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 

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Place added by: BeerAdvocate

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Reviews: 313 | Visits: 440
Photo of HogHill
5/5  rDev +17.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Visted the Toronado just as the Barleywine fest was coming to an end. We arrived one overcast Saturday just as it opened. The bartender was a real nice guy (young guy with chops), who let us sample a bunch of different offerings and filled us in on the other good beer related stops in SF, great service and very personable.

Talking to my friend who recently went to Toronado and reading the other reviews here, it seems like the service we had was contrary to what most others had experienced.

They had a ton of great beers on tap and their bottle list was phenomenal as well. I got to try many of the beers that aren't disto'd out here in Mass like Russian River's Pliny the Elder & Damnation. They had a nice Belgian offering with all the official glassware which is always nice. I started with a Hoegaarden and moved to Dupont's Avec les Bons Voeux which was on tap, and then finally a Westy 12 (had to finally try this). Just an awesome selection of beer and the fact that it was a $1 off drafts untill 6pm was super too.
They let you bring in food from the pizzaria and burrito shops near by, which was cool.

We came back a few days later, the atmosphere was a bit different since it was on a Monday evening where people were getting out of work and it was a bit busier but still a comfortable environment.

In San Fran visiting? This place is not to be missed! If you're a local, then you're a very fortunate BA. (1,431 characters)

Photo of Denali
5/5  rDev +17.9%
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. (1,707 characters)

Photo of mzwolinski
5/5  rDev +17.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This is a terrific bar. I was really excited to go once I looked at their web site -- 46 beers on tap, 3 of them cask-conditioned, and all of them exceptionally well-chosen. There's also a substantial list of bottled beer, including a few collectable (and expensive) selections. I envy the SF residents who get to attend the many beer-related events at the bar. Just this month I see a tasting with Allagash and a wonderful looking Belgian beer dinner. The atmosphere was surprising -- about half the crowd has lots of body piercings and tattoos, and the other half are very obviously beer geeks. Not much in between. The barkeep was friendly and knew alot about the beer. Great happy hour prices in the afternoon. There's really not much to complain about here! An absolute must-visit should you find yourself in the city by the bay. (834 characters)

Photo of Crosling
5/5  rDev +17.9%
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. (712 characters)

Photo of KevSal
5/5  rDev +17.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

where the hell else can you get a salvation for 3 bucks? seriously, this is the best place to grab a beer. the food is an A++ because you got a killer hot dog spot next door that delivers to the bar and a badass bbq place across the street.

the selection is some of the best of the world, when this place is hot its hot. i come here for lunch a lot and reak the benefits of "leftover beers" all the time. this week is great because of all the beerweek brews that didnt tap out.

it can get crowded at events but even when you avoid the big events you can always catch something great no matter what time you come by.

heard a lot about the service, honestly its always been top notch for me. come in with rough skin if your the sensitive type. last week i got shit for my camo sweater than i was poured a damnation 23 (2007) on the house, and given a freakin slice of pizza. all the people here are really great and are full of some pretty great stories as well. (stories involving tomme and vinnie take the cake)

cant say enough about this place (1,048 characters)

Photo of bboven
5/5  rDev +17.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Wow. This place is what I hope heaven is like. Dark but not dreary with a collage of decor covering every inch of open wall. It seemed like there were at least a hundred very local beers available. There were ridiculously rare beers available; I had a cask conditioned Anchor Porter for crying out loud! I think it cost all of $3. It's small and cozy, they only take cash, and did I mention that they have tons of unique beers available? There were multiple cask ales and a staff that was busy but friendly and immersed in the beer they served. You have to come here if you only get to one place in San Fransisco. And get a DD or cab, because you'll be there for a while. (671 characters)

Photo of John_M
5/5  rDev +17.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Visited the Toronado today... clearly the dive bar to end all dive bars.

