Food & Drink

Everything You Need to Know About Booze Delivery in SF

In case you need to take the edge off.

San Francisco is deep into shelter in place measures, and given that we're going to be in this holding pattern until at least May, you might be feeling like you need a drink. So here's the lowdown on how to get booze delivered straight to your shelter in SF. 

First, we recommend purchasing your alcohol from the small bottle shops, bars, and restaurants that are struggling the most economically during the COVID-19 crisis. According to the California Alcohol Beverage Control website, to-go and delivery drinks are permitted without an accompanying food sale as long as the drink sold is securely sealed. Restaurants have always been permitted to sell beer and wine to go, but now if they have a cocktail program they can include spirit-based drinks as part of the temporary provision.

Alcohol sales have higher margins for restauranteurs than the labor and resource intensive food sales, and will help them now more than ever. Beer especially is an item to add to your order, since it has a more sensitive shelf-life than wine or spirits. In ordering beer, you help fight waste and bolster restaurants livelihoods -- win-win. 

Here's a fraction of the SF small businesses offering cocktail deliveries and/or curbside wine, beer, and spirit sales. Check in your neighborhood for more like these and support if you can:

Elixir SF

Mission 
Elixir is a fixture on San Francisco's saloon history, open and pouring since 1858 notwithstanding fires, earthquakes, and now a global pandemic. The neighborhood whisky bar in the Mission now has cocktail delivery including cocktail kits. Delivery fees depend on size of order. Check their Instagram page for updates to their delivery program and for events such as virtual pub trivia.

Biondivino

Russian Hill
Italy has been hardest hit in both COVID-19 cases and economically in Europe and ordering some bottles from Biondivino in Russian Hill not only supports a small local wine shop, but also the tiny wine producers that this Italian-only boutique showcases. They are selling wine care packages in either 6 or 12 mix-and-match bottle formats handpicked by their whip-smart staff for delivery or curbside pick-up.

The Royal Cuckoo Market

Mission 
This humble vintage/living room vibe bottleshop in the Mission with a secret bar (Horsies Saloon) is a gem from the city's loved Royal Cuckoo lounge part dive/time capsule with piano organ performances. The market sells food, bottles of wine, and beer to-go, as well as curbside low-ABV vermouth cocktails. The piano players from the lounge play during their pick-up hours of noon-dark infusing a little joy in these otherwise strange times. 

Fig & Thistle Market 

Castro
For natural wine and sake enthusiasts, Fig & Thistle Market in the Castro has a fascinating collection from French sparklers, orange/skin contact to Georgian reds aged in amphora clay pots and is open for curbside pick-up and taking orders online for delivery. Cost is free depending on location and purchase amount with delivery to Oakland starting next week. 

Gemini Bottle Co.

Mission 
Deep in the Mission, this independent bottle shop has quickly pivoted to delivery/online sales of its unique collection of natural wines, beer, and spirits with the option to add-on a box of produce from farms across Sonoma county or pantry items such as locally pressed olive oil, eggs, and coffee. 

Woods Beer & Wine Co.

Outside Sunset, Oakland, Mission, and Russian Hill locations 
This small-batch brewery makes wildly creative brews like a girl scout cookie Dubbel and Fernet-infused herbal ales and also has a penchant for purveying California-made natural wines. You can order a 6 pack, a bottle of pet-nat, and an order of their homemade empanadas for pick-up at any of their locations in the city and Oakland (especially a quality option for Outside Sunset dwellers), or order their beer and wine for same-day delivery. 

The Alchemist

SOMA
This bar in SOMA also doubles as a catering company so they were able to pivot straight into delivery throughout the city. On offer are a varied selection of mixed libations such as rose and Averna cold brew espresso martinis, bourbon-based bitter Raised by Wolves, and simple sippers like moscow mules and mojitos. Craft and specialty spirit bottles also available for online ordering. 

Bar 821

Western Addition 
San Francisco's first amari bar Bar 821 by restauranteur Khaled Dajani boasts over 160 amari expressions and is a prime spot for well-made classic vermouth and bitter based cocktails. They're now selling drinks curbside to-go at their Tsunami Panhandle sushi spot. The deal is a choice between Negroni, Boulevardier, or Manhattan for $15 and includes a bottle rationed to 3 drinks per pre-batch bottle. You can also pick up a bottle of amaro to-go from their immensely unique collection. Pick-up is 4-8pm Monday-Saturday. 

Casements Bar

Mission 
For bar owners brave enough to open establishments in San Francisco in any period face even harsher obstacles when their projected opening collided with Stay at Home orders. Gillian Fitzgerald opened modern Irish cocktail spot Casements at the end of 2019 only to be closed before their first St. Patty's Day. Her brand new bars' pivot include pre-batched, creatively labelled signature cocktails such as gin and tonic flights or mezcal margaritas with homemade shrub for delivery-only with the option to add-on Irish comfort food classics like a loaf of soda bread from Gillian's grandmas family recipe. 

Fool's Errand

Western Edition 
Fool's Errand is a cabin-like neighborhood drinking hole for craft beer and terroir-driven world wines with a focus on rieslings. They are operating a walk-up window between 1-7pm daily for booze pick-up and are focusing on wines under $25 mostly from around Europe (German rieslings, aromatic white blends from Slovenia, French & Spanish reds, etc) and also offer online sales and delivery through Instagram. 

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Coral Sisk is a contributor for Thrillist.