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Not Rated.

115 Reviews
Reviews: 115
Visits: 220
Avg: 4.44
pDev: n/a
Taps: 58
Bottles: 250
Cask: Y
[ 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

Place added by: kleffman on 06-29-2008

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 115 | Visits: 220
Photo of BillRoth
4.39/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

Been to SD many times and had just seemed to miss Toronado. Had been to original SF location, and thought it about time to check it out in SD. Glad I did.
Old school beer bar vibe...somewhat like SF. Only here it was 30th street vs Haight. So your head is in a definitely different place when you head in. Once in...the vibe is more relaxed. More laid back and friendly. Staff took exceptional time to talk beer, quiz me on what I was looking for and offering many unsolicited tastes and trials. Also VERY impressed that staff asked my opinion on new beers they had tapped/were not entirely familiar with. Not just whether I liked or not...but the details. Not unlike T-SF the tap selection was very good, but nothing jaw dropping. Bottle list is extensive but only a few rare/special beers. SD has plenty of solid alternatives. So I would highly recommend a stop because of the staff and a much better than average selection list.

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Photo of MilwaukeeBeerMaker
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Stopped in here on a recent trip to San Diego and it was well worth it. A craft beer lovers bar. Lots of great taps and lots of great bottles. Even managed to get the famed Cable Car via bottle. My lunch was delicious and the bartender (Val) was pleasant and helpful.

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Photo of mrcraft
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

I finally made my way here after many trips to San Diego. I usually limited myself to walking distance from the office but no more. I'm glad I came here. It was a blast. The bar is located in North Park. It's somewhat nondescript from the outside.

Since today was a Monday it wasn't crowded at all. Val, was my server and she was great. At first I was going to get a pint of Cellermaker Batch 1 Porter, but they were out. But, then I noticed they had Russian River Salvation in a bottle, so I got that instead, you don't see that often. Nice Belgian Dark.

I'll be back again!

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Photo of Buck89
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Visited Toronado in San Diego earlier this year. Was out on business and I had only had a few hours, so I went there alone on a weeknight. Amazing offerings and very friendly staff. I ordered a pint of The Pupil from Societe, arguably one of SD's finest IPAs. Outstanding. Turned out that the guy sitting next to me was a brewer at a local place, and he invited me to visit his tasting room up the street. As I asked to settle up, the bartender comped me the pint. What a great vibe. I left her a tip 2x the price of the pint. Can't wait to get back there.

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Photo of Scottie_A25
4.44/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.5

I came here for dinner on 12/12/14. Really wanted to check this place out because I'd heard a lot of good things. The beer selection was fantastic and the service staff were knowledgeable and friendly. I was disappointed in the food though. Ordered the Jidori Chicken Sandwich and didn't like it. To be fair though, it's a beer bar and not a restaurant so I can't knock the food too much.

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Photo of The_Jerk
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%

Great selection of beers on tap. Food is average from what I had that day. Ambience is good with right amount of seating. Would like them to update their tap list more often but that's just me. Now only if Toronado would open up another location in L.A. then I would be in heaven!

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Photo of Halloran33
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Best beer selection! Consistently great beers to try. Food isn't my favorite, but vegetarians can't have it all sometimes. Also, can be extremely loud with the music and people screaming over said music. I can't wait for their expansion! Love Toronado on quiet afternoons the best.

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Photo of jwswigs
3.33/5  rDev -25%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I don't get the hype about this place. There are far better spots north in Orange County. I will say it has a cool neighborhood bar vibe with (real) rock n roll playing on the juke box and the food we had was quite good, especially the pork belly skewers, but as far as beer is concerned, and frankly, everything takes a back seat for me, this place is nothing special.
First, the beer menu is above the bar, not behind it, invisible to those sitting at the bar. Most beer-friendly joints I go to have a current tap list on a piece of paper for you to view, usually with a sentence or two about each beer. Looking at their menu board, I couldn't even tell what style half the beers were. As far as the selection was concerned it appeared to be almost all local breweries without much out of the ordinary. Of course with no descriptions what do I know. They do have a bunch of interesting stuff in bottles in the fridge behind the bar, but they don't have those on a list. On a side note, there was no wine for my wife, but it is a beer bar, I guess.
I couldn't find the tap list on their website and beermenus and taphunter hadn't been updated in months or years. Therefore I couldn't do any "homework" on what to try. I did recognize one on the menu I hadn't had and wanted to try, but they were out of that one. As service leaves a little to be desired, even in the afternoon, I didn't want to let the bartender get away, so I asked for a recommendation on a less bitter ipa on the more tropical side. (Did I mention they don't have flights?) I ended up with a piney, bitter, resinous one.

