Taps: 43 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 329 | Reviews: 293 | Show All Ratings:
2.9/5 rDev -31.9%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | $
By now, people more or less know the deal here - it's the seminal dive-bar-for-beer-geeks. It's generally considered one of the few must-go beer spots in SF proper, which has absolutely nothing to do with the ambiance (charitably described as "well-worn"), or the personalities of much of the bar staff, which often seem most concerned with not having to listen any longer to YOU and your indecisive twaddle. Step in, read the beer list posted up by the ceiling, realize it's mostly word-for-word the same list you saw 6 months ago when you were here last, and skip to the Pliny and Blind Pig that, mercifully, never, ever seem to come off the tap list. Ask for the bottle list if you can grab the attention of one of the staff - no, Cable Car isn't on the list, and quit fucking asking. Nut console yourself with one of the other stone-cold miracles that often pop up on that list. $20 bottles of 4-5 year-old Abyss? Yes, please. $20 for 10 year-old Boon gueuze? Sure, why not? The mind reels when imagining what bottled treasures lay buried in that Toronado basement. Just take your mind off the Cable Car. It isn't happening.
I suppose I could give this place a rating for food, but since it's all about food brought in from outside (90% of which consists of sausages toted over from Rosamunde next door), I feel like that'd be giving the place too much credit.
Toronado - just hold your nose and deal with the place. There's gems to be found if you're willing to dig thru a lot of dirt.
05-11-2013 18:33:08 | More by bugdoc
4.19/5 rDev -1.6%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4 | $$
It is what it is. 50 beers on tap that change all the time. I have no idea how they maintain that many beer options. OK, yes, it's a little dark and funky. It's not the cleanest or most upscale but it is the backbone of support for craft brews in San Francisco. Food is from Rosamunde Sausage next door which you bring in.
04-26-2013 23:32:09 | More by nrb1
2.73/5 rDev -35.9%
vibe: 1.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1.25 | selection: 3.75 | $$
Ok. I hit this place up for the 25th anniversary. We knew it would be nuts, and it was. But it had a cool vibe, they were roasting a pig, had t20 and t25 on tap, and we got our 3 bottle T25 allotment. cool. Since we were spending another few days in the city, we figured we'd come back when it was less crowded, like the following Monday.
Ha! Yeah right, less crowded.
Im certainly not going to hate on a place for being busy. Thats what theyre there for. But christ, staff appropriately. I think there were two bartenders, but i only saw one, and she was absolutely rude. I knew prior to coming in to check out the draft list and know your order ahead of time, since the bartenders dont have time to answer any questions, make eye contact, smile, give a shit, etc...
So on the board, it says "ask to see our extensive bottle list". i figured no problem, at least it will give me something to look at while i stand shoulder to shoulder with sweaty locals in the middle of the aisle. It took 15 minutes to get the snotty barkeeps attention to ask for a list, another five to get the "list" (which wasnt a beer list but rather a map of how to get to the bar), and another 5 to inform her she had given me the wrong thing; to which of course she replied by rolling her eyes and throwing the menu at me.
So i go cantillon hunting, finally get the 2nd bartenders attention (i get the impression the first one didnt like me) and order the kriek. He looks, "sorry, were out". I said, "Anything Cantillon". He goes back and says, "sorry, ive got nothing".
Ok. at least this guy looked for the beer and didnt really give me any attitude. He slightly made up for the attitude of the first bartender.
I dont understand how anyone could have a good time in this bar. I wanted to love it, i really did, but damn, i couldnt have a conversation, sit down, or even find a place to set down the one beer i was fortunate enough to order. And i really dont appreciate the attitude i caught from the bartender. If you are really looking for some amazing beer this is the place (if it's in stock), but if youre looking to have a good time, look elsewhere.
03-07-2013 19:06:24 | More by MatthewPlus
3.74/5 rDev -12.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Stopped in at Rosamunde and picked up a Wild Boar sausage w peppers. We then went next door and entered Toronado. I was immediately assaulted by an odor of stale beer and other unidentifiable offensive odors, and mindful that my wife would be alert to the same smells. We took a seat by the front door, which was the aforementioned Mr Ed style half door. Let me say that on Monday afternoon at 1:30pm the crowd appeared to be all local, hometown peeps. Once situated, I approached the bar and the bartender drifted over fairly quickly. He was wearing what I call pajama pants, and a t shirt. He appeared to be intoxicated, though I never saw him take a drink while we were there. He efficiently produced my Pliny and my wife’s Pomegranate cider. I also ordered my first ever Chimay white, and was charged $1 cheaper than the beer menu indicated.
I did visit the men’s room, and was impressed with the cleanliness. There appeared to be a fresh-er coat of paint on the room, and the only significant graffiti was that so and so owed someone $400. The porcelain was very clean….
