10 great wine bars in San Francisco

From champagne to natural wines, from beer to cheese, from industrial cathedral-feel to shabby-chic - here are 10 wine bars for your night out in San Francisco.

By Lulu McAllister Churchill

  1. Phone: (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: (415) 549-7612

    Address: 458 Grove Street, San Francisco

    To love Birba is to love Angie Valgiusti, the charming, outspoken owner of the small bar with an inviting back patio on a quieter side street in Hayes Valley. Aside from a splash of texture and color from Spanish tiles behind the bar and a few carefully selected pieces of rotating artwork along the walls, Birba is fairly austere on its interior. This is just as well, because the narrow space is easy to fill and less easy to navigate once it’s fully packed and patrons are snacking on boquerones in every corner. Service is casual — don’t be surprised if you end up pouring wine for other guests b...

  3. 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...

  4. Phone: (415) 589-7005

    Address: 313 Ivy Street, San Francisco

    This little wine bar sits unassumingly in an alleyway just off the main drag in buzzing Hayes Valley. The interior of the small space feels cozy, with a handful of unique seating options, such as a shabby-chic bunk bed and a sleek dark wood-lined bar area. There is a selection of local cheese and charcuterie to nosh on along with owner Angel Davis’s concise and frequently changing list of bottles.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Phone: (415) 558-9946

    Address: 1116 Folsom Street, San Francisco

    This edgy wine bar in SoMa has an industrial cathedral-like feel, with candles flickering out from behind beams and wine crates and an enviable “boneyard” of conquered bottles reaching up to the ceiling and some crackly vinyl on the player. The space has a few different seating options, including a small cozy lounge on a mezzanine overlooking the larger space for those wishing to make themselves scarce. Most visitors to Terroir tend to hover around the small central bar, hoping to catch a drop out of the next guy’s bottle to go with their charcuterie.

  8. Phone: (415) 589-7002

    Address: 528 Laguna Street, San Francisco

    If there is one style of wine that goes with every food out there — or without any food at all — it would probably be Champagne. The Riddler has made Champagne (and all that bubbles) the focus of their charming little corner space in Hayes Valley. An oversized black-and-white photo of Jacqueline Bissette drinking Champagne out of a coupe glass (Veuve Clicquot, if you must know) sets the mood for guests blowing into the vintage French nostalgic bistro space. Patrons tend to be a mix of individuals celebrating life’s hallmark moments with special vintage bottles (or a few rounds out of the “cham...

  9. Phone: (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...

  10. Phone: (415) 944-4600

    Address: 528 Washington Street, San Francisco

    Verjus is a fast-casual wine bar in Jackson Square from the team behind Quince. Modeled after the standing wine bars of Spain and Paris, the new spot is divided into two spaces, a main bar à vins and a cave retail space with conserva bar. Patrons will be able to place orders for food and drink at a walk-up bar and then continue with table service upon finding a seat. The space is design-rich, located in the 1850s Eclipse building with an interior outfitted with storied furniture from hip designers or gleaned from French antique fairs by the chefs themselves.

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