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La Trappe Cafe

Not Rated.
La Trappe CafeLa Trappe Cafe

67 Ratings
Ratings: 67
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 4.44
pDev: n/a
Taps: 15
Bottles: 250
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

800 Greenwich St
San Francisco, California, 94133-2615
United States
phone: (415) 440-8727

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: dougnboston on 06-04-2008

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Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 67 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gfreed
4.66/5  rDev +5%
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.

Photo of leighgermy
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of alpineclimber
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of DaveHS
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of manthedan
5/5  rDev +12.6%
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!

Photo of arizcards
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
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!

Photo of jdense
5/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Photo of Clembo1957
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

Photo of ocmpoma
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

visited on 13 Feb 2010:

My fiancee and I came here for a late dinner on Saturday. Managed to beat the rush and grab a tiny table downstairs. First impression: awesome. Great, subdued decor in muted colors with exposed brickwork, barrel ceilings, Belgian beer signage scattered about in the basement. Upstairs had an open kitchen and was also well-appointed. Intimate tables and not a TV in the place.

Shortly after we sat down, the place filled up and people were pouncing on tables as soon as they became available. Given the quality of the place, I don't blame them. Our server was swamped, but still did an admirable job keeping on top of things.

As expected, the beer menu was huge. Lots of good stuff on tap; we had a Pink Killer, Castelain, de Koninck, and a couple others. Tons and tons of bottles, listed by region and with descriptions in the back pages of the menu.

The food was great -- frittes, mussels, a salad, and cheese were sampled and everything was delicious and reminded us of Paris. In fact, this place is a close 2nd to the Academie de la Biere. Even the restroom was Parisian. Absolutely phenomenal place, wish I lived in San Fran so I could go back.

Photo of dirtylou
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

more than meets the eye - from the outside window this looks like a tiny little restaurant with no taps in sight.

when it opened at 6pm, we made our way inside and noticed the stairwell leading downwards. what lies below was a gorgeous dark belgian beercave with tons of seating. we found our way to the corner that had lush couches arranged in a way conducive to conversation. beautiful place

beer menu is pretty solid - tons and tons of belgian offerings. i guess even californians get bored with their own domestic product. unfortunately, i didnt come to Cali to drink belgian so i settled in on a RR Consecration. probably not necessary for tourists to visit unless you are prepared to drink belgian

didnt eat but food looked awesome

Photo of belgianbeerlover
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I came here for dinner with my wife. As others have mentioned, the downstairs area has great atmosphere with all of the exposed brick and arched ceilings. There were a few people eating upstairs, but in terms of atmosphere it was totally different. It's too bad they haven't been able to recreate this upstairs as that would double their space.

The bottled beer list is extensive, 40+ pages, dominated by belgian or belgian-style beers. There were also about 20 beers on tap. I had a draft Koningshoeven Quadruple, which was delicious. Between the two of us we had 6-7 beers and they were all served in the matching glassware as well.

All of the food we had was great. We start with some oysters and a plate of belgian cheeses. My wife had mussels ($16) and I had a rabbit stew ($21) both of which were excellent.

While this isn't the cheapest place to eat or spend the night drinking, considering the quality of the food and beer you are getting, I though it was a pretty good value.

Photo of mjl21
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

La Trappe is a great restaurant/Belgian beer bar located in North Beach. It is very convenient to out of towners staying at Fisherman's Wharf. Being as it is in North Beach, public parking can be a nightmare. Street parking can be found if you arrive by 6; if not, take public transportation or be prepared to spend upwards of $20 to park.

The building is a pretty unique space. When you walk in there are a few tables upstairs. Immediately skip the upsatirs area and head down the spiral staircase to the bar/dining room/lounge area. It is a really neat space had that has the feel of an old speakeasy. The bar has a decent amount of stools and there are plenty of tables downstairs. They also have a large table for bigger groups. In the back is a nice lounge area with couches.

They have a great selection of beer on tap and an amazing bottle list. Most of the offerings tend to gravitate toward Belgian styles. When I went I had a glass of Temptation. Expect to find on tap Duvel Green, Allagash, La Chouffe, Chimay White, and Koningshoeven Quadruple. The bottle list encompasses beers from all over the world, but Belgium gets the most coverage.

