La Trappe Cafe
Taps: 15 / Bottles: 250
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 53 | Reviews: 49 | Show All Ratings:
4.55/5 rDev +2.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Visited during AGU on the night of the Squid Ink debut.
Great vibe and decor. Not sure what the upstairs is about (overflow), but the downstairs is very cozy and has a great Belgian beer-bar atmosphere. We had a large party so got to sample a large variety of food and brews - all were great. Really enjoyed the seafood and the sauces that come with the fries. Great selection of drafts, leaning heavily on Belgian imports. Would like to see more quality domestic draft choices, but that is my bias.
Service was friendly and knowledgeable; a bit slow, but it was super busy. Great if you can wind down and hang out - plan ahead so your glass isn't empty long.
01-08-2012 16:28:49 | More by CliffBrake
4.58/5 rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This was a must stop on our trip to San Fran. We were a bit apprehensive since it was a Saturday night but our fears were squashed instantly upon walking through the door. The place was near empty. Now I had heard the downstairs level was "the" place to be. So of course we made a bee line for the stairs. Surprise! That's where everybody was. Packed wall to wall. Back upstairs we grabbed a table and ordered food and drinks. The beer menu was like a dream come true. Sours sours and more sours. I ordered an amazing beef stew for my meal. Then there was the service. Our server was fantastic. He was covering tables downstairs and everything upstairs as well and still made sure we were never without a beer. After finishing dinner and several bottles we made our way downstairs to soak in that atmosphere. Very glad we did. The vibe down there was great. What an awesome place to eat and drink.
01-04-2012 02:57:42 | More by beerwolf77
4.03/5 rDev -9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
I've been to La Trappe a few times in the past for a drink as I enjoy the atmosphere. Downstairs in the brick and wood lined basement bar area is the best experience, dimly lit and intimate. Main drawback is that is where everyone else wants to be as well so it is almost always full and crowded so try to grab a seat early. The other drawback is that the service downstairs is also not the best there are times where no one stops by to offer to take your order.
Beer selection is excellent, with 19 taps with mainly Belgian offerings you won't see in some other bars, and some choice beers from US and Germany. There is also the leather bound beer menu/book with the extensive bottle list, but the pricing is very unreasonable for opening bottles there so stick to the tap list.
Finally had dinner at La Trappe with some friends recently as well. The fries are excellent, soft and creamy on the inside with a very crisp exterior, and come with a choice of two dipping sauces from a list of 10 options (the wasabi mayo and the roasted garlic were my favorite). The moules frites were very good, perfectly cooked mussels in a flavorful broth. The beef stew was deeply flavored but the meat was slightly over cooked.
Price for the food was decent, but the beer prices can be a little pricey, but worth it for a nice drinking and dining experience in case you want to experience a bar similar to ones you might find in Belgium.
10-30-2011 19:24:10 | More by nataku00
4.8/5 rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$$
When I first walked in I noticed a large open kitchen with some servers standing around and a few tables with no one eating. Then I spotted the staircase and heard a bit of crowd in the basement. So I headed down and saw a cool little area, plenty of brick loads of tables, and a very tiny bar. Very laid back and comfortable.
I took the last bar stool and was handed a large book from the bartender. This beer list covers a large quantity of belgian beers that you can't find in other areas of San Francisco (based on my 8 days here). There were over 10 beers on draft, mostly belgians like Val Dieu, Affligem, and LaChouffe, but some others from Victory, Ommegang, and Sierra Nevada's Life and Limb 2. There is no liquor served here which was a problem for my friend that didn't drink beer. The beers I had were super fresh but expensive which I didn't mind for the one time visit.
I did not have an opportunity to eat any food, but what I saw coming out looked very good. The service was prompt and extremely knowledgable which made the experience better. I could see this place getting very crowded on the weekends, but mid-week it was not too crowded.
Luckily a cable car stop is right outside the building, allowing me to jump on to get back to my hotel on the other side of the city.
10-21-2011 11:43:44 | More by Gavage
4.63/5 rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Managed to work in a visit during a business-let's-stay-an-extra-day trip, and came here on recommendation from local BAs. The upstairs dining area is tight and was full, and we wound up downstairs, which is the place to be, anyway. Exposed brickwork, vaulted ceilings, low light - you could be in the wine cellar of an estate somewhere. Fantastic Belgian beer selection, a deep bottle selection and a dozen tap offerings. We started with the small cheese plate, which was almost a meal in itself. A nice, sharp blue and a funky soft cheese, paired with green olives, grapes, balsamic vinegar, honey and brown bread. For dinner we opted for the moules frites, which come with a choice of two of several dippign sauces for the fries. The mussels serving was generous. Our servers were friendly and knowledgeable.
