Wine Bars in Castro


Select Local Merchants

Six Things to Know About Booty Call Wednesdays A weekly chance to pose, turn, and flaunt, Booty Call Wednesdays at QBAR—hosted by drag performer Juanita MORE! and nightlife stalwart Joshua J—has become a Castro institution since its inception in 2007. Here are a few things to know to make the most of your evening. There’s a $3 cover. It really is only on Wednesdays. The party makes up for its extended absences by continuing until 2 a.m. Come photo-ready. Each week, a new local artist designs an immersive environment for the photo booth, and photos can be found on the Booty Call website soon after. You’ll see some nightlife royalty. Hostess Juanita MORE! has DJed for Susanne Bartsch and Kenny Kenny’s Vandam Sunday in New York, thrown an annual Pride Party that raises funds for local nonprofits, and inspired couture that’s been shown at SFMOMA and the de Young Museum, among many other accomplishments. There are rotating guest DJs. Juanita and Joshua J are joined by local and national artists, with three performers each week keeping the dance floor packed. Drink well, save money. Absolut Vodka specials make it easier to have just one more, and each drink purchased from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. earns the patron a free Booty Call Shot.
456 Castro St
San Francisco,
CA
US
In Focus: Blush! Wine Bar Wines by the glass: 50 Wines by the bottle: 120 Entertainment: There’s live music on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as French improv theater monthly. What to have for dinner: Raviole de Royan—imported French ravioli with comté cheese, chives, and crème fraîche Most decadent dish: dark-chocolate waffle with salted-caramel sauce, a popular brunch special Vegetarian/vegan options: Yes Location: Across the street from the Castro Theatre.
476 Castro St
San Francisco,
CA
US
Five Things to Know About Swirl on Castro When Jerry Cooper and his husband, Christopher Von Laufen, opened Swirl on Castro in 2005, they did so to create a haven for wine lovers—one complete with artisanal spirits and unusual art installations. Here are a few important points to keep in mind if you visit. You can taste the wine before you buy it. Amid burgundy walls and a bar with a mosaic swirl, guests can sample 20 rotating varietals. They make it easy to expand your cellar. There’s a curated selection of more than 300 wines from family-owned vineyards throughout California, Spain, France, and beyond. Their selection focuses on sustainability. Fair labor practices and organic and biodynamic farming principles factor heavily into the buying process. Jerry knows his stuff. He sits on the San Francisco Chronicle’s wine panel, and he was a judge at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. The shop has a cameo in Milk. During the movie’s 2008 filming, Swirl closed for 12 days while a studio crew gave its storefront a 1970s makeover. It didn’t have any lines of dialogue, though.
572 Castro St
San Francisco,
CA
US
Like the popular enotecas of Italy, Uva Enoteca heavily emphasizes good wine (the word "enoteca" translates to something like "wine repository" in English). Wine director and general manager Boris Nemchenok pairs meals with a selection from an extensive list of Italian wines from boutique producers. He even serves the wine quartino-style, which means the wine is presented in a small decanter. But all this isn't to say the food doesn't have its own charms. Executive Chef Ben Hetzel presents a menu of locally crafted meats and cheeses, pizzas topped with egg and shaved brussel sprouts, and wild boar ragu. Like terrible crime scene investigators, the two men's fingerprints are everywhere in the restaurant. Not only did they help design the restaurant's rustic confines, which consist of exposed brick and tiled walls, marble counters, and dark stained-wood floors. They also had a hand in creating the red cedar tabletops that host diners seven days per week.
568 Haight St
San Francisco,
CA
US
Mission Cheese: A User’s Guide Artisanal American Cheese | Wine Bar | Craft Beer and Cider | Housemade Pickles | Farmhouse-Inspired Decor Sample Menu Appetizer: charcuterie plate of shredded duck, housemade pickles, and quince butter Entree: mac & cheese with clothbound cheddar, washed rind cow’s-milk cheese, and toasted breadcrumbs Wine: zinfandel, County Line, Russian River Dessert: milk and cookies, baked to order Where to Sit: the bar. Crafted from a single slab of wood, it’s the epicenter of Mission Cheese. You’ll get to see the cheesemongers in their element as they select cheeses from the glass cooling cases. While You’re Waiting Grab a copy of the current drink list. The wine, beer, and cider offerings update frequently. Look at the pickling jars lining the shelves and guess what’s in each one. You’ll see all kinds of house-pickled veggies, such as carrots, cauliflower, and California-grown olives. Inside Tips Treat yourself to a cheese flight. Between the rotating selection and the cheesemongers’ whims, it’s unlikely you’ll ever get the same flight twice. The iced coffee isn’t chilled hot coffee. It’s cold-brewed for at least 12 hours using beans from Fort Bragg–based Thanksgiving Coffee Company. Vocab Lesson Cheesemonger: an expert in cheese. Cheesemongers also tend to have great knowledge in other forms or dairy, such as butter and cream, as well as in breads, fruits, and other foods that help bring out the flavors in cheese. Levain: French for “leaven,” the word is sometimes used interchangeably with sourdough. While You’re in the Neighborhood Before: Peruse vintage furnishings at The Apartment (3649 18th Street), a resale shop known for its funky, eclectic selection. After: Indulge in small-batch confections at Dandelion Chocolate (740 Valencia Street), which calls itself “a bean-to-bar chocolate factory.”
736 Valencia Street
San Francisco,
CA
US
No matter the time of day, patrons always dine at twilight inside Arabian Nights Restaurant. Painted palm trees arc cross a dark-blue sky in minaret-shaped frames, and exposed rafters high above the dining room evoke the feeling of an outdoor meal along the Mediterranean. The kitchen matches the dining room's traditional touches with a flame-fired oven that bakes fresh pita bread to order and crackling wooden embers that give kabobs their rich, smoky flavors. Guests also share small plates of hot and cold mezza, such as falafel and tabbouleh, as the light from ornate chandeliers casts freeform shadow puppets against linen-covered tables.
2345 Mission St
San Francisco,
CA
US
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