I found the bartenders to be very friendly. Since I knew what I wanted, I can't speak to how knowledgeable they are. The couple next to me were drinking a Pannepot Old Fisherman's Ale and a Rochefort 10 based on recs from the bartender, so I am going to assume they know their stuff.

I passed on food when I went, but every table had frites and I heard a few people mention that their food was good.

The prices were about the same as most Belgian beer bars. My glass of Temptation was $6. Most beers on tap were between $6-$10. I did not pay any attention to how much they were charging for bottles.

Photo of route66pubs
4.68/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Just in San Francisco for the first time, and we asked our concierge for a place to eat. He suggested someplace else, but having just past this place on a cable car earlier in the day, we decided to head back for dinner. We were NOT disappointed!

The initial, modern appearance of the first floor quickly gave way to the cave-like appearance of the basement. This worked very well for this place and was the perfect lead-in to a great atmosphere and ambience (although those that are claustrophobic should avoid the downstairs).

The tap selection was not huge, but the bottle selection and menu listings were immense and detailed. Some great brews were listed on both taps and bottles as well.

The service - despite and initial setback - was outstanding. From the busboys to the wait staff, everyone was friendly and accomodating and very helpful. Beer knowledge, however, might have been somewhat lacking based on some comments I overheard.

The food was absolutely impeccable, although the portions seemed rather large. Definitely a great place for a great meal. The down side (as seemed to be the case throughout San Francisco) is that the meals seemed a bit pricier even than in Los Angeles.

Photo of ccrida
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Very cool rustic atmosphere downstairs, cave like, exposed brick and wood beems that look like they're 200 years old. Cool mosaic tile, caster iron candle lamps, very dark and
dim, and reminiscent of Belgian bars for sure. Music was acid jazz (lots of Thievery Corp) and classic rock, once it filled, up, lively and loud as people warmed up on the strong biers.

Very well documented menu, lots of tasting notes, explanations.

Beer selection was great, tons of Belgians, including some hard to find breweries, big bottle list and 10-15 taps. Only 1 US craft brew when I was there, the tasty Santa Cruz Imperial Stout, a bargin at $4. Belgian beer prices are pretty high though. I'm not from San Fran, so maybe I'm off base, but as an example, Zoetzuer, by De Prof, which goes for $10 a bottle at grocery stores at home (and is pretty regularly available, my go to Flanders Red) is $20 a 750ml. Not insulting or anything, but a bit on the high side IMHO. OTHO I got a 750ml bottle of Ichtegem's Grand Cru for $17, which I was stoked to find. Lots of less common 33cl beers for ~$10. Draft Belgians are all $6-9.

Food was good, I went with moules and frittes, $16 for about 1 lb and a cone. I went with one of 3 preps, in wit and lemon and fennel, classic if boring. The freshness of the mussels made up for it. The broth though was kind of bland when I went to dip the crusty bread at the end, usually my favorite part. The frittes came with your choice of 'belgian' (e.g. REAL) mayo, a few spiced takes, or ketchup with some spices. I went with plain Belgian mayo and 'spiced' (e.g. Siracha) ketchup, and they were both very good, as were the small, slightly golden, rectangle shaped, lightly greasy, boardwalk style fries.

I left thinking I will definitely be back during my week in town, but with a lot of other places on my list, we'll see...

Photo of Nick3
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Spent last Friday night here and had an amazing time. The belgian beer selection is quite extensive with 15 or so on tap and tons in bottles. They also have some hard to find type beers from other countries like Germany, Italy, Denmark. On tap, I enjoyed a Nostradamus brown ale and a Duchesse du Borgnone. Out of the bottle, I had a Mikkeller Monk's ale. The beers were all excellent. Despite a very busy bar, our server kept are glasses full and was friendly. Many of my friends had mussels and they enjoyed them . . . I opted for the rabbit stew and that was great as well. We also ordered several baskets of fries which were served in these cone shaped cylindars with different dipping sauces. The Chipotle sauce is exceptional. The ambience was lively and fun and I will defintely be coming back again.