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

So, you're in San Diego and you visit beer web sites. Well, the Toronado has the best beer selection in San Diego. Great tap list and great bottle list. They also make some pretty good food. And the service at this location is much more friendly than the SF location, which I also love. This is one of the few places you can get Alpine beers on a pretty consistent basis.

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Photo of GABrew
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

I met up with a BA trading partner (coolethan) for an IP trade at Toronado SD a couple months ago while I was in town. This is an outstanding beer bar with a great selection of beers. Unfortunately, they were preparing for a big event, so the draft list was a little smaller than usual, from what I was told. They still had plenty to choose from and I had an Evil Twin Justin Blaeber. I also couldn't pass up Pliny on tap. Their bottle list was outstanding and I had my first taste of Firestone Walker PNC and Lost Abbey Cable Car... both incredible! They didn't allow any to-go bottles, or I might have brought one of each home with me. The service was fine and the food was very good. I will definitely seek this place out anytime I'm in the SD area.

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Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
3.98/5  rDev -10.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.25

Went for the 1st time on a Satuday night before the crowd hit. Probably a good idea to head over to this place by 8 or 9 if you want a seat on the weekend. Very happy with the bottle selection but the draft selection just wasn't what I was hoping for. With the list being every changing, I'm guessing I just hit this on what could probably just have been a time with not too many "exciting" brews.

Food was okay. We had a chicken sandwich and the chicken was over-cooked and a bit dry but it was still pretty tasty overall. Service wasn't anything to write home about either. Had two girls helping us, one was great and knowledgable and talked a lot about some brew but the other almost knew nothing. When working at a place like this, at least take some time to learn about beer and what is available at your store.

As a beer fan, this was a great place to visit and a damn shame they can't sell bottles to-go. I would have loved to have taken some back home that I couldn't find in the area. Can't believe that out of all the times visiting SD, I somehow have skipped this place.

Can't wait to go back! If you're looking for a place to grab beers in SD, this definitely hits in the top 5.

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Photo of claspada
3.43/5  rDev -22.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Smallish bar with some tables behind. Coolers littered with bottles behind the bar. Unfortunately the bartender said the list they had was unusable and outdated so I would have to browse visually which was hard considering the bar was full, so that was a knock. Both bartenders actually had a stick up their rears which was a pain.

The prices were awesome because there was a happy hour special for all local beers. There were about 20 on tap I believe. Ambiance was fairly poor though. People crowding the bar behind you with not enough service to help everyone.

This is the second bar during my trip with a huge reputation that totally let me down. (Falling Rock in Denver being the other). It seems they think because they are well known that service and standards can falter.

I also had a sandwich which was forgettable.

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Photo of bkett01
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Coming out to San Diego from the east coast this was one of my top beer destinations. I had very high expectations, thinking Russian River, Alpine and many other great CA beers. Unfortunately my timing was off as there was no RR or Alpiine on during my visit. That being said there was still a huge draft selection of amazing stuff. I had a few Stone 'Enjoy By' IPAs and enjoyed the atmosphere of the bar. It's a long and narrow bar well decorated with beer paraphernalia.

Absolutely a place I would stop back past if in the area. Hopefully my next visit will be to the SF location.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I recently visited Toronado in San Diego for the first time. It's a nice space inside with bar seating and tables as well. Lots of cool beer memorabilia around the place. They had approximately 40 beers on tap with a nice bottle list with some great beers. All the beers I tried were served at a good temperature and in proper glassware. Service was good even though it was a bit busy at the time. The selection of beers was great with a wide range of styles and breweries available. They serve beers in pints, half pints, and even do tasters. I was thoroughly impressed and highly recommend a stop in here if you are in the area.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

This was the 7th, and most anticipated stop during my San Diego Beer Week trip. For someone who has been to Toronado’s San Francisco sibling (See My Review), I was also looking forward seeing the comparison. San Diego’s version is housed behind a generic storefront situated in a bland retail section. (This North Park neighborhood is an obvious difference from Haight-Asbury district.)

