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Toronado

Not Rated.
ToronadoToronado
BA SCORE
99
world-class

183 Ratings
Ratings: 183
Reviews: 110
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 8.93%
Taps: 58
Bottles: 250
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

4026 30th St
San Diego, California, 92104-2602
United States
phone: (619) 282-0456

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @toronadosd

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: kleffman on 06-29-2008)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 183 | Reviews: 110 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brewandbbq
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

The SD Toronado is located in North Park on 30th street, and just a few doors down from the Ritual.

Two trips there on this west coast trip have me convinced that this place had the best beer selection (bar) in SD. Five Alpines, including Bad Boy and W.H.Ale, as well as Pliney, Sculpin, Mongo, Speedway, etc. Loads of local stuff and a few Belgians mixed in. Respectable service at the bar, unlike the other Toronado. 2010 Cable car on the bottle menu for $40.00. Loud music and plenty of crowd noise as expected on a busy night. Beautifull vintage tins on the walls and some cool glassware out back.

I just wish there were some hotels in stumbling distance.

Photo of berley31
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Hit this place up last week on a Wednesday afternoon.

A: Very relaxing, clean spot. When we arrived around 1:00, there weren't too many people there, and those that were were sitting at the bar. We sat there as well, and remained there for the 2-3 hour stay. I like how the available taps are printed on little signs, but they're above the bar so that if you want to see them while SITTING at the bar, you really have to get out of your seat and step back, or your neck gets sore quickly.

Quality and Selection: Amazing tap selection. A lot of local CA beers of high-quality, and some from all over. I had an Alpine Duet and Pliny on tap (both very fresh and tasty), and a RR Sanctification and Consecration in bottles. The bottle list is EXTREMELY impressive.

Service: There was one lady working the bar, very friendly and helpful. No complaints at all.

Food: Didn't have any, but it looked good.

Value: Seemed reasonable to me. Prices all over due to the range of beers, but really good (not as low as some other spots, but when you're from Canada, paying 5 bucks or so for Pliny is a damn steal).

Overall: Fantastic spot; I'd head back in a second if I could.

Photo of SDtastentune
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3

A - Great cherry oak style pub chairs and tables wrapped around the south side of the bar and front area, old style pub swing half tall style door that is pretty cool. Lots of stickers on the north front wall, good stuff. Beer list is hard to see from the bar, gotta get up and look up in front of the bar... kinda awkward. Back area is cool for the smoker crowd or for people needing "air". Bathroom is small, but clean'ish. Long hallways leading to bathroom and back area.

Q - Great for beer, tenders know there stuff and can answer the best questions, Nice people. Can get busy so be patient on a Friday, Saturday or Monday. Quality is hit or miss on food, don't get much so can't be a great reviewer.... but its hit or miss.. hit being great... and miss being a miss. Beers can range from best of the best IPA's to best of the best everything. Cask pours have been foamy and warm so watch out.

S - Service has always been great, fast for me, first in line gets exactly what they want or desire. Great beer knowledge, unknown to me beer pairing knowledge.

F - Food is hit or miss, will not get into detail, but I have had some "good food" and some "what is this food". I recommend they introduce pub fries and beer battered fries.... app's are kinda pricey and ???

V - Great deals, Monday night local beer night is the best, $3 local pints of Mongo etc., Imperial stouts still in snifter glasses though. Ok app menu but I still want pub fries! I also came though with a deal on Citybeat for Half off beer ($12.50 for $25 that was pretty cool). So yea it can be worth it.

Photo of AdamBear
4.78/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Okay so I went to the one is San Francisco last month and was highly disappointed at the atmosphere and service. However, this time i was nearing the end of my trip in San Diego, and I needed to find a place with Pliny of draft, and i figured i would bust through the grossness and rudeness to get one here, but oh wow was i surprised!

Atmosphere: small bar and very busy, however it did not smell like stale beer, something i can't say for in the SF location.

Service: very friendly and patient....two things that the SF location absolutely did not have. I was very relieved when dealing with the 2 female bartenders here, both were very nice and alert.

Quality/Selection: i hate using this word, but the selection is "epic". there aren't too many places with this impressive of a list of rares both on tap and in bottles. there were so many rare beers, that it really made me groan quite a bit.

