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SF Restaurants w/ No Corkage -- Here's the List

I'm trying to assemble a current, up-to-date list of SF restaurants that either don't charge a corkage fee or that charge a minimal one. If you have a favorite SF restaurant that fits this criteria, will you please share it? I'll start the list with Houston's. They have no corkage fee. Their sister restaurant in Napa, Rutherford Grill, has the same no corkage fee policy. Any others to add to this list?

Houston's Restaurant
1800 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94111

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  1. Aziza $20 for 750 ml

    5800 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94121

    1. Fish & Farm, from their website: "Corkage is $5 per 750 ml bottle California wine. All others $10 —waived with a 750 ml. bottle purchase Limit of two bottles personal wine per table."

      Fish and Farm
      339 Taylor Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

      1 Reply
      1. re: farmersdaughter

        Great Eastern, $15 per bottle.
        Any number of other Chinese places, ranging from $5 a bottle, or $1 per glass, to (most commonly) zero.

        Great Eastern Restaurant
        649 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

      2. There are hundreds of restaurants with corkage under $25. It would be a lot less work to list the handful that charge $25 or more.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Well how about listing a few with no corkage?

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            What about the number that charge 25?

          2. Plump Jack Cafe has no charge if you buy the wine next door.

            There are quit a few places that have no charge certain nights a week. I would say from my past dining experience when I lived in LA and was with my in laws major winos with major wines, most French restaurants hardly charge a fee. Not sure if that is the case here. Seems like the French might expect for you to bring from your cellar, no?

              1. The last time I was at Houston's, they said the no corkage policy was only for CA wines. Is this still the case?

                1 Reply
                1. re: rahir

                  No, I don't think so. We typically prefer Southern Rhone reds, and we make regular trips to Kermit Lynch to stock up. So we usually have a Kermit Lynch bottle of French wine with us at Houston's. They are always gracious and friendly about it -- and there's never been a fee.

                2. Looks like this list is headed toward the high-end restaurants, but just a warning that we should be careful here not to "out" any restaurants that allow BYOB who will get in trouble.

                  More information:

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Fig Newton

                    Huh? This list is focused on restaurants who serve wine but who don't charge a corkage fee if you bring your own.

                    1. re: foodiesf

                      As you'll see if you get a chance to check out the link in Fig Newton's post, there are some number of relatively inexpensive restaurants that don't serve wine but allow patrons to bring their own....it's very unofficial, though, as it's technically illegal and if the beverage control folks catch wind of it, they'll fine the restaurant and shut down the place. I would never encourage any illegal behavior of any sort, but neither would I encourage the announcing of policies that one may not know everything about at such relatively inexpensive restaurants on a website.

                      1. re: ccbweb

                        Again, that's not what I was asking about. I have no interest in restaurants that don't serve wine. This was not a BYOB question. I am trying to get a current, up-to-date list of fully-licensed restaurants that have a wine list but also allow you to bring your own bottle without charging a corkage fee.

                        1. re: foodiesf

                          Yes, I understand that that's what you're after. However, this being the internet, people can't know what you were thinking when you wrote the OP. Further, your OP doesn't specify that. Further than that, not everyone will necessarily care what the original question was after or specified when they write a response and Fig Newton (and myself) is just hoping that no one inadvertently causes trouble for anyone. That's all. I think a list such as you propose to build is a great one and one to which I'd refer a fair bit; great idea to put it together. There's no slight intended to you or your idea for a good list.

                          1. re: ccbweb

                            Thanks ccbweb - exactly my point.

                  2. El Raigon waives the $18 corkage fee if you also buy a bottle off their list.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: tvham

                      I think at least a hundred SF restaurants do that. Even places that have no stated policy of doing so often will comp one for one.

                    2. indigo.

                      Indigo Restaurant
                      687 McAllister St., San Francisco, CA 94102

                      1. Morton's The Steakhouse in San Jose offers free corkage on Mondays, starting today and running through 11/30/09. You can bring as many bottles as you'd like.

                        177 Park Ave. Suite 100, San Jose, CA, 95113
                        (408) 947-7000

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: finemansf

                          Is there somewhere on the web that outlines the Morton's SJ free corkage special? I don't see it on their website. Am curious if it's just San Jose, or if other Morton's locations are also offering this.

                        2. Mandalay.

                          Mandalay Restaurant
                          4344 California St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                          1. La Fondue has no corkage on MTW.

                            1. According to the website of Manresa in Los Gatos, for each bottle you buy, they waive the corkage fee for a bottle you bring.

                              1. Alamo Square Seafood has no corkage on Wed nights, limit 2 bottles.


                                1. In St. Helena, AKA has no corkage Sunday-Thursday nights, Market no corkage, and Vercelli will wave corkage some nights (it seems to vary) if you buy wine. PIzzeria Tra Vigne (NOT Tra Vigne!!!!) seems to typically wave corkage, at least for locals.

                                  A reminder -- you should buff up the tip to reflect no corkage, especially if the server does more than just open the wine and drop a couple of glasses on the table.

                                  Another board, another time, there was a strong feeling among some wine geeks that bringing wine into a restaurant was a God-given right and any corkage was an affront to humanity. While I disagree with that, charging more than $25 corkage -- especially if you buy some alcohol from them -- is nothing less than a ripoff. If a restaurant flatly wants to forbid it, let them, but the gouging is unseemly in what is supposedly the "hospitality" industry.

                                  Pizzeria Tra Vigne
                                  1016 Main St, Saint Helena, CA 94574