Throwback Thursday – Toro San Diego Edition

I’m fairly certain that I’ve gone on record at some point in time, decreeing Toronado San Diego as my favorite—and perhaps the best—bar in San Diego.  Hell, if it weren’t for Tornado San Francisco, it might be my favorite bar in the world (well, so far)…

The San Diego iteration of the Toronado was opened by Ian Black, the former bar manager of Tornado SF, who licensed the name and logo and with the blessing of “Big Daddy” David Keane [the owner of Toronado SF], opened this beer bar in San Diego on 30th Street in the North Park neighborhood. Living right around the corner from the joint, it quickly became my favorite, go-to bar in town—great bartenders, a killer draft list, and one hell of a bottle selection, it seemingly has it all. 

And my favorite part about it, perhaps, was the stark contrast that it had and still has to the Toronado SF… Clean(ish) and well-lit? Check. Takes credit cards, and not cash only? Check. A food menu? Check. Yet it still feels like the “Toronado,” and both iterations appeal to me in different ways. 

Over the holidays in San Diego, I met up with a few friends to grab a beer, a pint of Row 2 Hill 56—a Pale Ale that pays tribute to the Simcoe hop—from Russian River Brewing Company in Santa Rosa. The beer tasted just as great as I remembered. Everything about the sleepy visit to Toronado SD reminded me why I love this bar so much…

Happy Throwback Thursday.