1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Zeitgeist

Not Rated.
ZeitgeistZeitgeist
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

61 Ratings
Ratings: 61
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 8.29%
Taps: 48
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

199 Valencia St
San Francisco, California, 94103-1117
United States
phone: (415) 255-7505

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @zeitgeistsf

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: noob)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -2.4%

largadeer, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

RBassSFHOPit2ME, May 07, 2014
Photo of justinbrown
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

justinbrown, Apr 22, 2014
Photo of cdean801
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

cdean801, Apr 11, 2014
Photo of md655321
5/5  rDev +22%

md655321, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

jaydoc, Feb 19, 2014
Photo of NYR_Rob
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

NYR_Rob, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of hayesjw
4/5  rDev -2.4%

hayesjw, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of Tristan_E
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Tristan_E, Dec 11, 2013
Photo of davegray
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

davegray, Nov 14, 2013
Photo of AngusOg
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

AngusOg, Oct 09, 2013
Photo of flexabull
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%

After a long morning walk through the streets of San Francisco, I found myself near the Toronado which wasn't opened yet, so I continued on a few more blocks to the Zeitgeist. I had actually heard about it online in an article about great dive bars in SF, and when I saw that they also served excellent beers, I decided to start my day here.

Really a cool place, black walls, long bar, games and a small kitchen in the back. And behind the bar is a door to the outside beer garden, which is large, with quite a few benches and turned out to be a great place to sip my beer while soaking up the great weather.

Quality and selection were both top notch. The beer board had a wide variety of excellent brews. I really liked how they list beers by style instead of brewery. I was looking for an IPA, and I noticed Double Tap from Berryessa, so I enjoyed a pint outside.

Service was fine. The bartenders and patrons were buzzing about a crack head lady that had just left right after I entered. But she acknowledged me fairly quickly, and served me.

Prices were slightly high, but not bad for SF.

Overall, this place was great. I definitely will come back. You have to love edgy grimy dive bars though to really appreciate this place.

flexabull, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of rixcat
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%

Walked in, mid afternoon. Was greeted by a foxy young gothic hipster (if there is such a thing) bikery babe with a perfect endless white grill welcoming us in and taking our order. Looking up at a large chalkboard style beer menu there was a healthy and unique variety ranging from a kölsch to an oatmeal stout. I could really sit down and try new-to-me beers there. We ordered a pitcher of the El Toro Oatmeal Stout and headed outside for a picnic table in the shade. Yep, the sun was actually shining that day. Inside was a high-ceilinged indoor open cellar type environment with some music playing and a bunch of people were standing around happily gesticulating, laughing, and leaning in for the punchline. Outside was a large court area populated by a light crowd, cigarette smoke lingering in the midday air. We enthusiastically talked about nothing important. It was kinda dirty outside, but in that good dirty way. Cool place except for the tobacco smoke.(hence the 2.5 on the vibe rating.) I've been here at night before and it's pretty fun bumping around with an undeniably urban look, and feel. Guys put on your jeans, gals get in a short summer dress and some cork platforms and get in here!

rixcat, Aug 08, 2013
Photo of mikebauman
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%

Good neighborhood bar. Lots of room on the patio out back. It's one of the few bars you can get kicked out of that I know of. If you don't mind the smell of weed and waiting in line for a beer, this place is a great stop.

Oh, the bloodymarys are super bomb.

mikebauman, Aug 02, 2013
Photo of dirtylou
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%

Very interesting night-spot. Pretty large, vaulted, interior with a huge board of taps. The exterior is one of the larger urban beer gardens you'll find, full of people on a pretty chilly SF night.

