Friday, December 30, 2011

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in San Francisco, USA

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller at Terroir

During the summer of 2011, I spent a couple of weeks in the San Francisco Bay Area with my wife Annette. It was the end of a trip that had started in the north, in Seattle. From San Francisco, we went as far south as Paso Robles. As my daughter Katharina used to live in Berkeley until recently, I was a regular in the Bay area for many years. This list is the outgrowth of it. It also contains a number of places where I do not go for the wine, but the oysters.

Barrel Room

A San Francisco wine bar featuring carefully selected small production wines from all over the world.

620 Post St.

Bar Tartine

Not one of the 60 or so wines could be called a major brand.

561 Valencia (at 16th St.)

District Wine Bar

Gorgeous space – an old brick building opening into a lounge of a room with table, bar and sofa seating.

4- 6 Happy Hour Mo – Fr, 5-7 Happy Hour Sat
1 $ Oysters during Happy Hour
216 Townsend Street (at 3rd)
Telephone: (415) 896-2120

Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant

Mainly a wine store. The wine list and selection of flights rotates regularly. Small bites like cheese and bread are also on the menu.

San Francisco Ferry Building, Embarcadero

Hog Island Oyster Bar

I got there for the oysters: The Hog Island Oyster Bar offers indoor and outdoor tables with spectacular views of the bay. The oysters arrive fresh daily from Hog Island's oyster farm on Tomales Bay.

San Francisco Ferry Building, Embarcadero

Hotel Biron

Hotel Biron isn't actually a hotel; a small space on Rose Street, behind Zuni Café, with the ambiance of a well-appointed wine cellar. Biron serves up a nice list of wines and a short menu that includes a cheese plate and an olive mix.

45 Rose Street
Telephone: (415) 703-0403


A gathering place north of the Panhandle, serving urban rustic food and specializing in organic wood-fired cuisine. With a large community table and bar.

560 Divisadero at Hayes


A second wine bar by the owner of Yield, just next to the Zuni Café. Like Yield, the focus is on “green” wine.

1666 Market Street

RN 74/Michael Minna

RN74 is a San Francisco urban wine bar and restaurant featuring modern interpretations of refined American and regional French cuisine with an extensive wine list highlighting the Burgundy region of France.

Happy Hour to 6 and after 10
301 Mission St

Slanted Door

The Slanted Door is a Vietnamese restaurant that blends Vietnamese cooking technique with local ingredients. Relaxed atmosphere; Riesling-driven wine list.

San Francisco Ferry Building, Embarcadero


A fine dining restaurant. As a German and lover of German Riesling, of particular note is the outstanding selection of over 160 German Rieslings. They pair beautifully with Chef Sullivan’s house made charcuterie. As a minus, I am a fan of the dry Rieslings; Spruce offers not more than a handful of those. The wine list is dominated by sweet German Rieslings.

I have referred to Spruce in a posting on schiller-wine: The Focus on Dry German Riesling – Daniel Hubbard Presents the German DSWE Portfolio to the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter)

3640 Sacramento Street

Swan's Oyster Depot

Opened in 1912, Swan's is essentially a fish market with a long marble bar and 20 stools. You'll have to wait in line for a while to get in, but it's worth it.

Monday-Saturday 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
1517 Polk (at California)


A wine bar that serves only Old World “natural” wines, mainly French and Italian. I have written about Terroir on schiller-wine: The Natural Wines of Terroir in San Francisco

1116 Folsom Street


Yield is a small, intimate wine bar located in the heart of San Francisco's historic Dogpatch Neighborhood serving only “green” wines.

2490 Third Street (between 20th and 22nd)
Telephone: (415) 401-8984

Zuni Cafe

Zuni Cafe always has a large selection of oysters. An oyster menu lists the species and the place name of each oyster in meticulous detail.

Tuesday-Saturday 11:30 a.m.-midnight, Sunday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
1658 Market (at Franklin)

schiller-wine: Related Postings

The Natural Wines of La Cremerie in Paris

The Natural Wines of the Donkey and Goat Winery in Berkeley, California

Wine bar: Paris --- Le Petit Monceau, Willi's wine bar and Lavinia

Wine Bars in London: Vats Wine Bar, the Cork and Bottle, the Providores and Tapa Room

A Cult Paris Wine Bar - Juveniles

Focus on Natural Wines: The Terroirs Wine Bar in London

The Natural Wines of Terroir in San Francisco

New York Manhattan Wine Bars -- Bar Boulud, The Ten Bells, Terroir and Clo.

Terroir(s) Wine Bars in London, New York and San Francisco – Wines with a Sense of Place versus Natural Wines

The Focus on Dry German Riesling – Daniel Hubbard Presents the German DSWE Portfolio to the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter)

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