Photo of willjschmidt
4.86/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

The high reviews for this place did not disappoint. When I saw that La Trappe had displaced City Beer, Monk's Kettle, Toronado, and The Trappist as the #1 beer bar for San Francisco in BeerFly, I was quite skeptical. How could this new Belgian beer bar be better than all those great bars? Well, I'm here to tell you that it is. This is a first-rate, top of the line, beer bar. It should now be the first beer destination for anyone visiting this fine city.

La Trappe is located in North Beach, on the corner of Columbus and Greenwich. When you walk in there is a small restaurant serving Belgian cuisine such as mussels. After you descend the spiral staircase, you realize that you are in pure beer heaven. Belgian beer memorabilia covers the walls. It is a dark and cozy lounge atmosphere. There are comfortable booths everywhere to relax and enjoy their fine beers. The tap selection is first rate. 18 beers on-tap, mostly Belgian. Check their website as they update their tap list frequently. They also have a bottle list that is encased in a thick book. The selection is easily approaching 200 bottles. The book is very well organized. Most beers are served in the appropriate glass.

This place is highly recommended. Stop in and check out this new bar which can now proudly hold the title of best beer bar in the Bay Area.

Photo of mfinster21
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Downstairs is reminiscent of a cozy local European bar. I was there early on a Friday to enjoy happy hour and have some nice Belgian beers. The service is spectacular, if you are looking for a bartender whom knows something about the beers he/she is pouring. He poured several Flemish sours before I made a choice on a beer. Throughout my session, he poured up several Belgian style IPAs to try. Selection of Belgian beers is great. They don't offer as many American style Belgian beers as they could (I spoke to the owner about this and he said it is because "It doesn't sell and it ends up sticking around to long"). The hamburger and fries that I had were tasteful. I appreciated the different dipping sauces for the fries. The food overall looked flavorful, but most meal are above $20. The prices on the beers from draft ranged from $6 to $9 Overall, one of my favorite bars for Belgian beers (Just for a reference, others include The Trappist in Oakland and Brouwers in Seattle).

Photo of wieserjd
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

My sister-in-law took my wife and I here when we stopped in SF as part of our honeymoon trek across California in September. I am so glad that she did.

The is by far the best beer bar that I have ever been too. Located in the lower area of a restaurant, once you walk down the stairs you are entering belgian beer heaven! There is a small bar with I think about 8 seats and in front of you is a vast collection of coolers and taps that consist of pretty much all belgian or belgianesque beer. Of course all of their beer is served with appropriate glassware. I recall having a DT, La Chouffe, Affligem Tripel and Piraat, all on tap. They had pretty much anything you could want in bottles and a good selection of American micro beers too. There was absolutely nothing I would change about the selection options.

The atmosphere is dark and mellow which is perfect for beer drinking and conversation.

We went here two straight days and got there when it opened at 6. Both days we were fortunate enough to find seats at the bar. The first day we were served by one of the owners, Mike, and we chatted with him for hours about beer, food and life. He shared about 4 beers with us too. The next day we were served by the other owner who had returned the night before from Belgium. It was busier that day so his attention was divided between us and some of the other customers, but we ended up sharing a couple of beers with him and some of the other patrons. He had some interesting stories about the trappist breweries he visited on his trip. You couldn't ask for better bartenders/owners.

We had some belgian fries on the first day which were excellent and came served with about 4 different dipping sauces. I think they served dinner's too but we had already eaten both days we went.

They also had a wonderful beer book that I spent hours reading in my quest to decide just what my mind and belly wanted to drink. I thought about taking one with me but decided that it must be left and shared with the masses.

The only down side is that you are going to pay a lot of $ to drink here. As I recall, the beers on tap about $7-10 a pop, and some were ever more. But its money well spent.

A must see if you are in SF and enjoy Belgian beer. We will definitely go back when we visit.