Toronado SD is much more modern, and being not quite the dive as San Francisco it is more inviting. It is a tad larger in size with a moderate sized bar amid a roomier venue decorated with a myriad of beer paraphernalia plastered and strewn about. While dimly lit, there was still enough natural light to allow one to make there way around. The self-serve water station was a pleasant touch.

Much like the San Francisco venue, there is an excellent draft selection; there are about several dozen West Coast brews on tap, many of which unavailable outside the San Diego area – Alpine Brewing comes immediately to mind. And unlike, the aforementioned sister venue, this one offers food (for example, a delicious and filling Cajun sausage roll with potato salad). Top this all off with friendly and knowledgeable service and a great time is to be had by all. Then add moderate prices and one is most assuredly satisfied.

Previous reviews mention the horrendous parking in this area; no worry, since the No. 2 Bus from downtown runs right past the front door. To coin the usual cliché: Toronado San Diego is a MUST when in town. (Sometimes clichés are simply the truth told over and over.) In any case, I loved this place!

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Photo of HopsintheSack
4.35/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75

Went for my first time on an average day, no special event or anything.

I found this facility and service to be average, nothing bad, nothing over the top good.

I did not try any food, so I can't comment on the quality there.

The tap list was good, but nothing special or anything. I will say this is well above average just for number of choices though.

The bottle list, the quantity of hard to find and above average beers was awesome, best I have seen. However, I will never buy any of them at the SUPER inflated prices. The bartender tried to explain to me how eBay prices were three times the price of their list to justify the prices. Yeah buddy I've never seen Abyss go for 180 bucks on eBay ( the bottle was 58 there). I wonder how they will justify their prices now that eBay has shut down alcohol sales?!

Overall, average bar with an over priced awesome bottle list. If you have über deep pockets, you will love it.

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Photo of nickfl
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Another Toronado! I'm not sure if I should be excited or frightened.

It goes without saying that this place is a world class beer bar, it wouldn't be able to carry the name if it wasn't. The question is, how does it compare to the original?

Well, it does preserve some of the dive bar feel but not remotely on the level of the one in SF. The staff is more friendly, the building newer and MUCH less dingy/filthy and they have food. Really good food actually, the grass fed burgers are awesome. The beer selection lives up to the original and personally I liked this one quite a bit more. While the surly, back alley pool hall atmosphere of the original Toronado is something that every beer geek needs to experience at least once I don't consider it a pleasant environment to drink a great beer. This one, on the other hand, is a much better balance of authenticity and comfort and I would go back any time I had the chance.

One last note: this place get BUSY and a savy drinker goes to the Toronado (either one) during the afternoon unless he loves crowds.

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Photo of slander
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Torofuckinado; the other one. Long damn day that didn’t start so well but bettered, and no one more surprised than I at my continued ability to scribble legibly. Arrived, at last, cruising the ‘hood looking to park that boat that Ben insisted on renting. This location is in a strip of the hip & cool; talk about Toronado night & day...

“L” shaped slat wood topped bar, with a panel wood base and piping foot rail; seating for 15 or so, seems like it’d be more somehow. Barback holds some lowboy coolers with 3 door bottle coolers to both sides, lined with magnums, random bottles, and pieces of play, above. Glassware shelved above center, on the ends, and extending well out of reach above the coolers, and then a graveyard of magnums, jeroboams, and random bottles that meant something to someone once atop. More glassware down past the second set of coolers, a single cooler door past there, and off the far corner, 2 rows of towers, 1 over the other; 50 taps in all.

Slat wood floors, and the walls & ceiling done beige. Spinny fans & drop pan lamps over the floor, and sunken spots from the overhang. The front corner wall plastered with brewery stickers, placards, tins, & prints, and 3 gigantor framed mirrors on the far wall with lotsa brewery tins in between. A single flat screen in the front corner, an Oldsmobile ‘Toronado’ neon to the rear (kind of badass), a juke over there (me, pointing), a trio of 3X3 event & specials boards to the rear above the kitchen space (Seems they do food here), and crumpled dollar bills stapled to the ceiling.

