January 24, 2017

Where to drink for free- kind of

January 24, 2017

Where to drink for free- kind of

It ain’t cheap to dine out in San Francisco, and when you add alcohol on top, even casual meals can head into expensive territory. Luckily, there are still a few restaurants around town that offer an antidote to this very first-world problem: free corkage fees.

There’s no shame in bringing your own wine to a restaurant, especially ones that encourage it through waiving corkage fees. Every restaurant listed here offers at least one night a week when wine brought in can make your check average go way, way down. All of these spots are places you’d want to sit back and relax, making it the perfect opportunity to catch up over a bottle of vino.

Some recommendations: Since you’re saving a lot of money, do be sure to add a little extra gratuity for the work it takes to serve you that bottle. And, consider buying something unique to make the most of the opportunity.

Read on for 13 restaurants in San Francisco with free corkage fees.

1 Alamo Square Seafood Grill

On Wednesday nights, waive the corkage fee on your wine with the purchase of two food courses at this seafood spot.


2 B44 Catalan Bistro

Pair your Catalan-style tapas with unlimited bottles of wine with free corkage on Monday nights.


3 Baby Blues BBQ

There’s never a corkage fee at this barbecue joint, but owners ask that you “be reasonable” with the number of bottles you bring.


4 Balboa Cafe

If you buy a bottle of wine from PlumpJack Wine & Spirits across the street from Balboa Cafe (same owners), then the restaurant will waive its $15 corkage fee.


5 Belga

Starting December 5, Belga will waive corkage fees on Monday nights in December. It’s a part of the new “Monday Lite” menu, which offers two courses from a select menu for $15, as well as $5 glasses of rosé.

6 Burritt Room Tavern

Located inside the Mystic Hotel, this Californian bar and restaurant honors local producers on Monday nights when it offers complimentary corkage on Californian wines, with a limit of two bottles.


7 Dirty Water

Head inside the Twitter building on Sunday nights for unlimited free corkage at this meat-heavy, wine-friendly restaurant.


8 feastly

Bring-your-own-anything — wine, spirits, or otherwise — to Feastly’s regular pop-up meals. The communal spirit of the meals often means neighbors will share.


9 Hillstone

Pair that excellent French dip sandwich with a bottle of wine you bring. The first 750ml bottle is corkage-free, after which it’s $20 per bottle.


10 The Perennial

Tuesday nights in The Perennial’s sustainable dining room brings no corkage fees, allowing one bottle per person.


11 The Stinking Rose

Get your North Beach kitsch fill at garlic-heavy Italian spot The Stinking Rose, which never has a corkage fee on wine.


12 Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen

Order Jewish cuisine at the counter, then sit down and enjoy some housemade pastrami alongside wine with no corkage fee, limited to two bottles.


13 Zazie

This brunch favorite also serves excellent dinner, and on Tuesday nights, there’s no limit on the number of wines you can drink with no corkage fee.