Photo of MrFootstones
4.53/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

Atmosphere: The atmosphere was great. Down the winding staircase into the brick walled very "old European" looking bar area. It was beautiful and very fitting for the place. No patrons or staff that were unpleasant. In fact, if you go here and demonstrate your beer nerdness, the bertender does quite appreciate it.

Quality: All the beer we had, both bottled and from the tap, was wonderful and served in proper glassware. They even kept us hydrated with water from pretty swing top bottles (perhaps because we told them we were on a day long bar crawl from The Mission to North Beach).

Service: I loved our bartender, Mike. After he and I understood that we were dealing with true beer lovers, we had a great time discussing beers/food pairings and sharing stories. After a little bit he pulled out three Dogfish Head bottles (Palo Santo, Midas Touch, and 90-Minute) and over the course of our visit split them between me, my two friends, and himself, free of charge. What a guy.

Selection: This was easily the most intimidating beer list I've dealt with. Even a seasoned Toronado patron can be overwhelmed. In the end I went with an '06 Cantillon Framboise (Rose de Gambrimus), which was amazing on tap.

Food: Didn't try it, although we were provided with some nuts, which was nice.

Value: I wouldn't come here to session, but I have no problem paying $11 for Cantillon on tap. Most beers were $8 and up, if I recall correctly.

I had a great time here. This will definitely join Toronado and City Beer Store on my list of musts when I'm home from school in the Bay Area.

Photo of czechsaaz
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Normally I wouldn't start a review with the atmosphere. I'll put up with a lot for a great beer list but... La Trappe is way cool. You walk in upstairs and there's the kitchen and some dining tables. You could stay upstairs if you want, but take the spiral staircase into the cellar. That's where the bar is and it's all exposed brick and dark paint colors and dim lighting. It felt to me like drinking a catacomb or the basement of some cathedral somewhere. Loved it.

Then there's the binder sized beer list that is of course 85-90% Belgian with a handfull of other European and a few outsanding U.S. Belgian styles plus Unibroue. There's plenty of rare beer on the list to keep you interested but the really rare is very pricey. Not a complaint at all but there were a few things that I really wanted that were out of my league price wise.

For the service, we were told when we sat down that service in the Lounge area (dark, brooding and even romantic) was self service at the bar. But after ordering beers and a snack and chatting with the servers and bartenders for a bit at the bar they did table service for us. (I had one of those, "They know I'm a beer guy and they love beer too so we have a mutual respect" type of vibe.)

My price rating is more for the rarities. The taps and most bottles are reasonably priced. But they also have some really great lambics, limitted releases and large format bottles that are expnsive but not out of line for the rarity.

I only get to S.F. once a year or so but this is now (with the Toranado) on my must visit list. Great Place.

Photo of nephilae
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

La Trappe is one of the two places in the Bay Area that specialize in carrying Belgian ales. There are a good 20 or so brews on tap a quite extensive bottle selection (100+). They carry all of the specialty glasses, which makes for a fun time while you enjoy the different beers. The prices are a bit higher than I'd prefer, but the atmosphere certainly makes up for it. There is a lounge area in the back with a comfortable and intimate setting. I haven't tried eating their main dishes, but I must say that the fries and dippers are a great complement to a night of drinking.

All in all, this is one of my favorite bars ever. It can get busy, but never feels crowded, which allows for very relaxing and fun evening.

Photo of beeryes
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Beer fans in San Francisco have not only a lot of great individual bars to choose from; they also have two short but interesting crawls they can enjoy. On Haight Street, the pleasant Magnolia brewpub is just six blocks down from the City's best beer bar, Toronado.

La Trappe is part of the other crawl. Two short blocks away from La Trappe, down Columbus Avenue at Union, is the Rogue Ales Public House, an excellent spot to sample Rogue and other Northwest brews. (If you really want to keep your crawl moving, you can head down to the OK but not great San Francisco Brewing Company, which is five blocks further down Columbus, at about Pacific.)

La Trappe, at Greenwich and Columbus, is fabulous, particularly for Belgian beer lovers. From the outside of the bar, looking in, you see only a small table area on the main floor. This is misleading. The basement level is huge, and is the center of the action. The atmosphere downstairs is quite appealing, with a look of brick walls and wood dividers and a friendly clientele. But it is a bit noisy.

