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Not Rated.

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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Reviews: 313 | Visits: 443
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)

Photo of jaydoc
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5

Overall a great beer bar. Visited during SF beer week. At the time they had over 50 barleywines on tap from a excellent selection of breweries. The atmosphere was loud and bustling. Frequently shoulder to shoulder throughout the bar. The bar was fairly dirty and there was a lot of toilet paper on the floor throughout the bar. The service was poor, but the knowledge was great. (378 characters)

Photo of orangesol
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Stopped in here twice during SF beer week, once for an event and another when nothing was going on. I have wanted to check this place out ever since I stopped at the one in SD, glad I could finally visit it. Atmosphere was exactly how I expected it to be, jam packed and loud. Tons of people all over the place enjoying themselves, some a little too much. I like these kinds of beer bars so if you don't I could see why some wouldn't like it. Service was good even when they were getting slammed with orders. I had a bit of trouble getting their attention but once they saw me it was smooth sailing. Quality was high on the beer end, correct glasses and such, the bar itself could use a hose down every once in a while but it wasn't that bad. Selection was excellent as expected. I was able to try a bunch of the Moonlight beers which was awesome as well as Anchor OBA which has been on my wants for years, all of which was after the -tion night beers which were incredible. Since they are connected to the sausage house next door I am just going to include it, the merguez sausage was awesome. Prices were quite good, even during the event. Overall it was exactly what I was expecting, and even a little more. I would be a regular here if I lived in the bay area. (1,264 characters)

Photo of GABrew
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

A fellow BA introduced me to Toronado San Diego a few months ago, so when I had a business trip that brought me to San Francisco this week, I knew I would have to check out this location. The draft beer selection was very good, although it was very heavy toward Belgians, which aren't usually my favorite style. It's hard to complain about the selection when they have Blind Pig and Pliny on tap. Plus they had quite a few sours to choose from. The bottle list was also heavy toward Belgians, but I was able to pick up a Velvet Merkin, which I hadn't tried before, and unlike the SD location, they let me bag it up and take it to go. Had I known that before I ordered, I might have gone with the PNC. I love that beer!

This location is much dingier/dirtier looking than the SD location and seemed to be in a fairly rough neighborhood, but I don't mind the dive bar feel. It was very crowded for a Wednesday night and I wasn't able to get a seat at the bar for the entire time I was there, so that was kind of annoying to have to stand the whole time and come up behind people at the bar to order.

I've seen a lot of the reviews that mention terrible service, but my experience couldn't have been better. I gave the bartender a $2 tip when I paid for my first beer. When I came back up 10-15 minutes later, she remembered me and gave me my 2nd beer for free. She didn't mind at all when I asked for the bottle list and brought it right over. I'm sure it helped that I knew what I was looking for and ordered beers quickly without fumbling over the list or asking a lot of questions, holding her up from taking care of other customers.

I don't know many other beer bars in SF to compare this to, but I would definitely stop by again if I were in this area of town. (1,765 characters)

Photo of mattt317
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

22 years ago the tor0nado was a known as a biker bar, but it was the only place in the city with bunches of taps of local and rotating beers (anderson valley, marin, mendocino, anchor, etc)... 11 years ago, the chalk board was the same with a few European beers thrown in (tall glasses of wheat beer) plus the board behind the register always had something new.... it was still mostly local (haight street residents) ... now-a-days - it's mostly tourists and shrill yelpers during the day (happy hours is my time) .. and the board is mostly static with too many overpriced european brews .... but mostly; the prices are good, the pints are filled to the rim... and on one thursday night in december, as i headed to bart, the place was empty and I stopped in for a peaceful glass of xmas ale... (793 characters)

Photo of Outlandishbrew
3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5

A - The Toronado is just one of those places you have to love for what it is. Its dark, loud and dingy. Some might even say filthy. But its definitely my kind of filth! This place is legendary in the Bay Area because they have been all about belgian and craft beer way before all us beer geeks were around. And it definitely shows the minute you enter the place.

Q - If your talkin quality of beer, Its awesome! If your talkin quality of the service, not so much. I say just dont be a little sensitive girlyman (or girlygirl) or perform any douche-baggery and you'll be fine. My very first visit there, the bartender gave me a free glass of Pliny for being a newb, and the couple next to me bought my next beer and we chat chitted for a couple hours. but they definitely take care of their tap systems and cellar temps because the beers always taste great.

S - It definitely has a reputation of crappy service. I have seen it... many times, but its never happened to me personally. I always have a great time when I'm there. If you want an example of their service, just follow them on twitter. Its always good for a laugh.

S - Honestly, it doesn't get much better than this. I travel for a living and when I get the opportunity, I'm always searching out as many breweries and craft beer bars as I can. The selection in this place is up to par with Monks Cafe in Philly or Falling Rock in Denver.

F - No food, but you can bring anything you want in there.

