For a few years running I printed books in Belgium (today the exchange rate is too unfavorable), and I developed a taste for Belgian beer, as one will. (Above is a shop window photographed in Bruges around Christmas 2006.)
Now Belgian beer establishments are springing up around the bay, a development to be applauded.
- The Trappist, Oakland, 460 8th Street Oakland
The Trappist features “15 Rotating Taps and Over 120 Specialty Bottles.” They seem to carry all the real Trappist beers (see the menu on their website). A small place in an 1970s Victorian, remodeled and decorated to resemble a Belgian bar. No food. Yelp reviews here.
- Luka’s Taproom and Lounge, 2221 Broadway, Oakland
Luka’s features mussels and oysters. The mussels aren’t quite to Belgian standards, but they are still good. The also feature DJs and dancing, and they have a pool table. The space is a bit cavernous and unfinished. Yelp reviews here.
- Monk’s Kettle, 3141 16th Street, San Francisco (in the Mission)
Monk’s Kettle has a large beer selection, and it serves a full range of pub-style food. From the Yelp reviews it sounds crowded, and the beers seem overpriced. I haven’t eaten there, but I guess it offers an alternative to other restaurants in the area.
- La Trappe, North Beach, 800 Greenwich St. San Francisco
This place opened recently near Washington Square. Consensus is that the sitting downstairs offers the most authentic Belgian flavor. Offers and excellent selection of beers and traditional Belgian specialties (frites, etc.). I’m really looking forward to checking this one out.
Curiously, neither of the SF places seems to have a website.