La Trappe features a standout Belgian beer selection, probably the best on the West Coast. Included are about 17 Belgian brews on tap and 120 in bottles. There are a few non-Belgian beers, too, but nearly all of these are "Belgian-style." The beer menu is a handsome leather-bound thing, which provides good descriptions of the beers, although it does not simplify beer hunting by breaking the beers down into their Belgian beer categories (like dubbels, trippels, golden ales, brown ales, etc.) For true Belgian zealots, the food menu includes such treats as waterzooi (a soup/stew) and mussels prepared in four different ways. And of course, Belgian-style fries are available. The prices are a little high, but not bad for the North Beach area and the quality of the food and beer offered. Servers tend to be pretty knowledgeable and pleasant.

Whether you're just curious about Belgian beers or you know them well, this is a wonderful place to stop in.

The fun way to get there and back on public transport is via the Mason-Powell cable car, which runs from Market and Powell to Bay Street, going right past the bar. It costs $5. Busses number 20 and 30 also run in front of the bar, on their way from downtown to the Marina District and back. Several other bus lines run down Union Street, two blocks away.

Photo of Rzzzzz
4.66/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

What a great spot. We went there around 10:00 or so on a Friday night. Not much happening upstairs, but walk down that spiral staircase and you're in maybe the greatest beer drinking environment in San Francisco. Brick walls, comfortable seating, great layout condusive to relaxing and conversing. The thoroughly impressive list of Belgian beers was thicker than the last book I read, and the bartenders couldn't have been friendlier. My only beef with the place is that they don't open until 6PM; this would be a great lunch spot.

Photo of 1759Girl
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

We brought a large crew of beer lovers here after I finished a big project... finals! Having originated at Rogue, and carried our crew to the streets, I was a bit wary of taking them to this upmarket well lit bar... which felt more restaurant-y on the ground floor. Of course we had no reservations... we had a group that went from an expected 5 or so to about 30 people. After a friendly hostess lead the way to the downward winding stairs, I was living the good life...
Le Trappe accomodated our group's hostile takeover of the downstairs area. Down the winding staircase is a well appointed cellar tavern with light stone, heavy wood tables, and glowing brass handles ready to pull you beautiful beers.
The food was fabulous (I had mussles and tasty pomme frites), the beer was Belgian heaven.
I spent a bit, but it was cheaper than a flight to Ghent.

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

Randomly stumbled upon this place Friday night during my trip up to the bay area. We were actually looking for a different place, but decided to stop here. Glad we did.

Kinda hard to find, although not that far from Fisherman's Wharf. The upstairs (and entrance) totally doesn't look like a bar at all, but once you get inside and go down the stairs, a really cool bar and lounge presents itself. The atmosphere was really great, nice little place with a decent sized bar and plenty of tables. Being underground gives it a bit of a cave feel. There was a decent crowd, especially considering it was early Friday night.

Service was quite good. The bartender helped us right away, and was very knowledgeable and gave good suggestions. However, the staff seemed to have a no-nonsense attitude as well. They seemed to ignore rude and/or stupid people. Which is awesome.

Selection is incredible. I've never seen so many Belgian beers in one place. Obviously the majority of beers were from Belgium, but they had most of the Unibroue beers, as well as a number of American offerings. Something like 20 taps and lots of bottles. I had a Zoetzuur Flemish Ale (which was delicious) and a Rochefort 10. Can't complain about that. Pours were not cheap though. I think it was 8 or 9 bucks for pretty much everything. But still, well worth it.

Didn't get any food, but it all looked pretty good. Fries were served in a cone, which is apparently a pretty traditional European way to serve fries.

Very lucky that I happened on this place. It was fantastic, one of the coolest bars I've been too. I'm sure it will become a Bay Area mainstay in no time. If you're up in 'Frisco, find this place and check it out.

La Trappe Cafe in San Francisco, CA
97 out of 100 based on 67 ratings.