Toronado

ToronadoToronado
ToronadoToronado
Bar, Beer-to-go

547 Haight St
San Francisco, California, 94117-3406
United States

(415) 863-2276 | map
toronado.com

Notes:
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.29
Reviews:
336
Ratings:
503
pDev:
13.05%
View: Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 336 | Ratings: 503
Photo of RollTide7
4.86/5  rDev +13.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Hands down one of my favorite bars. Rated service a down a bit as they can definitely be a bit surly, particularly if you don't know about beer or if you ask them for advice be prepared to tell them what you like. I've struck up good conversations with the bartenders and other customers on multiple stops in. One of the most reasonable prices for a pint of pliny you will find anywhere besides at Russian River itself. Also have a great selection of other quality brews, I tried moonraker last time I was in there.

Be aware that they also sell beer to go, i bought some plinys to go last time i was in there and the bartender gave me a pint can of alvarado minesweeper for free to try as well.

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Photo of VoxRationis
5/5  rDev +16.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I was in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San Francisco and visited Toronado with a couple of friends on their recommendation. They warned me it was a bit of a "dive" bar, but honestly it is nothing of the kind. It is a rare bar that shows a real commitment to providing such a broad range of quality craft beers.

I was really impressed by the several dozens taps available and the additional range of bottled offerings. All served up fairly inexpensively with the friendliness of your local neighborhood bar. The walls, including the bathrooms, are covered with beer memorabilia, as is the entire space behind the bar. The crowd consists almost exclusively of real beer cognoscenti. I struck up a conversation with a couple of fellows for North Carolina and gratefully ordered their recommendation.

This place is a gem. If you are in SF, you should go to HA. If you are in HA, you should go to Toronado.

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Photo of Thankin_Hank
4.94/5  rDev +15.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place was just GREAT! Bartender was a hippie looking dude who called us “civilized” because he got a decent tip. Gave me stickers for the beer fridge and a magnet. We were after a taste of the Russian River’s ‘Pliny the Elder’ and had a couple of pints after an Anchor Brewing tour and multiple tastings. The best part was the cool people we met. There was so much nostalgia it was really cool. A place I would love to go back to.

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Photo of remingtonsteele1987
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Best dive bar in San Francisco. Dusty decor everywhere and the place smells of bad breath. Filthy bathrooms with hot water, soap and plenty of paper towels! Always a good thing. Can get some amateurs and yahoo's on the weekends, but overall the clients are great. The bartenders take care of the locals and anyone who appreciates good beer. Don't piss them off though. Can get busy and patience is essential. Beer selection and price are the best in the Bay Area, in my opinion. Beer is always served in a clean glass at the proper temp. A must for beer lovers!

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Photo of mrcraft
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

Toronado is a craft beer institution in the Haight-Asbury neighborhood. It's an unique area with Victorian rowhouses, mixed in with eateries and other businesses. Parking can be tough because it's mostly limited street parking. Uber is probably a better means to get here if you're a visitor, like I was. As others have mentioned, it's cash only.

I visited after work, and it was pretty crowded, but the bartender was friendly and I was served quickly. I heard some bad stories but didn't experience any of it. The inside was split into sections. At the main entrance, you find the bar area with tables and chairs. There's then like a connecting area with some tables and space to enjoy your beers and mingle. And, then there's a third space, more open, lighter and maybe a tad quieter.

I went with a co-worker. She doesn't drink beer, so she was a trooper to hang out with me while I enjoyed my tart cherry sour.

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Photo of lpteague
4.88/5  rDev +13.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

In town for business and I had heard that Toronado was the place in San Fran guaranteed to be serving Russian River. I walked from my hotel over to Toronado on Haight and Fillmore, keeping a close eye as I had heard it was easy to miss.

For a world class bar, this place is tiny and unassuming. For me (at 4:15pm on a Tuesday afternoon where I was easily able to find a stool at the bar), this was a good thing. I can imagine if I came at a more peak time it would be really frustrating trying to get a beer.

I had read reviews in advance and was fully prepared with my cash on-hand and was expecting a surly reception from the bartender.

The bartender (a delightful lady) was very pleasant and quick to take my order. She approached me in less than one minute, I ordered the Blind Pig, she poured in within another minute and I had paid and was enjoying my beer just like that. I followed that up with a Pliny the Elder (a requirement IMO) and a Drake's beer that the bartender actually helped me select based on its New England style.

I had a couple of pleasant conversations with guys at the bar that were just like myself - in town for a short period and looking to check one of the world's best beer bars / best beers off their bucket list.

Overall, it was an extremely pleasant experience. Even the music was enjoyable... mellow folk / rock and not the death metal I was expecting.

I don't doubt the horror stories I've read, so I would recommend that if you're planning to visit, try to hit an off-peak time to maximize the experience. Have your cash ready and have a good idea of what you want to start. After an efficient order and a nice tip, good chance the bar tender will help you out with some advice if you need it. Cheers!

Edited to add: I was lucky and hit happy hour - $1 off all pints. Blind Pig for $4 and Pliny for $5? That's insane to an East Coaster like myself. Wish I could have made an entire day of it.

