Taps: 43 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 329 | Reviews: 293 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by AylwinForbes:
4.01/5 rDev -5.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Obviously this place is a Mecca, as the dozens of reviews attest too. We visited on our Big Beer Adventure (Route 101) in March and felt it only right that this was a must. The good news: no children; unlike so many other hipster places, brats are out. Thank God. There is something of a time-warp when entering the saloon-like swing door; it is quite dark, noisy, pulsating with local folks who do not live life in corporate America (as I understand it), almost just a little bit threatening - like the surrounding area. The tourists will not wander into here.
We visited on a Tuesday which is apparently when the neighbouring sausage place does its special with hamburgers. Hence the crowds. What a scene: some totally stressed shirtless guy would appear at the door yelling a name into the din. Fantastic. People watching is the best sport here: constant ebb and flow and coming and going.
Some have muttered about the service. The way I see it, if there is one bloke serving the whole crowd then don't expect to be treated like a visiting royalty. Know what you want, place the order clearly. No worries.
Bathroom is spectacular - like a Jackson Pollack. Beer selection awesome to someone from Chicago. Too many to choose. Okay, maybe some places have more but how many can you ever really have? This is one of our fave places anywhere. It's more than just the beer.
08-06-2010 03:24:32 | More by AylwinForbes
More User Reviews:
4.31/5 rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | $$
As we walked down to the Lower Haight this afternoon, the sun decided to make a cameo appearance and I made a quick detour stop at Groove Records. After finishing up there, we finally arrived at Toronado. The entrance was a half door with an old school western saloon thing going on. The type of half door that you hope doesn’t hit your balls on the back swing.
The long bar is located to the right and tables to the left. This place was vibrant and unexpectedly crowded at 3PM on Tuesday. Other than a bar in New York City, I’m not sure that I would expect to see a congregation of people enjoying great beers at such an unconventional time. Nevertheless, I completely embraced it and was pumped to have the opportunity to order a fresh Pliny on tap.
It was dimly lit inside with loud metal music thumping through the speakers. A gigantic beer list menu greets your eyes as you tilt your head upwards toward the sign. Beer options are nicely organized and well defined, as it offers all of the 50 or so options available (with about 3 hand pump beers). Selections included Pliny the Elder (oh mommy!), Damnation, Blind Pig IPA, Class of ‘88, Merle Saison, Sculpin IPA, Moonlight Death & Taxes and many more. The beer list appears to favor IPA’s with some interesting European offerings mixed in. All beers are served in appropriate glassware.
Worth noting is that there are some really good deals to be found at this beer bar destination. For example, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale & Anchor Steam are only $4 and the real mind-blower is Sierra Nevada Bigfoot for $4! Maybe it’s the East Coast in me, but that gets me really excited.
The atmosphere at Toronado is raw and filled with true character. This place is the antithesis of a place like Yard House. If you are looking for a sterile place to go to, you should look elsewhere. You belly up to the bar, pay in cash and are rewarded with a quality craft beer and you repeat as needed. One of the greatest attractions is that feeling of trying something new that you’ve either never had before or read about and are eager to have for the first time.
I felt an immense amount of appreciation for the décor of this place. It’s packed with breweriana such as stickers, tin signs, neon signs, flags, tap handles, etc. I spotted a spectacular collection of Anchor Our Special Ale tap handles. I was also psyched to see the Tennessee George ‘No Show’ Jones plate and ‘Zappa for Ever’ sign. Such appreciation to these musical greats truly resonates with me.
Toronado is an establishment with legendary status in the beer bar scene in this country. A ‘must stop’ on my list for many years and I'm so glad I made the visit.
03-26-2014 05:38:22 | More by Hibernator
Toronado in San Francisco, CA
95 out of 100 based on 329 ratings.