The smallish Toronado beer bar is located in the lower Haight and fits in well with the other smoke shops, hair salons and cafes in the area. Given the fame of the Toronado, I guess I can see where one might come here with certain preconceived expectations. The place, of course, is a complete dive/dump, with bumper stickers, signs, cartoons and paraphenelia plastered every where. If that's not enough to convey the proper vibe, the day I was there the background music consisted of blaring metal music and later ZZ Top. Although I don't think there is anything dirty about the Toronado, the place just exudes a certain seediness. The patrons fit in perfectly with the neighborhood, and run the gamut from beer advocate beer geeks to skid row bums that can barely remember their own name. It just doesn't get any better then this.

The day I was here there was something like 40 beers on tap and the quality level was just off the charts. Three beers from RR (Pliny, Blind Pig and the porter), three beers from Schneider (Aventinus, Weisse and edel weisse), a couple of beers from Drake, Green Flash, Anchor and Speakeasy. There were also a couple of lambics, 5 or 6 Belgian trippels, dubbels and strong ales, and a few German beers for good measure.... and that's just what I can remember.

Pricing here is interesting and I assume represents market price for everything. Some of the Belgians and Barleywines struck me as expensive, but then pints of Blind Pig and Pliny were $4.50, while my 12 ounce tulip glass of Drake's imperial stout and DIPA cost just $3.50 ($4.50 for a pint). The guy next to me purchased a .5 liter of a German pilsner that cost just $3. Go figure. At the end of the day, I have to call the pricing here pretty reasonable.

A number of folks who have reviewed the Toronado have criticized the service here. Maybe they were here on an off night or something else was wrong, because I don't get it. The afternoon I was there I think there were some 20 patrons in attendance, with just the one bartender to handle the crowd. He was quick and efficient, and I never had to wait even a minute for a beer. While he didn't try to come off as my new best friend, he was pleasant enough and happy to answer any question I had. Given the crowd, I can see where he might get pissed pretty quick if you were slow to make up your mind or otherwise wasted his time. Still, considering the crowd, and considering the condition of some of the patrons sitting at the bar (who clearly were somewhat the worse for wear), I was impressed.

The Toronado is as close to perfection as I ever need to get. I'll be back every time and any time I'm in SF.

Edit from recent visit on 8/30/12. Nothing to add, except that if I could increase my score I would. Bartender (Stewert) was easily the most knowledgeable bartender I've ever run into (my jaw dropped when I heard him telling another patron about the maiden the shade beer on tap, and Ninkasi in general). He was also quick, friendly and a good conversationalist... he bought my last beer of Aventinus (he told me it was his right as a bartender when I tried to refuse... so I dumped some cash as a tip, which I told him was my right as a customer. He laughed and we smacked knuckles). I'll say no more, except.... I LOVE the Toronado!!!

Also got a sausage sandwich from the place next door (the Toronado has some arrangement with them, where you can just leave your sandwich basket from next door and the staff will take care of it). The sandwich was good, no doubt, but it wasn't exactly a culinary, life altering experience either. Still, it's nice to have the option of a bite to eat while having a beer or three. (3,752 characters)

Photo of Lothore
5/5  rDev +17.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

A- This seems to me to be the perfect bar in my mind. Awesome, dive type atmosphere, cool dogs roaming around, just an all around awesome vibe.

Q- Correct glassware, nice serving temp perfect in my book.

S- Quick service, and the bartender was super nice and very friendly.

S- A phenomenal selection of beers on tap ( When you have beers like Pliny the Younger, Blind Pig, Reality Czeck, the Abyss etc. on tap simultaneously you mush be doing something right.) Big bottle list as well. My only complaint was that they had every size of long sleeve shirt except medium and they have a pretty awesome shirt I wanted to buy, oh well, next time. (644 characters)

Photo of rowew
5/5  rDev +17.9%
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. (730 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
5/5  rDev +17.9%
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. (1,031 characters)

Photo of mongodestroy
4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I just moved back to the bay area from Fresno where my local bar had a lot to say about the Toronado. Visiting the Toronado was one of the most amazing experiences in my life. Great pub experiences are few and far between. We got there early around noon and were able to establish a rapport with the bartender. My glass was never empty for more then a minute before I got served. Even despite my foul of not tipping after every beer and waiting till the end, the service was great. I believe this is because we got there early before it got too busy and were able to chat with the bartender. The music was a bit on the loud side but contributed to a unique experience. I can see how people have gotten bad service since the place is run on their terms and there is certainly no shortage of patrons. Beer selection was amazing as amazing as it could have been. (859 characters)