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Photo of IanBrock
1.41/5  rDev -67.1%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 2.5

I went to Toronado because I'm into US craft beer, and I'd heard they have a large number of drafts. I was happy to find an English bartender, but things quickly turned bad. The bartender was abusively rude. Okay, okay, so get that attitude is this place's quirk, and it's what to expect, and that's sort of fine... until they start giving you the wrong order. The bartender served the wrong beer three times. The first time, he reluctantly poured a random other one for me. The second time, he swore at me, refused to replace it and verbally abused me, and the third time, he ignored me. Beer people will probably want to seek out this place, but they seriously shouldn't bother. I know Toronado is a chain, and I don't know what the owners think of all this. I'd love to be recommending this place to others, but I'll be doing exactly the opposite.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.69/5  rDev -14%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3 | selection: 4.25

Atmosphere: dive bar feel with overloaded walls of beer paraphernalia, loud music and slightly sticky feel. even in the evening on a weekday it was pretty busy and hard to get a good spot. not the greatest set up I've encountered for a bar.

Quality: no complaints on what they had to drink. offering the best of the bay-area. with some very hard to find bottles (for a price.)

Service: no real issues while I wasn't there but they certainly weren't the best/nicest workers there.

Selection: again their selection is tough to beat. nice variety of sours, ipas and stouts. everyone should be able to find something they like to drink here.

Overall: if you are looking for something rare and expensive in SF look no further than Toronado. If you want to have a good time and a great beer I'd recommend somewhere else. Also remaining cash only in a modern city is archaic, especially considering offering bottles of beer for prices well up into the triple digits. I had one beer and headed back down the road to drink elsewhere.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I couldn't pass through San Francisco without visiting Toronado. The atmosphere is outstanding; just the kind of breweriana explosion that I love. 48 taps including 2 cask offerings were available when I visited, including lots of local beers and plenty from farther afield: Belgians and the like. The place was pretty full with the after-work crowd, but service was efficient nonetheless. Be advised: they are cash only, so be prepared for that. Toronado is a great place to hang out, and I wouldn't hesitate to return.

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Photo of NickyDee21
3.03/5  rDev -29.4%
vibe: 2.25 | quality: 4 | service: 1.25 | selection: 4

Great draft offerings, though not much I would not be able to find on draft in my home of Philadelphia. Most of the more notable drafts would have been better had at the breweries that are within driving distance. Prices were good. The place is cash-only, but there is an ATM across the street. Place really loses points for the vibe and service. The staff there is horrible. It consisted of a bunch of rude, tiny, old men who treat customers as an inconvenience and literally did nothing to warrant a tip (yet seem to live by the saying, "Tip well, or GTFO."). The place also looks like a breeding ground for Cellulitis. I will never go back. I have heard much better things about the San Diego and Seattle locations, but not sure I would even risk it. On a positive note, I suppose it was kinda nice to be able to check this place off my beer bucket list.

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Photo of EdwardAbbey
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

A true original, and a venerable institution in the craft beer world. I have only been here a few times, on visits to SF, but have had an excellent experience every time I did. YMMV, as everything is always in flux.

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Photo of Rockjocknroll
3.43/5  rDev -20%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 4.5

I was so stoked to finally visit this legendary location. Although I live close to SF it's just never been in the cards for me until last week. Walking in felt like visiting a holy place.

The selection is incredible (3 casks at once and not one bad beer), you'll probably contract hepatitis from the bathroom, and if they're at all busy don't bother asking any questions. They'll ignore you for 5 minutes and act like it's your fault you don't know everything about the beers they serve when you walk in the door. I understand being a busy server (10 years experience myself) and dealing with difficult people, but asking a question about a local brew and getting no service?

I love metal and dive bars as much as the next person but the staff are first rate (insert expletive here). One table of quiet folks near us moved a chair 6 inches around their table (not kidding...half a foot) and the bearded metal dwarf at the door walks over, grabs the chair and slams it as hard as he can against the floor to make a point none of us understood. I couldn't figure out why he was so angry at folks who were keeping to themselves. Oh, and the 'locals' might take offense and anything you do and possibly try to fight you.

I hear that it's much better if you're lucky to go when it's not busy. Too bad they're not doing their barleywine festival anymore.

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Photo of frasergrove
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.5

Super dive, super loud music, super DGAF bartenders, super killer beer selection. What else to say? If you go there you know why you do, but don't roll up as a tourist expecting some red carpet experience.

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Photo of amano_h
4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

I totally forgot to write a review about one of the most epic dive bars in the City.

I actually used to live on Steiner and McAllister, so whenever I had friends visiting from outside of the City we'd walk down to the corner of Filmore/Haight and start our bar crawl from Knoc-Knoc and hit up every bar until we got to Hobson's Choice in Haight-Ashbury. As I wasn't a beer nerd back then I remember trying to avoid Toronado whenever we had our pub crawls because for one it was an overly-crowded dive bar, and back when I had no idea what good beer tasted like, this bar was just filled with beers I'd never even heard of and charging way too much for a pint.