Logo front windows with a swinging half door in between, and neons on the overhang above. A single hightop in both front corners, with a full table accompanying on one side. 5 long large tables with shared benchings adjacent to the bar off the far wall. We tried for a just vacated table but it was instantly scapped up by a group of girls out for a bachelorette party. Down the rabbithallway to the rear, with 5 framed De Dolle prints well screwed into the wall or I’m sure some unscrupulous cad would have pinched them by now (anybody got a Phillips head screwdriver?), and a glassware display of pretty cool down and around the bend. Past there and through to the out back, into a garden of sorts; 5 picnic tables and a long bar counter table there.

50 taps (or space for that many anyway but only 47 beers on just now), the selections shown over the bar on the same slat board type set up as the San Francisco location, brewery & beer. 33 craft offerings (Russian River IPA, Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig & Damnation, Ballast Point Reef Rye Brown Ale, Sculpin IPA, Ingrid’s 1 in 8 Strong Ale, & Serrano Pale Ale, Alesmith IPA, Grand Cru & Speedway Stout, Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye & Summerfest, Green Flash 30th St Pale Ale & West Coast IPA, Beachwood Breaker Pale Ale & Forever Bitter, Allagash Curieux & Saison Mihm, Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA & Double Jack Double IPA, Mother Earth Night Shift Coffee Porter, Coronado Black Sails IPA, Northcoast Old Rasputin, Bear Republic Racer 5, Deschuttes Black Butte Porter, Victory Prima Pils, DogFishHead 90 Minute IPA, Stone Ruination, Port Brewing Dawn Patrol Dark Mild, Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale, Lagunitas IPA, Maui La Perouse White), a baker’s dozen imports, all Belgian save one lone Germ (Cuvee Des Jacobins Rouge, Van Honsebrouck Gueuze Fond Tradition, St Feuillien Speciale 2011, Scheldebrouwerij Hop-Ruiter, Cuvee Des Trolls, Chimay Tripel, Duchesse De Bourgogne, La Chouffe, Malheur 10 & 12, St Bernardus Abt 12 & Witbier, Spaten Franziskaner Weisse), and a single cider (Wandering Aengus Anthem Cherry Cider). 2 handpumps along the bar, only 1 live currently (North Coast Red Seal). Started with the Port Brewing Dawn Patrol, which was sublime, and as the Pliny kicked, we slummed it with the Blind Pig. Did not suck.

Big bottle book of nearly 250 selections; 120 Belgians, 65 US, 52 beers of the world, and a dozen large format this and that. (Lovely) Orval runs a cool $10, and, oh, I see they hold multiple bottling batches of various Russian River beers. Hmmn, Consecration batch 3 or 4? Why not have both? (Fuckers!)

It started out light but then filled in crazily around us (as Saturday nights do), to the extent that the girl now sitting at our abandoned hightop took to sitting in an infant ‘Davo’ seat. The crowd seemed to grow younger & younger and maybe more yuppie than hipster, and seriously, who does a bachelorette party here (other than the woman I would want to marry?) Revisited a few days later in the light of day, a whole lot more chill, though seemingly clean & sterile; this place is the anti-San Francisco location (Ben says “Toronado light”). Service served; no problems there. They’ve got a great selection, and they’re ripping through beer so you know it’s fresh. Good beer here. And quality time with Carmen Sandiego completes the show...

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Photo of crossovert
4/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Stopped here on my final night in SD with some friends.

It wasn't too crowded on a Sunday night. The drafts were nice, a good range of stuff, but they seemed to focus on a lot of beers by a handful of breweries. The bottle selection was extensive with plenty of rare stuff. But the problem is those bottles are so expensive that it isn't even worth it. The draft offerings were much more reasonable priced.

The service was pretty good. Overall not a bad stop if you are in SD but a bit overrated IMO.

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

one word...awesome...
I went to San Diego for Beer Week the past 2 years, and hit this place 4 out of 7 nights both times.
The events were great...even when an event wasn't going on the taplist was stellar.
The food was awesome, I think I had the BLTA 3 nights in a row.
Nate and Eric were the kings of hospitality, Nate remembering me from seeing him at Alpine earlier in the day, and Eric remembering my name from seeing it on my credit card the night before. Little things like that make you feel special, and bartenders who do things like that make you want to return to the place they tend at. Not that the taplist wouldn't do that already, but I would recognize them on the street a year later, because they took the time to remember me.
Jukebox was super cool with old alternative-grunge-punk.
This place is a home run the other 51 weeks of the year as well. Nothing but positives all acrossed the board...

