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Toronado

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
95
world-class

326 Reviews
ToronadoToronado
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar

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

(415) 863-2276 | map
www.toronado.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate

PLACE STATS
Place Score:
95
Reviews:
326
Ratings:
472
Avg:
4.26
pDev:
13.85%
 
 
Taps:
43
Bottles/Cans:
0
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Place Ratings | Events
User Reviews
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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 326 | Ratings: 472
Reviews by Gilmango:
Photo of Gilmango
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

OK, this review is partly based on a "beer goggles" thread about whether we rate place overly high based upon selection. Since selection is my leading consideration, along with clean draft lines, clean and appropriate glassware, and appropriate temperatures, I think it should have the biggest impact on overall score. So how will that playout in a review of my favorite beer bar?

Atmosphere, OK, average is probably the best we can do, not going to lie to you, it is a fairly narrow bar that can get crowded. TV on with no volume, music from a jukebox at varying volumes, punch of old tap handles and other beer memorabilia. Not the atmosphere for everyone but beer geeks tend to be treated well if they don't take themselves too seriously and go at off peak times or are ready to order when it is more crowded. It is clean enough for a beer bar. Many would say it is a dive bar but one for beer geeks. [In deference to the beer goggle thread OP's complaint I am not going to up my score here but I will note that for "vibe" I would score it higher than for "atmosphere", the latter shows when we rate it, the former when you read the review.]

Quality, amazing quality in terms of beers and how they are served.

Service, the service of beers is great in terms of glassware, clean tap lines, good temperatures. The service of the bartenders is generally good, in my experience, but the place does get crowded and they often have only one bartender serving beers at crowded times (usually with a bar back helping watch the door, gather and clean glasses, but often not pouring). So there can be a wait and often it would seem better if 2 bartenders were working. And yes the bartenders, many of whom have worked their for many years, can occasionally exhibit attitude, but then so can bar patrons, they are human and they need to be loved, get over yourself. They treat me well.

Selection hits on all kinds of high notes, rare beers, beers you cannot find elsewhere, cask ales (4 at all times), local beers, great beers from around the country and world. Huge tap and bottle selections.

Food - they don't serve food but let you bring in your own food and have a great sausage place right next door, and many other food choices within a block. Really that is a high score for me but I'll just pick N/A.

Value - cannot beat their prices on most things with a stick, and at happy hour (every weekday till 6) take a dollar off everything on draft. So $4 pints of Pliny and $3 pints of Blind Pig, $3 for most other pints and cask ales. Rare beers are often poured on draft at prices that are far cheaper than the bottled versions. Their own bottle prices are quite fair for a bar, and folks even take bottled beers to go (they have the license which allows this and their prices (and selection) are such that people utilize this option.

 2,836 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of SmokingWood
3.48/5  rDev -18.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4

Photo of TheBlueJerzzzz
3.48/5  rDev -18.3%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 2 | selection: 4.5

Photo of EdwardAbbey
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of AndybIPA
4.05/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 2 | selection: 5

Photo of cadaugherty
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Photo of sjrider
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of domdomdomdom
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Tmwolfe
4.64/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of Rockjocknroll
3.43/5  rDev -19.5%
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.

 1,353 characters

Photo of frasergrove
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

 205 characters

Photo of Howlader
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of amano_h
4.66/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

 1,907 characters

Photo of Coldstorage
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
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!

 953 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.82/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

 395 characters

Photo of pmangold
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

 296 characters

Photo of costanzo_mike
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of rfgetz
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Magnum40s
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

 565 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

 518 characters

Photo of tshanahan
4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

 367 characters

Photo of Cynic-ale
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Daniellobo
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of barleywin
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 1 | selection: 5

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

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Toronado in San Francisco, CA
95 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.
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