10-17-2011 15:21:10 | More by Brent
4.14/5 rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The best Belgian beer bar in San Francisco, easily. Unfortunately they focus as much on serving food as they do on beer and they're closed on my favorite drinking day (Sunday).
Amazing selection of draft Belgian beer. You could find any random thing here from the Duchesse to a Gueuze to maybe even a Corsendonk. Tons of stuff on draft which doesn't mean all the Chimay varieties. Additionally the bottle list is impressive and covers the whole globe. Some might find it expensive but I think given their variety, it's very reasonable not to mention their bottles aren't priced to completely gouge the shit out of you.
Atmosphere is great too. If you've ever been drinking in Europe, they totally nail it down. If you're doing an SF beer trip, adjust your schedule to fit this place in.
10-06-2011 06:25:59 | More by TheStove
4.64/5 rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$$
Loved this place on my quiet weeknight visit. Sat in downstairs bar and received friendly service right away at the bar. Too many options to enjoy, and my heart really melts when I have so many Belgian options. Was surprised to see a few folks not exactly exploring the good options here.
Proper glassware was used and much appreciated. Location had a nice, dark, intimate feel. Can imagine it being too busy on weekends, but my weeknight visit was slow and enjoyable. Convenient location for the trolley too. Did not have food, so can't comment there.
09-05-2011 04:52:11 | More by yemenmocha
4.68/5 rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$$
La Trappe seems like it's always crowded - a sure sign that its high ratings are not just the opinion of a bunch of beer geeks. Indeed, the food we ate there was among our favourite meals of the whole trip; La Trappe is one of the very few restaurants I've been outside of Belgium that can do Belgian frites right (or just about right). They also make phenomenal mussels and a divine beer-braised rabbit stew. As far as food quality goes, it's as close to Belgium you'll probably get in the U.S. Not to mention the fact that their bottle list is the size of a bible as virtually all styles are represented and good descriptions match each listing. The tap selection is more modest, a dozen or so, and quite expensive but still features some unusual Belgian offerings (and a few choice locals as well). The service was fantastic as our waiter was charming, attentive, patient, and certainly knowledgeable. The downstairs deco - vaulted ceilings, elegant bar, exposed brick, soft lighting - is quite quaint, despite that it fills up very fast. My only complaint is that there's just one tiny washroom! Regardless, if you're in San Francisco and looking to enjoy a decadent night out, La Trappe will leave your wallet empty and your belly feeling like it's going to explode.
08-17-2011 22:13:20 | More by biegaman
4.05/5 rDev -8.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
La Trappe is a belgian beer destiantion for the SF Bay Area besides other local favorite like La Trappe or Monk's Kettle. When you first enter La Trappe it can easily be confused for all the other tourist centric Italian restaurants in North Beach. As soon as you walk down stairs you are in another place. Exposed brick and wood lend itself to a belgian beer bunker of sorts. The tap list is impressive with a rotating tap of hard to find belgian beers. The bottle selection is equally impressive. I was not familiar with many of the beers so recommendations from the bartender or waiter were spot-on. Dining is informal as you can eat and drink either at the bar or in the lounge area or at a table. Food is moderately priced and complements the beer nicely. Best dishes we ordered were the fritjz, belgian style fries cut large with your choices of dipping sauces.
05-04-2011 21:03:00 | More by baycat
4.6/5 rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Went here on a Thursday night as part of a mini north beach pub crawl and also once to grab food with a friend. Sat downstairs both occasions.
Atmosphere is cozy, slightly rustic, and perfect for knocking back a pint of two while enjoying the company of friends, having a snack/meal, or just hanging solo.
The beer menu is impressive an well-organized. Though I can't recall the number of available taps, I do know they're varied in style and ample enough in number to satisfy the palette desires of most craft beer drinkers.
The bottle selection is categorized in an easy-to-read menu and makes for a time-consuming read if you're looking for a way to pass the time.
I never waited long for a refill, either at the bar or at a table. Bartenders were friendly and knowledgeable and helpful to recommend beers based on your personal tastes.
Last time I ordered food, we split the mussels and fries and were very pleased with both.
03-17-2011 23:54:03 | More by BrewerB
La Trappe Cafe in San Francisco, CA
97 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.