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Taps: 48 / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
199 Valencia St
phone: (415) 255-7505
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vibe: 2 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
I'm not sure what all the hype is about. Sure, it's a trendy dive bar, with a decent beer-list, but there are a lot of those. The 'biergarten' people rave about is just a dirty, overcrowded, smokey, patio, with grungy picnic tables at which you have to practically climb over people just to get a seat (IF you can find one, and IF it's not right next to the rank porto-potties). I really dislike being around cigarette smoke, and hipsters who summarily judge you with a glance.
The draught beers are not bad, generally a lot of domestic, local microbrews. But for the selection, I'd much rather go to the Toronado. I've also tried the Niman ranch burgers which aren't bad at $5.00, but not the best I've had. Service tends to be a little slow and apathetic, but I've never experienced anything completely rude and unacceptable. Kudos for the jukebox having Gogol Bordello.
Overall, I'd give the place an "eh". It's okay. I go if I'm right in the vicinity, or if others in my crew demand it. But it's just simply not worth the hype.
09-22-2008 03:31:34 |
More by nephilae
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | $
My impressions of Zeitgeist are pretty mixed. On one hand, the service is almost always bad. I have waited up to 20 minutes for a drink on busy nights. My general policy is that if I am not at least acknowledged within 5 minutes of entering a bar, they do not get my business. Of course there are exceptions, but they are reserved for places like Toronado. Zeitgeist is a hipster bar, filled with bike kids and squatters. But that's part of its charm. They always seem to have RR Damnation and Pliny on draught ($4.50 a pint!) as well as lots of Moonlight beers and other cool micros.
What makes Zeitgeist a really notable bar is the outdoor section, with its long picnic tables, port-o-potties, and view of the highway. I always seem to meet interesting people here. The atmosphere is electric, and if they would just hire a few more bartenders, I would spend a lot more time there.
If you're in the mission, it beats most of the other beer bars.
09-16-2008 09:43:36 |
More by DaveHS
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | $
San Franciscans love this place—and I can definitely see why, as it has all the right elements to make it a hipster’s paradise (especially when it’s sunny outside, as then one can truly appreciate all the picnic benches and outdoor patio space)—but to me it will always be “Toronado with a patio, if the Toronado was the way everyone says it is.”
Which is to say, killer tap selection combined with surely bouncers and abrasive bartenders, only with more sunlight to illuminate the nasty bathrooms. And to be fair since their remodel a few years back the bathrooms are surprisingly clean and modern, in a stainless-steel prison vibe sort of way. And now that I know the routine (I have my ID in hand as I enter) I’m not on the receiving end of the attitude the way I once was.
But… points off for serving bad beer. Not bad as in macros, bad as in infected. Wasn’t my order so I didn’t go up to fight it. If you’re going to position yourself as a serious beer bar you have to take your beer seriously, and cleaning the lines is part of that. ‘Nuff said.
11-20-2012 08:44:54 |
More by elNopalero
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Zeitgeist is exactly what you would expect for a divey beer bar in the mission. The place has black and red paint and is moderately dirty. The place gets very crowded and has limited standing room indoors so you will be fighting the crowd to get a beer. Prices are a little bit more than you would expect and at the time I went, the selection was limited to a few popular microbrews that most people have already tried. The best part about ZG is the large outdoor area which has lots of wooden benches for you to sit at. It's a great place to share a pitcher with friends, but be sure to bring a warm jacket because it gets cold and breezy at night. Overall, if you can mind the crowd, this is a good place to come with a few people and have a few beers, sit on a bench, and have a good time.
05-05-2012 02:22:45 |
More by BenHesk12
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $
We weren't sure what to expect as this was my first experience with a dive bar and it was an eye opener. We arrived around 4PM. There were assorted posters on the walls and it was dark. But they did have a good selection of beers, many unknown to me, and the bartenders were friendly and offered samples and discriptions to the visitors. After making a selection we were about to sit at the bar on a worn out stool, when the bartender suggested we check out the beer garden, which we did. It was a large gravel area with long picnic benches and a good crowd drinking. There were Christmas lights strung around and a few large trees here and there and I thought it looked pretty nice. I think the pitcher prices must have been good, although we only had a pint, as many were bringing out 2 glasses and a pitcher. It's worth a visit to this unique place if you're in the area and I would probably go back.
