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Amsterdam Cafe

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Taps: 15 / Bottles: 350
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
BA SCORE
95
world-class

17 Ratings
Ratings: 17
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 8.7%
$$ - reasonable


[ Bar ]

937 Geary St
San Francisco, California, 94109-7001
United States
phone: (415) 409-1111

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: hopdevil2112 on 03-16-2010)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 17 | Reviews: 16 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of AngusOg
AngusOg

North Carolina

4.26/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | $$$

This is basically a small dive bar, with a great selection of beer. Reminded me alot of my watering hole at home, maybe a bit more young and edgey, but none the less a dive with above average selection, so i felt pretty well at home. I get the impression this is more of a local place, but niether the patrons or the bartenders made the couple "visitors" (like myself) feel unwelcomed, as she explained that the drafts were listed on the board behind me, or that it was a cash only bar. I also chatted with some of the locals who were friendly enough. I was here on a Sunday afternoon and the place wasn't packed, but wasn't dead either (just how i like it). It was a great way to spend an afternoon. I'm not exactly sure i would seek it how as SF seems to have plenty of great beer bars, but this place was in walking distance to my hotel, so was definitely well worth the stop.

07-08-2013 14:39:03 | More by AngusOg
Photo of brewandbbq
brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4.09/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | $$$

Another SF dive bar with dreadlocks and weed in the air. The locals sure do love their good beer, weed, and non-showers (ha ha).
A decent selection of beers, nothing to write home about IMO. The bartender was friendly which is a rarity nowadays, and tried to be helpful with a couple of questions I had.
Lots of lounging area out back with locals melting into the sofas, a man yelling the "C" word at the TV at the front bar also. We had one and we were done. The beer selection was not enough to keep us dealing with that level of "diveyness".
Very close walk from our hotel though!

05-17-2013 01:51:27 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of EspressoGuy
EspressoGuy

British Columbia (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$

A: I almost didn't go in because this place looks so average. Thank goodness I ignored my first impressions.
Q: What a beer selection! Don't be deceived by the measly 14 or so on tap. They're all very good but ask about the bottled beer selection and you'll be blown away! I can't give 5 because that's perfection.
S: 10:30 pm on a Wednesday night. You don't really expect the "A Team" behind the bar but that's what I got. I never caught her name but boy did she know her beers. I just told her what I was looking for and she knew exactly what to recommend.
S: More Washington and Oregon beers perhaps ... but that would be nitpicking.
V: for the advice and selection this place offers outstanding value.

03-21-2013 07:46:26 | More by EspressoGuy
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.64/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$

If only I lived closer to the Amsterdam Cafe; if only. I found the selection here very good. I mean, Heretic on-tap works for me. And normally I don't really dig the whole coolers in plain sight thing as it tends to come off as tacky and drab in so many places. But here it was a nice touch and fit in well. The bartender was sweet and pleasant. Even when one of the douchey customers outside made some snobby comment about a song playing, she just smiled and played it off, showing that out of the two of them, she was clearly blessed with a greater personality. Can't wait to get back to this place. Probably wouldn't be a spot for everyone though as it's technically in The Tenderloin.

04-16-2012 07:34:39 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of LeeMarvin
LeeMarvin

Massachusetts

4.94/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$

Went here on the advice of a bartender who worked here, and I was muchly impressed. Melissa, the bartender explained to me that she was excited that someone had related her name to the song by Mercyful Fate, and I knew I was in the right place.

Patrons who were friends of the bartender began talking beer with me, and the next thing I know, I was there for two hours, buying rounds and enjoying company. It's the kind of bar you can park yourself at for a few hours. Understand the danger of this and embrace it, friend.

02-27-2012 05:55:12 | More by LeeMarvin
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $

It took a return visit to San Francisco for me to visit the Amsterdam Café. Don’t know why I never made it there while I was living in the bay, as I have earned a reputation for sniffing out good beer bars. Plus its right off the 38, smack dab in the middle of the ‘loin. (I meant that as a selling point, but I can see how it could be taken the other way…)

This place is visually unappealing—it’s like a SF ‘dive bar’, perhaps unintentionally. All the elements are there: the low-budget décor, the flat monocolor (red) paint… but I can imagine given some more time some real character will develop out of the decorations and artwork displayed on the walls.

