116 Reviews

Type: Bar, Eatery

4026 30th St
San Diego, California, 92104-2602
United States

(619) 282-0456 | map

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Added by kleffman on 06-29-2008

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Reviews: 116 | Ratings: 241
Photo of ZX6Chris
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This place is awesome. The beertenders are very knowledgeable and friendly. Great tap selection with very reasonable prices. The bottle list rotates and is a little higher priced then I'd like but where else are you gonna pick up some Cable Car?

Great location in the heart of North Park. Special's for SDBW, anniversary parties and brewery nights. Everything you'd expect from a great craft beer bar.

Lots of great beer people to meet here. BA's, people in the industry and others that just love great beer.

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Photo of millerbuffoon
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

one word...awesome...
I went to San Diego for Beer Week the past 2 years, and hit this place 4 out of 7 nights both times.
The events were great...even when an event wasn't going on the taplist was stellar.
The food was awesome, I think I had the BLTA 3 nights in a row.
Nate and Eric were the kings of hospitality, Nate remembering me from seeing him at Alpine earlier in the day, and Eric remembering my name from seeing it on my credit card the night before. Little things like that make you feel special, and bartenders who do things like that make you want to return to the place they tend at. Not that the taplist wouldn't do that already, but I would recognize them on the street a year later, because they took the time to remember me.
Jukebox was super cool with old alternative-grunge-punk.
This place is a home run the other 51 weeks of the year as well. Nothing but positives all acrossed the board...

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Photo of FARGO619
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

I love Mondays, and this is the place to be. Great Happy Hour. Their tap list is always satisfying from great local beer STONE, GREEN FLASH, PORT, LOST ABBEY, BALLAST POINT to name a few and there is so many to choose from out of town beers RUSSIAN RIVER, DESCHUTES...etc. Check this place out. I know I'm forgetting so many other great beers. They also have an awesome bottle list of almost everything. Even hard to find gems that you cannot get in most places. The food is great too. So when in SD you will be happy when you find this place.

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Photo of hops_and_waves
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

So, you're in San Diego and you visit beer web sites. Well, the Toronado has the best beer selection in San Diego. Great tap list and great bottle list. They also make some pretty good food. And the service at this location is much more friendly than the SF location, which I also love. This is one of the few places you can get Alpine beers on a pretty consistent basis.

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Photo of Buck89
4.95/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Visited Toronado in San Diego earlier this year. Was out on business and I had only had a few hours, so I went there alone on a weeknight. Amazing offerings and very friendly staff. I ordered a pint of The Pupil from Societe, arguably one of SD's finest IPAs. Outstanding. Turned out that the guy sitting next to me was a brewer at a local place, and he invited me to visit his tasting room up the street. As I asked to settle up, the bartender comped me the pint. What a great vibe. I left her a tip 2x the price of the pint. Can't wait to get back there.

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Photo of torchednoodle
4.94/5  rDev +11.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Stopped in here maybe three times since it's opened. Every time, it's been great prices ($1 off any beer in the house from 11-6 I think? probably one of the best happy hours I've ever seen in any bar, much less such a great beer bar), great selection, and great service. Ian himself was tending bar the last time I stopped by, and it was nice to pick his brain a bit about the California beer scene. Also, the fit and finish of the place improves with every visit; it may not have the atmosphere and set of quirky regulars that SF Toronado has yet, but I have a strong feeling this place will do just fine creating a San Dieg-ish atmosphere and following of it's own.

Seriously though, it really would be great if the website tap list could be updated at least every Friday or so. Or is this going to turn into the 8 year old tap list at SF Toronado as well?

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Photo of Trappissed
4.88/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I have to chime in here after finally visiting this amazing place. Very nice atmosphere, laid back and comfortable. Bartenders were very nice and attentive. Selection was awesome and price was pretty damn reasonable for what you're getting.

I had some Pliny the Elder, Horny Devil, and Hairy Eyeball on-tap. Also tried some La Folie that my girlfriend had and it was delicious. I could have tried much more with all to choose from. It's hard to restrain yourself at a place like this and I'm sure I will be back very soon. The location is in a pretty busy part of town, so there is a good chance you'll have to park a distance away. Not nearly as bad as downtown though and downtown sucks anyways.