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Photo of sholland119
4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

We made a couple of stops here during our vacation and were glad we did. The atmosphere of this place is probably the only negative. Someone described it has having the vibe of a bingo hall and that's about right. Maybe it was the lighting...

Plenty of delicious San Diego area craft beer dominated the taps, more than making up for whatever shortcoming the place may have had vibe-wise. The highlight was tons of Kern River on tap.But there was not a lousy tap to be seen. Service was prompt and friendly. Glad we made it there.


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Photo of portia99
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Came here on a Saturday afternoon with a couple of work friends. Having already been to the San Francisco location, I had an idea of what to expect walking in here. Place was laid out much like the SF location with the trademark Dutch half door at the entrance (very cool touch in my opinion), bar all down the right side and half a dozen tables along the left side. Huge chalkboard over the bar with the selection on tap. Lots of great stuff from all over the country and world...southern Cal/SD area was well represented by a number of Stone (3 Ruinations - DDH, standard, cask dry hopped on Amarillo), Alpine, Alesmith, etc. I sampled several on tap and finished sharing a Cable Car Kriek ($55 I think...not cheap but still seemed reasonable)...passed on the '09 Cable Car ($90), and I think I heard there might have been an Izzy kicking around behind the bar too. Server/bartender was friendly, helpful and knowledgable. Took a little while to get a drink as the line at the bar was fairly long and really only one bartender to handle everyone. Crowd seemed a bit more upscale than I was expecting from the surrounding neighborhood (actually more the area a few blocks away that we drove thru coming from the highway...the immediate area around the pub seemed fine). Vibe inside was casual...pretty loud inside and was at times difficult to carry a conversation, but nothing out of the ordinary or unexpected. Definitely a place to return to on a future visit.

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Photo of jwalseth
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Can't say enough about the selection, atmosphere or food. Funkier bar food that pairs well with their changing beer selection. I started with a local IPA and moved right into a oak barreled coffeee beer. Top notch ownership that results in great beer & food! Could use a bigger venue but it would loose its feel. I had the jalapeno burger and it was prepared well with a nice cucumber side. Also, the vegan option wasn't bad - I would definately make this a stop on a Saturday afternoon. great selection - maybe a little more background on some of the beers for the novices (including myself).

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

This place is awesome. The beertenders are very knowledgeable, friendly and even willing to share their own beer. I was given samples of Hopslam, 547 Haight, and a very good homebrew. Great tap selection with very reasonable prices. The bottle list rotates and is decently priced and on Sundays its a dollar off any pint. Amazed that there was some Cable Car Kriek and Cable Car 2009 still available and got a bottle of each to share with the pals. Absolutely loved the place and even made 3 new friends due to the open friendliness. Great beer, people, food and times!


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Photo of mactrail
3.2/5  rDev -27.9%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5

They do have plenty of beers, and it's not totally obnoxious. Not quite the toilet of the SF location, but they do seem to be working to recreate that special smell of twice-fermented spilled beer, fungus in the walls, and a breeze off porta-potties.

Service? They really don't care if you live. And if you die, do it out on the sidewalk. Uncomfortable chairs. Acoustics designed to blare every scrape and muddled bass note. Ugly little patio out back between the narrow buildings.

Lots of beers, though their board is quite uninformative with just a brewery and a beer name. Uh, Bear Republic Tartare-- what's that? Oh, a Berlinerweisse. Not helpful if you want to know anything about beers you've never heard of. Or how strong they are. Prices are a little higher than some places but not outrageous. Lots of regional beers. Many common ones also available in bottles.

Best feature is the case of dozens of mostly antique Belgian and German beer glasses. I still don't know why having a long beer list should imply that patrons want it to be noisy, uncomfortable, and hipper than thou. I occasionally stop by on an early weeknight to see if there is anything interesting on tap, but one beer and I'm gone.

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Toronado in San Diego, CA
98 out of 100 based on 115 ratings.