Toronado

Not Rated.
ToronadoToronado
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

313 Reviews
Reviews: 313
Visits: 441
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: n/a
Taps: 43
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
[ Bar ]

547 Haight St
San Francisco, California, 94117-3406
United States
phone: (415) 863-2276

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 313 | Visits: 441
Reviews by ChappyCubsFan:
Photo of ChappyCubsFan
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Twice now I've visited Toronado. It's time to share my thoughts.

My second trip was just a few days ago, during the annual Barleywine Festival. They had a great selection; some 30 barleywines to choose from. I just wish the service was a little friendlier. Both times I've visited the Toronado, the bartender(s) had an attitude. I guess I can understand why the bartender (Paul) had an attitude the other night. The patrons were just not reading the carefully placed signs that explained how to order a barleywine: simply give him a size (small, medium, large) and the number assigned to each barleywine on the "Big Board". Paul finally warmed up to me as I warmed up to the barleywines. I even bought a few tee-shirts, which in itself was an interesting purchase. Paul told me to feel free to browse the t-shirt rack, which I did. Suddenly, another patron (a local, I'm sure) left his seat at the other end of the bar to scold me saying, "Sir. Please step back and let the staff assist you with the tee-shirts". I told him I was given the OK by the bartender, and everything was cool.

However, my favorite moment of the evening was when a young couple sat down next to me and could not decide what to order. I explained the Barleywine Festival was in progress, and then offered to buy them both a small "starter" sample of North Coast's "Old Stock 2002". She (the young blonde) tasted it and said, "I can see why they call this "barely" wine. It barely tastes like wine." That was a great moment.

But last summer when we visited the Toronado for the first time, the lady (owner?) also had an attitude when we ordered our first drink. Maybe that's it. You ain't crap in Toronado until you've ordered a few drinks. But hey, this is San Francisco. So chill out, Toronado!

The beer selection at the Toronado is excellent. IPA lovers, like myself, will find everything to their liking. They have Pliny the Elder, Racer 5, and normally you can find several others. The Belgian selection is great also.

They don't serve food, but I like the fact that you can order food elsewhere and bring it into the pub.

Toronado gets high marks from me. Despite the rudeness of the bartenders, that seems to wane as you keep ordering, this is a great bar. I will definitely visit Toronado whenever I'm in the Bay Area. (2,319 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of mikepcarney
5/5  rDev +17.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The best that there is. If you don't know what you want or don't have cash, don't go to the bar. (96 characters)

Photo of jloomis
4.58/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of mothman
4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Not sure how this place gets a bad rep for their bartenders. Owners wife was working and she was wonderful, funny, and very pleasant. She handed me multiples samples and was very knowledgeable. Great draft selection. Bought a bottle of cable car. Had a great time and would easily come back! (291 characters)

Photo of tsing
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

This is a must stop everything I visit San Francisco. They always have Pliny the Elder on top. They are the only bar in town that consistently has it. They have a lot of great choices on tap, and lots more in bottle.
They are CASH only. They have no food, but you can bring in food from the places next door. The sausage place is awesome.
It is a dive that has been there for years, but if you love beer it is a must visit. (433 characters)

Photo of James_Michaud91
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Photo of SFCraft
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 5

Photo of spointon
4.71/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of lackenhauser
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Have not been in here since 1990. Even then it's bartenders had a bad rep. Oh well still a great place and seemingly unchanged. First server was decent enough to recommend a beer for my non beer drinking cousin. 2nd could not have been any nicer and when I discovered he was from Scotland and a Dead Head and told him my wife was nearby well we were old lost friends at that point! Thought I would be more blown away by the selection but with Pliny on tap the rest paled in comparison. Sausage place next door rocked it hard!!! A beer lover's must!!! (550 characters)

Photo of jvodom
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Great draft and bottle selection. Don't wear a tie. (51 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
4.03/5  rDev -5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25

I didn't even know these bartenders had a rep for a long time. I've never had any trouble. Just obey the unspoken rules of Toronado-- Do Not Step to the Bar Unless : 1) you know what you want, 2) you have cash (and only cash!) in hand. I don't mind brusque; it's a busy bar, and you will get your beer incredibly fast.

Good keg management, expensive bottles, and good (if not great) selections. (396 characters)

Photo of Hawkfish
5/5  rDev +17.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of Brown120
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Photo of Leftofthedial
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of mayorQuimby
4.79/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Photo of tazzman
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.5

Good selection of drafts. Server must have been hungover very grumpy. Sausage next door with their selection of beers was excellent. Would go back hopefully another beer tender would be working. (194 characters)

Photo of Canada_Dan
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Vinithing
4.71/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Photo of vtbeerandbud
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

Photo of ThirstyHungryLife
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of toronadotornado
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of JamLand
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

A must stop when in SF. Small, dark, dive bar feel to the place. In my only visit, the regular selection wasn't anything special. However, when you crack open a secret keg of Pliny the Younger and I can buy Cable Car there, then you get a 5 for selection in my book. As for the infamous bartenders...they're fine. I'd say a lot of people are babies. Yes, if you ask them a dumb question, they will treat you like you asked a dumb question. Personally, I enjoyed watching their various interactions. (499 characters)

Photo of BigGingDrinker
4.41/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of Thepleasantimbiber
4.69/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Photo of Piglet_rulz_da_yard
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

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Toronado in San Francisco, CA
94 out of 100 based on 313 ratings.