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January 11, 2018

6 Romantic Places to Sip in San Francisco

Few would argue that San Francisco is one of the most romantic cities in the world. From sunsets on the Pacific to the views of the Bay Bridge from the Embarcadero, there are hundreds of places that provide a perfect backdrop for a romantic night. And, for those who want to stay indoors and drink Champagne, or a special bottle of your choice, there are countless places to share this amorous holiday with your significant other.  

However, going to a restaurant where there are set seatings can feel rushed. So, if you are spending a romantic weekend in the Bay Area and wine or cocktails are your focus, you might want to check out some of the neighborhood bars instead.

Wine

The Barrel Room (620 Post St.)
The Barrel Room has warm energy and a diverse, eclectic wine list. If you don’t know much about wine, there are a number of flights to try from Loire Valley reds ($16) to value white Burgundies ($19). The food menu is limited but offers enough to have a light dinner. On Valentine’s Day, they are also serving a Champagne flight with XOX truffles or cheese for $25. Website

Internos Wine Café and Merchant (3240 Geary Blvd.)
Internos has a following among the wine savvy crowd but it is laid back and inviting. The wine list is small yet its international selection contains some stellar choices such as German Gilabert Reserva Cava Brut ($14) and the 2011 Trenel Côte de Brouilly ($11) from Beaujolais. Food wise, there is a selection of cheese, charcuterie and flatbreads. Website

Vino Rosso Enoteca (629 Cortland St.)
Tucked away in Bernal Heights, this Italian focused wine bar gives you a little taste of Rome in San Francisco. How’s that for romance! Twenty wines are offered in half and full glass pours but you can leave it to chance and ask the bartender to serve you a three wine flight ($10). In addition to cheese and charcuterie, Vino Rosso serves a number of composed plates for under $20. Website

Cocktails

Bix Restaurant (56 Gold St.)
Bix is literally hidden away on an alley in Jackson Square. Once upon a time, in the not too distant past, it was the epicenter of San Francisco’s power brokers. 56 Gold Street was built in 1906 during the Barbary Coast heyday and had several incarnations before seasoned restaurateur, Doug Biederbeck, turned it into a swanky supper club in 1988. Its Art Deco décor will never seem dated even if millennials don’t seem to know that this classy, historic room exists. With nightly jazz, an excellent spirits selection and the highly addictive “Bix Mix” for noshing, Bix is a quintessential part of San Francisco’s bar scene. Website

Butterfly Lounge at the Hotel Majestic (1500 Sutter St.)
Not to be confused with Butterfly on the Embarcadero, this slightly quirky room is decorated with a collection of tropical butterflies and rare insects. Located in the Hotel Majestic, which was built in 1902, its old school charm is reflected in its classic cocktail selection. With noise levels being a continuous problem in many spots, you can have a conversation here without having to raise your voice or ask companions to repeat themselves. Butterfly Lounge is not retro trendy; it is the real deal. From the minute you saddle up to the bar, you will feel as if you stepped back in time. Website

The Library Bar at the Hotel Rex (562 Sutter St.)
The Hotel Rex fashions itself as a 1930’s Parisian style hotel and Europeans who have stayed here tend to agree. Not only is it low key and centrally located but ialso it has one of the coolest bars in town but shhhh…not too many locals even know about it. With its kitschy bohemian decor of portraits and still life paintings, and not least, loads of books, it could easily have been used for a setting in Woody Allen’s "Midnight in Paris." They take their cocktails seriously here, too, relying on the classics while taking some creative license. Website

Photo by Jeremy Brooks / CC BY-NC

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