V - The beer is definitely not over priced here. Like the previous review stated, "$5 Pliny's, nuff said"! (1,570 characters)

Photo of jgasparine
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Atmosphere- This is a bit subjective. The Toronado is loud, dark, and packed with all walks of life- from white collars to blue collars to tattooed skinheads! The music is blaring with heavy rock... and for me, I just loved it. CLEARLY this place is beer-centric. While I loved it, I can see how some others could be turned-off by the atmosphere.

Quality- The place is a little dark and dirty. But that is just the facility. The glassware and draught lines seemed to all be impeccably clean.

Service- There was a low ratio of bartenders to patrons, making it hard to get quick service. Fortunately, my wife and I got seats at the bar, which helped. I read that the bartenders get annoyed if you don't know what you want, but I found them to be perfectly friendly. Despite the fact that I know my beer, I was in a land where I wasn't familiar with a number of brands, and the bartender was quick to make some great suggestions.

Selection- I am very tempted to give them a perfect score here. Their draught and bottle selections were huge in numbers, and more importantly, EVERYTHING was a gem here. I have been to bars with a larger tap list, but Toronado still earns a place in my heart for having one of the best selections overall!

Food- While they don't serve food here, they allow you to bring in food from one of the establishments next door. I found a small vegan place that was actually amazing a few doors down. Truth be told, I am not a vegan... definitely don't seek-out vegan food... I really walked into this restaurant by accident, but went with it, and the food was just excellent.

Value- It's hard to remember, but I paid something rediculous like $5.00 for a tall pint of Pliny. Enough said. (1,712 characters)

Photo of EnronCFO
4.76/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Tuesday afternoon. Burger from sausage kitchen next door as amazing at $6.50. Beer selection was top notch, including Pliny the Elder at $5 per pint. Servers were very friendly, particularly for a Boston guy that is user to surly service and arrogant/indifferent bartenders. Recommend without hesitation, you'd be an idiot to visit SF without stopping in. Didn't even mention how nice the patrons were. Think Three Penny in VT with Russian River rather than HF and a more eclectic crowd. (487 characters)

Photo of heymikew
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75

At one time, if you wanted to drink some great beer in the City, Toronado was the only option that offered a lot of choices. Fortunately, that is no longer the case as scores of purveyors have wised up to the beer renaissance and offer us serious beer drinkers the quality we demand.

For me, more, quality beer venues caused a reduction in my visits to this original dive, beer mecca. Does this mean Tornado is any less valuable as a beer destination? Fortunately, a recent visit reawakened my fondness for the place. The beer selection is still plentiful, but it's the vibe of the place that gives it such character. It continues to be the same unique, divey, high energy place where youcan have a great conversation with nearly anyone.

Be warned though: There is a FRIENDLY lady bartender here. This may be off putting to those traditionalists who enjoy the gruff service, but I found it refreshing. (903 characters)

Photo of mikefuski17
3.79/5  rDev -10.6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.5

Toronado is essentially I dive bar with an amazing selection. They have so many awesome beers, there was no way I could have sampled them all. The decor was cool. The walls are covered with brewery stickers and old tap handles are displayed like trophies. Service was ok. Since they were busy, it took a while to place an order. The one thing that annoyed myself and the group I was with is the guy checking id's was kind of a jerk. Definitely was on a power trip an May have been drunk. Either way it is a cool place. A "tamale lady" comes in occasionally with coolers full of hot tamales for $5. Check it out if viziting (622 characters)

Photo of Charliechu
2.76/5  rDev -34.9%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4

I have nothing bad to say about the beer on tap here. Also a great selections at reasonable prices. Every time I am in the City I try to make it out here to grab a pint but recently its been more and more unattractive simply because of that service. I know they get good and rare beers on tap but shoot, can't they treat their costumers a bit better ,given that we're the one paying their damn rent.

If your new to the SF, definitely worth checking out but there are so many other better pub house with awesome taps with MUCH better services. (544 characters)

Photo of jerrytodd
3.77/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.75

WTF is up with the notion that a craft beer pub in SF has to be seedy, divey, and semi disgusting with servers that are obnoxious? Really not enjoying that very much.

Atmosphere here is all of the above. Not a place I really want to spend much time in.

Beer selection however is top notch and prices quite reasonable.

I don't think they serve food and if they did I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole.

For a totally opposite experience (but with great beer) go to The Monk's Kettle. (489 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75

Toronado is all about the beer. The ambiance is dreary and the service is gruff. You can get away with that though when you've got a bunch of good beer on tap.

As others have noted, there are a lot of Belgians on tap, like twenty or so. This didn't particularly interest me, as I wanted to try Cali beers, but I still ordered a sour and found it damn good. I was glad I tried it and glad they had it on Tap.

I also tried a beer from Moonlight Brewing that was damn good and got to learn the backstory about how the brewer used to work for Schlitz. There were a number of other good beers on tap, Big Bear and others from Cali, but I didn't stay long.

They have a good selection of bottled beers as well and you can buy them to go. As I sat at the bar, some guy came in and bought up all the Pliny the Elder they had.

