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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
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Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 41 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Texasfan549
3/5  rDev -26.8%

Texasfan549, Jul 20, 2014
Photo of nephilae
3.2/5  rDev -22%

I'm not sure what all the hype is about. Sure, it's a trendy dive bar, with a decent beer-list, but there are a lot of those. The 'biergarten' people rave about is just a dirty, overcrowded, smokey, patio, with grungy picnic tables at which you have to practically climb over people just to get a seat (IF you can find one, and IF it's not right next to the rank porto-potties). I really dislike being around cigarette smoke, and hipsters who summarily judge you with a glance.

The draught beers are not bad, generally a lot of domestic, local microbrews. But for the selection, I'd much rather go to the Toronado. I've also tried the Niman ranch burgers which aren't bad at $5.00, but not the best I've had. Service tends to be a little slow and apathetic, but I've never experienced anything completely rude and unacceptable. Kudos for the jukebox having Gogol Bordello.

Overall, I'd give the place an "eh". It's okay. I go if I'm right in the vicinity, or if others in my crew demand it. But it's just simply not worth the hype.

nephilae, Sep 22, 2008
Photo of DaveHS
3.49/5  rDev -14.9%

My impressions of Zeitgeist are pretty mixed. On one hand, the service is almost always bad. I have waited up to 20 minutes for a drink on busy nights. My general policy is that if I am not at least acknowledged within 5 minutes of entering a bar, they do not get my business. Of course there are exceptions, but they are reserved for places like Toronado. Zeitgeist is a hipster bar, filled with bike kids and squatters. But that's part of its charm. They always seem to have RR Damnation and Pliny on draught ($4.50 a pint!) as well as lots of Moonlight beers and other cool micros.
What makes Zeitgeist a really notable bar is the outdoor section, with its long picnic tables, port-o-potties, and view of the highway. I always seem to meet interesting people here. The atmosphere is electric, and if they would just hire a few more bartenders, I would spend a lot more time there.
If you're in the mission, it beats most of the other beer bars.

DaveHS, Sep 16, 2008
Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

jaydoc, Feb 19, 2014
Photo of Paccamacca
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Paccamacca, Jul 11, 2014
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 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 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 RodBurg
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%

Stopped here last Saturday night after a trip to Lucky 13. The place is a total dive...in a good way. Not being very crowded it was a nice change from the very loud and busy establishments I had visited previously that night. Bartender seemed nice enough and there was a good selection of micros on tap. Wasn't too happy about the cash only thing, but no big deal. In the back is a huge patio with picnic tables, very nice. I didn't try the food but whatever they were grilling was making my mouth water. Great hang out. Like the place quite a bit.

RodBurg, Sep 02, 2008
Photo of berkey
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%

I don't get out to The City as much as I used to but I've been here many times over the years and have a fair amount of affection for this place. Atmosphere is extremely relaxed, a good place to dress down and not stress. I've met many interesting and friendly people here, the clientele seems to be mostly locals. The outdoor area has lines of benches and is very convenient for killing time on a cool Summer night. I've seen cleanliness issues at this bar at times though, especially in the bathrooms.

Service is mixed but overall not bad, you might wait awhile for your drink if it's busy though. Selection is a little uneven, sometimes they'll surprise you with something great and other times it's relatively standard issue. I don't really like the fact they have a good number of taps taken up by non-craft offerings but the full bar makes it easier if you have non-beer drinkers with you. Prices are very good for the area. Parking is a complete hassle but it's not a bad walk from BART.

Overall not amazing but a decent place to stop for a pint of good beer if you're in the neighborhood. The selection is decent enough that I'll often try to steer my group here when I'm on the Peninsula.

berkey, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.84/5  rDev -6.3%

A crumbling wooden complex nestled under the freeway and surrounded by barbed wire - welcome to Zeitgeist! Complete with pool table, dim lighting, port-a-johns, and countless cigarette butts, it's got all the makings of dive bar. And it certainly is one helluva dive bar. Don't expect to find any weathered sots though; the crowd at Zeitgeist is decidedly youthful and energetic.

