preparations of elevated Italian cooking. It’s the sort of place you can take your grandmother, but also that date you’d really like to impress. The cellar has been built painstakingly by the Paterlini family over the last 30-plus years with a focus on the wines of Italy,...

  6. Phone: (415) 430-6580

    Address: 888 Brannan Street, San Francisco

    In a town rich with Italian- and French-focused wine lists, Bellota shines as a purely Spanish option in SoMa (South of Market). Pitch perfect regional cuisine — tapas for the slightly peckish, paellas for the hungry masses — and a warm, gold-tinged open space with generous bar provide a perfect backdrop for exploring Iberian wine.

  7. Phone: (415) 549-7612

    Address: 458 Grove Street, San Francisco

    One of the early comers to the wave of caves à vin with robust small plate and conserva offerings, Birba's cozy interior and beautiful back patio garden brings a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city. Nestled in Hayes Valley, Birba is the perfect start - or end - to any lazy day wine bar crawl through the sun-dappled streets, and owner Angela Valgiusti is always on hand with recommendations that span the globe.

  8. Phone: (415) 685-4860

    Address: 22 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco

    Walking into the minimalist interior of three-star Michelin restaurant Benu, one gets butterflies anticipating the performance that is about to unfold. The restaurant, situated near Yerba Buena Park, received the James Beard award this year for Best Wine Program — recognition long overdue in the minds of those who have had the pleasure of experiencing the restaurants hallowed wine list or Wine Director Yoon Ha’s congenial pairing menu in the last decade since the restaurant opened. After a meal at Benu I started seeking saké for my caviar (rather than Champagne) and craving sour fruit beers w...

  9. Phone: (415) 416-6959

    Address: 838 Divisadero Street, San Francisco

    On the northern border of Western Addition’s NoPa (North Panhandle) neighborhood, restaurant Che Fico offers northern Italian cuisine through the lens of California with a special nod to “Cucina Ebraica”, the Jewish-Italian culinary heritage. One may enjoy their meal at either a broad table in a softened industrial dining space or in the buzzy, dark bar area near the entrance.

  10. Phone: (415) 416-6980

    Address: 834 Divisadero Street, San Francisco

    Che Fico Alimentari is the more laid-back wine bar offshoot of mother restaurant Che Fico (located just up the stairs) in the NoPa neighborhood. The rustic bar offers a focused charcuterie menu and a smattering of mainstay antipasti, frutti di mare, primi and secondi — think seasonal bruschetta or eggplant parmesan — to accompany a nearly all-Italian wine list sectioned into Northern, Central, and Southern regions. In addition to multiple selections from favored producers like Foradori, Rinaldi, and Occhipinti, the list also includes a tidy little Champagne section with grower-produced vintage...

  11. Phone: (415) 757-0994

    Address: 355 11th Street, San Francisco

    Family-owned Modern Mexican restaurant Californios now occupies the former Bar Agricole space in San Francisco's SoMa district. The sleek, spacious new digs come with a lushly planted interior courtyard, a new liquor license, and enough space in the cellar downstairs to hold the restaurants 3500-bottle collection. At this Michelin-rated restaurant, the bold and the elegant intermingle around traditional Mexican flavors creatively applied to fresh local ingredients. (Editors note: Californios has moved to a new address - we will soon add fresh photos.)

  12. Phone: +1 (415) 775-8508

    Address: 490 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco

    San Francisco is awash with casual Italian restaurants, but very few of them are as good as Cotogna. Located in the same Jackson Square building as Quince, Cotogna is the much more casual Trattoria-style restaurant. The pro-tip here is that while the default list at Cotogna is a two-sheeter of adventurous and well-curated Italian and California wines, you can also ask for the much larger Quince list, as they share a cellar. This offering includes plenty of big boy collector wines, but also grower champagnes, mature Nebbiolo from more obscure appellations in Alta Piemonte, and gems from the mor...

  13. Phone: +1 (415) 417-3969

    Address: 252 California Street, San Francisco

    Formerly the space housing famed California Chef Michael Mina’s eponymous flagship restaurant, Ornos is a modern Greek seafood restaurant with one of San Francisco’s largest wine lists. Very much in the model of the modern Mediterranean seafood palaces like New York’s Milos (this trend started in the middle 2000s). On the menu expect lots of stunningly fresh grilled seafood as well as traditional Greek mezze. The wine list has plenty of the classics you would expect from a large fine-dining restaurant list (likely holdovers from when this was Mina’s flagship), but what really shines here is...