I must say, I wish there were as many German beers on tap as Belgians and as many American beers as both. Not sure why the favoritism towards Belgium, but this isn't the end of the world. (1,011 characters)

Photo of joshklein069
2.73/5  rDev -35.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3

The reputation of this bar is good, however its dated. Draft list is just OK . The tables were dirty and when I asked a bartender to clean it off they gave me a bar towel. When I took the dirty glasses and stuff and moved them to a spot near where the bouncer was standing he told me to take them to the back. Nasty bathrooms. Very disappointing. but hey some people thrive on dive bars like this but not me. (408 characters)

Photo of hayesjw
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75

Thoughts of an iconic place for beer drinking, educating us for 26 years on the West Coast means one place for me. It is conveniently located in my home town, San Francisco, California. I feel blessed to regularly enjoy and now write about publican Keene’s beer mecca.

Composing a review by nature inherently demands a rank. Despite previous attempts to quantify the location, let it be known The 547 is the only number to know. If you have found this number on the half door, keep it closed after you pass through and enjoy to love or Haight it. [sic.]

This leader of beer halls will always have difficulty reaching a statistical ranking of perfection. However, it does not need to appeal to all; it is a world class venue with the purpose of delivering quality beer without discernment. This model is evident as the establishment separates itself from the notion of digital technology. It is an analog system. Cash only, hand washed glasses, a chalk board and plaque beer list. There is a manual register and only a rotary phone. With the exception of a jukebox and television, the perks stop at neon lights and refrigeration. You are welcome to bring your own sustenance in. True nourishment is satisfied with your choice from the great board delivered at cellar temperature.

The calling of The 547 remains the availability of artesian ale, lager and cider delivered in proper glassware. Priced appropriately, nearly fifty taps deliver an ever-changing ...

<draft, to continue review, on the eve of starting 27 years.> (1,534 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

The reviews for this place seem to be all over the map, but my experience there was a good one. Went on a Sunday afternoon and it was packed. Was happy to see Firestone PNC on tap, and grabbed a pour of that very quickly. Only ended up staying for the one beer because we had a couple of other places to visit but would have been happy to stay for another couple.

It does have very much a dive bar feel to it, but as long as you go there knowing that, you shouldn't be disappointed. Given the history of this place and its constant RR taps (3 on tap when I was there including Pliny) it is definitely worth a visit. (617 characters)

Photo of Fluffheady
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

This is a legendary beer destination in the lower Haight neighborhood of San Francisco. They have an absolutely outstanding draft list. Every time I visit San Francisco, I go here to at least buy a six pack of Pliny to bring home (which they ALWAYS have in bottles). This place is dingy and the bartenders' attitude borders on intentionally rude. If you read my reviews and thoughts on surly bartenders, you would think I would hate this place. I could see how people would find the service off-putting. But the bartenders are also good at reading their customers and they know when a person is a beer dork. (607 characters)

Photo of mikebauman
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

I come here often. It's one of the few places that you can get Russian River beers on tap. The bartenders are busy, so if you don't know what you want, don't stand at the bar. This place is a MUST visit during SF's beer week. I live down the street from here and go quite often. Pliny the Elder is a great way to start (or end) the night. (338 characters)

Photo of TxUltraRunner
3.69/5  rDev -13%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Went here the day before running the San Francisco Marathon. Definitely the best dive bar I've been to. Had heard/read negative reviews of the place but you have to accept it for what it is - a dive bar that happens to have great taps. I knew they only take cash so that made things smoother. No food there but you can bring in food from surrounding establishments. Went to Rasamunde next door for wild boar on a pretzel bun - FANTASTIC! All in all I was glad I checked out Toranado. A must stop for good beer on tap. (517 characters)

Photo of derekrick420
4.81/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I went on a short bar hop with my brother a San Francisco Native and Toronado didn't disappoint. As already stated, this is a fantastic dive bar and reminded me of the Bars I used to hang out at in my youth, Dirty Frank's in Philly and Chiefs in Pittsburgh, except that the selection was awesome. The Bartender was great she was very attentive and fast and was very helpful in helping us with a few selections and quite candid, wish I had listened to her on one I had tried. The bathrooms are a piece of urban art, which I am sure have also already been commented on. The atmosphere was classic dive bar, group of suits sidled up to a group of bikers, next to a group of college kids. The weird thing was getting carded by a guy that was probably 20 years younger than me.

BTW, the sushi place 2 doors down is the bomb if you need some food in you before the beer starts flowing. (880 characters)

Photo of bugdoc
2.9/5  rDev -31.6%
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. (1,492 characters)

Photo of nrb1
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (322 characters)

Photo of MatthewPlus
2.73/5  rDev -35.6%
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. (2,136 characters)

Photo of Tiburon
3.74/5  rDev -11.8%
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 (1,368 characters)

Photo of mhksuccess
1.48/5  rDev -65.1%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 2.5

i would give it a zero if i could would definitely never go back

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


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 (642 characters)

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