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Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Toronado

Not Rated.
ToronadoToronado
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

313 Reviews
Reviews: 313
Visits: 443
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 

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 313 | Visits: 443
Reviews by Gigantis:
Photo of Gigantis
4.74/5  rDev +11.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Had to give this place a try when I was in San Fran a month ago. I kind of went in expecting some surly service and mean looks from the locals along with great beer. Well, I certainly got great beer!

When I went in (on a Saturday) the place was busy, but not slammed/standing room only. There were a few seats at the bar available and me and my friend took two of them. It's L-shaped really and not by any means gigantic. From our vantage point, we could look up and see lots and lots of tabs hanging from the wall/ceiling. We could not see the beer list, which is a chalk board on a beam that half the bar is not privy to.

This did not matter because I knew I wanted Pliny and I knew they would have it. It was delicious and the bar tender was very warm and friendly and even answered my friend's questions about framboise. Yes, she actually did not make fun of him at all. We were hungry and our neighbor recommended that we try to sausage place next door. They had a couple of buddies there that took our seats - and actually gave them back to us when we returned w/ the sausages (which are awesome at the place next to Toronado by the way).

I had another two beers - Consecration and Twist of Fate from the cask. The bartenders were always helpful and, while I expected a level of sneering enmity, were nothing but nice as hell. The patrons there were also very nice and we had what can only be described as a wonderful time.

The only thing I can even remotely cite as disappointing is the sort of ho-hum atmosphere. I guess I maybe expected a more rollicking, wild place. I'm sure it gets that way at times, but I actually almost appreciate the understated nature of the place. When we left (around 11) there was a line to get in. They probably could use about twice the space. Oh well, I feel very good about my experience there. It lived up to the hype and eviscerated all the criticism I have heard to this point. Lovely place in a lovely city. (1,956 characters)

More User Reviews:
Photo of bostonbeans
4.59/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Photo of ricoslim
4.75/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

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

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