Toronado

Dive Bar
Toronado Toronado neophytes might flinch upon entering past the venue's unassuming little blue façade – not from the hundreds of band stickers splattered across the walls or the old tap handles stuck into every available nook, but... San Francisco United States 37.771999 -122.43125
4.18 9
Toronado - Dive Bar in San Francisco.
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Ratings:
Lucas
Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Toronado neophytes might flinch upon entering past the venue’s unassuming little blue façade – not from the hundreds of band stickers splattered across the walls or the old tap handles stuck into every available nook... ... read full review

  • Metro:

    MUNI J, N Lines: Duboce Avenue & Church Street

  • Phone:

    415-863-2276

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Daily 11:30am–2am

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth Toronado Review

The Scene

Toronado neophytes might flinch upon entering past the venue's unassuming little blue façade – not from the hundreds of band stickers splattered across the walls or the old tap handles stuck into every available nook, but...

Toronado neophytes might flinch upon entering past the venue’s unassuming little blue façade – not from the hundreds of band stickers splattered across the walls or the old tap handles stuck into every available nook, but from the pungent aroma of beer.

Artsy locals with their man-bags in tow park themselves at the metal bar to lap up one of the forty-plus drafts, trying to get the invariably crabby bartenders to crack a smile. A marquee that could have been pulled from a vintage fast-food joint displays the ever-changing selection, and though there’s no food on the menu, starving college kids needn’t worry as they can just make a side trip to Rosamunde Sausage Grill next door.

Chatty groups of young professionals who left their suits at home walk past giant bottles of Duvel and Chimay as they head into the back room, where old-school beer signs hang overhead and a requisite lone, leather-clad biker is usually ensconced in the corner.

Daylight hours are relaxed as a mix of older barflies and chronically unemployed intellectuals stop in to nurse a few rounds, but the space overflows with hops-loving hipsters Thursday through Saturday nights, when heavy metal or rock blares from the jukebox and over-hydrated patrons gather courage to venture into restrooms that may not have been cleaned since the Reagan administration.

Regardless of when its guests show up, Toronado attracts them with a simple formula of good beer at great prices – and a stench that staves off any pretension.

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Tip from Jonah:

You’re more than welcome to bring your dog in with you, which gives you a good excuse to walk – parking in this part of town is generally horrible.

  • Crowd

    Local Haight Street hipsters, grunge types, punk rockers, metal heads, bikers, beer lovers, and older barflies.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Jukebox plays mostly loud rock and metal. TVs tuned to whatever the hell the bartender wants to watch.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    No food, but patrons can bring in a bite from Rosamunde Sausage Grill next door. Cash only. ATM on site. Happy Hour daily 11:30am–6pm.

  • Prices

    Beer and cider $4–$8+.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Anything goes: jeans, hoodies, flannel, punk attire, leather, t-shirts.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Thursday through Saturday nights for a packed, loud, and beer-powered party scene, or any day for Happy Hour.

  • Close By

    Molotov’s (582 Haight Street) is a die-hard dive with a lot of punk on the jukebox.

Toronado User Reviews

Average rating:
If you love craft beer, you will love Toronado (but order fast and clearly)
Keane L. May 15, 2013
Sure, the proprietors of San Francisco's premier craft beer bar may be "surly," but it's just part of the charm of Toronado. Located in the Lower Haight, this dive bar is known outside of the city as being a beer mecca. Prices are relatively cheap, taps are rotated constantly and food can be acquired from Rosamunde next door (they'll even bring the trays back for you). A word of advice: Figure out exactly what you want before heading up to the bar. When they yell "You're up," you better be ready to order. And — for your own sake — please do not ask if they accept credit card. (They don't.)
Lower Haight's staple for beer, beer and more beer.
Carly S. Apr 4, 2013
Do you love beer--like, lots of lots of different kinds of beer, so many that you just turn to the bartender and say, "surprise me"? Well if that's your thing, head on over to Toronado, Lower Haight's hoppiest dive bar. The menu is organized by brewerie--a nice touch for anyone who wants to take a "Gambrinian" tour of the West Coast without leaving San Francisco (cause who wants to do that?) A dutch door opens to reveal walls colored with deer antlers and bumper stickers, a grungy contrast to its clean blue facade outdoors. Tall wooden tables with bar stools line the left wall, directly across from a long bar. Those who prefer sitting lower to the ground, though, can visit the back section of the room. The best part about Toronado? They allow guests to bring food from next door's delicious sausage joint, Rosamunde. But make sure you know what kind of beer you're craving (and that you have cash--no cards accepted here), cause by the time you're done looking over the selection your 'dog might get cold. Average pricing for beer in SF (about $5/pint) but visit for happy hour and get $1 off. Definitely one of Lower Haight's coolest spots.
One of the Best Places for Beer Nerds
Jason C. Feb 22, 2013
It's a bit divey and smelly, but don't let that fool you. Toronado is one of the most interesting bars in the city for its selection and price. Nestled in a bar-friendly block in the Lower Haight, Toronado is the serious dive bar the complements Molotov's divier fare, Noc Noc's funkiness, and Mad Dog in the Fog's sports-bent. Some of the bigger weekends may have people spilling out the door, but most nights the bar is empty enough to sit down at the counter and have a leisurely drink or two. The place looks deceptively small from the outside, but it reaches quite far back in the building. It even has a second room for those who don't want to put up with the riff-raff of incoming and outgoing patrons. Like any dive bar, it doesn't smell the best, but you're in a dive bar. What were you expecting? Their selection of beers is fantastic. With a constantly changing selection of beers on tap, you can easily find a new beer to try every visit. Draught beers mostly feature local microbews with few European favorites thrown on for good measure. And starting at $5 for a pint, the price is quite reasonable. But the bottle list is where the place shines, especially for the beer snobs. Packed to the gills with well-known Belgians, intense IPAs, and many other varieties, the bottle list is not to be missed for the more selective beer enthusiast. Last I counted, there were over a hundred different beers on the list. Every now and then I'll see a group of friends toasting to each other with snifters in the air, raving about their amazing beer. You don't have to go to an elegant, expensive bar to get this kind of quality. All you have to do is head down to Toronado for a relaxing night at a surprisingly fancy dive.
What's on Tap?
Abigail C. Feb 20, 2013
Do you like beer? Have you been longing for that unknown, imported brew that only the cool kids have heard of? Then Toronado is the best place for you! With its endless beer selection, beer lovers everywhere will always find something new and delicious to drink. And for those who don't drink beer, there is an adequate selection of wine and cider. With great music, usually metal, and plenty of seating, it is a comfortable place to meet up with your beer guzzling friends.
Amazing selection. Smells like a dried fart.
Jayson M. Sep 7, 2012
Love me some Toronado. They have every beer you could imagine here. Definitely light on bells and whistles, just a ton of craft brews. And it seems to always be busy, I guess because San Franciscans love to drink good beer. Or they don't work. Maybe both. Just be ready with what you want, these guys don’t wait around for you to hem and haw about what you want to order. I’ve seen more than few ditzy girls get passed by while their four brain cells fight to comprehend that gargantuan menu. Do what the review says, grab a sausage from Rosamunde next door, grab a sticky table, and bask in divey heaven. If you’re a germ freak, don’t visit the bathroom. And if you don’t like the persistent smell of beer, don’t go in to the bar at all.
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