Amélie

Bistro / Lounge / Wine Bar
Amélie Red lights, polished surfaces, and a touch of France create a sleek and sexy atmosphere at Amélie, a popular haunt for casual jet-setters, European expats, and lovers of unique yet affordable wine. San Francisco United States 37.793077 -122.421174
4.23 14
Amélie - Bistro | Lounge | Wine Bar in San Francisco.
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Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Red lights, polished surfaces, and a touch of France create a sleek and sexy atmosphere at Amélie, a popular haunt for casual jet-setters, European expats, and lovers of unique yet affordable wine. Bottle lamps and paper... ... read full review

  • Hours:

    Daily 5:30pm–2am; Kitchen open until 10:30pm

  • Recommended as:

    • Night Spot

Party Earth Amélie Review

The Scene

Red lights, polished surfaces, and a touch of France create a sleek and sexy atmosphere at Amélie, a popular haunt for casual jet-setters, European expats, and lovers of unique yet affordable wine.

Red lights, polished surfaces, and a touch of France create a sleek and sexy atmosphere at Amélie, a popular haunt for casual jet-setters, European expats, and lovers of unique yet affordable wine.

Bottle lamps and paper chandeliers cast soft hues over the young professionals sipping their way through Happy Hour wine flights at the long bar, while executives chat over charcuterie and trendy women nibble on cheese and chocolates in the lounge and white-linen dining areas.

A multicultural den with a heavily European staff and clientele, the venue brims with different languages and aromas to create a suggestive backdrop for everyone – whether it’s the Downtown after-work crowd and Marina businessmen charming chichi Nob Hill ladies or tourists and French lit students pointing out the Victor Hugo poem on the ceiling.

The main draw, of course, is the ever-changing wine list – and with bottles starting at only $20, the constantly packed house lends itself to sophisticated socializing without the exclusive price tag.

A perfect social pairing of quietly chic French bar and vivacious worldly lounge, Amélie translates the complexities of wine into a language all of its patrons can understand.

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Tip from Emma:

The wines are served in Riedel glasses, arguably the best in the world. Ask the bartenders how each style enhances the varying red and white varietals differently…they’ll know.

  • Crowd

    Budgeted wine lovers, trendy young professionals, hip internationals, casual foodies, groups of fashionable ladies, and powerful businessmen, late 20s to late 40s.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Playlist of international lounge music.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    French bistro menu of small plates including duck confit, patê, escargot, foie gras, and the southern France specialty ravioli du royans, as well as Californian and other international choices such as crab salad and smoked salmon on flatbread. Cheese and charcuterie plates available until midnight. Reservations suggested for dinner. Happy Hour daily 5:30–7pm.

  • Prices

    Appetizers $6–$25, salads and sharable plates $7–$15, desserts $5–$13. Beer $4–$10, wine $5–$15/glass or $20–$200/bottle, wine and champagne flights $7.50–$14.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Smart casual to upscale: striped sweaters, loose tops, polos, suits, designer skirts, heels, Pumas.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Busy every night, though Thursdays through Saturdays are best for a late dinner – reservations required! – and socializing with an exuberant and tipsy crowd.

  • Close By

    Nook (1500 Hyde Street) is another wine bar that also features a good assortment of cocktails and daily Happy Hour specials, all in a much more casual atmosphere.