I had a pour of the Bruery White Oak to make sure things headed in the right direction and washed it down with a few pitchers of Moonlight Reality Czech. Had a pretty solid night out back, which I'd venture to say wasn't by chance.

dirtylou, Jul 09, 2013
Photo of brewandbbq
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%

Dive bar much like the Toronado, complete with loud metal, bartenders with rolling eyes, and weed in the air. Loads of taps and lots of great beer by the glass or pitcher. Prices are very good for SF, cash only. Open patio also which looked like a better option than sitting at the bar watching the bartenders give attitude.
Dirty bathrooms with no toilet paper, I definitely would not order food there, way too grungy and dirty.
All in all a decent dive bar with exceptional beers and service with an attitude.

brewandbbq, May 17, 2013
Photo of MatthewPlus
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%

So i was visiting San Fran back in September '12 and was only thinking about visiting Toronado. My buddies and i caught a comedy show in the mission one night and more or less just stumbled upon this place.
Straight dive/metal/punk/biker bar. If you want skinny puppy on the juke box, this place is for you. The scene really wouldve appealed to me much more if i was still 22 years old, but nonetheless i didnt mind the grunginess of it, it has a certain charm.
Being a Florida boy, i was happy to see many local offerings on their draft list, all at very reasonable prices. Supplication and Aroma Coma are pretty much what i stuck to. We went twice, once during the week, once on the weekend.
Service was fine during the week, friendly and prompt. Its a cash only bar, which i have no problem with, but apparently many tourists dont get this concept. At one point a bartender was literally yelling and swearing at a guy about the policy. I get it, tourists suck if you're a local, but seriously guy, calm down.
Service was adequate during the more busy weekend hours.
Tons of hipsters hanging around, seemed to be a good amount of people on various drugs, and alot of folks smoking weed in their "biergarten", which is just a glorified outdoor seating area. Im cool with all that, just be prepared for some whacked-out dude to try to start a conversation with you, or mooch one of your tamales.
Speaking of which, i didnt try the house food (was there any?) but they let the "Tamale Lady" come in and do her thing, which is kind of cool. Apparently you havent done San Francisco unless youve eaten one of these things. it was ok, but i was glad to be up to date on my shots.
Overall, i dug the place, but certainly wanted to be left alone. They had a good selection, and thats what i find most important.

MatthewPlus, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of elNopalero
3.65/5  rDev -11%

San Franciscans love this place—and I can definitely see why, as it has all the right elements to make it a hipster’s paradise (especially when it’s sunny outside, as then one can truly appreciate all the picnic benches and outdoor patio space)—but to me it will always be “Toronado with a patio, if the Toronado was the way everyone says it is.”

Which is to say, killer tap selection combined with surely bouncers and abrasive bartenders, only with more sunlight to illuminate the nasty bathrooms. And to be fair since their remodel a few years back the bathrooms are surprisingly clean and modern, in a stainless-steel prison vibe sort of way. And now that I know the routine (I have my ID in hand as I enter) I’m not on the receiving end of the attitude the way I once was.

But… points off for serving bad beer. Not bad as in macros, bad as in infected. Wasn’t my order so I didn’t go up to fight it. If you’re going to position yourself as a serious beer bar you have to take your beer seriously, and cleaning the lines is part of that. ‘Nuff said.

elNopalero, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of excalibur
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%

We weren't sure what to expect as this was my first experience with a dive bar and it was an eye opener. We arrived around 4PM. There were assorted posters on the walls and it was dark. But they did have a good selection of beers, many unknown to me, and the bartenders were friendly and offered samples and discriptions to the visitors. After making a selection we were about to sit at the bar on a worn out stool, when the bartender suggested we check out the beer garden, which we did. It was a large gravel area with long picnic benches and a good crowd drinking. There were Christmas lights strung around and a few large trees here and there and I thought it looked pretty nice. I think the pitcher prices must have been good, although we only had a pint, as many were bringing out 2 glasses and a pitcher. It's worth a visit to this unique place if you're in the area and I would probably go back.

excalibur, Nov 07, 2012
Photo of slander
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%

A Zeinheitsgebot revisit, as we’ve got some time this afternoon before dinnerings go down, and last night was, well, yeah. Today will be, well, yeah, too, but this is the early before it all goes wrong; when I can’t remember the name of the place and start calling it Zagnut or Zoltar or Zappa or other things it isn’t, or just badly mispronouncing what it is it is. Yep, I’m pretty sure we’ll be well in by the time we leave Zebra Face...

