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Extreme Beer Fest
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Taps: 43 / Bottles: -
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar ]
547 Haight St
phone: (415) 863-2276
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 287 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4.5
The reputation of this bar is good, however I was very turned off by the place. The list of beers on the wall wasn't current. The tables were dirty and when I asked a bartender to clean it off they gave me a bar towel. When I took the dirty glasses and stuff and moved them to a spot near where the bouncer was standing he told me to take them to the back. I told him I am there to spend money and drink, not do their work for them. Very dissapointed.
07-10-2003 08:55:40 |
More by bigbelcher
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | $$
My first time to Toronado, after hearing so much about it. GREAT selection and a fun bar that I would be happy to NEVER return to again. A few main points:
1) Why is being rude to customers "their thing"? Yes they have great beer, but they can have great beer and not have douche-bag bartenders, can't they? I've been to some of the other top beer bars in the world (per BeerAdvocate), and they all have fantastic, friendly service.
2) This is 2009, not 1970. Sure cash reduces overhead by a few percent, but it reduces gross (people don't always have as much cash as they will purchase), and it's inconvenient for customers. Toronado needs to get with the times.
3) No food and Bad Parking
I had Moonlight Reality Czeck, and Death & Taxes. Good stuff. However, all I will take from the experience is washed out by my negative opinion of the bartenders.
08-31-2009 05:17:25 |
More by antilogic
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$$
We specifically treked to the Haight/Ashbury district to go to the Toronado, and we were incredibly dissappointed. It's hard to review a place like this, because its charm for some could simply be annoying to others. While the selection was pretty good (although not spectacular on our visit), the prices are awfully high, especially for a place that only takes cash. The bartender was very unfriendly and put us off from the start, bad first impression doesn't say enough. About the only thing he did right was pour our offerings in appropriate glassware.
The atmosphere is a dive, and that can be good or bad again depending on your taste, but it's far from an impressive location. As much as I love good beer and tasting new beers, I'd rather have slightly less selection, a place to sit, and a more friendly staff if I'm going to spend that kind of money on beer. If you want to be a dive bar, go ahead, but your prices should reflect the atmosphere that goes with it.
12-15-2008 19:08:57 |
More by BrewMonkey
vibe: 1 | quality: 4 | service: 1 | selection: 4.5 | $$
It may have been a rainy night, it may have been chilly but I simply HATE being jammed into a narrow, poorly, marked space. They hold a popular barley wine festival here?!? Effin' pass! Prices were reasonable, but the crowd was horrible. Over 52 taps, a wide mix of US and Belgian. Tap handles and spent BTs ran the length of both walls from the Dutch Doors. Service: I've had better in Manhattan after I've just announced that the Yankees suck and the Mets swallow. In other words - horrible. Do you understand how insulting it is to slam a beer down in front of a patron? For this I made an effort? Shite Suc-1; Ambiance-1; Selection-4.5.
Price: $$ beyond that: Das is schiess!
11-27-2009 13:48:41 |
More by woodychandler
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | $
By now, people more or less know the deal here - it's the seminal dive-bar-for-beer-geeks. It's generally considered one of the few must-go beer spots in SF proper, which has absolutely nothing to do with the ambiance (charitably described as "well-worn"), or the personalities of much of the bar staff, which often seem most concerned with not having to listen any longer to YOU and your indecisive twaddle. Step in, read the beer list posted up by the ceiling, realize it's mostly word-for-word the same list you saw 6 months ago when you were here last, and skip to the Pliny and Blind Pig that, mercifully, never, ever seem to come off the tap list. Ask for the bottle list if you can grab the attention of one of the staff - no, Cable Car isn't on the list, and quit fucking asking. Nut console yourself with one of the other stone-cold miracles that often pop up on that list. $20 bottles of 4-5 year-old Abyss? Yes, please. $20 for 10 year-old Boon gueuze? Sure, why not? The mind reels when imagining what bottled treasures lay buried in that Toronado basement. Just take your mind off the Cable Car. It isn't happening.
I suppose I could give this place a rating for food, but since it's all about food brought in from outside (90% of which consists of sausages toted over from Rosamunde next door), I feel like that'd be giving the place too much credit.
Toronado - just hold your nose and deal with the place. There's gems to be found if you're willing to dig thru a lot of dirt.
05-11-2013 18:33:08 |
More by bugdoc
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 1 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
14 Feb 08
"Pull your head out of your ass. This is the best beer bar in the world!"
At that point I couldn't take any more, started to laugh and replied, "Well you haven't been very far have you sister?" . . . I was then kicked out by the bitchie bartender who turned out to be the owner's wife.
What provoked such a comment? My compliment made to the newby from Philadelphia who sat next to me and asked what to order, "You in luck, this is one of the best beer bars in the country."
I guess some people really can't take a compliment eh?
Wanted to visit again, and before the madhouse that passes as a barleywine festival.
