The Bistro

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25 Reviews
Reviews: 25
Visits: 32
Avg: 4.22
pDev: n/a
Taps: 12
Bottles: 20
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

1001 B Street
Hayward, California, 94541
United States
phone: (510) 886-8525

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: Troyone on 04-26-2005

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 25 | Visits: 32
Photo of Magicalmic
4.16/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 5 | food: 2

2015 IIIPA festival Feb 7 2015

Double IPAs

1st Place: Hammerland DIPA, El Segundo Brewing
2nd Place: Double Jack, Firestone Walker Brewing
3rd Place: Saint Archer Double IPA
Triple IPAs

1st Place: Pliny the Younger, Russian River Brewing
2nd Place: Scarcity IIIPA, Altamont Beer Works
3rd Place: Notorious, Boneyard Beer
Peoples Choice Awards

People’s Choice Award — Double IPA: I See A Dankness, collaboration between Cellarmaker Brewing & Sante Adairius
People’s Choice Award — Triple IPA: Notorious, Boneyard Beer

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Photo of BillRoth
4.11/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Went with friends while visiting earlier this month...Beer Safari...SFBW...
Rain rain rain...perfect little shelter from the storm. Good crowd hyped up for awesome band. Friends are professional musicians, and knew quality music happened here.
Didn't know they had their SFBW Kickoff DIPA fest earlier. Didn't know their history. Very cool.
Had a Pliny and kicked back. Not sure that some would agree PTE is a session beer... But works for me. Wished I could come back for their PTY release a few days later.
Just enjoyed the vibe, and wouild hope to go back next time I'm on the Oakland side.

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Photo of tizride
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

The Bistro is a "must go" for East Bay beer heads. The atmosphere is mellow, the people (staff and customers) are nice, and, most importantly, the beer is excellent.
There are usually twelve beers on tap and a bunch of bottled Belgiums and other specials. There's wine, too, if you're into that.

I go for the beers on tap. They change frequently, hence the chalkboard beer list. There are usually multiple IPAs, a stout or two, and sometimes a tastier pilsner or brown. They let you taste before you choose and most staff is very knowledgeable and will help you pick the right one.
Other: there is nightly music, usually chill stuff played by local musicians/bands. They have specials events, including the yearly Double IPA Fest to kick off SF Beer Week. This year they got a few kegs of Pliny the Younger before and after the fest. They had a Pliny vs. Hoptimum battle, as well.
Great chill spot to enjoy excellent beer. Go here if you don't want shi-shi (Buffalo's) or trashy (Stein).

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Photo of easong
4.45/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

If you have not attended one of the many Bistro beer festivals which occur each year, and you live in the Bay Area, and you say you love beer, then you are remiss and delinquent. This is the nexus of the NoCal craft beer scene, not Santa Rosa, not Berkeley, not SF, and (obviously) not San Jose. Downtown Hayward is a little, well, gritty, crusty, or rusty, but believe me when I tell you that if you have not sat in the afternoon sun on the patio at the corner of Main and B with a pint then you are not a beer lover. It's a 5 minute walk from Hayward BART.

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Photo of nataku00
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Decent atmosphere with live music playing normally. Unfortunately, the crowd is usually on the older side, but the guys are great to chat with. Decor is minimal and utilitarian, with some seating outside on the street in addition to some tables inside.

They have 12 taps normally, and Pliny the Elder is almost always on top, along with other good offerings. The bottle list is all Belgian, with almost all the trappist beer represented (you can guess which trappist brewer is missing) along with a good selection from other Belgian brewers. The bartenders are all very nice, and the owner, Vic, is always willing to have a chat with you and share some of his stories.

Food menu is limited to some snack type foods and some ok sandwiches which you can get with chips or salad. I had the turkey sandwich and it was fine with a beer.

Prices for beer and food are all very good, and if I was in the neighborhood more, would be a great place to have lunch or dinner every now and then so that I could grab one of the beers on tap.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.94/5  rDev -6.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This is actually the first time I've been in here that wasn't for a festival. Met up with ipa247 to hand off a growler and have a quick beer.

The place is sort of empty. There are a handful of tables and a decent sized bar, but it seems like for a bar with a fairly big area, there's not too much going on. Maybe the stage helps out with that perception.