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Photo of BertSugar
4.86/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

This is what can happen when you elevate beer to the status it deserves. From the outrageous tap selection, to the incredible bottle selection this place means business. The bar is a long abbreviated L shape that faces the glass fronted bottle coolers and the glassware shelves. Each style's glassware is represented and used appropriately. A giant beer list hangs over the bar, which makes it a bit difficult to see and read. Tons of great west coast beers (I finally had Pliny the Elder - Holy Moly) and an assortment of Belgians. The food looked outstanding and very interesting. However, the prices blew me away: It's Happy hour from 11a-5p every day where you get $1 off any beer. Yeah, that's right, a $4 Bear Republic Apex IPA. And on Mondays after 5, beers are $3.50. Needless to say, the place filled right up after 5. Awesome. I'm also in awe of the bartenders. I was shocked to see one of them, Dandi, wearing a Piece shirt so we just had to tell her we were from Chicago. We were off and running from there. This place is out of the way, so get your map or GPS out and do not miss this.

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Photo of adkirkish
4.83/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I'm definitely a fan of Toronado. I usually come on monday nights for 3 dollar pint night and now I'll be visiting on wednesdays for their washoe tournaments.

The staff @ Toronado have always been friendly and polite to me and my friends and can always recommend a great beer to me and give me a rundown of what to expect, even throwing in some tasters to help me decide.

The beer and bottle selection is nothing short of awesome. Not only do they carry alot of locally brewed beers (Lost Abbey / Port Brewing / Alesmith / Alpine / Karl Strauss / Green Flash etc.), the list pours into belgian and german styles to name a few.

Along with the amazing beer they have an awesome food selection. I highly recommend their sausage and potato cake plate. They offer a couple different types of links: Italian, Bratwurst, smoked apple chipotle and the portions are huge. The potato cake covers up the entire plate (it's enought for 2 people to share).

The only reason why I gave 4 stars instead of 5 is the size of the bar. It gets crowded on Mondays and I've had to wait outside just to get in the door. If this were a bigger place I would have no complaints what so ever.

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Photo of RodBurg
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

This is pretty much my favorite bar ever. First off, the beer selection alone is worth multiple visits. They always have a great regional and imported tap selection and an awesome bottle refer as well. Its clean, the bartenders are friendly, the music's never too loud, and its never too crowded. Parking can be a bitch, but parking's a bitch anywhere in San Diego. The Linkery, Ritual, and the Pink Elephant are only a stones throw away, making for a decent North Park pub crawl. Still haven't tried the food so I can't comment on that. I live about an hour and a half away and I would make the drive solely to go here. This place alone makes me sad I moved to the IE..

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Photo of AdamBear
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Okay so I went to the one is San Francisco last month and was highly disappointed at the atmosphere and service. However, this time i was nearing the end of my trip in San Diego, and I needed to find a place with Pliny of draft, and i figured i would bust through the grossness and rudeness to get one here, but oh wow was i surprised!

Atmosphere: small bar and very busy, however it did not smell like stale beer, something i can't say for in the SF location.

Service: very friendly and patient....two things that the SF location absolutely did not have. I was very relieved when dealing with the 2 female bartenders here, both were very nice and alert.

Quality/Selection: i hate using this word, but the selection is "epic". there aren't too many places with this impressive of a list of rares both on tap and in bottles. there were so many rare beers, that it really made me groan quite a bit.

Food: just perfect. I had cajun style sausage along with the macaroni and cheese. Paired with my HOTD Adam and RR PtE....I was in heaven....

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I think I have to vote this my favorite bar in the world. Went in on a Friday afternoon, place was not clustered, some tables, back patio, long bar, open seats. Parked right across the street. Good discussion meeting BAs pastradul and zx6chris there, not to mention some lesbians on the patio that had good insight into education these days.

Amazing list of beers on tap and bottle. Only disappointment was not being able to get a Cantillon Vignerrone or whatnot. Other than that, they had everything they claimed to have (a common pet peeve of mine, some places, 1/2 their list is 'out of stock'.