Food: just perfect. I had cajun style sausage along with the macaroni and cheese. Paired with my HOTD Adam and RR PtE....I was in heaven....

Photo of Retsinis
4.3/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Visited Toronado at the end of a San Diego beer trip on August 6th with a fairly large group (15). We arrived at about 7:00 p.m. on a Saturday, and had no problem finding a place for all of us to sit, and with little to no wait at the bar to order either.

The bar has an interesting look and feel, with both dim lighting, and dark wood bar & tables, but also two Large windows up front, and a half open split door, that allows both light, and fresh air in from out side. The very back has a covered patio (already occupied) which also appeared to be a comfortable, well lit area.

The walls are adorned with a various beer posters (both old and new, an example being Ovila) and a small assortment of neon lighting. There is also a display case in the back filled with a large assostment of glassware.

Huge amount of taps, and the bottle list was very impressive, as was the tap list this day, ranging from Ovila Saison (served in a Ovila goblet, just like the poster, nice touch) Speedway Stout, Alpine Tuatara, FW Robust Porter and many others.

Also had food, a veggie burger with all the fixings, and a side of potato salad. I ate all of it, so it was pretty tasty, though after having a few beers this day over the course of many hours, and being pretty hungry, a lot of food tastes great at that point, so take that for what it's worth.

My only ding is that the restroom was pretty funky. Not in the look, but in the smell, almost made me and a few others nauseas. Granted, it's a beer bar, and gets used A LOT, but wow was it pungent in there. I've been in my share of both high end bars, and dive bars, and a little air freshner in the urinals, and on the sink goes a long way. An air vent to the roof might not hurt either, as the smell was also prevelant in the hall outside of the restroom.

Value was fair for both the beer and the food this day and overall, Toronado is a great bar in San Diego, as many already know. Glad I got to visit, and I would certainly go back.

.

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Stopped in here with some friends around 11:30pm this past Friday. We ended up sticking around til close (2:00am).

This Toronado is like a born again Christian version of the original. That loud, dirty, thumping beer pit to the north has been reincarnated as a clean, comfortable, beer café (note the "é") here in America's Finest City. Personally, I'm not sure how I feel about this. Toronado has cleaned up it's act; started caring about how others perceive it; added some charm. But hanging out with this new Toronado just isn't the same... it feels like something's missing. Is it just me, or is this new bar just kind of boring? A bit too nice? Don't get me wrong; it's cool and all. Just... not what it used to be.

This is, in fact, an excellent beer bar. Expect to find tons of top-tier San Diego ales, from the likes of Alpine, Stone, Ballast Point, Green Flash, etc. Expect those beers to be reasonably-priced and served in appropriate glassware. Also, expect friendly, knowledgeable service from the bartenders. And expect to enjoy all of this in an open and comfortable environment.

Toronado - San Diego simply lacks the bold, unique character of Toronado - San Francisco. This version could easily be mistaken for any other upper echelon beer bar. Worthy of a visit? Of course! Just realize it's not the original.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Went (quite a bit) out of my way for a couple of pints at Toronado on a recent trip to San Diego.

Tap list was outstanding with about 40 or so different beers, most of which were from the likes of Alpine, Russian River, Stone, Ballast Point, etc. I decided on a point of Alpine Duet (OUTSTANDING!) and RR Pliny before having to head back downtown. The bottle list was very lengthy too.

Had the pulled pork sandwich with my Pliny, which was also excellent.

Service was friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Would definitely go back.

Photo of hamilton23
4.66/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I finally got to visit Toronado. It definitely lives up to the hype in terms of selection. In addition to what appeared to be about 40 taps of amazing beers, they have a bottle list that is really quite amazing. I counted 6 pages of single spaced bottles. The vast majority of which were from Belgium. However, I was also surprised to find some harder to find US beers like Silva Stout, 2 Turtle Doves and a few others.

If you like sours, they have Cable Car for $40 a bottle. In addition to loads of other sour favorites like Cantillions and Lost Abbey offerings.

The bar itself is decent size, but not big. There is a nice sized outdoor patio in the back that was dominated by smokers. While it would have been nice to spend time out here, I just couldn't handle the smoke.