  14. Address: 639A Divisadero Street, San Francisco

    Industry favorite Fool’s Errand overlooks the hustle and bustle of Divisadero Street in the NoPa neighborhood. The rustic, wood-lined wine and beer bar is usually packed to the gills in the evening, due in part to limited space; but mostly because of specially sourced beers and particularly tasty wine selections — emphasis on the Riesling. When the weather is nice (enough), the wineminded can spill out of the bar onto what is reported to be the world’s first parklet.

  15. Phone: (415) 648-7600

    Address: 2534 Mission Street, San Francisco

    Foreign Cinema is a spacious, award-winning restaurant in the middle of the Mission District. The local institution has been luring locals and tourists alike with ample open-air seating in the interior courtyard, movies in constant rotation on a giant screen, and a menu focused on California ingredients through a creative Mediterranean lens. A sizeable, well-curated wine list provides just as much incentive to drop in.

  16. Phone: +1 (415) 821-2500

    Address: 2500 Folsom Street, San Francisco

    Nestled in a cosy corner of the characterful Mission District, Heirloom Cafe has sleepy SF neighborhood bistro vibes in spades. An à la carte menu focused on seasonal, northern Californian produce executed with French techniques is often combined with a more structured pre-fix menu (although, whatever you order, try not to miss the signature Epoisses burger on an English muffin). The wine list is an eclectic mix of sought-after European, farming-focused small production wines (often at a reasonable price, and with some bottle age) as well as fully mature California wines; regardless of your ta...

  17. Phone: (415) 742-5256

    Address: 443 Clement Street, San Francisco

    For many years, the Outer Richmond was a vast district with many a dive bar and hidden food gem and nary a serious wine bar — until High Treason opened up on Clement Street. When I say serious, I mean it: co-owners John Vuong and Michael Ireland have a number of Michelin stars between them from past work at restaurants like The French Laundry, Quince, Ame, and Gary Danko. They know their schist! But for all their access and expertise, the duo prefers to keep it laid back in their own space.

  18. Phone: +1 (415) 753-9479

    Address: 349 Clement Street, San Francisco

    Chef, owner and sommelier Emrah Kilicoglu re-vamped the business during the pandemic, turning what was once a quiet neighborhood spot into the must-go destination among the city's wine cognoscenti. As impressive as the selections are on the list, be sure to ask for what gems he might be hiding off the list. Here you'll find the same inspired and quirky approach to wine (especially Burgundy and the Rhône) as you do across town at the equally cult destination the Morris – no coincidence as the Morris' Paul Einbund was instrumental in Kilicoglu's introduction to the broad world of wines. The...

  19. Phone: (415) 518-2624

    Address: 2065 Polk Street, San Francisco

    In a storybook Victorian building on a corner in Russian Hill, restaurant Lord Stanley’s streamlined interior frames striking dinner platings of naturally ornate seasonal local ingredients, artfully presented with a modern touch. Historically, items like confit morel mushroom galette or onion petals with Sherry vinegar beckoned from the "a la carte" menu. With the restaurant's new "Turntable" concept, the chef's tasting menu has never been more exciting. The restaurant now features a rotating roster of upcoming international chefs at the helm alongside the restaurants mainstay FOH and BOH staf...

  20. Phone: +1 (415) 874-9921

    Address: 3416 19th Street, San Francisco

    Chef David Barzelay’s restaurant redefines fine dining as a vivacious dinner party; Lazy Bear does Michelin two-starred dining unlike anyone else in San Francisco. The cooking is precise, technical, and flavourful, while being relentlessly inventive. A certain fun-at-all-costs energy extends to both the wine list and the pairings; wine experiences here have a certain madcap energy focused on making sure you have the very best, no matter what order or circumstance it might come in. On top of a substantially-sized award-winning wine list, served in all the very best glassware, there’s also num...

  21. Phone: (415) 864-8643

    Address: 560 Divisadero Street, San Francisco

    Nopa has become a food industry darling at its corner spot in the center of NoPa’s lively Divisadero corridor. For over 10 years now, wine professionals citywide have made it their ritual to unwind in the late evening at Nopa over urban rustic cuisine (yes, absolutely seasonal and locally sourced) and a glass (or bottle) of something to suit any mood and preference.

  22. Address: 4055 Irving Street, San Francisco

    Palm City, in SF's Outer Sunset neighborhood, is the sandwich shop of your dreams. While Palm City deserves plenty of praise for their daily rotation of massive, made-to-order sandos offered with a thoughtful selection of sides and snackables, the unusual choice to make an investment in wine really pays off for this venue A very carefully curated selection of grower Champagne, new-wave California, and farming-focused European wines are available for just a notch over retail markups. Dine in, or take your lunch to go for a picnic in Golden Gate Park. A great one-two punch if you plan to go take...

