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6 Best Awesome Sangria Bars In San Francisco

Updated on October 2, 2010
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San Francisco is a city that likes to take girly drinks, plant them in the hands of the hottest of men and reinvent them to be utterly sexy enough for anyone to love. This wasn’t hard to do with sangria; even the name of the drink gets your blood boiling with thoughts of Spanish accents and international affairs. But San Francisco ups the ante on everything and has sangria that goes straight to your heart and creates a pitter-patter.

1. Cha Cha Cha,1801 Haight St. (@ Shrader St.), Upper Haight, 415.386.7670

What is notable about the sangria at this tapas bar is that it’s so strong that you’ll be on the edge of doing the cha cha cha yourself before you’ve gotten through the first glass. There will be plenty of others to do that dance with since the place is always packed; groups of singles go here together and end up leaving in packs of new friends to seek out the nearby nightlife.

2. Kennedy’s Irish Pub and Curry House, 1040 Columbus Ave (@ Chestnut), North Beach, 415.441-8855

Sangria is a sophisticated drink, not something that you’re likely to find at any dive bar. But if dive bars and sangria both happen to be your thing, Kennedy’s Irish Pub and Curry House is the place. This unique spot has a formal Indian restaurant and a sports bar under one roof, with pool tables, air hockey, and scrumptious samosas. They don’t sell liquor but they do have sangria; it’s low on the fruit and high on the wine and absolutely tastes like it should be imbibed at a dive.

3. Mojito,1337 Grant Ave. (@ Green St.), North Beach, 415.398.1120

The name of this North Beach bar is deceptive because it makes you want to get a mojito when you walk through the doors, but the sangria here sneaks up on you and demands your attention. Tapas restaurant by day, scintillating salsa dance spot by night, Mojito is usually packed with a big group of locals who know how to shake it Spanish style.

4. Andalu, 3198 16th St. (@ Guerrero), The Mission, 415.621.2211

You go to Andalu for the way that the restaurant takes your favorite foods (like mini-cheeseburgers), cuts down the portion size to be fitting of a tapas bar, and then adds spices to make it upscale. But you stay because it has some of the best drinks in The Mission, including Sangria Blanca, the white wine sangria that you’re hard pressed to find almost anywhere else.

5. ThirstyBear, 661 Howard St. (@ 4th St.), SoMa, 415.974.0905

This is the best of San Francisco’s sangria spots in terms of the entire evening spent here. It’s a brewery for those who don’t want the sangria, although it’s impossible not to want it since the ice-cold pitchers are filled with the sweetest of fruit. It’s also a Spanish restaurant that doesn’t have a thing on the tapas menu that’s not worth trying. And its art-laden interior is split between a bright front section with round tables great for groups and a dimly light rear section perfect for sexy sangria-laced dinner dates.

6. Ramblas, 557 Valencia St. (@ 16th St.), Mission, 415.565.0207

Ramblas is actually the “sister restaurant” to ThirstyBear but if ThirstyBear is the sister that you want to take home to impress Mom, Ramblas is the sister that you want to sneak off with at midnight for some secret getting down-and-dirty. She has a nice veneer but as soon as you get that sangria flowing through her system, she’s taking her clothes off and dancing on the tables Mission-style.


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  • profile image

    WhydThatHappen 5 years ago

    Ive only been to SF once (can't wait to go back) and I loved cha cha cha and kennedy's! There was a place down the street from kennedy's that I went to, it was two stories and the inside was "wooden". You could order entire bowls of sangria and it was delicious! They had fruit that had soaked in alcohol placed inside the bowls too. It wasn't as fun as kennedy's or cha cha cha (i liked kennedy's the best) but it was great! I cant remember the name of it though, do you know the place?

  • ocbill profile image

    ocbill 7 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

    I like those bar names and Sangria is one of my favorites especially with some good cheese.

  • stephhicks68 profile image

    Stephanie Hicks 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

    Love San Francisco, and sangria bars sound awesome. Thanks for the great review.

  • K9keystrokes profile image

    India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

    Cheers! Wonderful tips and suggestions. Cha cha cha is a blast! My best gay-guy friend swears by the place. He is a hoot and was a gracious guide when we frequented the Tapas Bar,...we were officially grazers those evenings! Can't wait to try a few new places where the Sangria flows!! Ramblas sounds like the sister to take with us....

  • LillyGrillzit profile image

    Lori J Latimer 7 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

    Thank you for such good tips.

  • Sylvie Strong profile image

    Sylvie Strong 7 years ago

    Very helpful. Thank you. I'm still trying to decide which sister I would prefer.