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Taps: 43 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar ]
547 Haight St
phone: (415) 863-2276
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 287 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
One of my favorite bars. More on the punk side of things and located in a somewhat crappy part of Haight, Toronado is one of the best beer bars in the country.
I walked in, raving and drooling and sat at the bar. I immediately asked if they had any Moonlight on-tap and the bartender pointed to the board. I felt like a child, mad with excitement over the coming experience. I snapped out of it to see so many great West Coast beers, ready for consumption.
The service was outstanding and the bartenders were not only friendly, but willing to give an out-of-towner like me a chance to sample practically everything! Of course, I rewarded their hospitality by dropping a load of cash on beer plus a great tip. They deserved it.
The crowd was a great mix of friendly people. Not much more to say.
Toronado isn't a beautiful bar and the neighborhood isn't great. But it's not dangerous either. Just use some common sense and you should be just fine. Enjoy!
05-10-2006 16:55:25 |
More by TheLoneGunman
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $
Lower Haight, while having more than a few beautiful row houses, seems to be pretty quiet. I ended up walking here from the Hilton Towers San Francisco, (looong walk). But, just saying that I've been here and have talked politics with the staff here is one of the highlights of my BA life. Beware... I didn't expect to see San Francisco's (and one of the US's) best beer bar to be smack dab in the middle of a quiet neighborhood.
NO imports here. Mainly California brews. And NONE of the ones I tried were less than stellar. None were ice cold - i.e., they were at proper temps. The staff was beyond knowledgeable about their wares, but they really did seem to appear tough. One random group walked in and asked a few questions about the beer, ordered something else (NO IMPORTS AND NO MAINSTREAM US BEERS, I SAY) and then proceeded to ridicule the establishment's "NO PLASTIC" policy (even though an ATM lies across the street). They were immediately told where to go by the gruff, seemingly Scottish, bartender. He literally followed them out of the establishment... BUT. They did deserve it.
Toronado is about as unique a beer experience as I believe you can expect in this country. Don't bother asking for a Guiness or a Stella or even one of the Belgian brews that so many BA's salivate over. And bring cash.
06-19-2006 05:28:50 |
More by millhouse
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
I have been planning a trip to San Francisco since May and although it's hard to be out here two days after the Giants won the world series (phillies fan here), I must say that this is one of my favorite cities.
My one goal in coming out here was to go to the toronado. I was lucky enough to go the first night I was here. I was a little apprehensive about what I would find, given the reviews of the clientele and bartenders attitudes, but man, were those reviews wrong.
Bartenders Stuart and Eric were both knowledgable and friendly, with immense beer knowledge. I immediately felt welcomed in what I thought would be a hostile environment. I was able to chat about beer and baseball with them without being treated like an outsider or tourist.
The dimly lit bar walls are overflowing with beer memorabilia, including metal signs, hundreds of taps and rare bottles. The beer draught and bottle lists are both extensive and impressive. I enjoyed an 09 consecration on draught and a 2010 cable car bottle.
A great place and a great experience. I will be heading back tonight!
11-03-2010 15:24:32 |
More by CarbonIS
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $
Wow, in one of the most expensive cities in the US, they serve up the best beer for only 4-5 bucks a glass. That is awesome. We went in there on, get this, Thanksgiving night! Yep, our bartender was happy that people had been bringing him food and treats all day, but was bummed at how empty it was.
They had an awesome variety of beers on tap from all around the US and the world. They also had a great lineup of local beers (Russian River, woot woot!). Everything on their bottle list could be consumed on site or carried out.
Music was a little loud, but that's the vibe they go for.
I am totally thrilled that it was open when we walked by. This is the best beer place in SF.
