The Riddler

4.6
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95 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Wine Bar
The Riddler is a Champagne bar in the heart of San Francisco’s Hayes Valley, occupying a tiny window-lined corner cafe space that dates back to the late 1800’s. We have over 100 Champagnes by the bottle and dozens of sparkling wines by the glass to choose from: old and new, traditional classics and unusual discoveries, by the glass and by the bottle (or magnum or 9L). At the center of our space is an old wooden backbar that we’ve lined with a collection of vintage Champagne buckets and glassware that we’ve picked up at flea markets and estate sales over the last decade.

We’re a women-led team: we have 33 investors, all of whom are women, and our entire management team happens to be led by a bad-ass crew of women. We love serious wines but don’t take ourselves too seriously: we pair our Champagne with tater tot waffles, serve our caviar with potato chips, and offer free popcorn all day and all night.
What 95 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.5
service
4.6
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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LC
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

The tot waffles were really good. If you want a drink, definitely get the Joan. You won't be disappointed!

OT
Seattle
2 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Fun champagne bar - super expensive for what it is. Tater tots were amazing, one glass of champagne was 25. Our next round we opted for the cheaper glasses which were 15 each. We had 4 glasses of champagne, 2 plates and our bill was 175! I wanted to live this concept but I felt it was overpriced - and we had so many other Michelin Star dinners in the city that were a much better value.

OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Can’t say enough about how great this place is. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, food and drinks are delicious and well executed, and the decor and design and simple and elegant.

ET
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The perfect date night spot! Give me a tater tot waffle any day!

OT
1 review
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

It was closed when we arrived even though the restaurant emailed us to confirm the reservation

D
San Francisco
7 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 1

Stood outside for 10 minutes; hostess standing outside never inquired or helped us. I had requested an outside table in my reservation 3 weeks in advance and was not accommodated. Small portions, high prices. Nothing exceptional. Loud inside, hard to hear conversation.

MS
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

Very fun and hip champagne bar I. Hayes Valley. Went on a Saturday, early evening. Had reservations but had to wait. Not a big deal though. Crowd was really young and having a good time. Super tight seating and the noise level was beyond LOUD. Drink selection was good but pricey and the small plates were tasty and I thought a bit pricey too. I’d go back during an off-time (if they have one!) to avoid the noise. Or on a warm afternoon to sit outside.

DB
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bubbles and popcorn in a chic atmosphere

SJ
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful spot, classy but warm and welcoming. Service was wonderful!

V
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Loved it...a perfect evening. Really appreciated all the information we received and the overall experience was even more delightful than I could have expected.

B
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I can’t wait to return to The Riddler! Everything about that place was awesome!

S
San Joaquin
4 reviews
Dined on June 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came to The Riddler following a matinee of Hamilton. Perfect end to a fun outing!

PB
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always enjoy introducing friends to The Riddler. It’s a unique place to entertain and the staff is friendly and well informed....professional but informal.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

A bit too snooty. Otherwise good. Will go again.

DB
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great and leisurely time at The Riddler.
We were in San Francisco enjoying some boutique shopping and had a fantastic time relaxing at The Riddler.
Jane was so helpful and attentive.
We can't wait to visit again.

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

They made my friend’s night before the wedding night! Thanks!

OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on June 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

The prices here are out of control. Paid $25 for a glass of champagne, and I’ve paid $12 for glasses that taste better. I know it’s in Hayes Valley, but I encourage the restaurant to rethink their pricing structure.

OT
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on May 30, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 5

Expensive champagne. Meh service

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T
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 1

Overpriced Crammed Cracker box

A friend and I were booked into a different restaurant, and suddenly found out our reservation had not gone through. So, I quickly used open table to find the only close restaurant with a 5:30 reservation, and The Riddler came up. We went there, only to find that the "reservation" was for a seat outside, and there were no heat lamps. It was a cold night, so we sat at the noisy bar and had to yell at each other to talk. The restaurant is only about 10 feet by 10 feet, and it was packed, so the noise was intolerable, but we didn't have much choice by this time. The menu was just for snacks, not dinner. In the open table information it says "Wine bar" but in fact, The Riddler is a champagne bar with very expensive sparkling wine, caviar, potato chips, and about three other snack options that in no way equate to dinner. Then there is the lack of wine: The paltry menu offering of wines by the glass (only two reds) were awful, and very expensive. The teeny, tiny glass and even smaller pour was insulting. Unless you love spending a couple of hundred dollars on bar snacks in a crammed cracker box, stay away.

CD
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our 4th or 5th time at The Riddler and consistently goes above and beyond in service and quality of experience. 5 stars highly recommend!

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

I always have a lovely time at the Riddler.

