Zeitgeist

Not Rated.
ZeitgeistZeitgeist
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

63 Ratings
Ratings: 63
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: n/a
Taps: 48
Bottles: --
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: 63 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of slander
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

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!’

Photo of woodychandler
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

There I was, rolling westbound on the 26 Valencia as we sat at the corner of Duboce waiting for the light to change. All of a sudden, it hit me that place is on the to-do list! I quickly pulled the cord and jumped off of the bus as soon as the doors opened. Woody hit 'n' run Pauline, [SF] bus doors opened ...

Entering, it reminded me of the Chatterbox, another dive-y Valencia Street bar that I used to frequent in a past life. This was no-frills drinking at its lowest. Just my kind of place. The place was littered with spent barrels, plus the flat black paint and low-key lighting just reinforced the mood. The battle-scarred bar ran along the left wall with some industrial looking tables off to the right. Aft was the kitchen to the left and the center was a game room with several electronic games, a couple of pinball machines, and a red velvet pool table. I really dug the mosaic tile floor. Expansive outdoor patio to left of bar.

Beer: 16 CA, 9 non-state. 27 taps, running the gamut from PBR to Delirium Tremens.

Photo of dirtylou
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

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.

Photo of Bierman9
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Interesting, divey kind of place. Think Bukowskis Boston but with an outdoor Biergarten attached. Visited on a lovely, sunny Saturday afternoon (28MAY) with Axisjones. The place has lots of black; walls, tables, etc.... tall tables with stools align the right side of the room, and a long bar is along the left side. Bier posters and typical paraphernalia adorn the walls and open spaces. Mid room on the right are the spacious (Ha!) bathrooms, and further beyond the WCs is a room with a pool table for your shooting pleasure. Past the bar on the left is a doorway leading to their "Biergarten". The far left corner has 3-4 porta-potties, and the far back right corner has an old, beat up tow-truck. Looming above the back wall is a mid-city expressway. Not quite an idyllic scene in the Alps somewhere, but a big-ass tree in the middle of the area leaves lots of shade to relax in. Scattered about are about a dozen picnic-like tables; long, german-style suckers that allow you to BS with table mates if you like (or, yes, pass a joint if you like). A nice touch is the pink elephants painted on one of the walls in the Biergarten. Music was all types...some grunge, some funky stuff.... and the staff was solid and reasonably friendly. Top-shelf selection of about 20 drafts, most being A-1 California brews like Moonlight and Russian River. Had some Moonlight Pils and RR Damnation, for only $4.00 per pint. Yummy!! I stopped by again later that night, and the place was packed and jumping. Didn't try the food, but it smelled great. A must visit!

Prosit!!

overall: 4.36
atmosphere: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: n/a | $

112

Photo of francisweizen
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Grungy, Valencia mission atmosphere with tons of really interesting pople mulling about. Divey with tons of bikers, and all sorts really. I love places like this, but many don't so take it or leave it. Quality of the beer is very good, but I did not sample the food. Service is quick and to the point. Selection is good, but not killer with some macros and many locals on tap. Freshly tapped moonlight pils for $4. Sure. This is a pretty kick ass bar in the mission, but the Toronado is better in the end. Still go here you are in the mission and too lazy to walk to lower haight.

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

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.

Photo of bradybeer
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

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.

Photo of flexabull
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

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.

Photo of Texasfan549
3/5  rDev -26.1%

Photo of markgugs
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of brewandbbq
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

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.

Photo of Troyone
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

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,

Photo of elNopalero
3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

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.

Photo of spark3148857
2.5/5  rDev -38.4%

Decent tap list with better than usual SF prices. Atmosphere is not for everyone. Not the the most welcoming of SF beer bars...I get sick of surly doormen and waitresses and the hipster crowd in the back.

Photo of NYR_Rob
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of drseamus
4/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 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.

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.06/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Walked from the Toronado down to this establishment.

Atmosphere: outside drinking garden with some shade. 101 within view. Biker feel. A couple of pinball machines and video games. Big bbq pit to the right. A lot of mixed drinks being served. To answer blitheringidiot's famous question: you cannot bring mom.

Selection micros I've seen around the West frequently plus Moonlight Pils (goes by "Reality Czech"). That's why I really came.

Didn't try the food. Food looks like bbq, but take note. Pancho Villa Taqueria on 16th between Mission and Valencia is nearby. It has tremendous Mexican food for cheap. It would be a crime to be so close and not eat there.

Service: busy but good and friendly.

Pubcrawling notes: a somewhat short walk from the Church or Van Ness subway stops. I would take the Van Ness stop. Not too bad from the Toronado either. I used to live near here so listen up: sometimes it looks pretty threatening in the neighborhood esp. at night but no harm has come to me in the area. Would go in groups or by taxi at night. Be smart about your surroundings. Daytime: you should be alright, esp. if you are male.

Photo of Chincino
4/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 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.

Photo of davegray
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of coldriver
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

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.

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of AngusOg
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of MrDave
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

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Zeitgeist in San Francisco, CA
91 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.