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Taps: 43 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar ]
547 Haight St
phone: (415) 863-2276
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 287 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $
Freakin' frackin' awesome. Believe the hype.
Bear with me: I used to live about 4 blocks from this place in 1997. I wasn't into good beer then, which is good. Otherwise, I would have hurt myself for not knowing about this.
Atmosphere: locals were extremely friendly to me. They shared some bbq pork. Two older couples (70+?) came and went, which you don't see at too many beer bars.
Selection: 46 taps or so I read somewhere else. 4 cask beers. That alone should be highly praised.
Two Moonlight beers, Anchor, Russian River, etc., etc.
Server was gruff, but in a good way.
One of the best bars you'll go to. Prices were pretty cheap too, esp. for San Fran.
Pubcrawlers: short walk from Zeitgeist or Church station off of Market. You can take the N from Church or Van Ness to Gordan Biersch or 21st amendment brewpub as well.
07-26-2005 15:50:33 |
More by GeoffFromSJ
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | $$
After a 4 year absense, back at the Toronado at 1 A.M. on a Thursday nite.
The place was jamming and loud. Filled with filthy dreadlocks, walking zombies, incoherant stoners, and beer lovers.
Nothing has changed since the last visit, or previous for that matter.
Within all the visual overload of amusing stickers, tap handles of brews gone by, emptied Duvel Jeroboams, and that friggin' beer board... You'll get yelled at if you don't close that half door thing on the way in.
Too bad they weren't as attentive when you need a beer.
Ya, stood there for at least 10 minutes, cash in hand, trying to catch the eye of the girl milling around behind the bar.
What the hell is my hurry anyways? It's only 1 hour till closing, and this will probably be my only stop here..
I had forgotten how poor the service can be here. No, I don't need my ass kissed, but actually getting a beer can be *key* in a bar.
Regardless, we had a New Belgium Saison and Doggie Claws to start, then I moved on to the North Coast Old Stock.
I was a bit dissapointed in the selection.
They had 20 Belgians on tap, but I was here to drink some hop monsters, and not one in the house. -Thats right- no DIPA's.
Oh yea, no Russian River either.
Got some sandwiches from the Asian ladies 2 doors down and they were delicous with the beers.
The Toronado is a must stop classic, but I've never been impressed by the service.
Guess that's part of the charm??
06-11-2005 22:41:37 |
More by brewandbbq
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
This place is difficult to review for a few reasons. First off, it is the one of the best beer bars in the country. Its located in the lower Haight, which is dark, rowdy cousing of the Haight-Ashbury. The bar reflects the neighborhood in that it is loud, rowdy and it can be tough to get a drink. The bartenders may not be friendly and helpful, but they are knowledgable. The key is what time you visit. A weekend afternoon can be perfect for enjoying a few drinks. A weekend night or happy hour can be tough. The selection is top notch, with the only real drawback is midwest and east coast micros. Obviously, the west coast is well represented and the Belgian selection is unparrelled in this country. There are about 50 draught beers and the bottled list looks like a Brussels beer celler. I gave the food a 4 even though they have no food. Reason, next door is Rosemunde grill that serves the best sausages in town. On the other side is Mythic Pizza.
06-02-2005 14:44:37 |
More by fizzyfred
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $
This was the first place I hit up on a brief stay in San Fran recently. The whole Haight area is quite colorful and still quite 60's-ish. And I loved it! Unimposing front with an open half-door is your first look. Dark inside, with both low-lighting and lots of dark colors/wood contributing... It's a long room, front to back, with some stools along the wall at the front right near the window before the bar takes hold and goes to the back. On the left are a half-dozen small tables and chairs.... and there's a further room in the back/left of the place. Lots of typical bier-related bric-a-brac all over (tap handles, brewery banners, etc), plus the left wall has a shelf with dozens of big-ass Duvel bottles. Oh, and the bathroom is a real work of art! Music was a combo of classic rock, grunge, whatever... Had about 25-30 drafts, with some top-shelf CA stuff plus plenty of Belgians left over from Belgian Month. Extensive bottle list, too, with some rare finds (though the bottles get pricey). Drafts were typically $3.50, but happy hour knocked off a buck. Super! Bartender was quietly efficient, with no surliness to be found. Amusingly, I found him to look like the Mexican/Alien at the start of Men in Black that Tommy Lee Jones uncovers. Only had 2 biers here, in the company of axisjones, and found them yummy. As per earlier suggestions, I scored a tasty sausage sub next door and downed it with my bier at the Toro. Would love to return some day....
atmosphere: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: n/a | $
05-31-2005 16:26:32 |
More by Bierman9
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.
05-03-2005 08:48:46 |
More by francisweizen
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The atmosphere is different kind of laid back... At least one TV with a couple of dining areas.