Insides, it’s kinda divey and grungy in a good way. Reminds me of a cross between Delilah’s in Chicgago (with metal instead of punk), and a full on biker bar. Off to the left, a wood bar varnished over with a worn and carved up lip, black panel base and foot box, stooling upwards of a dozen. The barback is a series of tap towers (16 duped on the ends, and then an 8 on the inside, and then a solo standalone in between with an 8 on both sides) over glassware shelved below, and booze tiered on the ends. 64 handles in all, 48 of them are unique. shelved booze on the curvy corrugated metal barback walls, with vertical windows to both sides of the standalone 16 tap tower to the rear porch, they open. The wall space above in red with soap box derby posters, and a black trim stickered. Bottle cooler on the forward end, and a large horizontal board above listing tap selections grouped conveniently by style, but painfully lacking the breweries names (She knows what’s what, but it’s difficult for the tourist, me).

Crazy mosaic tile floor in white and off shades, and a black ceiling with track spots, a stop light, random neons, a strung motorcycle, racing car hoods back there. Shwag corner with logo Death Bunny wear I think the Playboy people might have a problem with. 3 stainless steel hightops across the room and slight bar counterings around a center side pillar. Rear room holds a single pool table with some bar counter space alongside, a pair of pinball machines and whatever ‘Target Terror’ is, they’ve got one. Also, a service window for burgers and the like. Tap handles displayed all around, brewery signage, placards, etc. Hey, is it just me or has the music has gotten a bit more intense?

And through to a spacious gravel ground backyard space alongside the below the highway, with sorry bastards living above, to be sure. Murals on 2 walls, an old pickup truck in the corner of the yard, trees planted in the center, 2 dozen pic-a-nic tables, and just a great fuckin’ scene. Bike zone friendly, even. It’s a kickin’ backyard space; rivals the best of ‘em, true. And what is the smell a-wafting my way? Hmmmn.

48 beers up, and like I said; with the printed blackboard list being devoid of brewery names, this will not be easy. 2/3 of them CA offerings; 7 offerings from Sierra Nevada on the heels on their event here (Pale Ale, Ovila Quad, 2x4 Ale, Persimmon Farmhouse, Beer Camp #10 - Hoptimum, Beer Camp #36 - Hopsichord, & Beer Camp #31 - FestivAle Blonde), 5 from Anchor (Liberty Ale, Steam Beer, Our Barrel Ale, Brekle’s Brown, & Zymaster Series No. 1 California Lager), 4 from SoPac (IPA, Black Lager, Belgian Wit, & Coal Stoker Porter), a pair each from Moonlight (Death & Taxes Black Beer & Reality Czeck), Firestone Walker (Double Barrel Ale & Velvet Merkin Oatmeal Stout), 21st Amendment (Back in Black & Allies Win the War), and Russian River (Damnation & Supplication), and then one offs (Thirsty Bear Meyer ESB, Marin Mt. Tam Pale Ale, Bear Republic Racer 5, Anderson Valley Oatmeal Porter, Lost Coast Great White, Widmer Hefe, El Toro Poppy Jasper Amber, & Trumer Pils). The other 1/3 holds a mix of this and that; craft offerings from this coast’s Ninkasi (Maiden the Shade IPA, Total Domination IPA, Little One Bitter, Sleigh’r Dark Double Alt, & the Speakeasy/Shmaltz/Ninkasi collaboration 3 Ring Circus), and not (New Belgium Clutch Collabeeration, Ommegang Abbey), too many not terribly exciting imports (La Chouffe, Chimay Tripel, Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, Lindemans Framboise, Franziskaner Hefe-Weisse, Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Dunkel, Guinness), and a cider (Ace Joker Apple Cider).

Between last night and today, I primarily drank Moonlight Death & Taxes (laughingly), Moonlight Reality Czech, and the Trumer Pils of does not suck. Also sampled some things as I needed to know just how clutch the New Belgium Clutch was (It, um, really wasn’t). And what? The Speakeasy/Shmaltz/Ninkasi 3 Ring Circus is done up caramel, peanut & popcorn? (It’s salty caramel crazy good, truth be known, but is a bit too much for a full pint).

