There are a ton of really cool bars in San Francisco. Hell, we have it all. But there is one bar, in my humble opinion, that stands head and shoulders above the rest. The Toronado in the Lower Haight. If you love beer this is the place to go. I would dare say that this place is the premiere beer bar in the country. No shit. It is that kick ass.
I stopped by one afternoon to grab a quick beer and see what was happening. I bellied up and as the bartender stopped by, I asked if I could get a Coors Light. “Nope” was all he said as he walked away. I was hoping he knew I was just kidding, as this is the sort of request that could get you the cold shoulder in a place like this. I exclaimed that I was “just fucking around” and asked for a Russian River Blind Pig in it’s stead. Now I was talking his language. The Toronado is unique as it serves “craft beers”. The most commercial thing that they carry is our San Francisco’s own Anchor Steam. The pour was perfect and I had to stay and see if I couldn’t drink them out of the Blind Pig…a noble quest!
The Toronado also boasts one of the best jukeboxes I have come across in town. The bartender and I swapped metal tales. I like to think of it as a sparring of Metaldom. It’s how us old headbanger sniff out posers. Throw out names like Paul D’ianno and Clive Burr and you might just be worthy enough to comment on the Iron Maiden song playing on the jukebox!
You don’t need to be an old Metal Head to feel at ease here. You’ll feel at home as long as you like really good beer. What a requirement, ya? It is truly a beer drinkers heaven. I counted 50 different beers on tap, but this was after I had had two or three(yes, that is the generic way of saying I had 8 or 10).
547 Haight Street, SF CA