Toronado

Not Rated.
ToronadoToronado
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

313 Reviews
Reviews: 313
Visits: 440
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: 440
Reviews by Hibernator:
Photo of Hibernator
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
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. (2,697 characters)

More User Reviews:
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

Photo of Bigdoc91
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

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