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Not Rated.

406 Ratings
Ratings: 406
Reviews: 307
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: n/a
Taps: 43
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: 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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Ratings: 406 | Reviews: 307 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Crosling
5/5  rDev +16.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

May I begin with that fact that I have been to several bars all over the United States and I am convinced that this is the best bar in the country by far, even better than bars in NYC, Brooklyn and Boston. It's all about their selection, which varies from being absolutely amazing to unbelievably, wide-eyed amazing. The best breweries from Southern California and North California end up on draught here, and it's the rarest most exclusive beers. They also have a great Belgian list, with vintage saison. There are several local eateries nearby where you can bring food inside. It's in San Fran, one of the best cities in the world. This is one of the best in the world, maybe even better than Kulminator, IMHO.

Photo of mghotbi
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Toronado is a San Francisco classic. A very low-key store front in the Lower Haight with only the Chimay signs hanging outside giving you a clue to the cornucopia of beer inside.

Usually about 50 beers on tap, with many styles and regions represented. Lately, I've noted a preponderance of IPA's and other hop-heavy craft brews, but the selection changes frequently (just check out the collection of tap handles). Great place for tap and bottle Belgians as well. Lots of beer poured here so the selections are usually very fresh.

Just a few wooden tables and stools inside - nothing spectacular. No food, but Memphis Minnies BBQ across the street, Rosamunde Sausage grill next door and an average pizza joint on the other side - you can bring food in. Just as an aside...San Francisco's most famous "medical marijuana" dispensary (The Vapor Room) is just a few doors west (you'll need a doctor's prescription to get in).

Daily happy hour from 11AM to 6PM. Yearly barleywine festival and Belgian Beer month (April) are other reasons to go.

Very friendly staff - as long as it's not too crowded and you don't order a Bud Light.

Been in San Francisco for many years and still haven't been to a better beer bar.

Photo of germaniac
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Ventured into the Toronado on the second night of the 06 Barleywine Fest. It was understandably packed, since it's not that big of a place to begin with.

Lots of taps, of course. A little patience was required to get to the bar, and the bartenders were rushed and businesslike, but there was none of the asshole factor I 've seen in alot of reviews of this joint.

Lots of friendly folks to be found in all three rooms. My buddy's BA shirt got some attention from the local BA crew, and I got to briefly meet Vinnie of Russian River fame. A couple dudes were about to beat the hell out of each other to see who got to use the bathroom first, and that's really the only bad vibes I got for the couple of hours we hung out.

It's dark, kinda grungy, and really focused on beer. Sort of like me!

Photo of rdrummer
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The Toronado was the one beer bar in SF that I was not going to miss after reading about it here. It met all of my expectations. This is not a fancy place. I would not take my mother here, but for the beer lover, this is mecca. I loved the smallness, the beer talk going on, and especially the beer.

There were about 50 beers on tap, with four handpumps. There was a great mix of local microbrews, microbrews from futher away, and imports from Belgium, Germany, and the UK. I didn't see a bad beer on tap. There were probably eight double IPAs on tap from Denogginizer to Double Daddy and Racer X. Great selection. The bartender was quiet but after asking his advice on some CA beers, became much more friendly and willing to talk. He was, of course, very knowledgeable. His recommendations were all on the money.

There is no food at the Toronado, but they allow you to bring in food from any restaurant in the area. There is a great mixture of types of food within a block or two, including the great sausage shop that is next door.

Toronado is a must if you're in San Francisco.

Photo of bultrey
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

Photo of xoqx
4.88/5  rDev +14%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This bar is amongst the best I’ve ever visited and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s 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. I’ve been told if you look too yuppified, you’ll 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.

Photo of wlhagan3
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of rowew
5/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Photo of DuqTroops
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Photo of Denali
5/5  rDev +16.8%
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.

Photo of ggaughan
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
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!@

Photo of Matthew
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Photo of kdog630
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of VegasBill
4.45/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Like so many before me I finally made my first trip to the Mecca of beer. I went during the day so it was not busy and the bartender was the nice woman who has been there for 17 years with her two white dogs. What can one say, its all about the beer selection and they have it. I could not get past the Russian River and Moonlight beers, Wow!
I can see that when it gets very busy the employees might seem rude,but lets just call it overworked!!
Two points, at night if you plan on parking, forget it, it is not going to happen. Better take a taxi and Toronado will call a taxi when you are ready to leave.
Also everyone mentions the great sausage place next door, there is also a great BBQ place across the street called Memphis Minnies.

