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Best brewpubs, greatest gastropubs, and beautiful beer gardens

Underbelly
Underbelly

San Diego’s best brewpubs

If tasting rooms exist to serve fresh beer to beer enthusiasts, brewpubs place a premium on serving fresh beer alongside good food. These spots foment a greater felling of community, attract more diverse crowds, and often become beloved neighborhood hubs.

Place

South Park Brewing Co.

1517 30th Street, San Diego

South Park Brewing Company

Two years ago, I never thought I’d walk past Hamilton’s to drink next door instead. But this casual-seafood sister restaurant offers a more neighborly meeting spot, and some days sitting at a shared table drinking fresh, brewed-on-premises beer wins.

Place

Blind Lady Ale House

3416 Adams Avenue, San Diego

Blind Lady Alehouse

There are plenty of guest taps equipped to slake your thirst at this family-friendly pizza spot, but don’t skip the offerings of on-site Automatic Brewing. You’ll have to stand in separate lines to order beer and food, so order beer first and have something to drink while standing in line to order pie.

Place

Cork and Craft

16990 Via Tazon #123, San Diego

The Cork and Craft

Because it houses both Abnormal Beer Co. and Abnormal Wine Co., this earnestly artisan restaurant sits incongruously inside an industrial park. Don’t be fooled by the bland exterior — you will both eat and drink well within.

Place

Pizza Port OB

1956 Bacon Street, San Diego

Pizza Port Ocean Beach

The award-winning brews churned out each year by this southern tip of the Pizza Port empire make up for the mediocre pizza. On the bright side, the thick doughy crust seems designed to absorb some suds so you may enjoy more of the always-worthy tap list.

Place

URBN St. Brewing Co.

110 N. Magnolia, El Cajon

URBN St. Brewing Co.

People find all kinds of reasons to go to URBN restaurants — the pizza’s always great and the North Park location can be quite a scene. Check this one for the beer. Peel through a small assortment of quality house brews, and when you find something you love, order a pitcher.

San Diego’s greatest gastropubs

Beer and food pair well together — we know this. And so do the restaurants on this list, that also know that great beer prefers quality cuisine.

Place

Queenstown Public House

1557 Columbia Street, San Diego

Queenstown Public House

A funky converted craftsman setting and pub food by way of New Zealand afford this place plenty of atmosphere. A reliably good tap list gives you more than enough reason to enjoy it.

Place

Underbelly North Park

3000 Upas Street, San Diego

Underbelly North Park

It’s still tough to tell whether you’re sitting inside or outside when you visit this uniquely designed ramen house. It might depend whether you’re sitting at one of the fire tables or the well-appointed beer bar.

Place

Churchill's Pub and Grill

887 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos

Churchill’s Pub & Grille

One of the OG craft beer spots in the county serves laudable food to go with a consistently excellent tap list, including special tap events and food-pairing dinners.

Place

OB Noodle House

2218 Cable Street, San Diego

OB Noodle House

Some may still prefer the original OB Noodle House location. Both offer great beers, but this one gets the nod thanks to patio seating with a people-watching view of lively O.B. sidewalks.

Place

URGE American Gastropub

16761 Bernardo Center Drive, San Diego

Urge Gastropub

Most likely, there’s a subset of people who visit Urge strictly for the food. But given the impressive collection of beers that roll through, I suspect most come for the beer and wind up enjoying both.

Beautiful beer gardens

The best brew- and gastropubs let you sit outside in beautiful surroundings. This is San Diego, after all. We’re known for sunshine, not just craft beer. These spots offer both.

Place

Stone Brewing Co.

1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

Nearly a decade after construction, Stone’s paean to beer remains the best place to drink in the county. The gardens have grown to the point you may luck upon a moment of seclusion in the twisting greenery, while exploring a tap list rich with rare Stone releases and stellar guest beers.

Place

Panama 66

1450 Plaza de Panama, San Diego

Panama 66

One visit’s enough to question why we haven’t always had a craft beer bar in the Museum of Art’s sculpture garden? Even if you don’t take your drinks to kick it on a blanket in the grass surrounded by eclectic artwork, you get to stroll along El Prado both coming and going.

Place

Karl Strauss Brewing Company

9675 Scranton Road, San Diego

Karl Strauss Brewery Gardens

Koi ponds and waterfalls… 20 years ago, such a place may have been deemed necessary to lure people to a craft beer setting. Given the number of bare-bones tasting rooms that have popped up the past decade, we’ve clearly lowered our standards, which is fine. But this is still better.

Place

Alpine Beer Company Pub

1347 Tavern Road, Suite C23, Alpine

Alpine Company Pub

Alpine Beer Co. went from a small, overcrowded, and falling-apart dive bar in which to serve its fantastic beer to a stylish and spacious restaurant on the appropriately named Tavern Road. Its modestly landscaped outdoor bar rewards Alpine devotees for making the trek east.

Place

Quartyard

1301 Market Street, San Diego

Quartyard

Lay out artificial turf and plop down some shipping containers in an empty lot and you have yourself a park. Include a dog run and craft beer service, and you have something better.