J
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

Service was very poor. Very disappointed in this place. I had heard that the customer service wasn't that great from a friend but still wanted to try the place. My friend and I had asked the servers multiple times to move us outside as we had a baby+ stroller coming and it would be much easier to maneuver and would be more considerate for the other customers. Since they told us there were reservations, we understood. After an hour or so of being there I had asked about a table outside that hadn't been occupied for some time. One of the waitresses told me they just had to wait 20 minutes to see if the reservation would arrive, but not to worry as the table next to it was leaving. Shortly after, I see the hostess in the front seat both tables. I notified another server about what happened and she went outside to ask about the situation and said there was a miscommunication. It was very frustrating and once the baby arrived, it was extremely difficult for us to push the stroller into the place and it was way too loud for the baby. He wouldnt stop crying. To apologize, they server gave us this nasty cheap caviar to make up for the miscommunication. That is just part of the story. Overall, horrible experience and stuck up wait staff. Never going again!

SF
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on April 11, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Asbolutely overpriced bubbles... mark up is nearly 60-75%. I understand there is always a good mark up but the LR Rose 1/2 bottle at $100 for a $20-25 bottle. That was laughable. Let's be reasonable - I was there to try the place out for a company gathering. Not my money, but couldn't spend their many either on extreme excess.

TB
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our experience at The Riddler was wonderful! We were there celebrating a couple of birthdays before we went to a show and our server Jane made sure to make it memorable. From her depth of knowledge of their inventory, to the hand-cut crystal glasses she gave the birthday girls, we were well taken care of! She also indulged our instagram habits, taking our pictures and boomerangs. The champagnes and the food were excellent and we are already planning our return!

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service, food and champagne were amazing. Can’t wait to come back!

d
San Francisco
30 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Fun experience considering I'd never been there. Nice menu of champagnes & other sparkling wines. The place is small & fills up quickly. Some servers are more attentive than others honestly. Loved my dessert.

JC
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I always have the best time at The Riddler! Staff is kind and helpful, and the selection of champagne and wines is unparalleled in the city.

OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic Friday evening out. We were a few minutes late for our reservations, but our table was not ready understandable you don’t want to leave the place! Service was exceptional apologetic of the wait very attentive staff, the choice of bubbly menu extensive, the waffles were delicious, and the place is beyond cute! A 5+stars Hayes Valley must go to location for good times.

OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our whole service was romantic and totally customized!! I loved every second of being there. Thank you for a wonderful time

HP
1 review
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely for a ladies outing. Host was super knowledgable and kind. Free popcorn with a ton of toppings. Will visit every time I'm in SF.

OT
London
6 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Tater tot waffles all delicious!

OT
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on February 8, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 3

Went here for my birthday. I had a reservation at 9. Was told it was a rainy night so people weren’t leaving. An empty table by the window sat empty for 35mins. I was told to wait at the bar until a table became available and was treated with not even a full glass of champagne. Finally 45 mins later I was told I could sit at the bar until a table became available. They sat a group of 6 that was at the bar at he table that sat empty for well over a half hour. They left 10 mins later after being seated. At and hour past my reservation finally a table was available. But having had two glasses of champagne each and waiting an hour we were ready to depart. Poor coordination and service. Didn’t even get open table points for some reason bc I had dinner reservations that were too close to drinks here? So after all this I didn’t even leave with a seated table nor 100 open table points. Also bubbles not served in champagne glasses but wine glasses. Somehow makes you feel you got shorted when they poured. Let down on my birthday all around to be honest.

G
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 4ambience 2

Food strange and and not good
Service above average
Will not return

MW
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bar focused on bubbles, great food, knowledgeable staff and fun atmosphere. It feels like you're at a friend's house who has a ton of bottles to sample from:-) I'll be back soon!

OT
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were celebrating our friend’s engagement. The waitress gave great recommendations.

GG
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very knowledgeable staff with great product (champs) & killer ambiance. Very cool spot to spend some time catching up with friends.

S
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 3

The Riddler had very friendly service upon arrival! Waitresses were very friendly, attentive, accommodating and were always smiling! Although, we were celebrating two birthdays and saw that the table next to us got a little birthday acknowledgement with a candle and some sort of small, plated dish to blow out. Upon arriving, we were asked whose birthday it was, (two of us were celebrating) but didn’t get any type of birthday treatment as the table next to us. Before leaving, our waitress said “happy birthday to the both of you” while handing us our check. A couple of us are bloggers and asked if we could have the cute little “Reserved for Adele” table sign to include in our pics that was removed from our table, but our waitress never brought it back because she said we didn’t have any room on our table. (We could have indeed made room for the small 12x3 table piece.) As bloggers, it would’ve been a cute touch to our photos but were disappointed that we were denied. Overall, a cute and fun experience, but would’ve made a few tweaks!

C
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As usual, the staff were friendly and helpful and the champagne was amazing.

s
Vancouver
14 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The thing about The Riddler is that you’re not buying a meal, you’re buying a life changing experience. Am I being hyperbolic? Perhaps. But am I serious? Yes. If you like being treated like a superstar, a best friend, and a monarch, then treat yourself to The Riddler. Every time we come here, our server guides us through a tour of the best Champagnes this side of the Milky Way. We don’t even bother looking at the enormous wine list, because staff at The Riddler have a sixth sense for finding your perfect bottle (or 3). So come hungry, and more importantly, come thirsty.

H
Orange County
4 reviews
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Riddler is a must when we are in the city. The ambiance, people, champagne and food are top notch. The tater tot waffles are sooo good!!!!

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