Photo of carln26
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

The Toronado, the place of legends in San Francisco. Even though I’ve been to this city many times, I made my 1st trip to this bar while I was on vacation this week, and I was not disappointed. It’s located in the lower Haight, a much friendlier area than the Upper Haight (Haight Ashbury). The décor is neighborhood beer-bar. Old beer signs and other decorations are displayed on the walls. Not much to speak of, but this place is all about the beer

The help is friendly, and attentive enough (although not overly so). The selection more than makes up for any lacking service. I’ve been to Anam Cara, Red Bones, Sunset Bar and Grill and the Gingerman. The Boston bars on a regular basis. I was used to walking into one of those establishments and seeing maybe 1 or 2 new beers on tap, those I’d never seen. Here, I walked in, and my jaw dropped. About 25 taps, with at least 12 beers I’ve never had or seen before. 4 from Moonlight, 3 from Russian River, and El Toro, een a Lagunitas I’d not had before. Wow…..

All the beers were fresh and tasty. I had a couple of Moonlight, a Russian River, and Drake. I have to say the enamel on my teeth was gone, and every taste bud was in shock after the IBU overload.

Very friendly people too. The 1st person I met was a displaced St. Louisan. I was able to talk Cardinal baseball with him for 30-45 minutes. After he left I was quickly joined by 2 lovely young ladies desperately searching for a Turkish coffee bar. I came to their assistance (with my trusty Blackberry), and had a great time discussing beer, and Northern California with them.

If you have the chance, go here. The bottom line.

Photo of moaner
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

What do you want from a "beer bar?"
Like everything else on this site, answers are subjective. But to me, it's all about the beer. And that is why Toronado is the best beer bar in the U.S. It's the selection stupid. There are places that look nicer, places with (much) better service, places that have more taps/bottles, places that'll wash your bum for you if you ask, but you will not find a better selection of fresh, thoughtfully chosen, beer.
Being an east coast beer bar owner, I can't help my jealousy at what is available on the west coast. Good for them. They make the most of it.
And they've been doin it for years. 18 actually.
47 taps (95% worthy). 4 engines (100% worthy). Tight bottle list. And, for those of you that care, it serves the cheapest godamn pints of quality brew anywhere. $3.75 for any of 6! double ipa's. $2.75 at happy hour. Ridiculous.
Only the 17th best beer bar in the U.S.?
Shame on you B.A.'s

Photo of baiser
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5

Since moving out to the Bay Area, the Toronado has been at the top of my places to visit. Finally made it out with my girlfriend visiting. On Haight st, in a very characteristic part of town. Prices are quite low for the selection and quality. The bar seemed to be full of regulars. The wall was lined with Duvels and a large board with everything on tap was listed above the bar. Great atmosphere to have a beer in. Sausages were available for $4 next door.

Many NorCal micros on tap and hand pump as well as a handful of belgians and German beers. Beers are served properly in the appropriate glasses. Big bottle list, but they were quite pricey. I'd stick to the draught beers.

Tonnes of beer paraphernilia on the wall - tap handles, signs etc.

One of the best beer bars I've ever been to, if not the best. I will definitely be back there more than a few times this year. Parking can be a bit tough.

Photo of OldSock
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Great place. First and foremost Toranado has a terrific beer selection, particularly Belgian and Californian. Nothing beats a delicious sausage from the place next door and a fresh local beer. I went twice during my San Fran stay, and every beer I had there was fantastic, a couple of Russian Rivers and a couple of Moonlights. Service was sort of indifferent, it was fast, but not overly talkative which I don’t mind. It been said before, but if you are in San Fran and you can only go to one bar this is the place to go. Prices were reasonable, particularly if you go before 6 when all pours are a dollar off.

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.86/5  rDev +13.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Freakin' frackin' awesome. Believe the hype.

Bear with me: I used to live about 4 blocks from this place in 1997. I wasn't into good beer then, which is good. Otherwise, I would have hurt myself for not knowing about this.

Atmosphere: locals were extremely friendly to me. They shared some bbq pork. Two older couples (70+?) came and went, which you don't see at too many beer bars.

Selection: 46 taps or so I read somewhere else. 4 cask beers. That alone should be highly praised.

Two Moonlight beers, Anchor, Russian River, etc., etc.

Server was gruff, but in a good way.

One of the best bars you'll go to. Prices were pretty cheap too, esp. for San Fran.

Pubcrawlers: short walk from Zeitgeist or Church station off of Market. You can take the N from Church or Van Ness to Gordan Biersch or 21st amendment brewpub as well.

