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Sausalito is known for many things. Colorful, hillside houses. Fresh seafood and fish tacos. Famous residents like Carlos Santana and Shel Silverstein. And, for those who believe the story, as the birthplace of the Tequila Sunrise. (This is what The Trident claims!)
If you find that last bit of trivia particularly fascinating, then you might wonder about all the places to enjoy a good tipple during a visit to our lovely town – aka where to drink in Sausalito. Sausalito doesn’t have many bars – but it does have a nice variety of restaurants that serve, as well as a few winery tasting rooms and a distillery tasting room too. In short, there’s no shortage of places to imbibe should you be inclined.
So whether you’re craving a cocktail in one of Sausalito’s watering holes, want a happy hour cocktail before dinner, or can’t make it to wine country but want to sample the region’s most popular product, here are all the spots for a great drink in Sausalito.
Sausalito is the traditional lands of the Graton Rancheria, Miwok, and Me-Wuk (Coast Miwok) peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation to the past and present stewards of these lands. To learn more, I invite you to explore Native-Land.ca.
This post was originally published on my blog Discover Sausalito; it was migrated to this site in January 2024.
Best Bars in Sausalito
Whether you need a break from sightseeing or are just new in town, here are the best bars to go for a drink in Sausalito.
No Name Bar
Located on the main drag, No Name Bar is legitimately one of the top bars to drink in Sausalito. It is the platonic ideal of what a dive bar should be: laid-back atmosphere, friendly staff, beautiful back garden area with sunlight streaming in, and affordable drinks.
The bar is usually packed with locals who love to chat and share their stories with newcomers. You can even see some local live music every weekend. No Name Bar is close to the ferry building, so you can stop here for a quick drink before getting the ferry back to San Francisco.
Smitty’s Bar is one of the best bars in Sausalito for people who like old-school venues. This dive bar sits out of the touristic part of town, right on Main Street. While it gets pretty busy on the weekends, it’s nice and quiet during the week.
The atmosphere is fantastic. There are locals hanging out and chatting with the bartender. The wood paneling, jukebox, and TVs playing baseball in the background make you feel the 90s are still alive. On top of that, the dive bar has four pool tables, shuffleboard, foosball, and cold beer. What more could you want?
Distilleries & Wineries in Sausalito
Don’t have time to drive all the way up to Napa Valley? Don’t worry! There are plenty of distilleries and wineries in Sausalito for you to enjoy.
Bacchus & Venus
I mean, look at that name! Bacchus, the god of wine, and Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. It’s just the perfect omen telling you this is a stunning place to drink in Sausalito.
Bacchus & Venus is a little wine shop blending a tasting room and an art gallery. It is a lovely spot to taste small-production California wines. Their menu offers numerous flight selections or by-the-glass options. It also boasts delicious nibbles to pair with your wine. Don’t forget to tour the art gallery before you leave!
Hanson of Sonoma
Take a break from the standard wine-tasting excursion and head over to Hanson of Sonoma to taste unique vodka flavors.
Hanson of Sonoma is a local, family-owned distillery that distills vodka from wine grapes. Yes, you read right, from wine grapes. The distillery uses organic California wine grapes to produce flavored vodka. They are delicious – the Mandarin and Habanero are just exquisite. Visitors can choose from different experiences: Hanson Vodka Expression Tasting, Hanson Vodka Cocktail & Expression Tasting, Hog Island Oysters, Bloody Mary Sunday!, Hanson Vodka & Chocolate Truffles Pairing, and Hanson Martini & Caviar Pairing.
Believe me, one visit to Hanson of Sonoma and you’ll never drink commercial vodka again.
Real Napa Tasting Room
If you only have time for one wine tasting (who would only want one tasting, right?, head over to the Real Napa Tasting Room. This lovely venue on Sausalito’s waterfront is Fotsch Vineyards’ tasting room. You can taste the winery’s best wine selection here – there are more than ten wines to choose from! Make sure you sit on the patio. It gives a great view of the bay and the bridge in the background. You can watch the boats and everything that’s going on.
Since entering the Sausalito dining scene in mid-2023, Ditas has been making headlines and waves all over town – it’s high on my list of best burgers, great seafood, and top restaurants with water views. Ditas is also home to one of the city’s best wine lists; it’s far more extensive than the food menu – meaning no matter what you choose to eat, there are multiple delightful options to pair with it. If you’re looking for a top spot for a glass of wine and a bite, Ditas is my recommendation.
While I can’t claim that Le Garage is a winery or distillery, it is a great place for wine, so I wanted to add it to this part of my list. As Sausalito’s only French restaurant, they have a wide range of great wines (mostly French) that complement their food menu perfectly. On a sunny day, there’s not much better than a charcuterie board and a glass of chilled rose or white wine overlooking Spinnaker Point Marina.
Happy Hours in Sausalito
I have a whole post dedicated to the best spots for Happy Hour in Sausalito. For the sake of saving you some reading, here’s a summary of them.
- Barrel House Tavern – A beloved spot in Sausalito, Barrel House Tavern offers Sausalito Happy Hour specials on weekdays only from 12 pm to 7 pm. They have a solid varied selection of drinks, including draft beer, wine, and cocktails.
- Seafood Peddler – The fun never stops at Seafood Peddler. This bar offers Happy Hour specials seven days a week from 4 pm to 7 pm in the restaurant’s bar area.
- Saylor’s Restaurant & Bar – Did someone say margaritas? Saylor’s is a Mexican place near and dear to all locals’ hearts. Their Happy Hour is from 4 pm to 7 pm on weekdays. Besides delicious margaritas, they offer different specials depending on the day.
Bonus: The Sausalito Ferry
It’s time to leave Sausalito and you didn’t have time to enjoy a cold beer in one of its bars. Don’t worry, there’s still one last alternative. Everyone knows the Sausalito ferry is the best way to get from and to San Francisco.
Did you know you can also enjoy a few drinks on the ride? Yes, the ferry allows visitors to drink on their exterior decks. All boats have snack bars selling a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Visitors can also bring their own drinks, beer, or wines to enjoy.
So, there you go. Find a good spot on the deck, pour a glass of your favorite wine, and enjoy a pleasant ride with fantastic views of Alcatraz and SF. Know of any other great spots to drink in Sausalito? Let me know in the comments!