Photo of FARGO619
5/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I love Mondays, and this is the place to be. Great Happy Hour. Their tap list is always satisfying from great local beer STONE, GREEN FLASH, PORT, LOST ABBEY, BALLAST POINT to name a few and there is so many to choose from out of town beers RUSSIAN RIVER, DESCHUTES...etc. Check this place out. I know I'm forgetting so many other great beers. They also have an awesome bottle list of almost everything. Even hard to find gems that you cannot get in most places. The food is great too. So when in SD you will be happy when you find this place.

Photo of mrkun
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This a nice place with a long bar, wood tables with chairs on one side and wooden benches on the other side and there's a back patio with heaters. They have loud music playing that can somewhat drown out conversation with your friends. The bartenders here are way nicer than the ones in San Francisco. They had a pretty good selection of taps and a very nice selection of bottles. We had some '08 BCS but couldn't bring ourselves to dump $40 for a bottle of Cable Car. I didn't try the food, but it looked decent; don't know about the prices. The beer prices however were fair. Overall, this a fun place to come for a beer, and they have some rarer stuff that will be difficult to find elsewhere.

Photo of tjensen3618
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

I came by this place with a pretty large group of friends after a beer fest. It wasn't terribly crowded which I kind of wasn't expecting for a Sat. night.

The tap list is pretty amazing, as is the bottle selection in the coolers. I got a bottle of Sanctification followed by a bottle of Cable Car split between a buddy and myself. They had Alpine IPA's and New Belgium Sours, just a flat out phenomenal selection. The prices were a bit on the high side, but to be fair we weren't exactly ordering the most common or cheap beers in the place.

I have heard that the SF version of this place has real bad service, this was not the case at the SD location. I was admiring the glassware in the hall (specifically a Fantome Tulip) when a bartender and I had a brief chat about the cool glasses in the display case.

I only got fries which were good so I wont rate the food for now.

Overall I would consider this as close to the perfect beer bar in an urban setting as you can get.

Photo of FosterJM
4.3/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I was in San Diego for Memorial day and did a search and realized I was only 3 miles away. Sorry honey cant go to sleep, have to go to Toronado and get a Silva Stout.

Atm- I like the farmhouse door for the entrance. Nice touch. Allows some airflow and just looks cool. Nice decor on the walls, glasses for every type of beer on the wall.

Quality- Simply a great dive/indy bar.

Service- A little slow on a weekend night but it was good and friendly.

Selection- I wish I was made of money for all the high class beers in the cooler.

Food- N/A

Value- The big bottles of Cantillon and Drie are pricey but it was to be expected.

Photo of gerrick
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This place is great. Tons of beer ontap. Indoor/outdoor seating. bottles of cable car nearly always available. I've spotted bottles of green Flash silva hanging around. It is also within walking distance of lots of great restaurants. The cooler is full of great bottles all the time. I play soccer right down the street and Toronado is a great place to finish the evening after a game. I've never been to the SF location but I'm told this rates well. This is a must for a San Diego beer lover. cheers, and enjoy the beer.

Photo of ILessThan3Brett
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

My favorite bar in San Diego. I can probably best provide a slightly unusual perspective by comparing Toronado San Diego to Toronado San Francisco.

I think Toronado San Diego compares favorably to the original Toronado in San Francisco. It's cleaner and less divey than Toronado SF, it has bottles and extremely good ones at that, and I like the service here more. Toronado SF's taps do have the taps here beat, even though the taps here are extremely good; Toronado SF's taps have nearly everywhere beat. The atmosphere at Toronado SF has more character, with wood panelling and little side rooms and all, but thankfully Toronado SD is much cleaner. Finally and perhaps most controversially, I think the sausage sandwiches here are better than Rosamunde's (the ones here are heavily inspired by those at Rosamunde, a sausage place next door to Toronado SF, which serves no food, but lets you bring food in). Overall, in my book, the Toronado SD baby has surpassed the Toronado SF parent (in large part because I've always wished Toronado SF seemed a bit cleaner).

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.78/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I think I have to vote this my favorite bar in the world. Went in on a Friday afternoon, place was not clustered, some tables, back patio, long bar, open seats. Parked right across the street. Good discussion meeting BAs pastradul and zx6chris there, not to mention some lesbians on the patio that had good insight into education these days.

