La Trappe Cafe
Taps: 15 / Bottles: 250
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 61 | Reviews: 50 | Display Reviews Only:
4.8/5 rDev +7.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$$
When I first walked in I noticed a large open kitchen with some servers standing around and a few tables with no one eating. Then I spotted the staircase and heard a bit of crowd in the basement. So I headed down and saw a cool little area, plenty of brick loads of tables, and a very tiny bar. Very laid back and comfortable.
I took the last bar stool and was handed a large book from the bartender. This beer list covers a large quantity of belgian beers that you can't find in other areas of San Francisco (based on my 8 days here). There were over 10 beers on draft, mostly belgians like Val Dieu, Affligem, and LaChouffe, but some others from Victory, Ommegang, and Sierra Nevada's Life and Limb 2. There is no liquor served here which was a problem for my friend that didn't drink beer. The beers I had were super fresh but expensive which I didn't mind for the one time visit.
I did not have an opportunity to eat any food, but what I saw coming out looked very good. The service was prompt and extremely knowledgable which made the experience better. I could see this place getting very crowded on the weekends, but mid-week it was not too crowded.
Luckily a cable car stop is right outside the building, allowing me to jump on to get back to my hotel on the other side of the city.
10-21-2011 11:43:44 | More by Gavage
4.43/5 rDev -0.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
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
01-01-2010 15:49:13 | More by dirtylou
United Kingdom (England)
3.86/5 rDev -13.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
6th Feb 2013: my wife and I visited the basement. We could only have a table if eating because the joint was almost full, as the wife doesn't like sitting at the bar we were shown to a small unlit square at the rear. I had to stand by the kitchen corridor to read the beer menu it was so dark where they put us, smart, modern, comfortable but just too dark.
The barman helped a lot, but not one American beer I wanted on the menu was in stock (I visit Belgium often, so wasn't really interested in that selection, huge though it was), so I had three Canadian beers. All in good condition.
The food looked good from where we sat and as I blocked the service corridor beer searching I got a closer look on occasions.
All in all a cool place, busy and friendly staff, just a pity about their US selection stock
05-24-2013 04:00:26 | More by BlackHaddock
4.64/5 rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$$
I'm sure I've mentioned numerous times how rare it is for me to walk into a place and find something available that really blows me away. Bødegal on tap? Ha! Say what?! Bring it on. (Even at $14 a pour.) Beyond this singular rarity on draft, the list here is utterly insane. It's a whole book broken down to a really precise degree on differentiation. Man that's a long word (differentiation). It really preaches to the scope and depth of all the beer that is out there. And also to the commitment of this establishment in its entirety. And on note regarding the establishment: world class. Beautifully setup with a small upstairs dining area, with kitchen. Keep an eye out for the stairs that lead to the downstairs bar and seating area. Overall, the vibe seems quite pure to me. Genuine, earthly rustic (in an urban kind of way) and real. I hear this place gets insanely busy, and it isn't hard to see why. The prices are "high," but who cares. You get what you pay for here. And it's definitely worth it. A must for any beer lover or human being with a personality.
04-16-2012 08:05:56 | More by RblWthACoz
4.58/5 rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
This was a must stop on our trip to San Fran. We were a bit apprehensive since it was a Saturday night but our fears were squashed instantly upon walking through the door. The place was near empty. Now I had heard the downstairs level was "the" place to be. So of course we made a bee line for the stairs. Surprise! That's where everybody was. Packed wall to wall. Back upstairs we grabbed a table and ordered food and drinks. The beer menu was like a dream come true. Sours sours and more sours. I ordered an amazing beef stew for my meal. Then there was the service. Our server was fantastic. He was covering tables downstairs and everything upstairs as well and still made sure we were never without a beer. After finishing dinner and several bottles we made our way downstairs to soak in that atmosphere. Very glad we did. The vibe down there was great. What an awesome place to eat and drink.
01-04-2012 02:57:42 | More by beerwolf77
4.64/5 rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$$
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
5/5 rDev +12.4%
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
4.26/5 rDev -4.3%
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.
11-02-2013 13:18:15 | More by jgasparine
United Kingdom (England)
4.78/5 rDev +7.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I had somehow missed La Trappe on my previous visit so this time round decided to pay a visit and i wasn't disappointed! I first peered through the street level window and thought it was just a small bar area but on entering heard the buzz of voices coming from down stairs and went down to have a look. The large cellar area downstairs had a bar and several tables. Mike the owner was friendly and chatted to me for a while. The Beer selection is awesome, beers from around the world but has the name suggests a huge Belgian influence. Due to the neighbours the bar closes at Midnight but Mike explained he'd rather close earlier than have a bad relationship with the locals.
Overall one of the best bars in San Francisco and not to be missed, i shall certainly make more visits next time im in San Francisco.
02-17-2010 00:34:58 | More by Clembo1957
4.86/5 rDev +9.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$$
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.
03-10-2009 16:04:05 | More by willjschmidt
La Trappe Cafe in San Francisco, CA
97 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.