The Riddler

4.7
74 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. And we’re always happy to saber a bottle for you in the alleyway next door.
What 74 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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J
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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d
San Francisco
28 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.

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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.

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OT
San Francisco
2 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.

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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

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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.

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

Tater tot waffles all delicious!

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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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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s
Vancouver
13 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.

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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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TJ
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I drive from Walnut Creek and brave parking challenges all to enjoy a couple of hours in this wonderful place. I take all my girlfriends here for a celebratory occasion if the occasion is just getting together for a happy chat over a glass of amazing bubbly! The seating, the staff, the other guests, just everything is perfection!!

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I
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The place is super tiny and I can hear everyone’s conversations, which is a bit strange. The tater tot thingy is amazing. Highly recommend. And of course great champagne selection.

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M
San Francisco
51 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

The service is outstanding: they know the offerings extremely well, they are funny, engaging and seem so happy to be working there. The space is beautiful. The champagne selection is fantastic.
the food? It needs a little more thought. More salads? Flatlbreads? cheeses? it has amazing potential but it has to expand the menu. We pretty much tried everything since there are only 6 things or so on the menu....and the food was not exceptional to make me want to go back again soon to eat the same.....and I would love to.
it is such a wonderful spot which deserves to thrive big!

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KC
San Francisco
17 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

So much fun! Sommelier Naomi is extremely knowledgeable, approachable, friendly. Great selection of champagne other bubbles, and wine. Go :)

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s
Vancouver
13 reviews
Dined on October 21, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The Riddler is everything I will ever want in a wine bar. An exquisitely selected champagne list that has yet to dissapoint, service that is, without a doubt, the best a bar or restaurant could provide. On this particular evening, our server graced us with her ridiculously impressive knowledge of the full wine list, helping us choose 3 beautiful bottles for the evening. The entire staff are equally wonderful - in fact, the worst thing about The Riddler is having to leave The Riddler at the end of a wonderful experience.

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BK
San Francisco
12 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Met friends for a couple of glasses of bubbly and light bites before a dinner/show at a nearby jazz club. Reserved table was ready and waiting. Servers were very friendly. Great selection of bubbly - both Champagne and domestic sparkling wines. Light bites not really enough to call dinner but adequate to accompany the bubbles. Would not hesitate to go again.

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MB
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall 4food 1service 4ambience 5

The online menu and the menu offered us at the restaurant were radically different. I have some dietary restrictions so I always check the menu first to make sure there is something I can eat. Online there were several options, in the restaurant there were none. We had to go to another restaurant. They were nice about it.

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CM
Austin
2 reviews
Dined on September 30, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Amazing selection, perfect accompaniments - felt like a Bistro in Paris but without the attitude

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CH
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had seen photos of The Riddler on social media, so when a friend and I planned a trip to San Francisco I knew that I had to try this champagne bar for brunch.

The food was excellent (I had the tater tot waffles and my friend the tomato salad!) The champagne was beyond excellent. The venue was even cuter in person and was the perfect start to a long day of walking up the hills of San Francisco.

Our waitress was excellent and humored is by taking photos of us and asking about our travel plans.

10/10 would recommend.

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a
Portland
8 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Bubbliest place for bubbly! Sparkling, festive and fun.

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MA
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best list of chmpagne I have seen in a while. The whole concept is creative simple and classic! I only wish they had the full bottle of the billecart rose and not the 1/2. Overall outstanding!

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KW
San Francisco
25 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Riddler never disappoints. Interesting and delicious small plates.

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OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was Incredible! Cute little spot

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OT
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I felt that the Riddler gave a meager pour per glass of wine, and the caviar was vastly overpriced .
The noise level reached deafening ..not the best experience.
The service people were lovely.

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T
San Francisco
9 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2018
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Great place -- and Naomi is a gem, a well-informed server with a wonderful sense of humor! The menu is very limited but what's available is good. Especially enjoyed the cheese plate and dark chocolate pot de creme. Will go back.

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s
San Francisco
112 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Great ambiance, great service. Food and champagne really excellent. A little pricy overall

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We celebrated a friend’s birthday and she was served with a special champ glass... cute. Service was very attentive from Sebastian and everyone else it was not as attentive when he had gone his break.

Waffles were fantastic and so was the popcorn....

We were delighted and had a good time!

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SP
Hawaii
8 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Love this place. Perfect for drinking some bubbles and grabbing a lite bite before a show at Bill Graham. I am a Champagne lover and this meets my needs perfectly. Love the popcorn bar too. Excellent pairing for the bubbly.

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C
Mexico City
15 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We had a lovely time! Appetizers and bubbles! The place is very cute and cool at the same time

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s
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on July 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved this experience! So much fun to enjoy this bar with two of my favorite ladies.

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n
St. Louis
3 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fun spot for any occasion to have bubbles! Excellent service, fantastic selection of champagne and creative bar snacks. Will definitely be back!

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