Amazing list of beers on tap and bottle. Only disappointment was not being able to get a Cantillon Vignerrone or whatnot. Other than that, they had everything they claimed to have (a common pet peeve of mine, some places, 1/2 their list is 'out of stock'.

Prices were decent. Ended up having toronado red, cable car, chocolate oak aged yeti, 30th street pale, levuds there. Blu cheese burger was damn good too. Service was excellent, they let me keep the bottles of Levud's and Cable Car with no hassle when I said I was a plinker and would be shooting them up on a legendary mountain full of deceased wales in Nevada (both met their demise yesterday afternoon, the Cable Car was an amazing, 100 yard shot up a mountain).

Didn't have to wait long ever for drinks, beautiful smiles, this is not the Toronado experience I am accustomed to in the bay area.

Photo of buzbuzzer
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Been to toronado's a few times and am always amazed at their selection of beers, most time including beers i didn't realize were in san diego or are very limited.

the enviroment is pretty laid back, the only downside that seems to be consistent with the location is the smell. for some reason if you go there, chances are it will have a hint of sour beer (not the good sour) or at least each time i have been there, that was a consistent theme. other than that, everything about the place is good.

Photo of Luvzsurfrz
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Stopped at Toronado on 4/9/11 when we were in town for the City Beat Beer Festival. Needless to say, this place was an amazing find for a great Saturday evening.

Toronado isn't a huge location, but has a great ambiance and mood. The crowd consists MOSTLY of other beer enthusiasts, which makes for great conversation and times shared.

Getting to the beer part of it, from what I recall (although I'd been drinking all day), there was something like 40 taps, and a bottle list unlike any I've seen. Both lists are also on their website. There was a nice balance of padded chairs around the bar with surrounding tables and booths. I started my evening with a RR Supplication on tap, followed by a round of Pliny on tap for me and my friends. Little did I know my boyfriend was on the other side of the room spending $45 bucks on a bottle of Cable Car. Thankfully, I didn't miss out on a tasting of that!

All-and-all, this is a must visit when in San Diego! We had a fabulous evening, and I definitely can't wait to go there again!

Photo of BrlyHpsWtrYst
4.63/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I won't bore you with in depth descriptions of subjective factors.. needless to say this is a fantastic place, ridiculous beer selection, amazing food. Walls lined with rare offerings from Lost Abbey, Russian River, Duvel... A bottle of Lost Abbey, Holy Water on the wall, huh... brilliant bottle selection.. theres stuff in the cooler I've only read about. Thats about it, lunched there almost all by myself had the run of the place... I'm sure this place is a zoo after dark, but I had a great time, pulled pork was amazing! Sculpin on Nitro? Cable car? 'Nuff said...

Photo of Imstillthegman
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Visited Toronado on a Wednesday evening. Tried to stop in on Monday night, but couldn't find a parking place within four blocks and not knowing the area I wasn't sure how far along the "up and coming" scale it was. Needless to say, it was worth the wait. The place was my favorite stop during my week in San Diego.

One quick word of advice....when I was trying to find the place at night, I drove past it about four times before finding it. Seemed like the only place on that side of the street that didn't have their sign out front lit up somehow and the tree there blocked my ability to see it.

Dug the vibe of the place. Walking up to the Dutch style split door was cool. Grabbed a seat at the L-shaped bar before realizing the beer list for the taps was above my head. That's my only gripe about this joint....wish they had a tap list on the bar like the bottle list they have. They had a wide variety on-tap and an even bigger selection in bottles. Prices were reasonable. I didn't mind paying the $40 for my bottle of Cable Car. I figured supply and demand and the fact this was probably my only chance at getting to try it justified the price paid. The service was very good. I was there during a shift change and both sets of bartenders were very helpful, friendly, and knowledgeable. Plus, the ladies working there have some awesome ink! This is a must stop if you're in the area! Looking forward to returning someday.

Photo of bs870621345
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3

Outside, very humble, and doesn't seem to be the best neighborhood. Inside is dark but awe inspiring with all the glasses and beers around. Amazing glass selection as well as taps and bottles. Near the bathroom there is a showcase of the owner's glasses and its worth checking out.