Prices were decent. Ended up having toronado red, cable car, chocolate oak aged yeti, 30th street pale, levuds there. Blu cheese burger was damn good too. Service was excellent, they let me keep the bottles of Levud's and Cable Car with no hassle when I said I was a plinker and would be shooting them up on a legendary mountain full of deceased wales in Nevada (both met their demise yesterday afternoon, the Cable Car was an amazing, 100 yard shot up a mountain).

Didn't have to wait long ever for drinks, beautiful smiles, this is not the Toronado experience I am accustomed to in the bay area.

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Photo of surfer4life
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Went to this place last night (Friday) around 5 PM with the intention of having a pint, maybe two and then going to a movie. When I looked online at their beer list, it seemed a little above average at best. Much to my suprise when I got there, there actual taplist was no where near what was online, it was great. I immediately ordered a Pliny the Elder and began my heavenly evening. Needless to say I never made it to the movies or even out of this place until close to midnight. They only have about 50 beers on tap and close to a hundred bottles, however amongst these selection are some of the highest rated beers on BA. The staff was extremely knowledgable and very down to earth. Dandy waited on me and my buddy all night and if I were not already married I would have taken here to Vegas, this woman knew her beer. Lastly I had a bratwurst and my buddy had a hot italian sausage and they were very good. This place is a gem. Seeing how its about 40 miles closer than Stone Brewpub, I'll be a regular here.

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Photo of gwguest
4.75/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Visiting SD from the Midwest, I had targeted the Toronado as a place to try a lot of beers that are only available on the west coast. I was not disappointed.

I arrived at around 2:00 on a Wednesday and there were about 6 other customers there. The place is clean with a nice wooden bar and impressive refridg'd cases of bottled beer with taps over in one corner. Toronado does a great job of keeping their web site updated with the current selection of draft beer. The atmosphere is difficult to judge, as I don't expect any place to be that great on Wed. afternoon, but it was comfortable.

The draft beer list is great and has a lot of west coast beers and highlights from around the country and a few international selections as well. For my purposes, there was plenty to try.

The service was fantastic. I was greeted promptly and my first beer was delivered quickly (not a surprise considering how few customers were in the place, but I've been to plenty of places where service is painfully slow even with few customers). The bartender knew the beer selection well and the nuances of a few beers about which I needed some more info. The bartender also let me know about some upcoming events that I could attend. I even spoke (randomly) to the owner who was also very laid back and knowledgeable.

After a couple of beers, I ordered a sausage and a third beer but asked the bartender to not bring the third beer until the sausage was ready. Again, a simple instruction that most places will screw up. The bartender obviously listened to my request and brought me a water while I waited. A few minutes later, the sausage and beer arrived exactly as I asked.

The smoked cajun sausage was quite tasty with my Pliny.

After some more time, and a low abv to finish my visit, my bill was astoundingly low. Four great quality beers, and a sausage was a mere $17 during happy hour. Even full price would have been a good deal, as the posted prices are very reasonable.

A nice relaxed place for great beer, great service and very good food. Recommended.

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Photo of everetends
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in here on my trip to San Diego. I have heard so much about the San Fran location, I figured I had to give this one a shot.

Walked in and was kind of shocked at how small the place was. A little quaint and cozy. It was a Tuesday night and the place was pretty packed. Strange crowd consisted of a large amount of hipsters, one very loud and obnoxious musician, a handful of beer noobs and some beer quiet beer lovers. Seems like this bar was more of a trendy place to most of the patrons the night I was in.

My bartender was great (I believe his name was Eric). He was a cool guy who was on his game considering he was the only bartender on duty that night. He found out we were from Alabama and that we knew a little about beer and it was like we were all old friends. He made us feel at home and even introduced us to some regulars who were friends of his.

The selection was amazing as expected. Just so many quality taps it was hard to figure out what to order every round. I didn't order anything from their bottle collection, but it was quite impressive.

The only downfall I could find with this place was that it closed at midnight during the week due to some crazy local restrictions they were having to deal with. It was difficult to leave but a blast while we were there. I will absolutely make a return trip next time I am in SD.

