9 Best Wine Bars in San Francisco

October 16, 2020

9 Best Wine Bars in San Francisco

Tofino Wines

With an eclectic and ever-changing selection of wines by the glass, the experience at Tofino Wines is one of exploration and discovery. Their selection of over 700 wines focuses on a diverse range of clean, unique, well-balanced natural wines that favor small, family-run estates in the region. And the wine bar at this family-run establishment sets a different rotation of vino by the glass each month. Tofino is located amongst dignified historical structures and elegant two-story Edwardian and Victorian era luxury homes for sale in Laurel Heights. Most wine bars in San Francisco lend themselves to a more intimate setting of vino sampling. However, when you walk past the dignified stone entrance leading into Tofino’s 2,500 square foot open space with vaulted 20-foot ceilings, the experience of drinking wine by the glass transforms into one of grand adventure and expansive revelation.

Cafe Meuse

This local gem of a wine bar is located between the upscale Russian Hill houses for sale that stretch along its quaint residential community, and the breathtaking glory of Grace Cathedral in Nob Hill. Cafe Meuse offers an international selection of more than 20 wines on rotation, paired with a seasonal menu of gourmet small plates that are deliciously habit-forming. The wine bar is conveniently located off the Hyde Street cable car line, which makes traveling to and from Cafe Meuse quintessentially San Francisco. With sweeping windows that offer patrons a captivating view of the cable cars as they roll by from the intimacy of candlelit two-tops, this wine bar is a neighborhood favorite many residents consider to be a premier amenity that comes with living in Russian Hill.


Just a few blocks away from Meuse in Nob Hill, Amelie serves as the West Coast sibling to New York’s West Village wine bar of the same name. It’s a modern rendezvous of a wine lounge, with lofty wooden shelves, elegantly lit bottles, a sleek and sultry bar, vintage theatre seats, and inviting candlelit booths. Amelie’s wine list spans the globe, from California cultivations to European offerings with an emphasis on French selections. Happy hour allows the adventurous vino drinker to customize flights of fancy with any three wines by the glass. The venue attracts an eclectic mix of people and features some of the best bar music in the city, elevating this intimate, Euro-chic locale into one of the most successful upscale hot spots in San Francisco proper.


Down the famous hairpin turns of Lombard Street, past grand Russian Hill houses for sale, and towards the iconic cable cars that crest the neighborhood’s hills along Hyde Street, is an intimate little Russian Hill lair of a wine bar. Bacchus more than compensates for its lack of space with a global variety of vino, unmatched class, extravagant style, and charming atmosphere. The wine bar’s flickering candlelight glow, plush leather loveseats, and lush floral arrangements make it a consummate spot upon which to romanticize the luxury of living in San Francisco, glass in hand.


If you’re looking to unwind after a day of viewing luxury homes for sale in Dolores Heights, swing on over to the area’s culturally revolutionary neighbor, The Castro District. Nuzzled between 18th Street and 19th on Castro, Swirl on Castro is an inspired little wine bar and retail shop for vino enthusiasts looking to discover a glass beyond the typical commercial wine. With over 20 selections from its arsenal on rotation for tasting at any given time and a host of knowledgeable staff Swirl’s wine bar is a spirited celebration of diversity in the world of viticulture.


Just a block up the road from Swirl, across from the world-famous Castro Theatre in the heart of the neighborhood, is another premier wine bar called Blush! Trained staff, modern decor, cozy atmosphere, and a selection of over 40 wines to pair with French-influenced cuisine make the experience at this European-inspired vino tasting spot one to savor. What sets Blush! apart from most small wine bars is its unique dedication to pairing wine and cuisine with a delightful helping of the Castro arts and entertainment scene. On any given night, one may find themselves sipping on a decadent glass of wine while immersed in live music, enjoying tarot card readings, laughing through Queer comedy shows, or admiring wall-mounted displays of creativity by local artists. 

Tiburon Wine

One of the luxuries of living in the Bay Area is that you’re not confined to the trappings of downtown San Francisco when searching for a prime wine bar in which to indulge your palate with choice vino. Across Richardson Bay, off the waters of Belvedere Cove, Tiburon Wine serves as an oasis of carefully chosen, top-class, by the glass wine selections for Belvedere homeowners. The wine bar’s sleek, modern interior is accented with an ambiance of neighborhood comfort found on the venue’s scenic outdoor patio lounge. And their selection offers the most diverse array of fine wines by the glass in Marin County. Tiburon Wine also takes great care in highlighting bottles curated from premier wineries in local growing regions.

Musette Atelier

In the heart of downtown Tiburon, passions of inspired winemaking and innovative art pair romantically together at Musette Atelier. Owned by an artist and sommelier couple, the husband and wife team of Musette Atelier custom curate wine selections, along with stories from their makers, in sweet synchronicity with gourmet cuisine, eclectic works of art, and thought-provoking writing found within this idyllic venue. More of an enchanting wine cafe and mini-museum, this muse of a destination is a unique and worthwhile experience for wine and art lovers seeking a departure from your standard metropolitan San Francisco wine bar.

Stewart Cellars

Finding an ideal piece of San Francisco real estate to call home is often a labor of love. It’s a collaborative relationship between agent and buyer --- a shared vision of what makes an exceptional piece of property a home in which to build a family. Just 20 minutes north of Napa, in the charming town of Yountville, a shared vision of what makes for an exceptional glass of wine is one that begins and ends with family at Stewart Cellars. Spanning two generations, the clan sources from the most respected vineyards among Napa and Sonoma Valley to perfect bottles of wine that deliver beyond expectation in taste, elegance, and intention. The Tasting Hall at Stewart Cellars features vaulted ceilings, a horseshoe-shaped tasting bar, and nearly floor to ceiling doors that open up to scenic courtyard views. Complemented by gourmet California cuisine, a fireside Heritage Library, and an on-site bohemian bookstore, this luxe-wine tasting experience is an inspired respite for wine connoisseurs looking to explore hidden gems of viticulture outside of the metropolitan San Francisco wine bar scene.

San Francisco has more than earned its title as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. From the 1849 Gold Rush to the groundbreaking writers of the “beat” generation, and from the Summer of Love to the pioneers of the LGBTQ+ movement, the unforgettable charm that colors life in the Bay Area runs deeper than its scenic diversity. To live in San Francisco is to be a thriving part of the city’s fascinating culture and diverse communities, along with its world-class cuisine and historical landmarks. It’s raising a glass of premiere vino at your favorite neighborhood wine bar, and taking pride in calling one of the most desirable locations in the world “home.”

The expert agents at Payton + Binnings have more than five combined decades of experience buying and selling luxury real estate in the Bay Area’s neighborhood-driven micro markets. If you’re ready to find an exceptional piece of San Francisco, CA real estate to call home, contact us today. It would be our pleasure to collaborate with you.


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