La Trappe Cafe

Not Rated.
La Trappe CafeLa Trappe Cafe
BA SCORE
97
world-class

65 Ratings
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 4.43
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 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: dougnboston on 06-04-2008)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jamesb7
1.5/5  rDev -66.1%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | food: 1

On vacation in San Francisco and me and my girlfriend went out of our way to go to this place. Decent tap list and huge bottle list which was way overpriced even for imports. We each ordered a beer from the tap list. When the head subsided on my girlfriends beer 2 dead fruit flies were found in it, no flies were seen anywhere around the table or anywhere in the bar for that matter just under a good 3 inches of head. When this was mentioned to the waiter all we were offered was another beer from the same dirty tap line. Overall this was the worst experience either of us has had at any bar or restaurant in any part of the country.

Photo of Beerenauslese
3.08/5  rDev -30.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2.5

Came here for the first time with high expectations. The draft list was fairly interesting with about a dozen mostly Belgian or Belgian style beers available--enjoyed a Bear Republic Tartare and a Dieu du Ciel Solstice D'hiver ($12 for a 10 oz tulip glass). The waiter knew his beers and the beers ordered were served cold and in appropriate glasses. A few of the taps were out and there were no replacements offered. It was a Thursday night at 9:30. I ordered an appetizer of moules made with a Belgian dark ale, which were tasty but they were served half cold-- they had been sitting in the open on a drafty shelf while waiting for someone to bring them to the table. The waiter didn't appear again after the food was served and I had no beer to drink with them, so I had to get up and ask the kitchen staff to summon our waiter to the table. We were the only table in the upstairs dining area and the waiter was spending most of his time downstairs in the bar area. We probably would have been better served downstairs.

I was thinking of going for my birthday dinner today, but with that experience and noting that last night the whole place was closed "due to a situation that is out of our control. We need a day to make things right. Thank you for understanding" I punted on that idea. Makes me wonder what really is going on there.

An appetizer and two beers put me back $40, and with slack wait service, I don't think I'll be going back there for an entire dinner until they straighten themselves out.

Photo of joshklein069
3.23/5  rDev -27.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

They have a great selection of beer on tap and an ok 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.
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. I did not pay any attention to how much they were charging for bottles.

Photo of scotaussie
3.4/5  rDev -23.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The cellar scene at the Trappe provides good ambience, a good list of beers and nice Belgian food, that is if you like mussels and not much (nothing) else. The main negative points are the exorbitantly high prices, one assumes to pay for the rent and the owners pension plans, and the atrocious Musak you are forced to listen to, while having a beer. The super high prices certainly don't make anybody want to hang around and try more beers. The waiters knew little about the beers they offered so a discussion on whether they had nice blondes rather than Flemish sour red ales was not clear, so I ended up with the latter by mistake.

Photo of Kishanti
3.5/5  rDev -21%

Photo of largadeer
3.75/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.86/5  rDev -12.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

6th Feb 2013: my wife and I visited the basement. We could only have a table if eating because the joint was almost full, as the wife doesn't like sitting at the bar we were shown to a small unlit square at the rear. I had to stand by the kitchen corridor to read the beer menu it was so dark where they put us, smart, modern, comfortable but just too dark.

The barman helped a lot, but not one American beer I wanted on the menu was in stock (I visit Belgium often, so wasn't really interested in that selection, huge though it was), so I had three Canadian beers. All in good condition.

The food looked good from where we sat and as I blocked the service corridor beer searching I got a closer look on occasions.

All in all a cool place, busy and friendly staff, just a pity about their US selection stock

Photo of BenHesk12
3.88/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

La Trappe has a modest length list of Belgian beers on tap, a long list of bottles (quite pricey though), and your basic list of Cali cuisine appetizers and entrees which are above average for the style. The downstairs area is small and crowded, but provides the best atmosphere. The food ranges from about 10-25 bucks for dinner and you probably won't be able to find a beer under $7. Nonetheless, come here with some time, and money, and you won't be disappointed. Overall, La Trappe is a fun place to grab some tasty belgians and good food.

Photo of Tristan_E
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of nataku00
4.03/5  rDev -9%
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.

Photo of baycat
4.05/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

Photo of TheStove
4.14/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of SeeingMeansMore
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of theRooster
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Thrashsquatch
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Ilovebeer1549
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of jgasparine
4.26/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5

Atmosphere- Like a slice of Europe. The downstairs bar, in particular, makes you feel like you're in Brugge. Clearly a beer-centric place, filled with beer-loving people.

Quality- Everything about this place- the glassware, draught lines, and the establishment itself was clean and quality.

Service- We got there right when they opened... so it wasn't too packed. But the bartender really knew his stuff, made some great suggestions, and was super-prompt and friendly.

Selection- They didn't have the largest selection. I was familiar with nearly everything on their menu... but this is not to discount the QUALITY of their selection. All were solid beers, and you certainly won't be disappointed.

Value- This was somewhat pricey... but overall worth the price for an occasional visit.

Photo of moz9
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.

Photo of leighgermy
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.

Photo of carpezytha
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.

'Nuff said.

Photo of dirtylou
4.43/5  rDev 0%
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 mjl21
4.43/5  rDev 0%
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 nephilae
4.43/5  rDev 0%
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 dougnboston
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

What do you get when you put a bar in an old brick basement, add candles, old tables, arched brick beams and indirect lighting - oh and Belgian beers on tap? A great Belgian beer bar! La Trappe is terrific. I found the staff attentive and knowledgeable. Food was Belgian like and good, not great, but good. Taps were fresh and they had a terrific selection. Parking is a bit difficult. There is a restaurant upstairs which I would do at lunch.

If you want an authentic old world feeling beer bar with good service and great beers this is your place.

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La Trappe Cafe in San Francisco, CA
97 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.