The bar looks like it's aluminum with wood siding. There are wooden chairs and tables. They have stainless steel tap nozzles all around. Tremendous amount of beer paraphenalia, some probably historic, everywhere.
The service can be questionable however other times quite exceptional.
The selection is broad with everything imaginable even four cask (handpump).
I thought they served food there at one time however this last time they said they did not, maybe it's bring your own food.
After reading through my reviews years later I decided to edit some of my comments that may have been the bartenders reflection of my unknowingly rude or blaten persona due to issues I had going on at that time.
04-30-2005 06:39:38 |
More by Troyone
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.
04-08-2005 02:54:14 |
More by HogHill
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5
Twice now I've visited Toronado. It's time to share my thoughts.
My second trip was just a few days ago, during the annual Barleywine Festival. They had a great selection; some 30 barleywines to choose from. I just wish the service was a little friendlier. Both times I've visited the Toronado, the bartender(s) had an attitude. I guess I can understand why the bartender (Paul) had an attitude the other night. The patrons were just not reading the carefully placed signs that explained how to order a barleywine: simply give him a size (small, medium, large) and the number assigned to each barleywine on the "Big Board". Paul finally warmed up to me as I warmed up to the barleywines. I even bought a few tee-shirts, which in itself was an interesting purchase. Paul told me to feel free to browse the t-shirt rack, which I did. Suddenly, another patron (a local, I'm sure) left his seat at the other end of the bar to scold me saying, "Sir. Please step back and let the staff assist you with the tee-shirts". I told him I was given the OK by the bartender, and everything was cool.
However, my favorite moment of the evening was when a young couple sat down next to me and could not decide what to order. I explained the Barleywine Festival was in progress, and then offered to buy them both a small "starter" sample of North Coast's "Old Stock 2002". She (the young blonde) tasted it and said, "I can see why they call this "barely" wine. It barely tastes like wine." That was a great moment.
But last summer when we visited the Toronado for the first time, the lady (owner?) also had an attitude when we ordered our first drink. Maybe that's it. You ain't crap in Toronado until you've ordered a few drinks. But hey, this is San Francisco. So chill out, Toronado!
The beer selection at the Toronado is excellent. IPA lovers, like myself, will find everything to their liking. They have Pliny the Elder, Racer 5, and normally you can find several others. The Belgian selection is great also.
They don't serve food, but I like the fact that you can order food elsewhere and bring it into the pub.
Toronado gets high marks from me. Despite the rudeness of the bartenders, that seems to wane as you keep ordering, this is a great bar. I will definitely visit Toronado whenever I'm in the Bay Area.
02-27-2005 00:36:11 |
More by ChappyCubsFan
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $
i recently moved to SF, and always wanted to visit the Toronado. It wasn't until I actually steeled myself to do it that I realized it's only a 15 minute walk from my apartment. Dangerous.
So everything people say is true. It's dark, the service can be so-so (took a long time to get my first beer, but after that the bartender was cool) but the beer... 40something offerings on tap at any time. favorites include aventinus and anchor foghorn on tap. beer is reasonably priced, served in proper glassware, and if you show up before 6pm it's a dollar off, which means many great beers will cost you only $2.50.
I haven't been when it is super busy, so i don't know if it gets crazy. you've got good food options on either side, with mythic pizza and rosamunde's sausages to keep you going.
Toronado is a local dive with an amazing beer selection. If you can get your head around that, everything will be fine. If only every joint had half as good of beer as the Toronado, you could pick your atmosphere and style to suit your personality. However, the pluses outweigh any negatives with the toronado. go drink and be merry.
12-16-2004 18:51:49 |
More by studentofbeer
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5
After reading reviews and knowing I was going to be around the San Fran area for several months, I knew Toro's was going to be on the 'must visit' list.
Looks more like a dirty rock pub covered with beer junk like handles and posters. Looks can be one thing, but it was a very friendly amosphere that was well informed and nice and loud.
Service was a little slow, but that was more due to understaffing than laziness. Some of the bar tenders are real characters as well which helps add to the whole vibe. Music was great in my mind, but hey, I dig hearing the ramones whilst sucking back some of the worlds greatest beers.
Selection, for my money was perfect. Now, being Australia I am more easily impressed by beer selection, as finding a bar in melbourne with anything micro on it is a win in itself. To have so many (40+ was my guess) on tap in one place was brilliant, and because i was a first time drinker on many of the beers, I could happily always choose something I had never had before. One my last visit I tried seasonals like Sam Adams Choc, Rogue Santa Reserve and Full Sail Wassail, not to mention St. Feuillien Cuvée De Noël which was delicious off tap.
Overall, a great place to get a buzz in San Fran.
12-03-2004 09:00:19 |
More by koolk
Toronado in San Francisco, CA
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