Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →


Not Rated.

316 Reviews
Reviews: 316
Visits: 449
Avg: 4.31
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 

Place added by: BeerAdvocate

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 316 | Visits: 449
Reviews by Gilmango:
Photo of Gilmango
4.31/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

OK, this review is partly based on a "beer goggles" thread about whether we rate place overly high based upon selection. Since selection is my leading consideration, along with clean draft lines, clean and appropriate glassware, and appropriate temperatures, I think it should have the biggest impact on overall score. So how will that playout in a review of my favorite beer bar?

Atmosphere, OK, average is probably the best we can do, not going to lie to you, it is a fairly narrow bar that can get crowded. TV on with no volume, music from a jukebox at varying volumes, punch of old tap handles and other beer memorabilia. Not the atmosphere for everyone but beer geeks tend to be treated well if they don't take themselves too seriously and go at off peak times or are ready to order when it is more crowded. It is clean enough for a beer bar. Many would say it is a dive bar but one for beer geeks. [In deference to the beer goggle thread OP's complaint I am not going to up my score here but I will note that for "vibe" I would score it higher than for "atmosphere", the latter shows when we rate it, the former when you read the review.]

Quality, amazing quality in terms of beers and how they are served.

Service, the service of beers is great in terms of glassware, clean tap lines, good temperatures. The service of the bartenders is generally good, in my experience, but the place does get crowded and they often have only one bartender serving beers at crowded times (usually with a bar back helping watch the door, gather and clean glasses, but often not pouring). So there can be a wait and often it would seem better if 2 bartenders were working. And yes the bartenders, many of whom have worked their for many years, can occasionally exhibit attitude, but then so can bar patrons, they are human and they need to be loved, get over yourself. They treat me well.

Selection hits on all kinds of high notes, rare beers, beers you cannot find elsewhere, cask ales (4 at all times), local beers, great beers from around the country and world. Huge tap and bottle selections.

Food - they don't serve food but let you bring in your own food and have a great sausage place right next door, and many other food choices within a block. Really that is a high score for me but I'll just pick N/A.

Value - cannot beat their prices on most things with a stick, and at happy hour (every weekday till 6) take a dollar off everything on draft. So $4 pints of Pliny and $3 pints of Blind Pig, $3 for most other pints and cask ales. Rare beers are often poured on draft at prices that are far cheaper than the bottled versions. Their own bottle prices are quite fair for a bar, and folks even take bottled beers to go (they have the license which allows this and their prices (and selection) are such that people utilize this option.

 2,836 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERMILER12
4.4/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of n2pux
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Beautiful selection. Great dive atmosphere in a funky old neighborhood. Service gets criticized but I found it to be fine. It was busy, so the bartender wasn't terribly chatty but still attentive enough & prompt. Helps to have an idea what you want. Instant addition to my top 5 favorite beer bars.

 298 characters

Photo of Resuin
4.51/5  rDev +4.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Drewfer
3.96/5  rDev -8.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 2.75 | selection: 5

Kinda over the shitty bar tender attitude some places feel like they have to have, but honestly who cares. Selection is killer. Sausages next door yes sir

 154 characters

Photo of 420Rick
4.97/5  rDev +15.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of Persdawg
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Stayed right down the street from this place, so I got to enjoy it a couple of times. Passed on the $60 Cable Car, because the draft selection was ridiculous.

 159 characters

Photo of bostonbeans
4.59/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Photo of ricoslim
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of mikepcarney
5/5  rDev +16%
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 +6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of mothman
4.94/5  rDev +14.6%
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 -0.7%
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 +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Photo of SFCraft
4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 5

Photo of spointon
4.71/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of lackenhauser
4.64/5  rDev +7.7%
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 +0.5%
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 -6.5%
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 +16%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of Brown120
4.77/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Photo of Leftofthedial
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of mayorQuimby
4.79/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Photo of tazzman
3.93/5  rDev -8.8%
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 -2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Toronado in San Francisco, CA
96 out of 100 based on 316 ratings.