Photo of axisjones
4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This bar is a beer lovers paradise. While alot of people has knocked the service, the bartenders respect beer more than any other bar i have ever been to. Every beer is served in its proper glass with the right head (the aventinus is a sight to behold). I ordered a Westy 12 off the bottled list, and the bartender apologized that he had to pour a little in the chalice to keep it from overflowing. He was also good for recommending followup beers. The selection is unbeatable, especially for belgium and northwest junkies. The prices are generally cheaper than other bars comparatively, but hardly any of the list can be found in other bars. (642 characters)

Photo of Schultz
4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Being in San Francisco twice in the last few months I had the good fortune to stop in Toronado both times. No trouble for this out of towner to get to and return via public transportation. Atmosphere was as advertised slightly dinghy, surronded by old beer taps and Duvel bottles, hanging chalkboard with draft beer choices. I arrived for both visits on Saturday evenings around 5:00 and had no trouble getting a seat at the bar. Both times was served by a lady bartender who could not of been more attentive. She was friendly, attentive and never had me waiting for a beer. I did not expirience any of the service issues that I read about in previous reviews. Seemed to be all regulars during my visits who were friendly and eager to include me in their conversation.

Now on to the beer. What a selection! Over half the taps are devoted to local California breweries: Russian River, Anderson Valley,Moonlight,and Speakeasy to name a few. Rest of the taps were mostly belgiums. Impressive bottled beer list which i never tried as i concentrated on drafts that you can not get back east. I have found my new favorite microbrewerey, sorry Dogfish, in Russian River. Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig, and Damnation were all excellant and I wish they were available back home. All beers were fresh and served in proper glassware. Can't beat the happy hour prices either. No food but right next door is a place with excellant cheap sausages which you can bring in to the bar. Only negative I found with Toronado is that they are cash only.

By far this was the best bar that I have found in San Francisco and in my top five nationally, almost as good as my hometown Max's. I will make it a point to return here every time i visit the bay area. (1,733 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Toronado has always been on my list of places to hit. I was lucky enough to find my way here on the Sunday of Barleywine fest. Walking in, the bar spreads out on the right with tap and cask lists posted above the bar. There were some seats on the left and in the back room but I stayed up front. I have heard this described as a dive bar, but that is not accurate. I would call it a bar that pulls a diverrse crowd. I saw everything from pierced and tattooed folks to preppy kids enjoying good beer togrther. The bartenders were all pretty much the tattooed and pierced crowd. They were all prompt and never let my glass go empty even with a massive crowd on hand. I was solo but managed to chat up some folks, even finding some people that knew someone in my field that I knew. Being there for barleywine fest, I know that the selection was not typical, but even the non-barleywine beers available were superb. I never had to wait more than a minute to get a beer. I have to say that I have been to some good bars in my time but this one really stands out to me in all aspects. I only wish I had looked at their bottle list. (1,125 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I recently flew to San Francisco to attend the Toronado 22nd Anniversary Party and pick up a few bottles of Cable Car. Stopped in three consecutive days, just to see what it was like when it wasn't a madhouse.

Atmosphere - It's dive-bar chic. This place ain't gonna win any beauty pageants, and the washrooms are used at one's one risk. That being said, it's full of a ridiculous amount of breweriana, an inexpensive jukebox full of good tunes, retro cash registers (that don't go past $99), and an old-school board listing the brews on tap. Seating consists of the bar, a few four-person tables along the wall, and a small room near the back with a few tables. They opened up an auxiliary room for the big party where there was free food, but that's not typical.

Quality - There aren't too many bad brews to be found on the tap or bottle list. Obviously there aren't any macros to be found within shooting distance of the place (and I really get the sense that if you walked in with a Coors you'd be shot on sight). No discernible off-flavors from the tap lines, bottles are cellared appropriately, etc. This is about the last place you'd be worried about the staff mistreating your brew.