Photo of brewandbbq
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

After a 4 year absense, back at the Toronado at 1 A.M. on a Thursday nite.
The place was jamming and loud. Filled with filthy dreadlocks, walking zombies, incoherant stoners, and beer lovers.
Nothing has changed since the last visit, or previous for that matter.
Within all the visual overload of amusing stickers, tap handles of brews gone by, emptied Duvel Jeroboams, and that friggin' beer board... You'll get yelled at if you don't close that half door thing on the way in.
Too bad they weren't as attentive when you need a beer.
Ya, stood there for at least 10 minutes, cash in hand, trying to catch the eye of the girl milling around behind the bar.
What the hell is my hurry anyways? It's only 1 hour till closing, and this will probably be my only stop here..
I had forgotten how poor the service can be here. No, I don't need my ass kissed, but actually getting a beer can be *key* in a bar.
Regardless, we had a New Belgium Saison and Doggie Claws to start, then I moved on to the North Coast Old Stock.
I was a bit dissapointed in the selection.
They had 20 Belgians on tap, but I was here to drink some hop monsters, and not one in the house. -Thats right- no DIPA's.
Oh yea, no Russian River either.
Got some sandwiches from the Asian ladies 2 doors down and they were delicous with the beers.
The Toronado is a must stop classic, but I've never been impressed by the service.
Guess that's part of the charm??

Photo of fizzyfred
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4

This place is difficult to review for a few reasons. First off, it is the one of the best beer bars in the country. Its located in the lower Haight, which is dark, rowdy cousing of the Haight-Ashbury. The bar reflects the neighborhood in that it is loud, rowdy and it can be tough to get a drink. The bartenders may not be friendly and helpful, but they are knowledgable. The key is what time you visit. A weekend afternoon can be perfect for enjoying a few drinks. A weekend night or happy hour can be tough. The selection is top notch, with the only real drawback is midwest and east coast micros. Obviously, the west coast is well represented and the Belgian selection is unparrelled in this country. There are about 50 draught beers and the bottled list looks like a Brussels beer celler. I gave the food a 4 even though they have no food. Reason, next door is Rosemunde grill that serves the best sausages in town. On the other side is Mythic Pizza.

Photo of Bierman9
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

This was the first place I hit up on a brief stay in San Fran recently. The whole Haight area is quite colorful and still quite 60's-ish. And I loved it! Unimposing front with an open half-door is your first look. Dark inside, with both low-lighting and lots of dark colors/wood contributing... It's a long room, front to back, with some stools along the wall at the front right near the window before the bar takes hold and goes to the back. On the left are a half-dozen small tables and chairs.... and there's a further room in the back/left of the place. Lots of typical bier-related bric-a-brac all over (tap handles, brewery banners, etc), plus the left wall has a shelf with dozens of big-ass Duvel bottles. Oh, and the bathroom is a real work of art! Music was a combo of classic rock, grunge, whatever... Had about 25-30 drafts, with some top-shelf CA stuff plus plenty of Belgians left over from Belgian Month. Extensive bottle list, too, with some rare finds (though the bottles get pricey). Drafts were typically $3.50, but happy hour knocked off a buck. Super! Bartender was quietly efficient, with no surliness to be found. Amusingly, I found him to look like the Mexican/Alien at the start of Men in Black that Tommy Lee Jones uncovers. Only had 2 biers here, in the company of axisjones, and found them yummy. As per earlier suggestions, I scored a tasty sausage sub next door and downed it with my bier at the Toro. Would love to return some day....


overall: 4.50
atmosphere: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: n/a | $


Photo of francisweizen
5/5  rDev +16.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place is probably my favorite beer bar in the US, if not the world. Atmosphere is awesome. Lower haight all the way. Grungy and funky, and all things cool. Tons of breweriana and stickers of all sorts. Quality of the beers here is perfect. They really take care of their brews, and bartenders at other bars in the city, like Zeitgeist, even mentioned that this is the place to go. Service for me has been perfect. I've gone on three ocassions already and I have had three very unique, interesting bartenders, who were quick to chat and fill up my pint. Selection is incredible. tons of Belgians still, as last month was Belgian beer month, and they also have tons of local brews as well. 2 moonlights, 2 russian rivers, 2 pizza ports, 4 casks. Yowza. No food, but there are tons of kick ass options locally, and you can bring your viddles in and chow down all the way. Prices are dirt cheap for this area, or anywhere in the world. $10 for three pints and a nice tip. Sold. Truly awesome, and wonderful. Only in San Francisco.

Photo of Troyone
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

The atmosphere is different kind of laid back... At least one TV with a couple of dining areas.

The bar looks like it's aluminum with wood siding. There are wooden chairs and tables. They have stainless steel tap nozzles all around. Tremendous amount of beer paraphenalia, some probably historic, everywhere.

The service can be questionable however other times quite exceptional.

The selection is broad with everything imaginable even four cask (handpump).

I thought they served food there at one time however this last time they said they did not, maybe it's bring your own food.


After reading through my reviews years later I decided to edit some of my comments that may have been the bartenders reflection of my unknowingly rude or blaten persona due to issues I had going on at that time.

Toronado in San Francisco, CA
95 out of 100 based on 406 ratings.