A cool enough place that I wanted to get back a second time in the limited days to play we had. Solid selection, good folks, excellent space. Very much so do ‘Like!’

slander, Jun 01, 2012
Photo of rikatine
4.14/5  rDev +1%

We really enjoyed our visit to Zeitgeist. We started out our day here around noontime on Thursday. There were only a couple of people at the bar, and a few small groups outside. It was a gorgeous sunny day. They had a very nice tap list while we were there, and a nice selection of stuff we did not see elsewhere in our six day beer tour of SF and points north.

The bartender was friendly and knowledgeable about the beer, and offered us a taste to help us decide what we wanted to order. We were interested in local beers that we could not get at home, and we were not disappointed.

Decided to move outside, and enjoy the sun and the outdoor space. If we didn't have many more stops to make we could have hung out here all day. Didn't get to eat, but the stuff people were bringing out looked good. If is self service here, but that is fine with us. No waitress to deal with etc.

Used the bathroom off the outdoor space, and it was unbelievably new and modern and clean.

Glad we put this place on our "must do" list. Would not have wanted to miss it. It was very easy to get here using the Muni system.

rikatine, May 16, 2012
Photo of BenHesk12
3.73/5  rDev -9%

Zeitgeist is exactly what you would expect for a divey beer bar in the mission. The place has black and red paint and is moderately dirty. The place gets very crowded and has limited standing room indoors so you will be fighting the crowd to get a beer. Prices are a little bit more than you would expect and at the time I went, the selection was limited to a few popular microbrews that most people have already tried. The best part about ZG is the large outdoor area which has lots of wooden benches for you to sit at. It's a great place to share a pitcher with friends, but be sure to bring a warm jacket because it gets cold and breezy at night. Overall, if you can mind the crowd, this is a good place to come with a few people and have a few beers, sit on a bench, and have a good time.

BenHesk12, May 05, 2012
Photo of LeeMarvin
4.66/5  rDev +13.7%

The first stop on a day-long bar crawl in San Fran. We arrived early on a Friday afternoon before the rush. Zeitgeist is an old biker bar with tons of character and an old school bar staff. So old school that they have a Bultaco sign hanging hugely on one wall. Other motorcycle memorabilia and What Would Lemmy Do stickers contrast with an impressively refined craft beer list. Heavy Metal was blaring out of the jukebox when we walked in.

After ordering an Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout, the no nonsense bartenders doled out our orders and we adjourned to the back yard to enjoy the sunny day. This is the kind of place you can get really comfortable at, and we stayed for three hours, nursing our beers and pitchers of water as we let the hair of the dog heal our previous night’s hangovers. Bands like Corrosion of Conformity, W.A.S.P. and Slayer provided a fitting soundtrack. By the time we left, the place was hoppin’. I didn’t get a chance to try the food, but it looked good. This place will figure prominently upon my return.

LeeMarvin, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of coldriver
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%

Stop 2 on a San Francisco pubcrawl 7/17/2011. Gotta say being middle aged somewhat conservative Texans we were slightly apprehensive going in to this place. But this establishment is all about diversity and from that aspect we fit right in. With a table of bikers, a table of college kids, a table of tattoo exhibitionists, a table of lesbians, etc, the only thing missing was a table of middle-aged Texans and we were somewhat amazed to find the crowd to be very friendly and accepting.

Outdoor beer garden with picnic tables was a great place to enjoy the cool San Fran weather. A bit divy on the interior side but again a very comfortable vibe. Tap selection wasn't huge, but certainly adequate and nicely selected with plenty of the west coast hop bombs we'd come for. Wish we'd stayed longer instead of wasting our time in the touristy Fisherman's Wharf area - Zeitgeist seems like the quintessential San Francisco beer experience.

coldriver, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of Cmack15
4.14/5  rDev +1%

Zeitgeist means "spirit of the times" and I think this bar is appropriately named. The inside has a small bar with like 10-12 seats and two long tables. In the back room there is a pool table and some pinball machines. There is also an outside sitting area with picnic tables and a rack to hang your bike. The draft list had about 30 or so beers and all of them were quality. I ordered Deschuttes Mirror Pond Ale and my friend got a Russian River Supplication. The place was packed witha young college and thirty something crowd, lot of tattoos and hipster but its all good. I really liked this spot and can see why its rated so high.
Cheers

Cmack15, Jul 04, 2011
Zeitgeist in San Francisco, CA
91 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.