My girlfriend and I drank and people-watched out back in Zeitgeist's massive, picnic table-spotted, gravel pit. The mood was relaxed and comfortable, and it felt really nice being outside on a clear San Francisco night. The airiness and openness of Zeitgeist's backyard allowed smokers and non-smokers to enjoy their drinks together. While neither of us smoke cigarettes, we've got friends who do, and this is one of the few places I've come across (in San Francisco) that's so smoker friendly.

The beer selection wasn't extensive, but all of the offerings were high quality and very drinkable. Nearly everything was from California or Oregon, but the beer styles were pretty diverse. I started things off with a Damnation and followed with a Stone Pale Ale and then Black Butte Porter. All three were delicious.

The bartenders were both very attentive and friendly, and I never had to wait for a drink.

ThreeWiseMen, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of ojclark
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%

Kind of dumpy (in a cool way) interior. Huge patio with several picnic tables and BBQ being prepared outside. Full bar with 25 nice taps of beer, basically all micros, mostly local and California beers. Had a holdiay beer from Moonlight called "Rated X-Mas" that I hadn't seen before or since. Slow service, but it was New Years Day and several people were ordering the elaborately prepared bloody marys. Kind of like the Toronado, but with a full bar and beer barden. Good vibe. I could imagine hanging out in back for several hours at a time.

ojclark, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of Irie
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%

I always love going to Zeitgeist.

Good selection of beers, quick serving and quick tongued bar tenders which I like. Plus, they had pitchers of Guinness for $12 which surprised the hell out of me.

The best part is the fact that the outdoor seating area is larger than the entire bar. Plus the tamale lady that just wanders around selling fresh tamales.

The atmosphere leans towards hipsters and bikers (motor and regular) but is a good drinking environment.

Great place for a nice day happy hour.

Irie, Dec 01, 2008
Photo of Tbone
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%

This place is now third on my list of S.F. beer destinations, after Toronado and Magnolia. The neighborhood is a bit sketchy and gets worse to the south. If you feel a little too "normal" and deficient in piercings and tatoos at Toronado, you will feel more so here. But the crowd isn't as rough as it looks (or rough as it used to be according to one of their bartenders). I gave it extra atmosphere points for the local color who frequent (there was a 400 pound transvestite with two midgets that made me feel like I just walked into a David Lynch film). The highlight of the atmosphere is the enormous 4000 sq foot beer garden in back with a dozen large picnic tables, tall trees, and a Grill that they serve burgers and brats from.

They have about a dozen taps that include good locals, such as Russian River (Damnation when I was there).

You have to order from the bar and you'd better know what you want when you get there, but I got decent service all night.

Tbone, Aug 03, 2006
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 hayesjw
4/5  rDev -2.4%

hayesjw, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of Ilovebeer1549
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Ilovebeer1549, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of 0tt0
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Grungy, biker bar decor. Small front bar area with a pool table in back. Two unisex bathrooms with a long line. Lots of tap handles. Metal and old-school punk on the 'box (Minutemen playing when I arrive.) Overall, seems cool enough. Then, the revalation: a monster back patio area with picnic tables and a shitload of people. A big grill is posted in the corner cooking brats and burgers. The cooks shouts your name when your order is ready (example: John, Renee, Todd-- Come get your damn food!!!). I'm hooked already.

Nothing shocking on tap, but there are roughly 40 of them and a very attentive staff. Had a blast here.

0tt0, Jun 14, 2007
Photo of Chincino
4/5  rDev -2.4%

I visited Zeitgeist after attending a festival in the area. From both the outside and the inside this establishment looks and feels like a dive bar-a fun dive bar. Upon entering, I was informed by a not so courteous bartender that my friend and I were not allowed to take photos inside, but besides that person we had prompt and helpful service by our served and the other bartender who was working.