I did notice one of the homies updating the beer menu, which contained 38 drafts after he was done. We were highly entertained by the collection of stickers on the west wall of the bar near the entrance. Overall the visit went better than expected. I would definitely go there again
12-25-2012 23:51:22 | More by Tiburon
1.48/5 rDev -65.3%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 2.5 | $$
i would give it a zero if i could would definitely never go back
THIS PLACE IS SO DIRTY
they dont ever clean anything for sure not the beer lines darn they barely even wash the glasses they told me they are too busy to steam them so they have a 3 sink system sanitizer wash rinse and i watched the process and was appaled they probably change the sanitizer once a night and wash in the same water all night it was beyond disgusting
PROBABLY the NASTIEST BAR EVER SMELLED LIKE PISS IN THE BACK
they had a cali standard pliny and blind pig and bunch of crappy belgiums
but it was just so crowded dirty and bad service
would never go back
10-09-2012 01:41:00 | More by mhksuccess
2.41/5 rDev -43.4%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2 | service: 1 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The service really is their gimmick in my opinion. Have some great beers and 3 hand pumps going. Little dicey of place to bring the mrs unless she is as gung ho for the beer as you are. Mine unfortunately had to try to use the rest room which pretty much sent our evening into a critical tailspin. There was a comment about a smell of bad fish... Had some great guze which I thought was ridiculously well priced. I'd go back if I were just going out for some beers solo or with a group prepared for the place.
I think this place will always be a must visit for beer nuts but what if they actually turned up the service?
Just so it's said enough - cash only - ATM is there though small room off the bar for overflow.
09-20-2012 03:08:59 | More by CraftedBlackout
4.43/5 rDev +4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Even though Toronado has global fame now, it's still very much a local. At least for the bar side. It's always funny to me when I walk in and see residents at the bar and tourists and the like on the tables to the left. I've never had an issue ordering here. I just focus on the menu on the wall as I enter and start choosing. Well worth the visit, even though this is certainly no well kept secret.
08-30-2012 17:05:31 | More by RblWthACoz
3.18/5 rDev -25.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Interesting place. We stopped here before the Phish show on Sunday - my buddy who lives in the neighborhood highly recommended.
The beer list honestly was pretty average, nothing that seemed overly unique other than the Toronado 25th anniversary which was a quite tasty wild ale from RR. Everything was poured well and served in proper glassware.
The vibe was upbeat as most people there were headed to the concert later, but the music was terrible. Straight heavy metal the entire time - my buddy said that's all they ever play. At least it wasn't loud.
I really liked the setup and interior - classic pub that was well maintained.
The service was flat out terrible. The place was busy but by no means packed. We quickly found a table and went to the bar to order. After waiting what we thought was an acceptable amount of time the male bartender still completely ignored us and strolled back and forth looking for his regular customers to help and no one else. The female bartender got into an argument with another patron further down the bar (we couldn't hear what was going on) then proceeded to storm off shouting "fucking douchebag" as she walked away. She then proceeded to ignore everyone for at least 10 minutes while she washed glasses (never mind the entire wall of clean glasses behind her) while the male still continued to stand around and only serve his friends.
We finally got a beer after patiently waiting directly at the bar for close to 20 minutes minutes.
I won't be going back here. Such a shame - I just wanted to hand them my money for a few beers but they made that very difficult.
08-21-2012 20:05:15 | More by DrinkNoH2O
4.26/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | $$
Good joint, would recommend to any in the San Fran area. The varieties of styles is nice to see, with a very cali-centric list plus some very hard to get craft brews.
All the reviews bashing the service: I feel ya, but they do know their shit and that must count for something. It's just that type of joint. They offer outstanding beers and very reasonable prices. Sure it's crowded and the barkeep's can be churlish, but once you elbow your way back to your seat, that first sip of belgian geuze is worth it.
Just relax and act like you've been there before.
06-19-2012 02:32:16 | More by dojii54
2.68/5 rDev -37.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
I have no idea why this place gets the praise that it does. Been here on 3 separate occasions because it was convenient and the place you're "supposed to go to" when in SF for a beer.
I've read so many mixed reviews and while I've never had a particularly bad experience, I certainly have been underwhelmed each time I've been here. Just a dive bar with a staff that pours pints of cali standards and lame belgians.
The first two times were in the evening, so of course super busy, but that was to be expected. I always just order a pliny and that's that. Was hoping that this most recent visit there might be something else of interest, but there really wasn't.
Had my pliny, was decent, have a suspicion that they don't bother to clean their lines often...
06-02-2012 18:01:19 | More by pixieskid
Toronado in San Francisco, CA
95 out of 100 based on 329 ratings.