La Trappe Cafe
Taps: 15 / Bottles: 250
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 49 | Show All Ratings:
4.34/5 rDev -2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | $$
Visited this place on a weeknight. Staff is very friendly and knowledgeable with respect to beer. We didn't try the food but it smelled great.
Selection is heavy belgian although I did have a Russian River Supplication on draft. Atmosphere is authentic and relaxing. Felt like I was in Belgium.
They had a good bottle selection, and although some of the bigger bottles were pricey, there were other options. I got a Hitachino Espresso stout and it was top notch. I would really recommend this place if you're visiting SF.
01-09-2011 04:24:41 | More by moz9
4.4/5 rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 2 | $$$$
I live 2 blocks away which is a blessing and a curse.
Great place to bring people you want to impress (if they have functional taste buds and have offered to buy).
Very expensive, but most of the staff make up for it with their knowledge and amazing selection.
With one very glaring exception (see my post in the forums on beer fails here: http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/3162051#3179632), the staff are very well informed, friendly and not at all snobbish. The atmosphere at the bar is great. Don't go here to eat- the food is really not their focus and it shows. Sit at the bar is my suggestion. Some of the servers that come to your table, if you choose to sit at a table, are not nearly as sage-like in their beer knowledge as the people behind the bar are.
To get a rise out of the big friendly Belgian dude who sometimes works behind the bar, ask him to put on a song from Jaques Brel. Actually don't do that, it will ruin any friendly banter you previously had with him.
A Saison D' Erpe-Mere here is $32 for a 750ml bottle.
Across the Bay at the Trappist in Oakland, same beer is $20.
11-10-2010 13:11:10 | More by carpezytha
4.66/5 rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
A pearl in San Francisco; all Belgium, all the time. Walk quickly through the small, prissy upstairs restaurant and head for the basement. I sat at the bar and was confronted with the slab notebook that is the bottle list, with a tap list tucked into the front cover. The night I visited the taps were a heavy on blonde ales and lighter fare, but not exclusively. I had a Lucifer pale ale and the followed up with a N'Ice Chouffe. Both were served quickly and in the right glasses, with a smile and some conversation from Mike the bartender. Cellar-like ambiance, dark and primarily lit by candles, with a bit of basement skank in the air for authenticity. When visiting SF, this is without question worth the effort to locate. Bring your Belgian-beer attitude; otherwise, prepare for disappointment. I found the bottle list to be rather pricey, but the taps were reasonable.
Test of strength: after drinking, walk up Taylor Street.
10-20-2010 05:50:26 | More by gfreed
4.38/5 rDev -1.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Exploring SF, La Trappe was the first to visit. Met the owner Mike who was top notch, great guy. They had some good beers on draft, including my favorite Gulden Draak. Had a friend with me that was learning a bit about beer and was very cool to help her. Food was delish and it came out quick.
Critique: the other guys working bar didnt seem to be very engaged with the the patrons at the bar. One in particular seemed like he definitely had something else on his mind and was ready to get out of there. Was slightly displeased that they served the beer on tap not in the proper glass. Maybe i am just a snob. They started closing down shop before i assume they closed...(chairs on tables, lights turned up) though mike encouraged us to stay, we paid our tab and moved on.
09-18-2010 18:48:31 | More by leighgermy
4.78/5 rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
I made a visit after seeing all the glowing reviews on BA.
Walked in to an empty restaurant and proceeded to the basement. The basement was packed, all the tables were full and the bar only had two seats left which was perfect for the two of us. Mike, one of the owners took our drink orders and served us. We ordered some cheese and waited for our table.
The atmosphere was buzzing with mostly younger people in their twenties and thirties. All most everyone was drinking some sort of craft beer. The bottle list is very extensive and there are a lot of taps, I had Russian River Supplication on tap, which was great. Mike is very knowledgeable and will talk beer when he can. According to the waitress the basement was a speakeasy during the prohibition era, I could believe that from the architecture and brick work. Very cool indeed.
Once seated we ordered a few Belgian style bistro dishes. Mussels done a few ways, excellent. Corn fritters, Belgian style, excellent and the pomme frties, which were great as well.
I asked for a beer suggestion and got a Kasteel Donker, which I thought was a great Quadrupel.
I highly recommend this place for a visit, it's a cool place to hang out, drink and eat.
09-18-2010 00:07:21 | More by alpineclimber
4.63/5 rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This is the west coast equivalent of Monk's Cafe, and I don't say that lightly.
The selection is fantastic. Bottle prices are a bit high, but not bad at all, and it's a wash when you factor in all the free samples the bartenders are constantly putting in front of you.
I met one of the 2 owners, and he was nice enough to open a 1999 Kasteel Donker that we split with a few other people at the bar. Ian was my bartender, and he took very good care of me. He knows his beer, and was very available for me throughout the 5+ hours I was at the bar.
The food is standard Belgian fare, very well done.
I can't believe it took me 2 years to finally come here. I will definitely be making up for lost time.