Service - Wow! I know that sometimes these guys get a bad rap, but if you're a serious beer-lover they will treat you right. Basically they have license to be assholes back to customers who are assholes. I heard all kinds of people bitching and moaning that the bartender wouldn't sell them Cable Car or took too long to serve them - if the bartenders know you, they will sell you the beers you want and look after you. I don't think I ever had to wait more than a few minutes to get a drink, even during the insanity of the 22nd Anniversary Party. The staff was always happy to pour samples and answer questions. My wife even got the mutton-chop bartender to crack a smile (briefly). Alene, Stuart (sp?), Dave, Princess - you guys made it an amazing weekend.

Selection - Putting aside the utter ridiculousness of quadruple-fisting Humulus Lager, Cable Car, Abacus, and Nelson, this bar has a seriously awesome selection 7 days a week. There are session beers galore (Moonlight lagers, RR Blind Pig), local stuff I've never heard of like Marin Star Brew, old favorites like Pliny the Elder, oddball offerings like Mortification, plenty of solid Belgian and German brews, etc., etc. The selection is well thought out, with a plethora of styles and options. The bottle list is up-to-date, with harder to find offerings like Hommage and Sang Royal. I don't think any single worthy brew available to them sneaks by - you can pretty much count on it showing up at some point.

Value - Compared to Chicago the tap prices are ridiculous. $4 for Death & Taxes ($3 during happy hour or on Saturdays)!? Cable Car was the priciest at $5. The bottle list doesn't show the same punishing markup that other SF bars do - things were about 50% more than store price. Glasses are always filled to the brim - no short pours here.

If you love beer visiting this place is as crucial as visiting Kulminator or Akkurat. (3,093 characters)

Photo of braddo
4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Best bartender to ever pour a pint. What you see is what you get. Great prices and great selection. Belly up to the bar and you won't want to leave. Take a pass on the mead in the crock pot behind the bar. They don't serve food but you can buy a sausage next door and bring it back to the bar. This will be the fist place I go when I go back to San Fran.

Sampled:
Pliny the Elder Double IPA (Draught) - Beer Advocate's rating lives up to the hype! Huge floral and citrus taste.

Saison Dupont (Draught) - Refreshing and crisp. True to the style. Perfect for a hot summer day. May be better buying in a bottle from the store. A pint costs a small fortune.

Sierra Nevada Chico IPA (Cask) - Taste of citrus and hops. Heavy hop aroma like many Sierra Nevada offerings.

Bear Republic Racer 5 IPA (Draught) - Malty flavor and heavy hop aroma. Worthy of topping any IPA list.

http://www.burrstreetbrewblog.com/2009/03/san-francisco-beer-week.html (946 characters)

Photo of rdrummer
4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
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. (1,089 characters)

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 KNORDSTROM
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

We made it out to the Toronado for the Second time . The first time , we knew what to expect after reading several reviews. Dont be a beer SNOB!!. I am a pretty simple beer guy, so this was right up my lane. We were actually nervous to order a water, especially with ice! lol ! But let me tell ya after ordering a few rounds a beers and letting the bartenders feel ya out . They will eventually warm up to ya. Just know what u want when there ready to take your order.

1st visit I was thrown a Pliny the Younger. Happy camper!!
2nd Vist I was thrown Lost Abbeys Cable Car. Really happy Camper!!

Thanks to Paul and the guy with the cool accent. Both times visiting have been a massive success.

I will visit everytime I go through SF!

P.S. The sausage place next store kicks A** (782 characters)

Photo of TheLoneGunman
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

One of my favorite bars. More on the punk side of things and located in a somewhat crappy part of Haight, Toronado is one of the best beer bars in the country.

I walked in, raving and drooling and sat at the bar. I immediately asked if they had any Moonlight on-tap and the bartender pointed to the board. I felt like a child, mad with excitement over the coming experience. I snapped out of it to see so many great West Coast beers, ready for consumption.

