Beer / Wine Bars, San Francisco
I'm throwing this in for one reason: the patio. The Cannery as a whole is a complete waste of space but this place has an outdoor courtyard bar that's good for killing a couple of pints on a sunny day (or starry night). They also have a ton of beers on tap. The brews aren't necessarily cheap, I don't know as I'd eat here, and the street musicians who take up residence nearby can be of dubious talent but what the hell - at least you're outside. And if you're a puffer, you won't get the evil eye for lighting up.
Dress Code: Total dive bar - wear your cheap Fisherman's Wharf t-shirt
This place is somewhere between a bar and a really nice beer market. They've got a few beers on tap, but the treasure lies in their refridgerators and shelves. Bottles and bottles of beer - local, imported, organic, lambic, wheat, ale, porter, lager, mead, weiss - it's beer heaven. You get the feeling that each beer has been hand picked for the store, which, while tiny, is packed full of good people and good brews. So grab that beer you've never heard of, get excited and start drinking.
Dress Code: no no no
OK Bar Crudo is actually a raw bar ... so it can fall into the category of 'restaurants' instead of 'nightlife', but I went there for beer and to chat so I can't really comment on the food.
For its true San Francisco style (small, trendy, sophisticated and warm) this place is one of my favorite spots for a late-night relaxing drink.
The place is really small so definitely not recommended when you are with a large group.
The main attraction is of course the raw bar offering small serving of top quality shellfish and fish (see website for menu). Now I haven't had the chance yet to sample their food but I came here for ale's.
They don't have hundreds of ale's, but they have a few crucial ones; Duvel, Tripel Karmeliet, Gouden Draak and DeKoninck to name a few of my favourites from my time in Europe.
The ambiance is quiet, dark and the crowd is good looking and sophisticated.
Dress Code: I don't think there is a dress code but the patrons are all rather nicely dressed
The oldest bar in town, it survived the 1906 earthquake and subsequent fires (rumor has it, because the fire brigades made sure protect the hookers who worked upstairs).
Saloon offers $2.50 beers and live music that draws all types of people, from rough-looking characters to tourists and North Beach residents.
NOTE: No cover on weeknights for live music. On weekends expect a $5 charge.
Monthly schedule of blues performers.
HOURS: 12pm -2am daily.
Nectar wine lounge is a wonderful wine lounge in the Lombard/Moscone area.
The ambiance is classy and romantic. Staff was very friendly and helpful; while prices are reasonable. I had a bottle of 2000 St Emillion for $40.
We didn't order any food so I cannot give you any advice on that, although we did have a cheese platter and it was really good with the wine.
A 'flight' of wine is recommended for those who want to try several different types. With a wine list of 40 pages, there are many to try indeed!
Dress Code: Concerning dress code: they are not uptight about it although you will look out of place in shorts and flip-flops :)
The Thirsty Bear is a popular Bar/Restaurant in SOMA area. Go for the beer sampler to get a taste of what they are brewing. The waiters and waitresses are very helpful and patient in explaining the different types. The quality of the beer is very good, and if you don't drink beer no worries as they have a full bar.
We came here for food (tapas) and I can recommend the paella. Reservation is recommended if you want to come in the weekend.
On the second floor they have dart boards and a pool table.
Dress Code: It has mixed crowd of people coming after work, friends on a night out so you can wear comfortable clothing.
The Mad Dog is a nice English Pub like place on Haight St. in the Lower Haight. They do have food, which is OK, but the main thing here is beer. Lots of delicious ales. It's also a great sports bar, with the emphasis being on soccer, particularly English Premier League. They usually have the later rounds of FA Cup action. This is also a place to look for sports tickets; the owners often organize excursions to 49er and Giants games.
The Toronado is about one thing and one thing only - beer. They have literally hundreds of different beers from all over the world. Like most places in the neighborhood, it attracts a scruffy but jovial local crowd. The Rosamund Sausage Grill is right next door, should you get hungry.
For a real treat, try the delicious Framboise Lambic - a Belgian beer fermented with raspberries.
They also have GREAT T-shirts! They're black, with their logo - a fist holding a pint of Guiness - emblazened in white accross the front. A must have souveneir!
You wouldn’t normally be in this part of town but it’s well worth the walk if you like good beer at good prices. The happy hour runs from 2:30 to 5:30 when pints set you back only $3.00. They also have half price appetizers going. It’s quite busy and the horseshoe bar adds to the festive atmosphere. It’s got a bit of the warehouse effect with high ceilings and fixtures on display.
We didn’t have anything to eat but the Watermelon Wheat did come with a slice of its namesake fruit as a garnish. I generally shy away from anything like this but it was refreshing and avoided any overt sweetness despite each batch having 400 lbs of watermelon in it! The Oktoberfest was a big malty brew that lacked the spiciness of a true Marzen. The Midnight Milk Stout was a nice coffee roast brew with just the right sweetness appropriate for the style, finishing off nicely bittersweet. The cask IPA was gravity dispensed offering nice lacework, a strong citrus hop component and floral hop nose. It was well-balanced and all too quaffable at 7.5%!
Dress Code: Very casual but you could be in a suit too as it's close to Financial District.