08-22-2010 07:26:11 | More by DaveHS
5/5 rDev +12.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
When the economy was flipped on its head in late 2008, I was laid off from my first job while living in San Francsico, CA. I ended up discovering La Trappe during my FUNemployment and spent a nice chunk of my unemployment benefits relieving my sorrows with the finest beer selection I've encountered in Northern California.
Walking into La Trappe it looks like a typical open kitchen dining establishment, walk down the winding staircase and then you will arrive to the famous beer cave at La Trappe. Mike took great care in redesigning his family's old Italian restaurant into a very relaxing and beautiful bar. The building itself was built in the early parts of the 20th century and the original bricks go very well with the new bar.
I spent at least 2 or 3 days a week for a 3 month period at La Trappe and got to know the two owners Mike and Mike. They are very knowledgeable and helpful and love to talk shop when it comes to beer, especially Belgian and European style beers.
They're very good about rotating in new beers on there tap and have usually have 1-2 rare Belgian beers on tap that you won't see anywhere.
Their bottle list is also exceptional and if you decide to come here make sure to give yourself plenty of time to sit down and go through their extensive "beer bible" which breaks down all the bottles they carry in their store. They have the book availble online in PDF format and it is HUGE so take a look before you come in, for the non-web savvy you can find it here:
The best time to go to La Trappe is on a weekday or weekend afternoon. Evenings from Thurs-Sun are a bit hectic in their and you won't get a chance to talk shop with Mike and Mike. Check out La Trappe, you won't be sorry!
07-23-2010 18:34:07 | More by manthedan
4.72/5 rDev +6.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$$
Stopped here on the last night of our SF trip.
Went downstairs as recommended by other BA's for a post dinner cocktail with DA Boss. Decided to try a RR Consecration. The downstairs atmosphere is way cool, dimly lit with a small bar, some tables for dining, and some lounge seating. We managed to grab a sofa in the rear of the bar. The overall quality of this place was superb. It would be awesome to hang out with friends in the 60's style atmosphere. With all the beers available, it was tough to make one choice. Service was good, was acknowledged and served quickly by the bartender. Selection of beers was awesome. I picked the RR Consecration despite not being a huge fan of the style. Glad i had the opportunity to stop in!
04-11-2010 00:05:28 | More by arizcards
5/5 rDev +12.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
Visited multiple times during SFO beer tour 2010.
One thing a number of Beervana residents know is there are no good Belgian Beer bars in PDX. While I haven't ventured north to Brouwer's in Seattle, and haven't done the full tour of SoCal Belgian establishments, I can say without equivocation that for those with Belgian/Trappist leanings, this place is an absolutely essential visit when in San Francisco.
While the beer prices are a bit on the high side, they are certainly more reasonable than the other Belgian establishments in the city. I was able to taste a wide variety of Belgian(style) beers, RR Consecration, Lost Abbey Red Barn, and some hard to find Belgians, Kapittel Pater, and the usual suspects, Affilgem, etc. There was an extensive list of Bottles, while priced a bit on the high side, were all of high quality. The beer list is quite informative for those new to the Belgian beer scene.
The help was outstanding, the owner quick to converse about the intricacies and character of the beers I was enjoying, and his head female bartender extremely knowledgeable and nice, especially the evening when I had to endure beer newbies who decided to use one of the the ten stools at the bar as a coat rack.
Don't waste time in the dining room upstairs, all the action is downstairs where the bar is located, dark, dank, cool beat era jazz music, a pretty loud and boisterous crowd. Table service is available for those eating, with a comfy lounge with couches in the back corner for those looking to chill. A really cool vibe.
While I didn't eat the food (I was tres bummed that the carbonnade had been pulled off the menu a couple of weeks before my visit, they featured really authentic Belgian food, the special the night I was there was a roasted beet and blood orange salad. Frites were flying out the kitchen, very generous portions. This would certainly be a good place to do a full fledged beer and business dinner if your clients are that cool.
Overall, this is one of the best bars I've been in. If I had the money and the location I'd try and replicate this place. Hey, are you looking for a business partner?? World Class. Highly Recommended.
04-04-2010 00:13:30 | More by jdense
United Kingdom (England)
4.78/5 rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I had somehow missed La Trappe on my previous visit so this time round decided to pay a visit and i wasn't disappointed! I first peered through the street level window and thought it was just a small bar area but on entering heard the buzz of voices coming from down stairs and went down to have a look. The large cellar area downstairs had a bar and several tables. Mike the owner was friendly and chatted to me for a while. The Beer selection is awesome, beers from around the world but has the name suggests a huge Belgian influence. Due to the neighbours the bar closes at Midnight but Mike explained he'd rather close earlier than have a bad relationship with the locals.
Overall one of the best bars in San Francisco and not to be missed, i shall certainly make more visits next time im in San Francisco.
02-17-2010 00:34:58 | More by Clembo1957
La Trappe Cafe in San Francisco, CA
97 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.