The service was outstanding and the bartenders were not only friendly, but willing to give an out-of-towner like me a chance to sample practically everything! Of course, I rewarded their hospitality by dropping a load of cash on beer plus a great tip. They deserved it.

The crowd was a great mix of friendly people. Not much more to say.

Toronado isn't a beautiful bar and the neighborhood isn't great. But it's not dangerous either. Just use some common sense and you should be just fine. Enjoy! (967 characters)

Photo of millhouse
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Lower Haight, while having more than a few beautiful row houses, seems to be pretty quiet. I ended up walking here from the Hilton Towers San Francisco, (looong walk). But, just saying that I've been here and have talked politics with the staff here is one of the highlights of my BA life. Beware... I didn't expect to see San Francisco's (and one of the US's) best beer bar to be smack dab in the middle of a quiet neighborhood.

NO imports here. Mainly California brews. And NONE of the ones I tried were less than stellar. None were ice cold - i.e., they were at proper temps. The staff was beyond knowledgeable about their wares, but they really did seem to appear tough. One random group walked in and asked a few questions about the beer, ordered something else (NO IMPORTS AND NO MAINSTREAM US BEERS, I SAY) and then proceeded to ridicule the establishment's "NO PLASTIC" policy (even though an ATM lies across the street). They were immediately told where to go by the gruff, seemingly Scottish, bartender. He literally followed them out of the establishment... BUT. They did deserve it.

Toronado is about as unique a beer experience as I believe you can expect in this country. Don't bother asking for a Guiness or a Stella or even one of the Belgian brews that so many BA's salivate over. And bring cash. (1,319 characters)

Photo of CarbonIS
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I have been planning a trip to San Francisco since May and although it's hard to be out here two days after the Giants won the world series (phillies fan here), I must say that this is one of my favorite cities.

My one goal in coming out here was to go to the toronado. I was lucky enough to go the first night I was here. I was a little apprehensive about what I would find, given the reviews of the clientele and bartenders attitudes, but man, were those reviews wrong.

Bartenders Stuart and Eric were both knowledgable and friendly, with immense beer knowledge. I immediately felt welcomed in what I thought would be a hostile environment. I was able to chat about beer and baseball with them without being treated like an outsider or tourist.

The dimly lit bar walls are overflowing with beer memorabilia, including metal signs, hundreds of taps and rare bottles. The beer draught and bottle lists are both extensive and impressive. I enjoyed an 09 consecration on draught and a 2010 cable car bottle.

A great place and a great experience. I will be heading back tonight! (1,083 characters)

Photo of SamuraiJack
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Perhaps my favorite US beer bar.
If you're a beer fan - and especially if you're a Belgian beer fan - this is a must visit. The selection is excellent. I've been to places with larger lists -- but none with a better list. Not only does Toronado not serve Budweiser or Coors - they don't even serve Sierra Nevada or Anchor Steam. There were beers on the list I didn't like - but there were literally no Bad beers on there. Period.
Of particular note are the hand-pumps (three as far as I could tell), the correct glassware (even for the Lambics) and the incredibly knowledgable bartender.
The bar is in the lower Haight (grunge and dirt) and the bar itself is definately low on ammenities. Does it matter? Not in the least.
They don't serve food but there is a good sausage place right next door and the best BBQ in the Bay Area is right across the street at Memphis Minnies.
Prices ain't cheap - but they're fair.
Thank god I live 5.5 hours away is all I have to say. I'd look like Mario Battali otherwise. (1,014 characters)

Photo of xoqx
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
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. (931 characters)

Photo of musicman575
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Wow, in one of the most expensive cities in the US, they serve up the best beer for only 4-5 bucks a glass. That is awesome. We went in there on, get this, Thanksgiving night! Yep, our bartender was happy that people had been bringing him food and treats all day, but was bummed at how empty it was.

They had an awesome variety of beers on tap from all around the US and the world. They also had a great lineup of local beers (Russian River, woot woot!). Everything on their bottle list could be consumed on site or carried out.

Music was a little loud, but that's the vibe they go for.

I am totally thrilled that it was open when we walked by. This is the best beer place in SF. (683 characters)

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