Search form

Wine Steals

Wine Steals Interior
Copyright©2009 sandiego.com, Inc.

Wine Steals has a killer Happy Hour. That is if you can call 11 am to 7 pm duration a Happy “hour”. This is our kinda place, especially when the “happy” part includes great wines, beers and champagnes. There are three Wine Steals in San Diego and we found ourselves at the one in Hillcrest. Widely spaced and filled to the brim with wine, wine and, well, wine.

It takes more than just vino to make a place shine, and that’s how Wine Steals very subtlety draws you in. The prefect analogy for this place is a Starbucks with alcohol. The eclectic vibe is sooo coffee house, but with a rustic look and feel. Interesting individuals mulling about, mixing it up with friends, new acquaintances or just reading a novel or newspaper. Couches and lounge seats are joined by overturned wine barrels as tables surrounded by bar stools. Seating areas can accommodate many for lively conversation or just one for a quiet time.

There is a bar (shocking) with a large chalkboard above it full of specials, possibilities, menu items and wit. Other chalkboards throughout instruct the clientele of the wine varietals, their roots and their complex flavors. How about that, knowledge and cocktails!

Cheese Platter
Copyright©2009 sandiego.com, Inc.

Wine flights abound at Wine Steals and there are so many ways to imbibe. Tuesday boasts wine themes highlighting different regions like South Africa, Spain, or specific varieties like bubbly. A brunch menu featuring orange juice, pomegranate or peach mimosas is also available. The delights just keep coming.

To compliment the pleasantries of the beverages, some tasty food items are there for the taking. Gorgeous cheese “boards” are served piled high with 5 types of cheeses, olives, olive oil and vinegar with all the crackers and bread you can eat. Delectable meats like salami, turkey, prosciutto and/or pastrami can also join the platter party. Wine Steals also has delicious Panini sandwiches with melted cheeses and meats.

Made-on-the-spot pizzas are served with choices of Margarita (tomatoes and basil), classic pepperoni, prosciutto and olive or artichoke and mushroom. Slices go for $3. The kitchen took a little long to deliver and when it arrived (neatly placed on a wood cutting board) the piece was a tad small and had a bit of a “hot pocket” taste to it. That said we did enjoy the carbs.

Copyright©2009 sandiego.com, Inc.

Upon leaving Wine Steals, saunter through the myriad of wine choices for purchase. We walked away with an arm full of some wonderful varietals at moderate prices. If you happen to return the next day (and why wouldn’t you?) show them your receipt, and you’ll get 50% of your first drink. That’ll work.

So while Starbucks is a great morning picker-upper, let Wine Steals provides you with an afternoon or evening relaxing moment to just Zen the day away. Enjoy!

The Good: the place has a very hip and mellow vibe…and the WINE!

The bad: too much temptation and a slow kitchen.

Details »
  • City: San Diego
  • Phone: 619-295-1188
  • Name: Wine Steals
  • Address: 1243 University Ave