Amélie User Reviews

Average rating:
A little French oasis in the heart of Nob Hill
Jenn V. May 2, 2013
If you've recently been to Paris (or would like to go!) and are in need of a French fix, head over to Amélie, located at Polk and Washington in Nob Hill. They have a huge selection of wines by the glass, and if you're looking for something new, just ask for a suggestion! The bartenders -- most have authentic French accents -- always have great recommendations. The only downside to this place is its popularity: it's crowded most nights of the week. But its also a great place to see and be seen by like-mined young professionals with an affinity for good wine and good atmosphere.
Great music, delicious wine, fantastic ambiance
Anné J. Apr 25, 2013
Amélie is located on the bustling block of Polk between Clay and Washington in Russian/Nob Hill, where an eclectic crowd of hipsters/young professionals/creatives meet. The prices are solid, the *live* music is generally off the chain, and the entire vibe (from decor to bartenders) is perfect San Franciscan cool. This is the spot you want to take a date (busy enough to keep conversation flowing), a business partner (fancy enough to admire fellow professional patrons), a foodie (impressive drink menu will keep them pleased) or a relative from out of town ((step up from your local dive bar, but not enough to make them feel out of place). Amélie is definitely worth your time (especially on a weekday, when the crowd is hopping but not stifling, as weekends tend to get crowded).
Wine, cheese and other delicacies
Veronika S. Apr 8, 2013
I went to Amélie quite late on a Friday night and the stylish yet charming atmosphere drew me right in. The wine list is huge and I was happy that our waiter, a friendly and attentive, not to mention very handsome French guy, offered some help. We were four and we all have different tastes when it comes to wine, but he listened carefully and brought exactly the right thing for each of us! We also had the cheese plate and it was so delicious! The bread, the honey, the selection of cheeses (which we also left to the waiter) - just perfect. This place really has the European vibe, but unlike some other French restaurants I’ve been to that sometimes felt too posh and a little chilly, Amélie is elegant, lively and warm at the same time - exactly like that perfect charming French exchange student back in school everybody wanted to hang out with. Now there is a place to recall that magic radiance; and to wash away the melancholy about never having been the chosen one with a glass of world-class Chardonnay. The desserts looked delicious as well, btw; I definitely want to come back and try them!
Taste with Amelie
Rikki R. Apr 8, 2013
Roll up the red carpet, because Amelie has red walls and glamouras décor to make you feel like Hollywood. Red wine bottles glow along the walls, and an impressive bar stacked to the ceiling with wine selections. We went at 5:30 on a Friday afternoon, and within minutes the place was pact. Even with a restaurant full of people, the place still felt romantic, and wasn’t too noisy to enjoy. The best part of Amelie (besides all the charming bar tenders with accents) is the happy hour deal. Any three wines for a flight (from their five page wine menu), for 10 dollars. I have never found a deal this good at any wine bar. They offer delicious cheeses and delicatessins for 20 dollars, and an endless bag of warm French bread to accompany the happy hour deal. There was more than enough food for two people, and the wine flight pour is more than generous. Amelie is cheap chic, and the moment you step in, will make you feel like an A-lister.
Like to movie, but not
Karine D. Apr 3, 2013
Amelie is that little slice of red velvet one craves after a nice dinner. The soft red lighting and display of french poetry on the ceiling gives it a sophisticated artsy feel. I almost wished I had a striped shirt,barrett and baguette to accompany my wine. The staff is friendly and sociable which might explain the lovely drink pour. It was nice that they actually spoke French. I've been to "French" places and spoken French to the staff only to be met with blank stares. Amelie is a great place for any time of the night , it's intimate setting makes it ideal for date nights, and small (4-5) groups on a calm night. The bathrooms were pristine, which I greatly appreciate because dirty bathrooms and lots of wine are a bad combination. My glass was never empty and the Bartender definitely did not charge me for all my drinks, that was the best. If you like wine, France and luxury without the pricetag, then this is the place for you.
La Vie en Rose
April M. Apr 2, 2013
Like stepping from one major metropolis to the next, San Franciso fades away and Paris takes hold inside Amelie. Hints of sophistication, like old books and poetry scrawled over the ceiling, are reminiscent of the original intellectual cafes that dot the city of lights across the sea. Servers speak French to international visitors and Francophiles alike. Baroque and French jazz sounds soar over the airwaves, and graduate students discuss philosophy and art at wooden corner tables. I’ve spent many a girls night out, romantic rendezvous, and group occasion beneath the romantic red hues of Amelie’s chandeliers and antique light fixtures. Their list of fine wines shifts with the seasons, and while delicious, the price of a bottle never drops below $20. Their food items, both savory and sweet, come in French portions. This is not a place for filling up, but for enjoying the subtle garlic undertones and cheesy overtones of their Raviole du Royans, or the simple sublimity of their chocolate tart. Amelie is not your casual weekend meetup, but is perfect for an upscale, starry-eyed evening on the town.
Wine With A View
Natalia B. Mar 28, 2013
Happy hour with the girls to Amelie is a must! The decor is very warm and inviting, the wine selection aplenty with fabulous meats and cheeses to pair. There is a sampler selection of wine so you can taste a variety of their offerings. The staff are all European, gorgeous, as well as attentive. They never miss a beat when it comes to refilling a glass, and watching them walk away is just as exciting as watching them walk towards you. Did I mention they're gorgeous? The whole atmosphere is welcoming, never turning to that rush-you-out-the-door mode when the place becomes busy. And my, does it get busy. This is well known gem in Nob Hill so try to beat the crowd.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered.
Babette D. Feb 19, 2013
Having spent multiple summers in France, I can say with conviction that Amelie is le real deal. Located in the bustling slice of Polk between Jackson & Bush, it can serve its purpose just as well as your warm up session for the night, including classy hors d'oeuvres, as the main event. The epic wine list features bold International (European) and local flavors, bringing the best of both worlds and vineyards. And the ambiance strikes that rare note between Paris chic and pretentiousness. The place is run by legitimate Frenchies, who have embraced the best of California living with style and grace. Think: Humbold Fog with a silent H. As I looked around, sipped my Zin, and took in the soft, red lighting, and the writings of Hugo on the ceiling, I was sold.
A is for Amelie
Rachel G. Nov 22, 2012
I worked on a show at The Firehouse 8 right around the corner from this place and we sort of just wandered in because we heard it was a wine bar. I was pretty impressed by their selection of wine, but what I loved was the lighted up wine bottles on the walls that seemed to be in a form of a shape? I wasn't sure, but I truely think it was a cursive A for Amelie. I also loved the wooden barrels as tables. I got the feeling of high class and upscale, but with a cheap and chic twist. I didn't feel too swanky, but yet I felt better than if I walked into a hole in and the wall dive bar.
How can you not love Amelie?
Jayson M. Aug 29, 2012
It’s like saying how could you not love Audrey Tautou? I look at this place as the sort of spot where, if you’re a dude, you can take a group of girls and not feel like an idiot. It’s definitely a bit on the girly side, true, but it’s also stylish without being pretentious and pretty budget-friendly without feeling cheap. I start off with the three cheese plate (manchego, pecorino romano, and a sheep's milk cheese infused with saffron, which apparently is a spice as well as the name of a ridiculously hot British actress). It all comes with homemade jam and honey, apple slices, sugar kissed walnuts, and bread. Bread is rad. Roll it all up with anything off the extensive wine list, mix in a little salad, lay back, and chill the night away. It definitely gets busy, however, and some of the ladies up in here are like vultures when it comes to protecting their bar stool. Whatever, they’re hot vultures, order them a bottle.
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