What are the best wine bars in San Francisco?

Answers from Our Experts (3)

Kimberley Lovato

Being in close proximity to Napa Valley, the Central Coast, and Livermore Valley, San Franciscans are spoilt for choice when it comes to wine, and wine bars offer plenty of opportunityt to sip the local elixirs as well as those from around the world.  

Here are a few worth a toast.

Bacchus may be small but it's big on charm and friendly service, with a good selection of West Coast wines by the bottle, with per glass prices among the lowest in the city. Sip a little California red and watch the cable car roll by for the ultimate San Francisco experience.

Hotel Biron Wine Bar & Gallery is reminiscent of a neighborhood find you stumble upon in some country whose name you can't pronounce and have the time of your life. This narrow space, with comfy couches and warm-colored walls, is inviting and lingering a long time over a good French or Californian wine is easy. Good thing Hotel Biron stays open until 2am.

St. Vincent Tavern and Wine Merchant is part restaurant part retail wine merchant in The Mission and 100 percent serious about wine where the owner/sommalier/author serves up an urban wine experience.

Amelie has a wine list the size of a small phonebook with a selection that crosses a dozen regions and borders. Loyal locals flirt with the French bartenders and cram into the trendy space during happy hour, 5pm - 7pm, when a flight of three wines is only $10. 

Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant is popular with the after work crowd waiting for the ferry home, or lucky tourists who stumble into the inviting ferry building. Located in the main hall, the wine bar invites guests to the world's wines including those found in our beautiful back yard. Bar closes at 8pm.

Maria Hunt

San Francisco has a great diversity of wine bars, given the well-developed culinary culture here. Explore international wines at these three wine bars that are some of the best in San Francisco:

Press Club is a large wine bar and lounge near Union Square that offers modern décor and popular music spun by DJs along with tastes or glasses of wine from Champagne France to Mendocino County, California.  And if you find something you love, you can always pick up a bottle to take home from the retail shop upstairs. For devotées of natural wine, there’s no place like Terroir in the SoMa area. The décor alone makes it worth a visit, with its well-worn pastiche of vintage maps, record albums, and old photos. But the real draw is the casually knowledgeable staff and the collection of natural wines that range from obscure varietals to selections by famous producers. And in the Marina, Bin 38 is always a great time, with its lively vibe, eclectic list of wines from emerging regions like South Africa paired with creative small plates.

Katie Sweeney

If you love wine, you can find plenty of fun places to drink it in San Francisco. From Napa to Livermore to Monterey, the city is virtually surrounded by wine making regions. This means San Francisco wine bars are stocked with local gems and as well as international varietals.

The Marina District has two wonderful wine bars, Bin 38 and California Wine Merchant. At Bin 38, the wine list is constantly changing and it features a wide selection of wine from all over the world. They also have a nicely curated list of beer and delicious snacks (like bacon wrapped prawns and heirloom tomatoes with burrata) that pair perfectly with what you're sipping.

If you want to try hard to find California wines, head to the California Wine Merchant on Chestnut Street. This wine bar is always packed, but they do sell wines by the bottle, so you can stop by and pick up something to enjoy at a later time or different venue.

Amelie on Polk Street is a lively wine bar with a vast variety of international pours. The French owner and employees make you feel as if you're in a fabulous little European cafe. Terroir in SOMA is another great spot to enjoy a glass, learn about wine, and shop for bottles.

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