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Amsterdam Cafe

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

23 Ratings
Ratings: 23
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 4.29
pDev: 9.56%
Taps: 15
Bottles: 350
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ 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: 23 | Reviews: 18 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by ambruns1979:
Photo of ambruns1979
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

ambruns1979, Apr 02, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of BabaBeer
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Great beer spot in the Tenderloin. Constantly rotating beer selection and a knowledgeable staff. Several tvs in the back area and decent music playing with a mellow atmosphere. Only complaint is their draft menu only lists the name of the beer and cost (no mention of the style or alcohol content)

BabaBeer, Oct 01, 2014
Photo of aoampm
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

aoampm, Sep 10, 2014
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4/5  rDev -6.8%

Amsterdam Cafe, what can I say? Constantly rotating selection, generally very good and varied. Prices are normal for San Francisco. Great service, fun vibe.

OBeerMeGreatOne, Aug 19, 2014
Photo of IBUQT
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

IBUQT, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of krl2112
3.25/5  rDev -24.2%

krl2112, Jul 02, 2014
Photo of briang01
4/5  rDev -6.8%

briang01, Jun 17, 2014
Photo of AngusOg
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%

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.

AngusOg, Jul 08, 2013
Photo of brewandbbq
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%

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!

brewandbbq, May 17, 2013
Photo of EspressoGuy
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%

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.

EspressoGuy, Mar 21, 2013
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.64/5  rDev +8.2%

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.

RblWthACoz, Apr 16, 2012
Photo of LeeMarvin
4.94/5  rDev +15.2%

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.

LeeMarvin, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of elNopalero
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%

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.

elNopalero, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of wagenvolks
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

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.

wagenvolks, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of Wowcoolman
4.71/5  rDev +9.8%

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.

Wowcoolman, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of Chelsea1905
4.14/5  rDev -3.5%

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

Chelsea1905, Apr 21, 2011
Photo of ElectricBoogaloo
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%

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.

ElectricBoogaloo, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of Chincino
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%

My friend took me to the Amsterdam Cafe on a trip to San Francisco I took over the summer. This place had a warm and inviting feeling. It was a small place and it was crowded when we went

It seemed to be a good combination of locals and tourists. The staff were very friendly and knowledgable about the beer. Although it was crowded, we were served quickly.

The beer selection was very expansive and it included a lot of local beers on tap as well as an extensive bottle collection. I had a Lagunitas beer and I also tried a Westmalle Trappist ale while I was there.

This place is fabulous and I would definitely go there again the next time I'm in the wonderful city of San Francisco!

Chincino, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of count321
4.94/5  rDev +15.2%

I'm not gonna lie, final straw that got me to join Beer Advocate was to be able to review this bar. I LOVE THIS PLACE. The beer selection is incredible. The addition of new beers every week is awesome. I'm recently excited about the addition of Kiuchi's Hitachino family: The Espresso Stout, The Red Ale, The Classic Pale Ale, The XH, and the other one that I can't remember right now are all awesome.
They have lots of hard to find beers from Mikkeller, Brew Dog, Allagash, Flying Dog, and Jolly Pumpkin; to name a few. The bottle selection (around 190) is nicely displayed in glass cases behind the bar with prices easily visible and very reasonable.

The staff is great; they know their beers and are happy to recommend beers if you tell them what you types of beer you like. The menu can be a little overwhelming, so this is usually a pretty good way to go.

Hookah service is available and although I don't usually partake, it gives the bar a nice scent that doesn't compromise the taste of the beer. (unlike the urine aroma of other beer bars, I won't name names, but you know who you are.)

count321, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%

Strolled in here with a couple of friends last night. We initially went to Edinburgh Castle (across the street), but wanted a place that was a bit mellower/quieter. Amsterdam Cafe was a good choice.

This place is tiny. Seating accommodations for about 20; standing room only could probably fit 45-50. Amsterdam Cafe has two rooms: the bar area in the front of the establishment, and an open space with a couple of tables in the back. Lucky for us, the crowd was light, and we were able to snag a table in the back room.

The draft selection was intriguing, and the bottle selection was very impressive! I spotted Sculpin, DFH Sahtea, Avery Maharaja, and a host of other top-notch American micros. There were also a TON of Belgian ales, too. According to the bartender, they had over 200 bottled beers in stock. The draft selection included a lot of hoppy west coast ales (Lagunitas IPA, Ballast Point Big Eye IPA, Ranger IPA, to name a few) along with Piraat and Trappist Westmalle Tripel. They also carried Lagunitas Fusion 2, which I've never seen on-tap anywhere besides the brewery.

My friends and I chatted in the back for several hours, never struggling to hear each other over the music. The overall vibe was mellow and artsy, and the majority of the crowd was in their twenties. Very comfortable, but borderline too slow/relaxed.

I'm sure I'll be back here at some point. I see (from the review below) that they've hosted beer tastings, and that makes me like it even more. If you're in the city for an extended period of time, check out Amsterdam Cafe!

ThreeWiseMen, Aug 21, 2010
Photo of themaffeo
4.71/5  rDev +9.8%

I've been going to Amsterdam Cafe for about six months now, ever since a local beer group had a monthly meeting within it's friendly walls. Amsterdam is exactly what you would expect and want from a local beer aficionado bar: it's a warm, inviting space with friendly customers at the counter, over 150 beers behind and knowledgeable staff in between.

The beer stock changes rather frequently with a new beer coming in on average once per week, and the quality runs from common beers to exotic limited edition bottles.

There's a beer here for every budget, which I really appreciate. I think the cheapest is 3-4 bucks and the most expensive runs around $16 (22+ oz'er).

While they don't serve food, they are welcoming of outside meals making this a great place to swing by with a lunch and grab a quick summer ale.

If you're in the city and want to either drink an old favorite or meet a new one, Amsterdam Cafe is the hidden gem your taste buds have been waiting for.

themaffeo, Jun 30, 2010
Photo of Ghenna
4.41/5  rDev +2.8%

My wife and I dropped by while waiting for a concert last night, at the recommendation of Yelp.

The interior of the place is pleasant, darker paint and local art (for sale) decorating the walls. Their selection of beers encompasses two larger glass refridgerators, ~10 taps, and a bunch of bombers lining the walls. Most of their selection would be gettable at your local bevmo, but there were a few more exotic beers.

The lady behind the counter seemed quite knowledgeable about her selection, offering advice and samples of what they had on tap- you could tell that she's a beer geek. Speaking of on tap, the selection was quite varied. Examples I can remember were A Belgian quad, golden drak, mateveza black, jolly pumpkin farmhouse ale, great white, guinness, and a few others- all told quite varied in terms of style. She even directed me to another bar under the impression that I was jonesing for 90min on tap.

Prices were reasonable, only a bit higher than what you would expect to find retail. During happy hour (5-7) taps were all a buck off- which made them fairly reasonable. All told a nice place with friendly staff (and free wifi). I'll definitely be back if I'm ever in the area again, if nothing else to see what they have on tap.

Ghenna, May 30, 2010
Photo of carlhungas
3.25/5  rDev -24.2%

Its a nice neighborhood spot but kinda the run of the mill selection the lady who owns the place dose not know much about beer but is willing to get things in ya want. I live near by but have only ben there five or so times. A nice feature is local art constantly changing and an outside smoking area to look at all the crack heads limp by. In all if your in the tenderknob this is the only place to find something other different on draft. Oh and they have dj there on the weekends it gets a bit of a crowd in there

carlhungas, Mar 24, 2010
Amsterdam Cafe in San Francisco, CA
94 out of 100 based on 23 ratings.