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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Reviews: 313 | Visits: 440
Reviews by slander:
Photo of slander
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Torofuckinado, during San Francisco beer week. Oh, apparently there’s an event tonight...

You receive a ‘welcome ID’ing’ (yes, the 1960’s, and thank you) at the ½ open corral door (very Mr. Edesque), and then you go inside and drink beer. The place was packed but almost immediately, we snagged a table of which there are not many; a highly coveted piece of real estate to be sure. It was all Ben’s doing, truth be known. He scoped out potential departures, performed the set up and put the helpful departure suggestions ‘lean on’ where necessary, and then moved in to seize the table just when they showed the slightest inkling of heading out. It was most impressive. I have decided that ‘sizing up when people are going to leave and positioning oneself to be right on top of them when they do, thereby snagging their table’ is Ben’s super hero skill. I’m sure there’s a better name for it than ‘guy who makes people want to leave’, though.

Long narrow space with a tiny room around the bend to the rear. “L” shaped bar to the right disappearing under the overhang to the rear seating who knows how many in this crowd. 2 rows of 9 taps each on a wood box on the barback, and an alternating row of 24 below the bar. Glassware shelved a good length along the barback, and stemmed from the underside. Pics & photos, signage, tap handles, trophies, toys, cans, and figurines, lining the around & up over that. Good “In loving memory of Frank Zappa” page.

Green walls all around, and a grayish ceiling (impossible to tell in this or any light), with wood, what would be crown moldings. A couple of ceiling lamps, and light strung baby spots to the rear. 6 hightops adjacent to the bar, running front to back. The wood panel half wall along the hightops is done up with brewery placards; the length of its trim lined with Duvel magnums (with some Russian River play in there for laughs). Brewery placards, pub signage, neons, & mirrors above, and tap handles displayed atop. The opposite wall, forward the bar is just completely pasted with stickers of everything from everywhere.

Schneider flaggings from the ceiling up front, and neons in the logo windows to both sides of the door, with smaller horizontal windows running above. The taps listed on a big hop lined slat board over the rear hang, and a single TV in the corner. Rear space below the hang holds more magnums shelved, and tap handles above all the way around. A row of a good 20 Anchor OSA handles provides bad flashbacks of that OSA tasting we did back in the day. And I kind of thought I’d see old Grant’s handles up there, but no. Interesting shirts and schwag scene back there. And a small room off the rear to the left with a half dozen tables. People; they sit at them. TV’s and beer trays adorn.

Currently, all 42 taps are occupied. 1/3 of them (yes, that’s 14) are from Russian River for this event, by which I mean, “Fuck!” (Damnation, Damnation Batch 23, Supplication, Supplication 2010, Consecration, Defenestration, Temptation, Temptation 2008, Sanctification, Sanctification 2010, Framboise Cuvee 2010, Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig, CBC Symposium Sour Brown). The remaining 2/3 are craft (5 from Lagunitas, 3 each from Upright & Deschutes, a pair each from Moonlight, Ninkasi, & Widmer, and one offs Anchor Steam, Allagash White, High Water Aphotic Baltic Porter) and imports (Rodenbach Grand Cru, N’Ice Chouffe, Mort Subite Kriek, Radeberger Pils, Franziskaner Hefe, Schneider Aventinus & Edel-weisse), at a 3 to 1 ratio, and the Two Rivers Pomegranate Cider. And 3 handpumps on the far end of the bar back there (Moonlight Twist of Fate Bitter & Bombay By Boat IPA, Sierra Nevada Celebration). We shared the Consecration (duh!), Defenestration (Belgian Pale Ale, dry, hoppy, lovely. ‘A wild ale of good’, says Ben), Temptation, Sanctification (aged in Bretty not suck), CBC Sour Brown (yeah, uh huh), and I had a Deschutes Black Butte XXIII (because because).

On return just a day later, seems they’ve moved onto a New Belgium event (Russian River was sooo yesterday, literally). We slummed it with such slouches as the Lips of Faith La Terrior, Eric’s Ale, Super Cru, Transatlantique Kriek, Tart Lychee, and the Love (Felix), and agreed that the Eric’s Ale, Tart Lychee, & Love (Felix) were the best of ‘em.

Gave them a day’s breather and returned on Sunday for the Barleywine fest. Some real nice offerings. Hey! Can you not read the sign? (Order by number, douchebag). Sampled a few and then had another Moonlight Twist of Fate Bitter (just goddamn stellar).

It’s a cool scene. I had zero problem with service and they’ve got a good crowd of kids drinking better beer. There is a tamale woman wheeling her wares through, hadn’t seen that one before. Wait. There’s a bottle list? Didn’t need to get at it, mind you we were in full beer week event flail. Ben described this place as being “fucking awesome”, and Bethy added, “The awesome is prominent”, as she knows what’s what. Who am I to disagree? (5,069 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.