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SF Wine Bar/Restaraunt with Largest or Best Wine List

gustasopher Jan 18, 2008 12:25 PM

I'm traveling to SF in late February and am looking to take full advantage of the great wine the city has to offer in its wine bar/restaurant. So I'm looking for a wine bar/restaurant in the city that has the largest/best/really large/unique wine list. I know about First Crush and I'll probably drop by (their wine list is 48 pages!), but I'd really like to find a list that isn't so driven by California wines. I'm also looking for a wine bar with a casual/laid back atmosphere, e.g., jeans and a sweater dress code.


  1. r
    rahir Jan 18, 2008 01:24 PM

    I think you'll find that many of the wine bars in the city offer an extensive CA-driven wine list, but most still offer a wide range of non-CA wines. My favorite wine bar is Cav. Dress is casual to business casual. You may also enjoy Hotel Biron (not actually a hotel) around the corner or Nectar up in the Marina.

    Cav Wine Bar
    1666 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

    Hotel Biron
    45 Rose St, San Francisco, CA 94102

    Nectar Wine Lounge
    3330 Steiner Street, San Francisco, CA 94123

    1. c
      carfeng Jan 18, 2008 01:47 PM

      I second Cav. I'd also consider Bacar, Pres a Vi, District, the lounge area of the Ritz Carlton, South, Amelie. You could probably get away with jeans and a sweater at most of these.

      1 Reply
      1. re: carfeng
        Joan Kureczka Jan 20, 2008 11:17 AM

        To those places already mentioned, I'd add Lulu. Very extensive and well chosen international by-the-glass or taste list, plus an extensive bottle list. Restaurant, not a wine bar per se, but we often eat at the bar. Casual is fine.

        Cav and Lulu are our usual places for wine.

      2. Lori SF Jan 20, 2008 01:08 PM

        Very new is Local Kitchen & Wine Merchant, 330 First St. (between Folsom and Harrison), about 35 wines by the glass from all over. I have not ben just mentioning it.

        All the others mentioned here I agree.. Pres a Vi has the most interesting wine flights I suggest you go there but not for dinner, order some bar bites dinner underwelming. The space is rather corporate to me but the wine list is amazing.

        Laïola has extensive number of wines by the glass and so does A16 both on Chestnut and near Nectar as recommended.

        I still think Bacar has the extended list and I just love Cav, Hotel Biron was on to something when they started this trend, cool space and fun place to sip some vino.

        One comment I would like to make is almost any (well maybe) restaurant has a good wine by the glass slection. When I lived in LA you could only get a chardonnay, chardonnay and a merlot the crap from the Safeway.


        1. chefj Jan 20, 2008 02:17 PM

          B44 has an amazing list of spanish wines.

          1. a
            auntielola Jan 20, 2008 04:18 PM

            I second all of the above (although I was a little disappointed with Cav's selections of reds by the glass), and would add Plumpjack to the list.

            1. Lori SF Jan 21, 2008 10:57 AM

              If you are here for fun and can have wine at lunch I would try Rubicon on Wedneday for the business lunch special. Two-course meal with dessert for $25 and their wine list is very impressive.

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