Great place to go, worth the trip and worth the price of going there.

Bartender knew what she was doing and she was great.

Selection was...well, just go.

Only had the chips, they were better than bagged, but nothing special.

Cable Car was expensive, everything else was reasonable.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I have been going to this place for about 2 years now and it's probably my favorite place in San Diego. They have some great events and almost always have a great lineup. Russian River Night over there is a must-see and they've had some things on tap that I haven't seen anywhere else. The bar is far enough away from True North that the guidos stay away and the crowd is generally a little older than some of the other bars around. Good, relaxed atmosphere with a patio outside that's usually not too crowded.

Photo of arizcards
4.58/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Just returned from a trip there after a late morning/early afternoon at the SD Zoo.

Atmoshpere was good, the wall opposite the bar was decorated in beer signs from around the world. Behind the bar was stocked with glasses for conceivably every style of beer.

Quality of the beer was A-1 and the food was good.

Service was very good, a younger guy in glasses was extremely friendly and helpful. It helps when it is 2:30 on a Tuesday afternoon!

Selection of beer on tap was phenomenol! It is predominated with San Diego breweries including Alpine, Alesmith, Ballast Point, Green Flash, Stone, Coronado, Port/Lost Abbey. There was also Russian River, Anchor and Sierra Nevada from Cali. Plus a good choice of Belgium and German beers. There were several hundred different kinds of bottled beer in case the draft list did not strike your fancy.

Food was very good. Da Boss and i had grass fed mushroom/onion burgers which were very good. The two sides (potato salad and slaw) were also quite good.

Overall value was very good. We had two pints of Pliny The Elder and a Weisthephaner Lager plus the burgers for $31.50 - very reasonable!

The character of the original Toronado is ledgendary but the San Diego version was better IMHO.

Photo of djaeon
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

This place is a blast. It's not your normal everyday bar that's full of creeps. This is a place that seems to attract awesome beer fans. The vibe is one that you get when you're surrounded by people who all have something in common... a love of good beer.
They have a huge variety of beer on tap and in bottle. If you don't find several things you like on tap, you're not really looking. The food is decent, but nothing spectacular. The prices are average. And the service I think is very good. I've only been there on very busy nights, so the bartenders weren't hanging out and chatting or anything, but I never had to wait more than a couple minutes to get served. That's impressive to me on a crazy Friday or Saturday night.

Photo of abcentfishing
4.63/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I really like this place, first of all it has a nice diverse selection of on-taps and a great bottle list. The staff is friendly and the place is clean and neat. I think those that have been to the origional would like it to have a bit more character but I like it just fine and character grows with a place and it will grow with this one. The food is good, I love the sausage sandwiches and most of the other fare. They have a smoking section in the event I decide to have a nice stoggie and the specials and events are always fun. It lacks the age to bring it a nice consistent set of customers but that to will come and this place will be a local favorite for a long time to come. I have enjoyed many a conversation with in and out of towners. Even got an invite to hike the Appalachian trail with one beer lover. Give it a shot and get on the email list so you dont miss a great beer release.

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.3/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

The Toronado was the first place I visited on a weekday in San Diego, so the bar was pretty empty. Fairly open space with a bar to the right and a few tables to the left. More seating in the back. A large board has cards with the tap list on it.

Service was good, obviously, because the bar was empty. I guess it could still be bad, so no complaints here. The bartender was attentive and fairly friendly, as we had a conversation or two with her while we were there. She was also a good-looking girl, which doesn't hurt.

Most things here were 5 bucks a pint. The list focuses on SoCal locals, and it has a ton of them at pretty reasonable prices. It also has a few good Belgians and a few non-locals. Solid list with plenty of things that I have never had or was not even familiar with. I was pumped to grab a pint of Alpine Pure Hoppiness.

The bottle list is full of rarities, including all sorts of 1-6 liter bottles at very large prices. I split a bottle of Cable Car with my friend. I'd tried it before but still dropped 40 bucks on it. It wasn't worth 40 bucks, but I'm on vacation!

Toronado was a good experience. Although the bottle list is full of rarities, I recommend exploring the tap list.

Toronado in San Diego, CA
99 out of 100 based on 183 ratings.