We opted to sit outside at one of the family-style seating tables which were benches surrounding long tables. The outdoor section resembled a german biergarten while the inside resembled your average dive bar. The outside was very german-esque, while the inside was biker bar/dive bar style. The food at this establishment was good and there was a self-proclaimed "Tamale lady" who sold vegetarian and chicken tamales outside for only three dollars each. From what our server said, everyone loves the "Tamale Lady."

The beer selection was decent with about 8 beers on-tap. We split two pitchers of beers, one a Pilsner and one a Hefeweizen.

The prices for both food and beer were reasonable.

While I agree with a previous review that this place is by no means Toronado, it is worth stopping by if you are in San Francsico.

Chincino, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -2.4%

largadeer, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of Denali
4/5  rDev -2.4%

I have been here a couple of times, once during the day and once at night.

This is a very dark laid back dive-bar like place. Bar seats around 15 people. Tables are also available inside. They also have a pool table in a room next to the bar.

There is also a really cool large beer garden outside with about 10-15 picnic tables and some really nice and tall trees. Really cool murals on the walls outside too. This is where to hang if the weather is good. The BBQ pit out there smelled really good too, although I haven't had any of the food yet. That is on the to-do list.

Beer selection is very good. About 15-20 taps, of which includes California micros (Moonlight, Russian River, Bear Republic, El Toro, etc...). I had a Racer 5 and a Poppy Jasper. Both were in very good condition. They also serve plenty of mixed drinks which makes for a very mixed crowd - some are really into the beer and others don't really care. On a side note, as for the liquor, I was very surprised to see that they had Green Chartreuse - not many places carry that stuff.

Crowd is very friendly as are the bartenders, but its probably better to go with someone as opposed to going alone.

Not too far from the Toronado and worth coming in for a change of pace. I will be going back.

Denali, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of drseamus
4/5  rDev -2.4%

What this place lacks in selection it makes up for with it's courtyard. Not that the selection sucks but it's no Toronado. The courtyard is pretty big and the weather in San Francisco is such that you can use it frequently.

Their selection has a decent selection of California beers and some other west coast beers but almost nothing from the east. The place is hugely biker influenced but it seems that as craft beer has become "cool" the hipsters have moved in also. They also apparently have awesome burgers but I did not partake.

drseamus, Feb 08, 2010
Photo of bradybeer
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%

After eating at a Mission Mexican joint and walking around the Mission looking for a bar that wasn't a Hipster Dufus hang out-our friends mentioned this place-so off we went.

Folks, this is in the Mission which is seedy-period-no getting around it-it is however a 5-10 minute walk to the BART.

The atmosphere rocks-it was much more to my liking-inside is a typical bar with about 2 dozen taps-with Lagunitas, Mt. Tam, Speakeasy, etc.

Outside there is a biergarten with picnic benches and Portapotties (sic).

I didn't give it high marks for service because it is cash only-which blows when there are so many good beers to try.

Didn't try the food-however, from what I saw it is very basic-Brats, dogs, etc.

I was only able to drink the Speakeasy Big Daddy-because we were out of cash.

We loved this place and I have moved this to the top of my must vist beer bars when we are in the city.

bradybeer, Aug 21, 2006
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 Troyone
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%

Not much seating around the bar and there is a couple of tables inside with a pool table. Most of the seating is outside where the gravel ground has picnic tables similar to a festival at a park. There is an area for bicyclist to store their bikes and portable potties.

The food is cooked outside on a grill. After one orders their meal next to the pool table the cook will yell their name when it is ready. The unisex restrooms inside are clean.

The service at the bar is prompt and knowlegable. The service for food is ok however they will take breaks from orders until they catch up.

Decent selection of microbrew and Belgian styles, no cask.

Food is good, maybe a little over cooked.

The value is OK for the area,

Troyone, May 22, 2005
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Zeitgeist in San Francisco, CA
91 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.