Possibly the only place in America where you can walk in on any day of the week and have a top 10 IPA, Pilsener, Black Lager, Sour, Porter, DIPA, Hefeweizen, and Belgian Ale on draft, guaranteed. Also a nice bottle list with some very well-priced bargains, but hard to get them to sell you those bottles (Beatification, Cable Car, etc.). This is one of the best places in the world to have a beer, hipsters and jerk bartenders be damned.
Ah, the famous Toronado. We sat just near the bar, lots of stickers, has a dive bar feel to it. We've visited in the afternoon, managed to find a place to sit, got busier half an hour later. Great selection, 50 taps, very good Russian River selection, also some Rare Barrel specials for the Toronado anniversary. Nice. Prices are great for SF. Finally, the service was OK. I had a situation after we've left I took some photos of the bar from outside which made the barman very upset. At one point I thought he's coming out after me. Obviously I broke the unwritten (or maybe written somewhere?) no photo rule so won't hold it against them. A must visit.
Visited here in early August ’17 while on vacation. Narrow digs, long bar, high top tables to the side, has an extra room to the side, Plenty of graffiti, beer paraphernalia, and other stuff all over the walls. Definitely fits the definition of a dive bar in appearance, but the tap list is superb, Full of California goodies such as Russian River, Moonlight, Beachwood, Lost Abbey, Lagunitas etc, Prices extremely reasonable, especially considering the area - $5 for a real pint (not a 12 oz shaker), Makes me shake my head how some local brewers charge up to $8 for a 10 or 12 oz pour. Barkeeps are all business, cash only. A must stop if anywhere near Haight Street.
Visited twice during our stay in town. Rough heavy rock/metal look and atmosphere, which suits me just fine. Heard some familiar and awesome tunes, even some death metal on the second visit. Great selection of mostly Cali craft, among them three Russian River including Pliny for very fair prices. Prices in general are absolutely great for expensive SF, you can get half pints of great beers for 3-4 bucks. Service however is minimal to say the least, the bartender looked bored and uninterested on both occassions. I am definitely not ’charmed’ by this kind of take it or leave it attitude. He was fast to respond to my needs though. Worst toilet I’ve ever been to in an elite beer spot. Overall a must-visit in SF, this place would be world class with better service.
I went to Toronado because I’m into US craft beer, and I’d heard they have a large number of drafts. I was happy to find an English bartender, but things quickly turned bad. The bartender was abusively rude. Okay, okay, so get that attitude is this place’s quirk, and it’s what to expect, and that’s sort of fine... until they start giving you the wrong order. The bartender served the wrong beer three times. The first time, he reluctantly poured a random other one for me. The second time, he swore at me, refused to replace it and verbally abused me, and the third time, he ignored me. Beer people will probably want to seek out this place, but they seriously shouldn’t bother. I know Toronado is a chain, and I don’t know what the owners think of all this. I’d love to be recommending this place to others, but I’ll be doing exactly the opposite.
My only favorite...ever.
1. Don’t be a d*ck
2. Have an idea of what you’re after when you go to order.
3. Be patient. The Bartenders might not tell you "you’re next" but they see you and you are in line. If you start waving at them, you move toward the end of the line.
4. Great food on the block. Just remember to bus your own table and get enough napkins from your food vendor.
Enjoy! And remember tip #1!
When I was making my agenda about which places to visit while I will be in San Francisco I didnt add this place in it. I thought it was just the name and nothing interesting any more. Luckily during my first night in the city some places that I had in mind to visit that night closed too early (around 10-10:30 pm) so we decided to go to Toronado. I was reading about "dive bars" and when I came in I understood exactly what a dive bar is! And I loved it! I liked the ambiance and the music. The tap list was good, 5 Russian River beers on tap (Happy Hops was my favorite of RR in the whole trip) and a bottle of Cable Car to end the night. OK prices for beers on tap. Good prices for some bottles too ($22 for the new Abyss variants bombers). Cable Car was $80. Service was OK. For sure I would come back!