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About Us


Welcome to Friars Folly Web Site. We hope you'll bookmark us and return often to discover the latest wines we've purchased for you and to check out our live entertainment calendar. You'll find out why so many people have chosen Friars Folly as their FAVORITE PLACE to relax and enjoy good food and wines.

Imagine stumbling across a beautiful oasis in a vast land of restaurant choices. You hear incredible music. Its real too, not canned music. The smell of wonderfully flavored food is calling out your name. The sound of laughter beckons you. You enter the courtyard are surprised to find quaint, unique shopping boutiques.
Voila! A beautiful restaurant patio with seductive fire pits and a band of musicians.

Bewildered you pinch yourself to see if you are in San Marcos, California because it feels like you are in Spain, south of France or someplace Mediterranean. You've just been transported into another time and place where life is wonderful.

Discover Friars Folly where you will experience the romance of Old California through wine, food and music. Feel the welcome of gracious Old Californian hospitality by the friendly staff. The wine bar, dining room and charming rustic courtyard are designed to make you feel cozy, comfortable and at home.


Our menu, comprised of tapas and entrees, reflects California's heritage. You'll find Bobó de Camarão and Moqueca* de Peixe, Brazilian dishes honoring our state's namesake, Califia, the mythical Amazon Princess that ruled this region with her female army. Much of the menu reflects the Mediterranean foods introduced during the Spanish colonization from the Mission's Padres homeland, Spain, and ingredients they added to their diets from the 'New World' of South America and Mexico. The Paella is very popular, especially with the Sangria de Maria, an original recipe from Spain.


Tami Ridley, who has studied wine extensively, chooses mostly boutique wines, most of them are value priced but that will knock your socks off with quality. Her game is finding the 'diamond in the rough' wine so you can feel comfortable that your credit card won't be maxed out after a couple bottles of wine. You'll also find many Wine Spectator point scorer bottles too. The wines on the list are all carefully selected for you to simply relax and enjoy stimulating conversation with your friends.

Wines can be enjoyed by the glass or half glass. Flights of three wines to sample and compare side by side are very popular. The best night of all though, and a tradition for six years now, is GIRLS GONE WINE on Wednesdays where all bottles of wine are discounted up to 50% off.


When you stumble into the charming rustic Mission courtyard and see some of the region's most talented musicians performing live, you know you've discovered nirvana. Nestled around a few fire pits, the guests experience an intimate connection to music like nowhere else. The music is eclectic, but always wonderful. Wednesdays offer folk/alternative music. Thursday nights host incredible Latin music from bossanovas, flamenco, samba and Santana. On Fridays and Saturdays, the tempo grooves more with jazz, blues, rock, Calypso reggae, Irish Fusion, country, Polynesian funk and so much more. Check out the Entertainment Calendar and plan your nights out!


We're hard to find, but worth it. Hidden away in a courtyard in the vast Old California Restaurant Row complex, you'll discover a truly romantic and private get-away. You are immediately transported to a Southern European experience. Depending on the music, you'll imagine yourself in Spain, South of France or Italy. Guests relax in Old World hospitality, often spending several hours over a meal and wines. You can choose to dine 'al fresco' near roaring fire-pits and watch people as they shop in the charming boutiques and rush to the theater; or enjoy a meal in the comforting well appointed wine bar.


Critics have described Friars Folly Wine Cellar as the "Jewel of North County". Voting polls have consistently over the past five years voted it to be the 'most romantic restaurant'; 'the 'best North County live entertainment venue'; the 'best wine bar'; and the 'best neighborhood bar'. The San Marcos Chamber of Commerce honored Friars Folly as the 'Best Small Business of the Year'. Our guests rave about their memorable experiences.


Testimonials - See What Others Think

Tami Ridley, Founder & CEO

Friars Folly Team

Philosophy on Food & Wine



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