A pretty good tap list, though it's not the enormous wall-o-taps that some bars have. But, they seem to have consistently good beers available. The prices are pretty fair, from what I could tell.

Didn't have any food as it was just a quick meet-up.

The service was pretty decent. Bartender was reasonably friendly and got the beers quickly, but I suppose that's not tough to do in the middle of the day when it's not busy.

Wouldn't mind heading back here, especially because it's so close to my grandmother's house.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

One of my faves in the world. . . IPA fest, DIPA, Hop Rhizome, Wet Hop . . . good stuff.

Great atmosphere, downtown Hayward. Lots of Oakland A's fans. Good lookin' girls.

Quality of beer, lots of hoppy selections and Belgian bottles. Service is a little lacking, there's this like 50 year old guy who is a complete dueche who sometimes works the door with his passive aggressive homosexuality. He always has to touch, very much mall copish.

Selection isn't the biggest, but what they have, almost all is excellent. Food is decent, at least during brewfests, haven't ate there aside from that. Value is pretty good. Won't come cheap, but this extent of quality rarely does.

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Photo of oggg
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I've been to The Bistro a few times on off-nights, and I think only one night was there any music. The ambience is a bit weird, and usually when I've been, the inside is empty except for two or three at the bar, and maybe 6-10 ppl are outside. It's a little hard to describe, but at least it's not uninviting, as Toronado can be. Too bad it's all the way in Hayward.

As mentioned in other reviews, there's about a dozen varied taps, and Pliny the Elder is usually there. Good value as well.

As far as festivals go, The Bistro is good at throwing some good ones. Lots of space, good organization.

Never tried the food. Lots of eateries nearby, and they let you bring it in. We've tried Buffalo Bills for dinner (so-so) once, and we went to a burrito joint a few blocks away to load up before the DIPA festival.

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Photo of hophead247
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Been to the Bistro many a time and It has never disappointed. The only thing I can think of that they could do better is grow, so I say knock down the business next to you and expand. Always an interesting thing visiting this place because of the many different musical acts they have on certain nights of the week...I guess you can check their calendar, but I always pass it up and just make the journey. Everone is always happy, they keep the place looking clean, the service is exceptional. I've been here on some pretty busy nights, and If you're having trouble pushing your way up to the bar, I've had folks order my drink on numerous occasions. Not a huge tap list, but rotate often and they have Pliny, so who would complain? Fairly decent pub style menu with solid items. Pliny is my big sell here and they charge about $1 cheaper than other spots I frequent, so I'd buy that for a dollar.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.14/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I have a college buddy that lives pretty close to the Bistro so we go here a couple times every trip I make up there to hang with him.

They always have some good beers on tap and they always keep it (for the most part) local or at least CA to support the breweries. They always have Guinness on tap but that is the only macro offering. The taps change pretty much every time they blow a keg so you will always have something new to try.

The atmosphere is very local feeling with people just wanting to have a good time. You can get some weird people but they are always fun to peeople watch.

It is literally 1 block walking distance from Buffalo Bills which is also a great brew pub with pretty good food to check out (get their oatmeal stout or the TAZ pale ale if it's fresh). Grab some food and a couple beers at Buffalo Bills then walk over to the Bistro to finish it off with some more good beers and that's a pretty good night IMO. It's also close to a BART station so it's easy to get to from any area of the Bay Area.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.64/5  rDev +10%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

The cat sez: "Meowy Christ-mouse" !

Located on the corner of "B" and Main Streets, this was actually closer to BART than Buffalo Bills. Again, a waist-level wrought iron fence deliniated an outdoor patio. Entering, the "J"-shaped bar ran along the left wall. The décor tended towards eclectic, but with a beer and music theme. A short, slightly raised stage was against the back wall. A great, bohemian clientele. I felt right at home. I was welcomed by the owner and signed some copies of ASN for him. I also took note of their use of a fat separating gravy measuring cup for foamy beer.

Beers: Twelve (12) taps, including Pizza Port Yellow Bus; Beerman's Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine; Scrimshaw; SN Celebration; Red Hook Longhammer IPA; Racer 5; Lagunitas IPA; Green Flash Imp IPA; Pliny/Elder; Double Bastid; Fox Barrel Pear Cider; and Guinness.