So yea, the service was awful, the selection, better than good and the atmosphere just average . . .and I like dive bars and am glad I don't have to sit down to pee. So what makes the best beer bar in the world?
For me its Selection, atmosphere, food, and service - in that order. I am no stickler for service. The Kulmanator in Antwerp gets my vote. Brower's in Seattle, O'Brien's in San Diego also good places. Not so much the pretentious Toronado, even though I went back to this place with found memories and a thirst for good beer.
The patrons were great, loads of regional beers and a few imports, but the service started out slow and surly and did not improve despite the dollars I was laying on the bar after each round.
To bad a different bartender was not on shift, could have changed my whole experience. I am in no rush to give my money to the Toronado, San Fransisco now has too many other options.
03-11-2008 15:36:11 |
More by BrewnZ
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 4 | $$
I have nothing bad to say about the beer on tap here. Also a great selections at reasonable prices. Every time I am in the City I try to make it out here to grab a pint but recently its been more and more unattractive simply because of that service. I know they get good and rare beers on tap but shoot, can't they treat their costumers a bit better ,given that we're the one paying their damn rent.
If your new to the SF, definitely worth checking out but there are so many other better pub house with awesome taps with MUCH better services.
09-29-2013 21:13:48 |
More by Charliechu
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1 | selection: 3.5 | $$
My first experience was the bwine festival, like any other festival its a madhouse. However,just because there is a festival does not give the staff a right to be obnoxious. I am not going into details but I was pretty shocked how the servers treated patrons. I've been to some serious beer bars all over the world and even I was in amazement. If you do not have the space or personnel to accomodate the crowd then dont have a festival and dont take it out on those who came to your establishment. Now, one server was excellent and she deserved a Gold Medal.I thought the place would be a little larger but the decor was cool. I liked the bar and seating area around the corner by the bathroom was cool and kind of relaxing(if it were a normal day). Besides the bwine they have about 40-50 taps. Beer selection was not what I expected. Alot of beers I can get anywhere.Lots of other great places to eat and grab a pint as well. Magnolia is down the street and worth a stop in! You can bet I will not recommend this place to anyone nor will I drive 4 hours to get here again. Not knowing Protocol is not an excuse to treat anyone poorly. Protocol should be to get good beer to customers. We keep them in business!
Tipping is not a requirement, especially on bad service. No ATM or Credit. 21st Century?? If this is the best SF has to offer then that is pretty sad. I'll take any Seattle beer bar over this anyday.
10-31-2008 21:39:16 |
More by barleywinefiend
vibe: 1.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1.25 | selection: 3.75 | $$
Ok. I hit this place up for the 25th anniversary. We knew it would be nuts, and it was. But it had a cool vibe, they were roasting a pig, had t20 and t25 on tap, and we got our 3 bottle T25 allotment. cool. Since we were spending another few days in the city, we figured we'd come back when it was less crowded, like the following Monday.
Ha! Yeah right, less crowded.
Im certainly not going to hate on a place for being busy. Thats what theyre there for. But christ, staff appropriately. I think there were two bartenders, but i only saw one, and she was absolutely rude. I knew prior to coming in to check out the draft list and know your order ahead of time, since the bartenders dont have time to answer any questions, make eye contact, smile, give a shit, etc...
So on the board, it says "ask to see our extensive bottle list". i figured no problem, at least it will give me something to look at while i stand shoulder to shoulder with sweaty locals in the middle of the aisle. It took 15 minutes to get the snotty barkeeps attention to ask for a list, another five to get the "list" (which wasnt a beer list but rather a map of how to get to the bar), and another 5 to inform her she had given me the wrong thing; to which of course she replied by rolling her eyes and throwing the menu at me.
So i go cantillon hunting, finally get the 2nd bartenders attention (i get the impression the first one didnt like me) and order the kriek. He looks, "sorry, were out". I said, "Anything Cantillon". He goes back and says, "sorry, ive got nothing".
Ok. at least this guy looked for the beer and didnt really give me any attitude. He slightly made up for the attitude of the first bartender.
I dont understand how anyone could have a good time in this bar. I wanted to love it, i really did, but damn, i couldnt have a conversation, sit down, or even find a place to set down the one beer i was fortunate enough to order. And i really dont appreciate the attitude i caught from the bartender. If you are really looking for some amazing beer this is the place (if it's in stock), but if youre looking to have a good time, look elsewhere.
03-07-2013 19:06:24 |
More by MatthewPlus
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | $$
The reputation of this bar is good, however its dated. Draft list is just OK . The tables were dirty and when I asked a bartender to clean it off they gave me a bar towel. When I took the dirty glasses and stuff and moved them to a spot near where the bouncer was standing he told me to take them to the back. Nasty bathrooms. Very disappointing. but hey some people thrive on dive bars like this but not me.
09-10-2013 16:55:06 |
More by joshklein069
Toronado in San Francisco, CA
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