Taps: 43 / Bottles:
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 362 | Reviews: 298 | Display Reviews Only:
4.8/5 rDev +12.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $
What else to say about the Toronado? Atmosphere is uniquely good (though not for everyone, and let's face it, kind of dirty), quality and selection blow most places out of the water, and service is gruff, knowledgeable, and friendly once it becomes aware that you fit in. And how do you fit in? Easy. Be yourself. No pretentions. They don't have any. Don't be rude. Show passion and respect for the beer. Don't be a know-it-all turd, because you don't know it all.
Look, I certainly don't "look" the part of a typical Toronado customer, and am aware that I probably more closely resemble on the outside the type of tool that comes in and asks for a Corona. But I went twice in 2004, and then again in late 2005... and the bartender -- after I ordered a couple of the more obscure/better beers on the menu -- remembered me. Got a buy-back on every occaison too. So warm up to the service folks, and they'll warm up to you.
Something to be aware about: their extensive bottle list can be purchased to go, which was very exciting for me as I scored a couple of RR Temptations on my last visit for $14 each to take home to NY. Not awful.
They don't have food, per se, but the sausage place next door serves 'em up quick, hot, and delicious, and might as well have an official business partnership with the bar.
I never go to San Francisco and don't go to Toronado. You shouldn't either.
02-14-2006 20:27:09 | More by bultrey
4.88/5 rDev +14.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
This bar is amongst the best Ive ever visited and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Its in the Haight in SF and has a genuine rundown look and feel, is long and skinny, very working-man-ish and has a great beer selection and a great bartender. Ive been told if you look too yuppified, youll have a hard time getting a drink in a timely manner. I found the service to be exceptional. The place was packed and the lone bartender was all over it. They place has a great selection and five beers on a hand pump. They served quite a few pints in brewery glassware. Though there is no food available, there is a great sausage place next door where people get their food and come back to the bar. The walls are decked with years old [authentic] memorabilia including empty growlers and large bottles, innumerable taps, old beer signs and bumperstickers. This place is top notch and should be visited by any beer advocate in SF.
01-19-2006 08:52:38 | More by xoqx
4.44/5 rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
Got to stop here while visiting my brother in Bay Area after a ski trip to Lake Tahoe.
A very cool place in the Haight district in S.F. Exactly what I would expect of a great beer bar. Tap handles lining the walls, 30 plus beers on tap, dogs allowed and no BMC products. (I.E. Basically all crafted brewed or import beer.)
I sampled three beers that I cannot get back home in Indy. Two Russian River beers, Blind Pig IPA and Damnation and New Belgium's 2 Below Winter Ale.
Not a huge place. A bar with stools on one side and wall mounted tables on the other, and a small back room with more tables. The place was standing room only at 4:00 pm on a Sunday with people watching an NFL play-off game.
A round of three beers averaged $8-10 with tip. Not bad at all based on the beer choices. No food is served but your are welcome to sneak next door and score a grilled sausage or pizza and bring it in to munch on.
Service was a little slow with one bar tender but she did a good job once you placed an order. Appropriate glassware was used where appropriate. Always a plus.
This place is hard to beat and nothing like places I have back home. And I hear their beer events are pretty killer as well.
01-18-2006 14:08:52 | More by wlhagan3
5/5 rDev +17.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Quite simply, Toronado is what a beer bar should be. The main room is long and narrow, with the bar and taps dominating one side. One the other side are tables, and I think there are more rooms in the back but I never made it past the bar. Servce was excellent - friendly and knowledgable about the beer they were serving. Many local beers that don't make it out of San Francisco, including a few hand pump offerings. Prices were very reasonable - when I was there it was happy hour so I drank hand-pumped Moonlight for $2.50! No food is available, but they allow outside food, and if you order next door at the sausage place they will yell in the front door when it is ready. Definitely worth the trek if you are in the bay area.
12-13-2005 16:08:57 | More by rowew
4.43/5 rDev +3.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $$
Visited the Toronado this past week. Has a very unique environment. We visited it during the day and it was very warm to guests / tourists. There was no food available, we had to go next door to a sausage shop (which was excellent - I would definitely recommend the Beer Sausage sandwich). We had three beers on draught in the Toronado and they all were excellent. There are some beer on the hand pump - would recommend that as well.
Cash Only - no Credit Cards!