The tap selection the day I visited was decent. There were a few curiosity picks and some rarities (Stillwater!) at prices about par for that area of town. The real treat, however, was trying my first bottle of Fantome! This was one time where I was glad I asked to see the bottle list. Seemed like a friendly group of regulars hang out here and I definitely hope to return and join them in conversation some day.

01-09-2012 22:03:47 | More by elNopalero
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

4.5/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$$

Made the trek down to Amsterdam Cafe a few times during my AGU stay in San Francisco.

When I walked in, I saw taps of Bear Republic, Firestone Walker, and Midnight Sun, and heard RJD2's Deadringer playing over the stereo. I knew I'd fit right in...

Great selection, with 20ish well-selected taps and a sizable selection of bottles. Enjoyed a Kriek de Ranke, Rochefort 10, Midnight Sun Cohoho Xmas IIPA, Hair of the Dog Adam, Port Older Viscosity, and some special-release Mikkeller holiday beers. They also had bottles of Speedway Stout and a few other Midnight Sun offerings. Lots of Belgian and American ales. Probably 100+ bottle varieties in all.

Waitress was knowledgeable and made every effort to find the right type of glassware for the beers being ordered. Prices are a little high for certain things (e.g., bombers of Midnight Sun, pint of Bear Republic Mach 10), but perfectly reasonable otherwise.

I've stopped by this place twice now out of 3 nights, and plan on hitting it up once more before I leave. It's that good.

12-08-2011 22:31:24 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of Wowcoolman
Wowcoolman

California

4.71/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $

This is the sort of establishment you wish you had down the street from your house. It's low key, a place you can carry on conversation, and it's run by total beer fanatics. Be aware that all the beers they have are not visible- you can ask.
On tap- a well chosen selection of beers, not your usual suspects. When I went they had some really hard to find Drakes and a good assortment of local California IPAs on draft.
The vibe is nicely chill here, I enjoyed it far more than a certain Lower Haight bar that gets world class write-ups here. Yes you'll see the hookah getting passed around and may smell something more pungent and hop-like than apple tobacco- this is SF now.
In terms of value I am impressed. Other bars will double the retail price of bottled beer- not here. You get the feeling that the proprietors WANT you to have good beer. That alone justifies my high rating. Glad to see everyone agrees with me.

07-16-2011 06:01:39 | More by Wowcoolman
Photo of Chelsea1905
Chelsea1905

Washington

4.14/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$

Stopped in after walking about Nob Hill. Seriousy, what a difference a few blocks can make! This place is surrounded by drop outs and "herbal" stores.

Anyway, stopped in, cool place with some funky art on the walls. The girl behind the bar was friendly and was reasonably knowledgable about what was on offer. She was also very good at putting up with the one other customer in the bar that was talking about his paranoia.

Music was good, beer was in coolers mainly with a good bottle selection, and a few handles. Had something local during happy hour and I think the pint was only $3!

Cool litte bar, not on the best street, but definitely worth a check if you're in the area

04-21-2011 04:57:34 | More by Chelsea1905
Photo of ElectricBoogaloo
ElectricBoogaloo

Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev -5.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$$

Stumbled upon this place while looking for a different hookah bar, but i'm sure glad we chose this one instead.
The hookah was dirt cheap-$10 for a pipe. no added fees for extra people either. didn't have a great selection on flavors, but i'll save that for hookahadvocate.com
The beer selection was out of this world. well over 75 beers in bottles with another 10 on tap, almost purely craft offerings. The bottles tended to be on the pricey side, but the taps were in the pricey-to-reasonable range. The staff was a lone young bartender who unfortunately didn't know enough about beer to be working at that place.
All in all, I would definitely return. The young crowd and the great selection are enough to bring me back if I return to SF.

03-20-2011 04:32:45 | More by ElectricBoogaloo
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Amsterdam Cafe in San Francisco, CA
95 out of 100 based on 17 ratings.