11-25-2011 21:17:45 |
More by musicman575
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: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $$
I checked out Tornado after seeing the reviews it got here. I got to say i really enjoyed the bar. They have a wide selection of beers that run the gambit on styles. I was able to pick out beers for my friends who are new to the "better beer" scene as they put it. The atmosphere of the bar was good, ended up talking to some cool people. There were a lot of hipsters, but what can you do it is San Fran. The service was very good for a crowded friday night. The bartender recommended a beer to my friend whom was clueless what to get. Good selection overall, and the prices were great compared to the rest of san fran where you pay that much for a shitty beer. Will definitely check this place out again.
09-11-2010 18:47:37 |
More by mbialek
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Recently went to Toronado's for the first time. Loved the atmosphere and just the general vibe of the bar. One thing I was particularly please about was the selection of beers, and alot of the beers were Northern California beers. Place was pretty crowded at first, But I don't mind standing for a good beer. This Beer Pub was rated number two in the nation last year by men's health so I had to drive up and go, granted it was a good bar. but I do not think it deserves honors like that. Bottom line, great bar, great beer, and good people.
03-09-2011 01:44:53 |
More by Barhite
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
This place is one of my favorite spots in the Bay Area. Its appearance is that of a dive bar, but the selection of beer and the quality of service will surprise you. It's in the Lower Haight district, so be prepared to drive in circles for 30min trying to find parking. Once you make it there, however, you will not be disappointed.
The bartenders are amazing. Even when the place is packed with people, I somehow manage to get a drink within a reasonable amount of time. It's not like I'm receiving preferential treatment, they're just that good!
Their selection of beers is impressive with some 30+(?) on tap, and although there have been times when I haven't found anything new that I was dying to try, there's always something that I can fall back on.
One of my favorite things about Toronado is that it hosts the Barley Wine Festival, which is one of the few opportunities to taste a type of drink that you'll find nowhere else. From Old Thunderpussy to Hoptimus Prime, they'll have it all!
12-26-2008 07:33:19 |
More by pkpdogg
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $
I went on a short bar hop with my brother a San Francisco Native and Toronado didn't disappoint. As already stated, this is a fantastic dive bar and reminded me of the Bars I used to hang out at in my youth, Dirty Frank's in Philly and Chiefs in Pittsburgh, except that the selection was awesome. The Bartender was great she was very attentive and fast and was very helpful in helping us with a few selections and quite candid, wish I had listened to her on one I had tried. The bathrooms are a piece of urban art, which I am sure have also already been commented on. The atmosphere was classic dive bar, group of suits sidled up to a group of bikers, next to a group of college kids. The weird thing was getting carded by a guy that was probably 20 years younger than me.
BTW, the sushi place 2 doors down is the bomb if you need some food in you before the beer starts flowing.
06-10-2013 16:32:17 |
More by derekrick420
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | $
What else to say about the Toronado? Atmosphere is uniquely good (though not for everyone, and let's face it, kind of dirty), quality and selection blow most places out of the water, and service is gruff, knowledgeable, and friendly once it becomes aware that you fit in. And how do you fit in? Easy. Be yourself. No pretentions. They don't have any. Don't be rude. Show passion and respect for the beer. Don't be a know-it-all turd, because you don't know it all.
Look, I certainly don't "look" the part of a typical Toronado customer, and am aware that I probably more closely resemble on the outside the type of tool that comes in and asks for a Corona. But I went twice in 2004, and then again in late 2005... and the bartender -- after I ordered a couple of the more obscure/better beers on the menu -- remembered me. Got a buy-back on every occaison too. So warm up to the service folks, and they'll warm up to you.
Something to be aware about: their extensive bottle list can be purchased to go, which was very exciting for me as I scored a couple of RR Temptations on my last visit for $14 each to take home to NY. Not awful.
They don't have food, per se, but the sausage place next door serves 'em up quick, hot, and delicious, and might as well have an official business partnership with the bar.
I never go to San Francisco and don't go to Toronado. You shouldn't either.
02-14-2006 20:27:09 |
More by bultrey
Toronado in San Francisco, CA
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