There are two things very near and dear to the heart of a San Diegan: food and beer. In this foodie and brewery hub of a municipality, you seriously will not be able to get enough of these two. While some places specialise purely in beer and others just in food, there are quite a few places that excel at the combination.
There’s nothing better than a refreshing beer and some tasty bites after a long day at the beautiful beach or exploring all of San Diego’s diverse neighbourhoods. In fact, with over 150 breweries at your disposal, there are almost too many places to choose from, so let this be a guide on the best places for brews and bites in San Diego.
Barrio Star – Weekend Brunch
First on the list obviously needs to be a Mexican restaurant…once you try this cuisine in San Diego, you’ll understand. If you’re headed out on a Saturday afternoon with your best mates for a weekend brunch, you must try Barrio Star.
Although named “2018’s Best Casual Mexican Restaurant” there is nothing casual about this place. With all your classic Mexican favourites and over 10 beers on tap plus 7 bottled beers, you will be surprised – or should I say not surprised at all – at how quickly this place could turn into your weekend staple. Here’s a tip: try a different combo of beer and food each time you go…it could take your entire adulthood to accomplish but will be worth it.
Credit: @barriostarsd on Instagram
Stone Brewing in Terminal 2 – Pre Flight Snack
The best way to experience San Diego’s incredible food and beer scene is to get on it before you even leave the airport…or as a devoted salute on your way out. If you have arrived from overseas through Terminal 2 then looks like you’re in luck.
Originally from just outside of San Diego in Escondido, Stone Brewing Company is one of California’s most prized breweries. Ranging from rich pale ales to tangy flavoured IPAs and low-gluten beer that actually tastes like beer, Stone Brewing is simply a must. And you don’t even have to set aside time to get there, just chuck it on at the front or end of your trip. What to do for bites? Try any of the sandwiches, the big pretzels, or pretty much anything they offer, you won’t be disappointed.
Credit: @stonebrewing on Instagram
Hamilton’s Tavern – Pub Feed
Let’s face it, you’ve had a long day sightseeing and all you most likely feel like doing is pigging out…I mean what are pub feeds for anyway? This place has been around…seriously, there are past beer taps hanging from every inch of the ceiling for decorative purposes.
With an incredibly long list of beers on tap, a section on the menu dedicated to wings, and 6 different kinds of grilled cheeses available, Hamilton’s Tavern is that comfort spot everyone needs here and there…even on holiday.
Credit: @hamiltonstavern on Instagram
Panama 66 at the San Diego Museum of Art – Balboa Park Stop
Even San Diego’s most famous and most commonly visited park deserves a stop for brews and bites! Once you’re finished up seeing as much of Balboa Park as you can and checking out the San Diego Museum of Art, head to Panama 66 to enjoy the outdoor greenery with the perfect afternoon or sunset combo.
Only serving “San Diego indie draft beer,” this place is as San Diego as it gets. With an eclectic menu made up of anything from curry fries to a classic kids PB&J, there is something everyone can enjoy on this nice little stop in the park…except maybe the beer, leave that one for the adults.
Credit: @panama66sdma on Instagram
Top of the Hyatt – Upscale Date Night
Top of the Hyatt is where you go for that fancy date night you’ve been trying to plan for some time. With beautiful views of the whole region and some high classy hotel vibes, this place was made to impress.
While there is an array of wine and cocktail options from the drinks menu, there is still a hefty beer section because why would San Diego, even the finest places, leave out some good old fashioned brew? Indulge in some bar classic such as prawn cocktails or house marinated olives or get sweet with the dessert menu and take in the view with dulce de leche churros. Yes, you can drink beer with dessert.
Credit: @grandhyattsd on Instagram
The must-stop LGBTQI friendly brewery – Hillcrest Brewing Co
Queer and love beer? Not queer and love beer? Either way, it you love a good time, amazing craft beer and a great atmosphere, make sure you stop by the world’s first openly gay brewery – Hillcrest Brewing Co. This brewery is built on the philosophy to provide a safe and welcoming space for everyone to enjoy but also caters to San Diego’s LGBTQI clientele.
Enjoy a range of delicious pizzas, each with their own names, full of character, like ‘Choke that Chicken, and ‘Sissy Shrimp Pesto’, pair it up with some classic ‘Honey Sriracha wings’ and of course, you can’t forget the stars of the show- the craft beers. Choose from a range of flavours and kinds – such as the pale ale ‘Hot Sucker’ to the scotch ale ‘Banana Hammock’.
Credit: @hillcrestbrewco on Instagram
See you in San Diego for Brews & Bites …