Sleek and stylish, walls adorned with wonderful mixed-media photos of France, velvety purple banquettes... Many wines by the glass, as well as flights, and "tastes." Selections change weekly. Light food offered (i.e. cheeses, tapenade, etc.)
Dress Code: Casual
Not really a nightspot - more like an after work spot. The Wine Merchant is located in the San Francisco ferry terminal and has an unbelievable selection of wines. They also have a wine bar, which is very popular with the after work crowd.
Dress Code: Casual
We drove to 6th & Valencia area and hopped to 3 bars. That was all I could do! Anyway, Club 500, Kilowatt and Cassanova were all really fun places to hang out. Kilowatt was playing MC5 over the sound system and not just one song, but a whole record. We wound up staying there & singing along to the songs until the record ended and we moved on to Cassanova.
Dress Code: Casual
A great little local North Beach bar away from the hustle and bustle of Broadway. Don't worry, you can easily walk there from Broadway. Small with a cozy feel. Good drinks, even if you don't know the bartender personally.
Dress Code: None that I know of. You might want to wear SOME type of clothing though as it gets chilly in San Francisco during the evenings...
Hayes & Vine Wine Bar
377 Hayes St. (near Gough St.)
5 p.m.-midnight Mon.-Thurs., until 1 a.m. Fri.-Sat., 3-10 p.m. Sun.
The bar has a luxurious feel, with purple velvet upholstery, curvy maple tables and a gorgeous white onyx bar. The international wine list features a whopping 1,000 wines by the bottle and 40 by the glass, with a focus on obscure varietals and boutique wineries.
The bar also has tasting flights. Food options include artisan cheeses, olives, caviar and charcuterie.
45 Rose St. (near Gough St.)
5 p.m.-2 a.m. Tues.-Sun.
An art gallery/wine bar that opened in the alley behind Zuni Cafe 18 months ago. Dark, candle-lit room has 10 bar tables scattered around along with a couple of leather sofas and cushy chairs. Romantic. There are 80 wines by the bottle and 35 by the glass. Tasting flights aren't listed, but they do them. Sample tastes are free. Snacking options include caviar, cheeses, salami and olives.
Dress Code: MORE
London Wine Bar
415 Sansome St. (near Sacramento St.)
1:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
Publike atmosphere that invites T-shirts and jeans. The decor is reminiscent of an Italian restaurant, with wood paneling, metallic grapevine wallpaper and high-backed wooden booths - the only things missing are the straw-covered Chianti bottles. 400 wines are available by the bottle, with 30 to 40 by the glass. The list focuses on lesser-known California producers; different sample flights are offered each month. Cheeses and other small plates are available.
Varnish Fine Art & Wine Bar
77 Natoma St. (near Second St.)
11 a.m.-11 p.m. Tues.-Fri., until 5 p.m. Sat.
The wine bar sits on the main floor of the two-level gallery space, which features exposed brick walls, high ceilings and modern art. Steel-topped bar. The international wine list features 17 wines by the bottle and a dozen by the glass. Starting at $3 per glass and $12 per bottle.
Bacchus Wine & Sake Bar
1954 Hyde St. (near Union St.)
6-10:30 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., 6-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
Grab a seat on one of eight bar stools or plop down on one of the leather love seats. Euro-style lounge music. 50-bottle wine list focuses on small wineries from around the world. The bar offers 13 wines by the glass or half-glass. Want some sushi to go with that? Just give the bartender your order.
The Bubble Lounge
714 Montgomery St. (near Washington)
4:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Mon., until 2 a.m.
Tues.-Fri., 5:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Sat.
Ultra-chic Champagne bar is New York all the way. No-sneakers, no-jeans dress code. Exposed brick walls, high ceilings and lots of squishy chairs and plush sofas. If you can't get a seat, there are plenty of spots at the bar.
The wine list features 300 sparkling wines and Champagnes along with 16 still wines and a good selection of dessert wines. Thirty-one sparklers are offered by the glass along with sampler flights of three 3.5-ounce tastes. Cocktails are also available, as are appetizers such as caviar, sushi, oysters and fine cheeses.
Dress Code: MORE
EOS Restaurant & Wine Bar
901 Cole St. (at Carl St.)
5:30-10 p.m. Sun.-Thurs., until 11 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
Modern-industrial feel, with high ceilings, cement floor and a 15-seat hammered metal bar. Asian fusion menu. The black-clad servers are friendly and professional. The wine list has 150 wines by the bottle.
By the glass, half-glass and tasting flight. A full restaurant menu is available in the bar.
First Crush Wine Bar & Lounge
101 Cyril Magnin St. (near Mason St.)
5 p.m.-2 a.m. Tues.-Sat., until 1 a.m. Sun.-Wed., lunch 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Mon.-Sat.
Close to Union Square. Popular place to sip and sup. Intimate candle-lit space with a six-seat bar at the back of the room and small dining tables against the walls. On weekend nights the seats are filled with well-dressed couples in their 30s and stylish singles.
The all-California wine list includes more than 600 bottles and the bar offers 16 wines by the glass. Six sampler flights and a guilt-free "don't like it, don't drink it" policy, which means you can send back any bottle you don't enjoy, regardless of the reason. The full California cuisine menu is available at the bar.