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Photo of portia99
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Came here on a Saturday afternoon with a couple of work friends. Having already been to the San Francisco location, I had an idea of what to expect walking in here. Place was laid out much like the SF location with the trademark Dutch half door at the entrance (very cool touch in my opinion), bar all down the right side and half a dozen tables along the left side. Huge chalkboard over the bar with the selection on tap. Lots of great stuff from all over the country and world...southern Cal/SD area was well represented by a number of Stone (3 Ruinations - DDH, standard, cask dry hopped on Amarillo), Alpine, Alesmith, etc. I sampled several on tap and finished sharing a Cable Car Kriek ($55 I think...not cheap but still seemed reasonable)...passed on the '09 Cable Car ($90), and I think I heard there might have been an Izzy kicking around behind the bar too. Server/bartender was friendly, helpful and knowledgable. Took a little while to get a drink as the line at the bar was fairly long and really only one bartender to handle everyone. Crowd seemed a bit more upscale than I was expecting from the surrounding neighborhood (actually more the area a few blocks away that we drove thru coming from the highway...the immediate area around the pub seemed fine). Vibe inside was casual...pretty loud inside and was at times difficult to carry a conversation, but nothing out of the ordinary or unexpected. Definitely a place to return to on a future visit.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

One big strength of the San Diego branch is that the tap list is updated on the website with some regularity. I never trust the web information at the original. The taps are all top shelf as they should be: Abyss, Black Butte XXI, Mirror Mirror, Damnation, Blind Pig, Alaskan Smoked Porter, Alpine Uncommon, 12 beers from Pizza Port, Old Rasputin on nitro, Allagash Curieux, and another 15 or so beers. Plus a huge bottle list, including my choice: Cable Car 2009. Much cleaner and more civilized than the San Francisco location. But I still love the gritty feel and beer selections of the spot on 547 Haight, and it's always the first place I go when in town.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.73/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Loved this place and reminded me a lot of Toronado in S.F. when I visited that one years ago - except the S.D. seemed much newer, cleaner, yet of course had the half-split front door.

I liked the simple policy of ordering at the bar and seating yourself, though it can be a bit uncivilized when trying to transition from standing to seating when everyone else is thinking the same thing. This brings out the worst in people sometimes, especially if a few beers are already under the belt.

Amazing taps and plenty of nice glassware, though many styles receive the plain pint glass. Bartenders were cool for quick questions and help with unfamiliar taps. Prices were a little high for normal prices, but luckily we were here for the $3/pint special on Monday.

A must stop for anyone who visits San Diego.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Went for my first time today to celebrate completing a Triathlon. Having been to the one in San Francisco, this one is completly different. They seemed to have designed the place to be more efficient knowing what they would like to change about the one in SF but it is a beautiful looking bar. I do swish it had more character like the one in SF but that is probably something that comes with the amount of time the SF one has been open.

The beers on tap are displayed in the tradition and big 1.5 and 3 leter bottles are around the place. The sausages are not as good as the ones next door to the SF location but I have yet to find a place that does have better sausages.

The bottle list is super impressive but very expensive. Was tempted in my celebration to purchase a $95 bottle of Toronado 20th but couldn't justify the cost. Almost bought a bottle of Cable car too for $45 but my buddies had had enough beer. They had Cuvee De Tommie and Isabel Proximis, Beatification 1,2&3, 3L Consecration and may others. I will buy some one day but they are super tempting right there behind the bar. Overall excelent establishment with beer just as good as the SF location with nice frendly staff.

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Photo of Luvzsurfrz
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Stopped at Toronado on 4/9/11 when we were in town for the City Beat Beer Festival. Needless to say, this place was an amazing find for a great Saturday evening.

Toronado isn't a huge location, but has a great ambiance and mood. The crowd consists MOSTLY of other beer enthusiasts, which makes for great conversation and times shared.

Getting to the beer part of it, from what I recall (although I'd been drinking all day), there was something like 40 taps, and a bottle list unlike any I've seen. Both lists are also on their website. There was a nice balance of padded chairs around the bar with surrounding tables and booths. I started my evening with a RR Supplication on tap, followed by a round of Pliny on tap for me and my friends. Little did I know my boyfriend was on the other side of the room spending $45 bucks on a bottle of Cable Car. Thankfully, I didn't miss out on a tasting of that!

All-and-all, this is a must visit when in San Diego! We had a fabulous evening, and I definitely can't wait to go there again!

