Why Drive to Napa or Sonoma? Stay in San Francisco for Wine

California is world-renowned for its wine country, so we know that many of you reading this are already planning your day-trip to Napa or Sonoma. But for those who want a taste of those vintage cabernets and exquisite pinot noirs but don't want the hassle of a long drive, we've assembled a list of the best wine bars that San Francisco has to offer. And even if you're just coming back from a wine tour in Sonoma or Napa, show off what you learned at these locations, where there's nothing as tantalizing as an informed conversation over a fine bottle of wine.

Wine has a certain cachet, and so, too, do these enticing bars that make it their focus. Specializing in reds and whites, domestics and imports, San Francisco wine bars offer superb wines by the glass, bottle, and flight. If you're not familiar with wines, come for an introduction, and if you're a connoisseur, come to search out the gems and to talk shop. To add a little romantic ambience to the occasion, stop by Hôtel Biron Wine Bar & Art Gallery. To mix and mingle with patrons of a city favorite, consider Bacar. To just enjoy the evening, visit any of San Francisco's best wine bars.

Bubble Lounge


This downtown establishment frequently draws business folks intent on relaxing after a day at the office. Wines and champagnes are prominent; in fact, the menu boasts more than 300 types of champagne (as the name would suggest). For versatility,...  Read More

Hôtel Biron Wine Bar & Art Gallery
Photo courtesy of used in book.


Intimate and atmospheric, this European-styled establishment captivates visitors with its unmistakable charm. Metallic furnishings, ambient lighting and a secluded area in the back help the cause, as does intriguing original art, which changes...  Read More

First Crush


A small, intimate jewel with a contemporary setting and a notable wine bar, First Crush specializes in Californian wines. The sleek, elegant establishment offers bottles, half-bottles, and flights, depending on your intent, and it presents...  Read More



A nightlife hotspot in the revamped and recharged Hayes Valley neighborhood, the Absinthe is very popular for lunch and dinner. But if you stick around until night, the city's best and brightest always step into the Absinthe, definitely one of...  Read More

Marina District


Boasting an 800-bottle collection, an appealing interior, a menu of tasty small plates, and a playful sense of itself that occasionally tends towards the overindulgent, Nectar does a brisk business, especially on weekends. The place features a...  Read More



If you're looking for a hip, young, urban, trendy wine bar night, look no further than Amelie. San Francisco is a young city, and with the recent tech boom, more eager tech workers have moved to the city to find their fortunes. These same urban...  Read More



The Hidden Vine's first location, in the very back of a small hotel near Union Square in 2005, was indeed hidden. But their knowledgeable and respected staff made the Vine outgrow its humble beginnings, so The Hidden Vine moved to a larger...  Read More



Nook is exactly what its name promises. It's that snug hideaway, that lovely secret place to steal away with that special friend and enjoy a vintage glass of wine. Although its popularity, at times, might not make it seem like such a well-kept...  Read More



Besides understanding how to make wine from grapes, InnerFog has shown the ability to make lemon out of lemonade. Instead of bemoaning the recent bursting of a water pipe which caused major damage, the clever managers of InnerFog saw opportunity...  Read More



The easiest way to determine the quality of a business is its popularity with patrons. Yield Wine Bar opened in August of 2006 in the historic Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco. Yield was so popular and so well-managed by Owner and Wine...  Read More


Meet Tom Molanphy

The only thing that Tom Molanphy loves more than the food, art, music, and culture of San Francisco is sharing it with others. San Francisco never gets old for Tom.

Tom has lived in the San...  More About Tom