Our Favorite Wine Bars in San Francisco

Terrific wine bars (in our favorite food cities) to visit now.

Palm City

It's a rare warm afternoon in the usually fog-cloaked Outer Sunset, and at Palm City, blocks from the Pacific, the party has spilled onto the street. It seems like half the neighborhood has come out to sip aromatic Blaufränkisch rosé on the sidewalk.

Wine bars aren't new to San Francisco, but in 2022, they've shaken off any reputation of stuffy sameness. Today, they're some of the most vibrant, downright fun bars in a city with no shortage of competition.

Palm City is a prime example. It launched in April 2020 as a takeout window serving bottles and hoagies. The indulgent sandwiches and well-chosen wines struck a chord in early pandemic–era San Francisco, attracting a loyal following. Today, it's firing on all cylinders with a robust takeout business (see: hoagies), a well-stocked bottle shop, and a thriving wine bar. Friendly and a bit irreverent, it's the kind of place where you might discover that a biodynamic Lambrusco pairs well with a spicy garlic cheese spread.

Angel Davis

Over in the Inner Richmond, High Treason has a similarly laid-back vibe. The stripped-down space is home to well-curated wines and an impressive collection of vinyl records. Showing an appreciation both for esoteric and more established wines, its list might include Martha Stoumen's stunning Ricetti Vineyard Carignane from Mendocino County alongside a stellar Loire Cab Franc rosé and thoughtful selections from Burgundy, Rioja, and Brunello di Montalcino.

The recently opened Millay, another retail–wine bar hybrid, celebrates innovative winemakers and compelling stories. Their view of the drinking world is expansive, encompassing everything from Sonoma to Eastern Europe, even including a deep collection of sake.

Each of these bars has real energy to them, but none so much as Bar Part Time, where the wine bar meets the nightclub. Only natural wines are poured, whether from Roussillon or Alsace or the Mendocino Coast a few hours north. But as the sun sets, the wine is secondary to the party. With a prominent disco ball and DJs several nights of the week, it's one of the hottest scenes in town, one fueled by chilled reds and pét-nats and where bartenders aren't pouring wine so much as "popping corks and slinging juice."

Carey Jones is a travel and spirits writer and coauthor of Be Your Own Bartender (Countryman Press, 2018).

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