BTs: Thirty five (35), all either Belgian imports or Belgian-style. Yow. Lots of wine, too.

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Photo of bret27
4.18/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Here for the IPA festival but got a good lay of the land and a good impression.

That also factors in as well because this place puts on really cool festivals where they expand a tent on the sidewalk so they can set up a little beer fest/garden outside.

Overall pretty spacious, great taps, and some of the better local stuff like RR, moonlight, and a lot of specialty belgian stuff. Bartenders seemed nice. (women)

The only downfalls I could think of is that hayward is a little out of the way, and if this place got more crowded it could be overwhelming, but minor details.

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Photo of xmorgan
5/5  rDev +18.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The Bistro is NOT a place for:
hard liquor
pitchers of beer
whiny bitches
red bull
frat boys...
What it is is a kewl (notice the spelling) place for extreme beer and decent people. They are the best beer establishment in the south bay, bar none! But if you want food and brew pub beer, go down the street to buffalo bills, you will love it. This place does not serve beer for the masses that most brew pubs brew. They also do not have a million taps, they do have a beer list that changes often. The only fixed taps are a beer for the masses and a fruit cider. But most often the other 10 taps are a double IPA or 2, a Pilsner, a Wheat or hefe Wheat, and a mix of styles. They have a respectable Belgium beer selection (in bottles). Nightly local bands play.

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Photo of Floydster
4.7/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Visited on 1/23/09, walked about three blocks from the Hayward BART station to there, arrived around 10:00 am on a Friday morning, looked up and saw what looked like a coffee shop, I walked in and sat at the bar and noticed three other people already drinking a beer this early morning, then I did not feel so bad about doing it myself, not that I ever do anyways, atmosphere is awesome with an old jazz lounge kind of feel, old traidtional place that has a local music performance every night, cannot get much cooler than that, located in a neat part of town too, place was really clean and had a nice long bar, tables to sit around and eat too, seemed like a very loyal customer base frequents there quite a bit, Vic happened to be there and he is easily one of the nicest guys I have meet in the beer world, talked to me for over an hour annd was willing to answer all my annoying questions, gave me advice about the rest of my trip up in San Francisco and what were my must-stops along the way, although this place only has twelve taps, the majority are filled with awesome craft beer, when I was there this is what was available: FiftyFifty BART, Blue Frog Peligroso, Half Moon Bay Old Turkey, and Drake's George Brett Tripel (those four were leftover from their Barrel Aged Festival and boy was I happy that they were), prices were only four dollars per ten ounce glass on all of those, others are four to five dollars a pint, great prices for great beers, others included Pliny the Elder, Sierra Nevada Celebration and the special camp brew Hop Secret 393 made by Vic and a few others, also have about forty bottles of Belgian beers that were fairly priced but I did not pay too much attention to those since they had such a great tap selection, food was probably good but it was too early and I did not feel like a bagel which is about the extent of their breakfast menu, this place quickly became somewhere I will be sure to stop at each and every time I am up that way, and I am going to do my best to get to their Barrel Aged Festival this year because that lineup looked insane to say the least, do yourself a favor and check this place out, you will not be sorry you did, highly recommended

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Photo of mattffrost
4.38/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I will always remember the Bistro as the place I tried my first Pliny the Younger. There beer selection is really good. They had a Chico Estate IPA I tried that was really good. I notice they get good variety and selection of top notch beers.

Its a nice place to stop in after a day of work to grab a pint of beer. Parking is pretty easy.

The workers were all very friendly towards me even the owner I think his name was Vic was very friendly and knowledage of Craft beers. I will go back for sure. I would say this place and Barclays are my two favorite craft beer hangouts in the Bay area.

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Photo of HopHeadLouie
4.74/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Stumbled into the Bistro the day after Thanksgiving and could not believe my eyes when I saw "Older Viscosity" on the board and then I actually started to feel faint when I saw "$4 for a 10 ounce glass" holy expletive!!! Other notable taps included Pliny, Deschutes Mirror Mirror, Cuvee something and a really strange Sour Coffee Stout (hope that is not a new trend) The service was fantastic and the server was well versed on beer and very friendly. We had an excellent stinky cheese board for $7 that went well with the beer. The place has a really cool mellow vibe, the kind of place that is perfect for drinking away the afternoon, which is exactly what we did.

