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Yielding a Sustainable Menu in Happy San Francisco


San Franciscans, as a rule, are very happy people. With an unseasonably warm January, it seems that, these days, the city’s lifestyle allows for little complaint. It was during my most recent visit there that a taxi driver concisely summarized the widespread contentment: “It's because we get to go outside, we get to eat good food, and we know that life is good. That's why we're happy.”

I was pretty happy, as well, particularly on one night in the Dogpatch neighborhood. It‘s a quiet section of town; just south of the vibrant SOMA and Mission districts, this area seemed peacefully residential, with two exceptions: Construction of a new pediatric hospital and, recreationally, Yield Wine Bar.

It was an otherwise boring Tuesday night, as I was jetlagged and needed a way to thank my friend for letting me crash on his couch (read: a glass of red wine). As we peeked inside Yield’s window, it was clear that the day of the week was obsolete, as sounds of Spanish guitar and a rhythmic clapping of hands faintly wafted through the front door. Once inside, it was clear that Yield is an energetic oasis among relatively silent Dogpatch streets.

Although the live music and flamenco dancing (which takes place at the bar on the second Tuesday of each month) was enough to captivate this jaded East Coaster, Yield’s sustainable menu was just the perfect sprinkle of charm. In the bar’s own words, every item on the wine list is “made with the environment in mind,” typically “with grapes grown according to organic or biodynamic practices.” My glass of Abbaye de Tholomies Syrah Blend Minervois was particularly smooth and a hint sweeter than most Syrah varietals, not to mention borderline refreshing despite San Francisco’s warm temperatures (qualities attributed by some wine reviewers to organic cultivation).

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From the Organic Authority Files

The food menu, as well, is “locally sourced,” with a sustainable emphasis on produce, seafood and cheese plates alike. The selection is somewhat limited, with a short menu of plates that are, like the space itself, small in size but big in creativity and flavor; an understandable phenomenon, given the preference for items strictly in season and an apparent emphasis on wine and ambience.

Perhaps one of the more noticeable attributes of Yield, however, is its affordability. With its by-the glass selections running at an average of $10 and under, Yield single-handedly (or glassedly) destroys the perception of organic drink and fare as out-of-range. Offered up during happy hour, too, are half-bottles for $12.

Yield Wine Bar is located at 2490 3rd Street in San Francisco. For more information on its edible or drinkable offerings, as well as its Tuesday night mix-ups, visit

Keep in touch with Amanda on Twitter: @Amanda_ZW

Image: quinn.anya

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