Fast-forward a few years and a couple thousand beers later, I visited Toronado during the daytime around four after having drinks earlier that day at City Beer and Cellarmaker. Whereas they didn't have anything too impressive pouring on tap that day (they had a sign up that said "Pliny the Elder is not on tap today") I did see a myriad of rare bottles (including the previously mentioned Pliny) on the bottle list, and then it struck me that a week ago was Cable Car week. Whereas I had heard rumors that Toronado was cracking open verticals of Cable Car during their event, it didn't cross my mind until I was about two beers in, that they could probably still have some bottles left.

$40 and about 45 minutes later, I left happy having hogged a bottle of Lost Abbey's Cable Car Ale all to myself.

Personal anecdotes and bragging aside, Toronado has a huge rotating tap selection and an even bigger bottle menu; whereas they don't serve food you can always bring in food from either Rosamunde next door or Ali Baba's. The service is what you expect from a dive bar, but the bartender was nice enough to humor me and my questions about the place while I was drinking. Cash only isn't all that bad as they do have an ATM machine on premises.

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Photo of Coldstorage
4.46/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Honestly, I love the vibe at Toronado. No pretentious reclaimed wood and Edison lightbulbs. Its like you are in a regular SF bar except with an amazing selection. I don't have to feel like an asshole just for going here. Great!

Quality is good. Clean enough lines, clean enough glass. Bathrooms could use more attention but then again see above comment about "regular SF bar"... gotta take the good with the bad.

Service... ok... its surly but whats the problem? Bring cash, know what you want, don't expect them to hold your hand. I've never had a huge problem here. Even been thrown out once for having my dog after 8pm but it didn't surprise me. It's Toronado. Whatever.

Selection RULES. Great taplist, great bottle list, great prices.

I don't care, this is the best Beer Spot in SF. Always has been, always will be. The #menswear "hopheads" can keep their 10$ pours at the place with a rustic vibe and a square card reader, ill be at Toronado!

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.82/5  rDev -11%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.25

Cool vibe, but the smell of urine and attitude kind of dulls it. Quality of beers varies, but is usually on the awesome side. Service is laughable.

Selection is usually around 30-40 taps, if they feel like it, they'll get you a bottle list or even something off of it. Depends on what kind of day they're having. Located in a cool ass neighborhood. Inside is punk rock and so is the smell.

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Photo of pmangold
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

iconic craft beer bar. took my wife (not huge into craft beer) and we both had a great time. I had ready several reviews about bad service but that wasn't the case with us. The guy behind the bar was awesome. Enjoyed Blind Pig and some born yesterday (day old to be exact) on tap. Good time.

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Photo of Magnum40s
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

It's still a good bar. They have great beer on tap. I am always happy to see what they have to drink. Rare and cask poured beers weekly updated tap list.

The bartenders are somewhat elitist, I get it you drank some beers. It smells like the day after the fair in there. it's like the mop the floor with the beer from the bottom of the pints at the end of the night.

It was great when this was the only game in town, now there is so much more, they should step their game up if they want to compete. Seattle and San Diego have this location beat on every metric.

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Photo of jlindros
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Great little bar, much smaller than I thought it would be. Plain bar, walls are standard but loaded with beer paraphernalia and brewery stickers everywhere. Tons of old tap handles and bottles too. Something like 50 taps, no idea on bottles, no good either.

Selection is amazing, all the greats from Cali, and a few imports and a couple from out of state like Allagash and Deschutes.

Bartender is friendly and knowledgeable, the place in general seems a bit pretentious, but not more than any other super famous bar.

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Photo of tshanahan
4.74/5  rDev +10.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

My go-to favorite dive in San Francisco, maybe the bay. From Dave on down the line these people know beer. Selection is always rotating, bottle list is stacked (cable car), and they regularly host the best beer events. This place is "in-the-know," as you wont find any advertisements about what's going on. Sit down, order, pay in cash, and enjoy a classic beer spot.

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Photo of n2pux
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Beautiful selection. Great dive atmosphere in a funky old neighborhood. Service gets criticized but I found it to be fine. It was busy, so the bartender wasn't terribly chatty but still attentive enough & prompt. Helps to have an idea what you want. Instant addition to my top 5 favorite beer bars.

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Photo of Drewfer
3.96/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 2.75 | selection: 5

Kinda over the shitty bar tender attitude some places feel like they have to have, but honestly who cares. Selection is killer. Sausages next door yes sir

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Photo of Persdawg
4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Stayed right down the street from this place, so I got to enjoy it a couple of times. Passed on the $60 Cable Car, because the draft selection was ridiculous.

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Photo of mothman
4.94/5  rDev +15.2%
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!

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Photo of tsing
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5

This is a must stop everything I visit San Francisco. They always have Pliny the Elder on top. They are the only bar in town that consistently has it. They have a lot of great choices on tap, and lots more in bottle.
They are CASH only. They have no food, but you can bring in food from the places next door. The sausage place is awesome.
It is a dive that has been there for years, but if you love beer it is a must visit.

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Toronado in San Francisco, CA
Place rating: 4.29 out of 5 with 503 ratings