  23. Phone: +1 (415) 744-5000

    Address: 20 Yerba Buena Lane, San Francisco

    I never feel quite cool enough to be there when I walk down the grand staircase to the subterranean Press Club. Entirely non-descript from the street level, you enter a beautiful, moody but modern space with the best glass list downtown once you're inside. It's a perfect happy hour spot, where bites menu is always a hit – and here you have the option not just of a bump of caviar but with a chambong bump to boot. Wine director Nate Houston has led a focus on biodynamic, organic and sustainable farming – so the wines are as conscientious as they are delicious. Flights of all kinds await as wel...

  24. Phone: +1 (415) 775-8500

    Address: 470 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco

    San Francisco institution Quince is owned and operated by Chef Michael Tusk and his wife and long-term FOH majordomo, Lindsay Tusk. The menu features Californian cuisine at its finest: inspired daily creations from produce sourced directly from their own Fresh Run Farm, produced with Chef Tusk’s extensive experience with regional Italian cuisine. The three-star Michelin-rated restaurant offers an eight to ten course menu with optional beverage pairings in the main dining room or an abbreviated seasonal tasting menu in a more casual salon area. The restaurant was fully renovated in 2023 and fea...

  25. Phone: +1 (415) 931-5100

    Address: 3640 Sacramento Street, San Francisco

    This Grand-Award-winning institution has been open now for over a decade, providing culinary refuge on a stretch of Laurel Heights otherwise occupied by mostly design stores and daycares. Spruce sources ingredients locally, mostly from their own dedicated organic farm. It’s possible to have the tricked-out classical service experience in the restaurant’s spacious dining room, where members of the highly-trained wine team are just waiting to geek out with you over a bottle from deep in their over-2,500-bottle list.

  26. Phone: +1 (415) 828-7990

    Address: 178 Townsend Street, San Francisco

    One of the Bay Area's iconic fine dining restaurants, Saison began as a pop-up in 2009, eventually transferring to its lofted dining room inside a landmarked building in 2012. During this time, the restaurant built a capacious cellar of Cchampagne, mature red and white Burgundy, northern Rhone red, as well as cult California Cabernet; the list is currently around 2500 selections. The main culinary event is a long-form tasting menu restaurant of second wave California cuisine; there is a slightly shortened (and more affordable) experience in the restaurant’s bar lounge. Given the setting, one...

  27. Phone: (415) 861-8032

    Address: One Ferry Building #3, San Francisco

    The Slanted Door has been a major fixture in San Francisco’s food scene since the mid ‘90s, when it opened in a small space in the Mission District. Now the popular restaurant sits along the waterfront of the Embarcadero in a spacious corner spot inside the SF Ferry Building. There patrons can enjoy dishes small to large off of an authentic and inspired Vietnamese menu.

    The Slanted Door is temporarily closed.

  28. Phone: +1 (415) 612-8480

    Address: 2501 Mariposa Street, San Francisco

    Having worked previously as beverage director at Frances and with a hand in other restaurants in the Bay Area over the last two decades, Paul Einbund now pours his extensive expertise into his own passion project. The Morris, named after Einbund’s father, sits in a sturdy, vintage corner spot in a quiet, somewhat industrial quarter of the Outer Mission en route to Potrero Hill. Entering this space, one passes between an open kitchen and a transparent wine room with bottles — Einbund’s babies —stacked to the ceiling.

  29. Phone: +1 415 673-1294

    Address: 1525 Fillmore Street, San Francisco

    The Progress sits in the middle of the Fillmore Jazz District of Western Addition, Immediately adjacent to big (little) sister restaurant, State Bird Provisions. Here one may order a la carte dishes to be eaten family style. One should definitely plan to come en mass to the Progress, not simply to share a BBQed half duck or harissa-grilled lamb from local farmers, but to crack into accomplished sommelier Jason Alexander’s excellent list.

  30. Phone: +1 (415) 814-2129

    Address: 2419 3rd Street, San Francisco

    This Dogpatch wine bar and retail space will charm and impress you before you even step through the doorway. It’s owners, married couple Chris Gaither and Rebecca Fineman, met at an Advanced Sommelier exam in 2012 and have been together through numerous accolades and experience at restaurants like Gary Danko and Ame. Rebecca eventually became the 25th female Master Sommelier in the United States. Amid all the excitement, they managed to open a place that demonstrates their love of community, commitment to education, and passion for wine and gastronomy. Ungrafted offers bar bites and a full me...