11-07-2012 03:49:53 |
More by excalibur
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Stopped here last Saturday night after a trip to Lucky 13. The place is a total dive...in a good way. Not being very crowded it was a nice change from the very loud and busy establishments I had visited previously that night. Bartender seemed nice enough and there was a good selection of micros on tap. Wasn't too happy about the cash only thing, but no big deal. In the back is a huge patio with picnic tables, very nice. I didn't try the food but whatever they were grilling was making my mouth water. Great hang out. Like the place quite a bit.
09-02-2008 17:20:24 |
More by RodBurg
vibe: 5 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $
I don't get out to The City as much as I used to but I've been here many times over the years and have a fair amount of affection for this place. Atmosphere is extremely relaxed, a good place to dress down and not stress. I've met many interesting and friendly people here, the clientele seems to be mostly locals. The outdoor area has lines of benches and is very convenient for killing time on a cool Summer night. I've seen cleanliness issues at this bar at times though, especially in the bathrooms.
Service is mixed but overall not bad, you might wait awhile for your drink if it's busy though. Selection is a little uneven, sometimes they'll surprise you with something great and other times it's relatively standard issue. I don't really like the fact they have a good number of taps taken up by non-craft offerings but the full bar makes it easier if you have non-beer drinkers with you. Prices are very good for the area. Parking is a complete hassle but it's not a bad walk from BART.
Overall not amazing but a decent place to stop for a pint of good beer if you're in the neighborhood. The selection is decent enough that I'll often try to steer my group here when I'm on the Peninsula.
12-26-2009 20:20:41 |
More by berkey
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
A crumbling wooden complex nestled under the freeway and surrounded by barbed wire - welcome to Zeitgeist! Complete with pool table, dim lighting, port-a-johns, and countless cigarette butts, it's got all the makings of dive bar. And it certainly is one helluva dive bar. Don't expect to find any weathered sots though; the crowd at Zeitgeist is decidedly youthful and energetic.
My girlfriend and I drank and people-watched out back in Zeitgeist's massive, picnic table-spotted, gravel pit. The mood was relaxed and comfortable, and it felt really nice being outside on a clear San Francisco night. The airiness and openness of Zeitgeist's backyard allowed smokers and non-smokers to enjoy their drinks together. While neither of us smoke cigarettes, we've got friends who do, and this is one of the few places I've come across (in San Francisco) that's so smoker friendly.
The beer selection wasn't extensive, but all of the offerings were high quality and very drinkable. Nearly everything was from California or Oregon, but the beer styles were pretty diverse. I started things off with a Damnation and followed with a Stone Pale Ale and then Black Butte Porter. All three were delicious.
The bartenders were both very attentive and friendly, and I never had to wait for a drink.
08-29-2010 19:49:25 |
More by ThreeWiseMen
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Kind of dumpy (in a cool way) interior. Huge patio with several picnic tables and BBQ being prepared outside. Full bar with 25 nice taps of beer, basically all micros, mostly local and California beers. Had a holdiay beer from Moonlight called "Rated X-Mas" that I hadn't seen before or since. Slow service, but it was New Years Day and several people were ordering the elaborately prepared bloody marys. Kind of like the Toronado, but with a full bar and beer barden. Good vibe. I could imagine hanging out in back for several hours at a time.
02-17-2008 16:28:34 |
More by ojclark
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I always love going to Zeitgeist.
Good selection of beers, quick serving and quick tongued bar tenders which I like. Plus, they had pitchers of Guinness for $12 which surprised the hell out of me.
The best part is the fact that the outdoor seating area is larger than the entire bar. Plus the tamale lady that just wanders around selling fresh tamales.
The atmosphere leans towards hipsters and bikers (motor and regular) but is a good drinking environment.
Great place for a nice day happy hour.
12-01-2008 19:49:02 |
More by Irie
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Zeitgeist in San Francisco, CA