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Photo of GJ40
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I've made a quick visit to the Toronado in SF so I knew I had to visit the SD location. As many have noted, the SD location is a very different place but it's no commercial sellout. It still has lots of character and a serious, authentic pub vibe.

Toronado SD has a great selection of beer on tap (about 42 by my count) with lots from CA but also some good ones from the east coast and Europe. And they have many more in the bottle. I went with an Alpine O'Brien's IPA, an AleSmith IPA and a Bruery Humulus Lager. They were all fantastic. My wife had a RR PtE.

We also ate there and I loved the food. I had a Jalapeno burger and it was cooked perfectly and served on a nice soft, bready roll. Others in the group had BLTAs (BLTs with avocado) and a salad. Everything was good.

Toronado has it all... the atmosphere, the draft beer and the food. It's the real deal.

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Photo of d0ggnate
4.68/5  rDev +5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Since the fabled Toronado has finally opened in SD, it has been the buzz amongst beer geeks and drunks alike. I had my chance to spend hard-earned cash here last night and I was not disappointed. The 50 beautifully mounted taps offer endless selection of choice beer from across the world. The space is quite large and it does get pretty loud, but it is bearable. Behind the bar lies two beautiful bottle coolers, as well. If you're not careful you could go for broke after a bottle or two of the rarities they offer. My trip included a Rodenbach Grand Cru draft and Alpine Beer Co.'s Chez Monieux (bottled). Both were served appropriately and I couldn't have been happier to enjoy great beers such as these. There is a different vibe that other SD beer bars, but diversity is welcomed and it is nice to have another place to go in North Park. I'm looking forward to trying their food, but will wait until they release the full menu.

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Photo of hamilton23
4.66/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

I finally got to visit Toronado. It definitely lives up to the hype in terms of selection. In addition to what appeared to be about 40 taps of amazing beers, they have a bottle list that is really quite amazing. I counted 6 pages of single spaced bottles. The vast majority of which were from Belgium. However, I was also surprised to find some harder to find US beers like Silva Stout, 2 Turtle Doves and a few others.

If you like sours, they have Cable Car for $40 a bottle. In addition to loads of other sour favorites like Cantillions and Lost Abbey offerings.

The bar itself is decent size, but not big. There is a nice sized outdoor patio in the back that was dominated by smokers. While it would have been nice to spend time out here, I just couldn't handle the smoke.

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Photo of RadNatta
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I chose my apartment because it was in walking distance from Toronado. San Diego's 30th Street is the best beer street in the nation and Toronado is one of the top three beer bars on 30th.

I don't like places that are meant to please everyone. I don't like people who think places should please everyone. I like Toronado, because it exists to please beer lovers; not people who want to sip fizzy yellow water while getting cuddly with their pals in a booth. It wants to serve people who arrived for the beer itself. It does this well.

The bartenders understand what they are serving. They'll explain any beers you think sound interesting and give you a taste if you want to be sure. If you are a San Diego beer tourist, go here. if you live in San Diego, you should already be here. I'll see you on Monday; it's Local Pint night.

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Photo of pwoods
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Stopped here twice while in SD. Atmosphere is a bit mixed. There are a few pretty cool, chill people. But there are also quite a few douche hipsters and the same goes for nerdy beer nerds. But other than that, this place is beer heaven with tons of rare and large format bottles all over the place and the craziest glassware selection I've ever seen. The quality and selection is unrivaled. Double Cherry Red Poppy, CdT, Expo Hop, Mongo IPA, Melange 6, etc. etc. etc. etc. on tap. Tons of the best locals/regionals in the coolers, and they had quite a few Cable Cars available. Service was a bit spotty. They didn't really seem to care too much. There was one guy that was pretty good, though. The food was pretty damn good, too, though it's mostly just burgers and sandwiches... though a bit upper scale. And they actually cooked my burger rare like I asked. Food is reasonably priced, too. The beer, however, is pretty expensive. Most of the limited stuff was served in 5ish ounce glasses that were $5. The bottles are expensive, too. Though where else are you going to be able to order a Cable Car? There are a few flaws to this place but at the end of the day I think it'd rare go here than anywhere else I've ever visited.

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Toronado in San Diego, CA
4.44 out of 5 based on 241 ratings.
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