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Underbelly

San Diego’s best brewpubs

If tasting rooms exist to serve fresh beer to beer enthusiasts, brewpubs place a premium on serving fresh beer alongside good food. These spots foment a greater felling of community, attract more diverse crowds, and often become beloved neighborhood hubs.

Place

South Park Brewing Co.

1517 30th Street, San Diego

South Park Brewing Company

Two years ago, I never thought I’d walk past Hamilton’s to drink next door instead. But this casual-seafood sister restaurant offers a more neighborly meeting spot, and some days sitting at a shared table drinking fresh, brewed-on-premises beer wins.

Place

Blind Lady Ale House

3416 Adams Avenue, San Diego

Blind Lady Alehouse

There are plenty of guest taps equipped to slake your thirst at this family-friendly pizza spot, but don’t skip the offerings of on-site Automatic Brewing. You’ll have to stand in separate lines to order beer and food, so order beer first and have something to drink while standing in line to order pie.

Place

Cork and Craft

16990 Via Tazon #123, San Diego

The Cork and Craft

Because it houses both Abnormal Beer Co. and Abnormal Wine Co., this earnestly artisan restaurant sits incongruously inside an industrial park. Don’t be fooled by the bland exterior — you will both eat and drink well within.

Place

Pizza Port OB

1956 Bacon Street, San Diego

Pizza Port Ocean Beach

The award-winning brews churned out each year by this southern tip of the Pizza Port empire make up for the mediocre pizza. On the bright side, the thick doughy crust seems designed to absorb some suds so you may enjoy more of the always-worthy tap list.

Place

URBN St. Brewing Co.

110 N. Magnolia, El Cajon

URBN St. Brewing Co.

People find all kinds of reasons to go to URBN restaurants — the pizza’s always great and the North Park location can be quite a scene. Check this one for the beer. Peel through a small assortment of quality house brews, and when you find something you love, order a pitcher.

San Diego’s greatest gastropubs

Beer and food pair well together — we know this. And so do the restaurants on this list, that also know that great beer prefers quality cuisine.

Place

Queenstown Public House

1557 Columbia Street, San Diego

Queenstown Public House

A funky converted craftsman setting and pub food by way of New Zealand afford this place plenty of atmosphere. A reliably good tap list gives you more than enough reason to enjoy it.

Place

Underbelly North Park

3000 Upas Street, San Diego

Underbelly North Park

It’s still tough to tell whether you’re sitting inside or outside when you visit this uniquely designed ramen house. It might depend whether you’re sitting at one of the fire tables or the well-appointed beer bar.

Place

Churchill's Pub and Grill

887 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos

Churchill’s Pub & Grille

One of the OG craft beer spots in the county serves laudable food to go with a consistently excellent tap list, including special tap events and food-pairing dinners.

Place

OB Noodle House

2218 Cable Street, San Diego

OB Noodle House

Some may still prefer the original OB Noodle House location. Both offer great beers, but this one gets the nod thanks to patio seating with a people-watching view of lively O.B. sidewalks.

Place

URGE American Gastropub

16761 Bernardo Center Drive, San Diego

Urge Gastropub

Most likely, there’s a subset of people who visit Urge strictly for the food. But given the impressive collection of beers that roll through, I suspect most come for the beer and wind up enjoying both.

Beautiful beer gardens

The best brew- and gastropubs let you sit outside in beautiful surroundings. This is San Diego, after all. We’re known for sunshine, not just craft beer. These spots offer both.

Place

Stone Brewing Co.

1999 Citracado Parkway, Escondido

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

Nearly a decade after construction, Stone’s paean to beer remains the best place to drink in the county. The gardens have grown to the point you may luck upon a moment of seclusion in the twisting greenery, while exploring a tap list rich with rare Stone releases and stellar guest beers.

Place

Panama 66

1450 Plaza de Panama, San Diego

Panama 66

One visit’s enough to question why we haven’t always had a craft beer bar in the Museum of Art’s sculpture garden? Even if you don’t take your drinks to kick it on a blanket in the grass surrounded by eclectic artwork, you get to stroll along El Prado both coming and going.

Place

Karl Strauss Brewing Company

9675 Scranton Road, San Diego

Karl Strauss Brewery Gardens

Koi ponds and waterfalls… 20 years ago, such a place may have been deemed necessary to lure people to a craft beer setting. Given the number of bare-bones tasting rooms that have popped up the past decade, we’ve clearly lowered our standards, which is fine. But this is still better.

Place

Alpine Beer Company Pub

1347 Tavern Road, Suite C23, Alpine

Alpine Company Pub

Alpine Beer Co. went from a small, overcrowded, and falling-apart dive bar in which to serve its fantastic beer to a stylish and spacious restaurant on the appropriately named Tavern Road. Its modestly landscaped outdoor bar rewards Alpine devotees for making the trek east.

Place

Quartyard

1301 Market Street, San Diego

Quartyard

Lay out artificial turf and plop down some shipping containers in an empty lot and you have yourself a park. Include a dog run and craft beer service, and you have something better.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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