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. If wine and cocktails are your focus, you'll want to check out some of these neighborhood bars.

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January 23, 2020

10 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.

25 Lusk (25 Lusk St.)

25 Lusk is a trendy spot to grab an after-work drink with friends or for date night. Its dim lighting, exposed-wood beams and an always-evolving wine and champagne list sets the mood for a romantic evening. They offer a different wine and cocktail list at their main restaurant, rooftop, and social space, so you have plenty of options to choose from.

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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.

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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.

Charmaine's Rooftop Bar & Lounge at San Francisco Proper (45 McAllister St.)

Named one of the best rooftop bars in the U.S. by Conde Nast Traveler, Charmaine's serves chic and tasty drinks, as well as a killer view of the city. Whether you're in the mood for wine or want to try a new cocktail (all of which are very instagrammable), the ambiance of Charmaine's is enough to guarantee a romantic night out.

Cityscape Lounge (333 O'Farrell St.)

Along with its stunning views from the 46th floor of the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, Cityscape offers a slew of unique cocktails that are tasty, vibrant, and so beautifully garnished, you'll have to see it to believe it. A crowd favorite is their "Buzz, Sparkle, Pop," which is sparkling wine with a citrus bery alocholic popsicle. Come just in time for sunset and you'll know exactly why people find Cityscape one of the most romantic bars in San Francisco.

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.

Novela (662 Mission St.)

If it's one thing Novela is known for it's this: they serve cocktails with character, and they do it well. From the moment you step foot into this unique space, you'll be intrigued by their impressive book collection that line the walls of the bar. Step up to the bar and you'll find everything from cocktails, punch, beer, spirits, wine, and bubbles. The best part is, their drinks are created to incorporate the season's local bounty of fresh ingredients, so there will always be a unique spin on classic drinks. Novela's elegant ambiance and seasonal ingredients makes for a craft cocktail experience.

Pabu (101 California St.)

With only three locations in the U.S., Pabu is a great choice for a special night out. Created by chefs Ken Tominaga and Michael Mina, Pabu combines classic Japanese izakaya with a modern, seasonal cocktail menu. While there are many popular wines and classic cocktails to choose from, many explore the Pabu Rail Pass menu, a variety of mixed drinks that are meant to unlock the neighborhoods of Tokyo through the exceptional flavors of Asia.

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The View Lounge (780 Mission St.)

The View Lounge has a specialty cocktail menu that features popular drinks named after iconic San Francisco neighborhoods like the SoMa Sunset, Presidio Gimlet, and the Fog City Margarita. In addition to their extensive cocktail and wine list, this posh lounge is known for its massive arched windows showcasing panoramic city views. Does it get more romantic than that?

VinoRosso (629 Cortland Ave.)

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. In addition to cheese and charcuterie, Vino Rosso serves a number of composed plates for under $20.

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Photo by Jeremy Brooks / CC BY-NC

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