Over 50 beers on draught and many from the west coast. Must try the Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale and the Russian River Ales are excellent.
12-11-2005 20:48:13 | More by DuqTroops
5/5 rDev +17.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
Ahhh... the Toronado. I just moved out to Santa Clara in late October 2005 and first went to the Toronado on 10/29/05. I have been back 6 times since, even though its about a two hour trip each way.
Totally worth the trip. Not even considering the beer, this is by far the greatest bar I have ever been to. The patrons are the coolest ever - EVERY time I go alone I end up talking all night with people I have never met, often times even sharing a table with them. And its sooo easy for that to happen. I have had that happen for me from time to time at certain bars, but not with the consistency of the Toronado. And the bartenders are awesome. From square one they were incredibly friendly to me and treated me like I had been coming there forever, no matter whether its super crowded or not. The stuff about there being lousy service at the Toronado is bullshit. The Toronado is so cool that many of the bartenders hang out there on their days off, just sitting at the bar like anyone else.
With regard to the beer, suffice it to say that the Toronado is awesome. Many local breweries on draft including Moonlight, Bear Republic, Russian River, and Drake's. Bottle list contains primarily Belgians and is also excellent.
As for the food, even though technically they don't serve any, they allow people to bring in their own. There are plenty of excellent restaurants within walking distance. They are right next door to Mythic Pizza and Rosamunde Sausage, and both are outstanding. Mythic Pizza has NY style Pizza slices too. Because of the incredible convenience, I therefore consider Toronado food to be 5/5, even though Toronado doesn't serve the food themselves.
Go to the Toronado...now.
11-16-2005 06:28:31 | More by Denali
4.36/5 rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $
What a place. I was visiting from Philly last weekend and although we have some great bars here at home, I was very happy with my Toronado experience. I was expected very good things here but was floored by the huge happy hour and the great selection of beers on tap....New Belgian La Folie (never had outside of the brewery in Fort Collins), Moonlight, Russian River and many, many more. I would have spent the entire weekend there if I had the chance. I will make sure to make it back next time I am on the west coast to take in the great scenery and the great beers!@
11-05-2005 04:38:14 | More by ggaughan
4.72/5 rDev +10.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
I found this place by accident. I was walking down Haight and heard raging bone crushing high on fire riffs of metal blaring out of the door and wandered in solely based on the ungodly amazing metal, and found that their tap selection was incredible. Being a pretty big unibroue fan was impressed with ephemere and maudite on tap as well as a number of other great beers. Theres a bar area with some bar stools and a few tables in front of that, as well as a back room with some booths. I found that the bar tender on that night was very knowledgable and was pleasent enough to talk beer for a bit. If you can handle loud music and good beer, heres a great place to drink great craft beer.
10-31-2005 00:24:28 | More by Matthew
4.08/5 rDev -4.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
What a scary place on the outside. Went with my brother and wife after a SF Giants game. He told me not to worry about being mugged, but you couldn't help but look over your shoulder. Especially after seeing the bum on the sidewalk just outside.
Inside is a different story. A bar that ran a good 20 feet down one side the main room. Tappers all along the wall. The sign over the door to the next room was easily read.
I chose a Bombay By Boat IPA while the wife had Bud Light. (I can't take her anywhere.) Not very crowded, but it was a Wednesday night. Everyone seemed friendly and, while there was no wait staff, the bartenders were quick to take care of you.
We stayed for over an hour and saw all types of people. I will definitely go again, and would like to see it in the daytime.
10-31-2005 00:03:56 | More by kdog630
4.25/5 rDev -0.5%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $
I finally made it to Toronado's. I entered with expectations, some met and some not met.
First off, the atmosphere was kind of dirty, and smelled of vomit slightly (this on a Sunday afternoon).
But the selection, quality, and price of the beers makes up for this in general. All drafts were served at $2.75! And it's mostly top-shelf: I had Pliny the Elder, La Folie, and Denogginizer. There were about 50 taps to choose from, and 30 were no-brainer good choices.
In addition there was an extensive list of bottled beer. You can comfortably stay away from these, as they're more expensive than the drafts.
There is no food, but you can bring in sausage from next door. I had duck sausage with figs for $4.
Definitely recommended if in the Bay area.
10-20-2005 13:41:31 | More by TurdFurgison
Toronado in San Francisco, CA
95 out of 100 based on 362 ratings.