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Photo of bbothen
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Wacky little place on a corner in downtowm Hayward. Walking distance from BART, which is nice. The bar itself is a very cool looking antique feel thing. I dig stuff like that.

Always a nice selection of craft brew on tap. They often have Pliny The Elder, which is reason enough to frequent the place. Taps seem to rotate frequently with new & interesting stuff.

What I enjoy most about the place are the quarterly festivals: IPA fest, Double IPA fest(my fav), Barrel Age fest. You get the rare chance to sample some truly awesome beers at these and I'm happy they go through the trouble of hosting them.

I've never eaten here, so can't comment on that.

You'd have trouble finding a more beer friendly spot in the East Bay outside of Oakland & Berkely.

It's also right across the way from Buffalo Bill's Brewery.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2

Weird Place.

Hayward is a weird place. Kinda like a more mexican vallejo.

When we walk into the bistro the brain damaged bartender ignores us for up to three minutes as he's fully engrossed in a conversation about a guy's eyes turning yellow and dies.

When he does serve us he informs us the only food they have to serve are "stuffed mushrooms". I think to myself what kind of idiot runs a bar and only serves stuffed mushrooms.

Fortunately, they had a bunch of DIPA's on tap from last weekend, which is why I went there in the first place.

While sitting outside some drunk old guy in a beard keeps yelling "that's good, that's good" in response to some other drunk guy arguing dobermin pinchers arent used in law enforcement any more because they "bleed to easy"

Weird place.

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Photo of bradybeer
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

When to the DIPA fest at The Bistro this past weekend. Located in downtown Hayward not too far from the BART station The Bistro is the place to go for good beer in Hayward.

Walking into The Bistro you can't help to notice the large antique wooden bar to the left and towards the back is a place for music acts to perform.

Since I was there for the DIPA fest I didn't try any other beers-but they did have a few belgians on tap. The staff working the event were outstanding while the owner Vic was making sure everything was smooth.

The prices posted were reasonable.

Didn't eat there-but I will be back to have a few beers and browse the used book store next door.

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Photo of jp11801
4.58/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Wow I really like this place and have taken to stopping off on my way home from work at least once a week. If you are either a Belgian beer or IPA fan this is the place in the East Bay.

First off the atmosphere, while at first it is nothing to look at, it is very local flavored and feels comfortable. There are often locals at the bar that have been going there for years and have made the Bistro a part of their routine. The locals are not the suit and tie crowd but are welcoming of all, when I come in after work I am in a shirt and slacks and I never feel out of place.
The taps are very well kept and they go through beer fast enough that quality is not an issue. While they do not have as many taps as some of the other local places like the Englander the beer they have is very well selected.
The bartenders are great they actually have personalities and seem to really like working there. They know the beer and you never have to wait long for a refill.
Again not he most taps in the world but they consistently have 2-3 IPAs on tap that are out of the normal ones you see. This will be my downfall as I have to keep coming back to see what is next on the menue. For those that love Belgians they have a very nice bottle selection as well.
I've had the food a few times and again not the widest selection but man there cheese plate is out of this world 4-5 great cheeses that go particularly well with beer.
Both the food and the beer is right on target pricewise and about what you would expect for the area.

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Photo of rayjay
4.36/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Great spot in the east bay. Vic is the owner and he's the nicest guy, always willing to talk beer or joke around. Awesome selection, featuring mostly hop-head centered draft beers, and a great Belgian bottle list, the best of both worlds! For a bar, the atmosphere here is top-notch. Lots of sunlight, plently of room, outside seating, friendly staff, not a dive bar by any means. 12 taps, mostly from local breweries, occasionally some rare San Diego beers not available anywhere else. The IPA gets alot of attention here.

Awesome festivals at this place, some of my favorites. Double IPA, IPA, harvest, barrel aged, and hop rhizome fests, all done right. Also a great place to see live music. Deli-style sandwiches, which I've never tried but look pretty good. Definately worth going out of your way to get a beer here. Only a 4 block walk from the BART. Cheers!

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Photo of Talisker
3.93/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 2

The Bistro has the best (but not the largest) selection of beers on tap in the East Bay. Very much worth a trip if you're in the general area.

10 taps (but no hand pump), always impeccably chosen domestics, usually California. My trip on 04-Feb-07 included RR Pliny the Younger, Bear Republic Racer 5, Silverado Bourbon Barrel Stout, Stone Double Bastard, Marin Brewing IPA, Lagunitas Pils, a wheat beer or two, plus others rounding out the style spectrum. Prices are good - $4/pint - and they're happy to pour you a taste of anything you're curious about.

Also a big menu of Belgians in bottles (20+). Prices a little less good there. They use appropriate glassware.

So the Bistro is absolutely worth your time for the beer. But it's unremarkable in nearly every way else. Cafe-like feel, with a few chairs and tables scattered haphazardly in a small space. A few more tables on the sidewalk outside. Inside there's a small stage at one end (Bistro is increasingly known for live music) - I've heard some average blues groups playing on weekend afternoons.

No kitchen, but a small menu of sandwiches and beer-oriented cheese plates (e.g,, Chimay-soaked blue cheese). I've been there when they've had chips, salsa, and cheese sauce out on the tables.

Visitors to the SF Bay Area could probably feel okay skipping the Bistro if you've already been to Toronado in SF, or up the 101 to Marin Brewing, Moylan's, Russian River, Bear Rebublic, and the like.

But if you're in the East Bay or even San Jose, you could do worse than to put yourselves in the hands of whoever chooses the taps at the Bistro.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

This place is just down the street from Buffalo Bill's, and about 4 blocks from the Hayward BART station. It is located on the corner. There is an area outside under the shade of some trees where you can sit and have a pint. There are about 10 tables, and a stack of chairs to sit in. The inside has a small bar with about 10 bar stools. There are also about 15 tables. The walls have a lot of older musical instruments on them. Old trombones and other various jazz stuff. There is a small stage in the corner. At night time, they have live music. Mostly jazz, I think. It is very relaxed at this place. This place hosts many beer fests that I would like to attend. They have an IPA fest, a DIPA fest, and a barrel aged beer fest.

The staff was very friendly, and knowledgable on the San Francisco beer scene. I went two times, and it was slow both times, so I can't really comment on how quickly my beers were poured.

This place pours mostly local brews. They has at least one from all the bigger styles. A stout, IPA, DIPA, Barley Wine, etc. They had some La Folie on tap, which was a treat.

I didnt have any food, but they do have a tiny menu. They make 4 cold sandwiches, I think. They also have a small appatiser list, and the serve soup and cheese plates. My wife said the soup was good.

This place is reasonable priced. Most beers were $4 each, and for the Bay Area, that is not bad.

Overall: I really liked the relaxed atmosphere. I definately plan to return the next time I am in the area.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

We visited The Bistro on a lazy Saturday afternoon for lunch. The interior was empty and the patio had a few patrons enjoying the sun. The atmosphere is very chill. The server was very courteous and helpful.

The beer menu is broad but when we visited they were out of several Belgian bottled beers. The list of Belgian beers had about 20-30 beers on it with some standard Belgians and a few harder-to-get bottles. Most of the beers were reasonably priced. They had about 10 microbrews on tap, some locals and some international beers. Bear Republic and Hoptown are the few that I remember. Also they had Trumer Pils on tap.

We had sandwiches for lunch that were excellent. I had a salami, basil, provolone, mustard sandwich that was outstanding. I think they called it a Basilami or something like that.

All in all, it's worth a stop here if you're in the area and want a good beer and some good food.

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Photo of Troyone
3.63/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

Really laid back bar. There is beer and string instrument paraphenalia all around. Very small because of the entertainment stage. Almost a cafe type of setting with seating out front on the patio, probably more than inside. There is one coed restroom. The bartenders are nice and very knowledgable about beer. They have live music quite often.

The quality would be great for a cafe. They have beer events all the time. The lone restroom (coed) needed to be renovated or something, but the essentials were clean. Cafe type of tables and chairs I believe were made of wood.

Very knowledgable and helpful service, befriend your bartender.

Great selection includes Younger, Elder, Denoginizer, and some IPA's I've never heard of but were good however no cask (handpump). They had Belgium beers on tap and in bottles.

Never ate there unless their cooking on the grill out front, very good.


After reading through my reviews years later I decided to edit some of my comments that may have reflected other issues, I had, going on at the time.

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The Bistro in Hayward, CA
93 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.