Quantcast
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

No bacon, no pepper jack, no fried egg, no avocado

Rocky’s stubbornly serves same burger

The classic — and only — meal offered at Rocky’s Crown Pub
The classic — and only — meal offered at Rocky’s Crown Pub
Place

Rocky’s Crown Pub

3786 Ingraham Street, San Diego

When I first moved to San Diego I fell in with an avid burger crowd, basically a bunch of guys with strong opinions on who makes the best in town. Most were in agreement the crown belonged to Rocky’s, and I dutifully entered Pacific Beach to devour half-pound cheeseburgers with awe and wonder. That was more than a decade ago, and the regularity of my visits tapered off over the years to the point that I’m not even sure Obama was President last time I ate a Rocky’s burger.

The Crown Point dive bar sits on the other side of a lot of stoplights from everywhere else, yet during mealtime there can be a wait. Food Network exposure will do that. Rocky’s longstanding image as burger destination number one gives people a craving, despite the bar’s willful disregard of dining trends.

A Crown Point mainstay for nearly 40 years

It’s cash-only at the bar, and they don’t have bacon. There’s no pepper jack, no fried egg, no avocado or other luxury toppings to be found. It’s mayo, red onions, tomato, lettuce, and Cheddar if you want it. Plus some tasty pickle slices served atop the bun that I tend to eat à la carte the moment the burger arrives.

A one-third-pound cheeseburger runs $6.25 these days, a half-pound $7.50. Fries cost an extra $3.25, and tots aren’t an option. As with most bars in town, the beer list has improved, and the thin HDTV screens slung around the bar are certainly an upgrade from the pub’s opening in ’77.

This was a Sunday, and the NFL dominated the narrow room. The Red Zone channel was on, cutting between four close games as they reached their fourth quarter climaxes simultaneously, causing cheers, groans, and a steady stream of fantasy football rants.

I ordered a Green Flash Soul Style IPA and a couple of half-pound cheeseburgers with fries while my friend scored us a table. There was Tobasco and ketchup at the table, plus sriracha — which I doubt would have been there ten years ago.

I have to admit, I am a fan of fancy burgers. When Carnita’s Snack Shack puts bacon jam on its burger, I’m stoked. When I tried Juniper & Ivy’s secret-menu Double Double tribute, I gloated to friends in other states. And the prime beef Wisconsin Cheddar peppered bacon cheeseburger at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse....

I could name a half dozen others. The Rocky’s burger remains classic and goes down just as easy and satisfying as ever — savory and juicy despite a seeming lack of effort. But if a little sriracha added some excitement, imagine what a few other tweaks could do.

Other restaurants have added some imagination, with excellent results, and I think at this point even Rocky’s die-hards have to admit that, in 2016, there are some better burgers to be had in San Diego. And yet, I’d wager that in another 40 years there will still be plenty of Rocky’s fans insisting otherwise.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

SinShip Spirits is putting tiki cocktails in a can

Peat-smoked rum maker will have Zombies ready to drink by October
The classic — and only — meal offered at Rocky’s Crown Pub
The classic — and only — meal offered at Rocky’s Crown Pub
Place

Rocky’s Crown Pub

3786 Ingraham Street, San Diego

When I first moved to San Diego I fell in with an avid burger crowd, basically a bunch of guys with strong opinions on who makes the best in town. Most were in agreement the crown belonged to Rocky’s, and I dutifully entered Pacific Beach to devour half-pound cheeseburgers with awe and wonder. That was more than a decade ago, and the regularity of my visits tapered off over the years to the point that I’m not even sure Obama was President last time I ate a Rocky’s burger.

The Crown Point dive bar sits on the other side of a lot of stoplights from everywhere else, yet during mealtime there can be a wait. Food Network exposure will do that. Rocky’s longstanding image as burger destination number one gives people a craving, despite the bar’s willful disregard of dining trends.

A Crown Point mainstay for nearly 40 years

It’s cash-only at the bar, and they don’t have bacon. There’s no pepper jack, no fried egg, no avocado or other luxury toppings to be found. It’s mayo, red onions, tomato, lettuce, and Cheddar if you want it. Plus some tasty pickle slices served atop the bun that I tend to eat à la carte the moment the burger arrives.

A one-third-pound cheeseburger runs $6.25 these days, a half-pound $7.50. Fries cost an extra $3.25, and tots aren’t an option. As with most bars in town, the beer list has improved, and the thin HDTV screens slung around the bar are certainly an upgrade from the pub’s opening in ’77.

This was a Sunday, and the NFL dominated the narrow room. The Red Zone channel was on, cutting between four close games as they reached their fourth quarter climaxes simultaneously, causing cheers, groans, and a steady stream of fantasy football rants.

I ordered a Green Flash Soul Style IPA and a couple of half-pound cheeseburgers with fries while my friend scored us a table. There was Tobasco and ketchup at the table, plus sriracha — which I doubt would have been there ten years ago.

I have to admit, I am a fan of fancy burgers. When Carnita’s Snack Shack puts bacon jam on its burger, I’m stoked. When I tried Juniper & Ivy’s secret-menu Double Double tribute, I gloated to friends in other states. And the prime beef Wisconsin Cheddar peppered bacon cheeseburger at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse....

I could name a half dozen others. The Rocky’s burger remains classic and goes down just as easy and satisfying as ever — savory and juicy despite a seeming lack of effort. But if a little sriracha added some excitement, imagine what a few other tweaks could do.

Other restaurants have added some imagination, with excellent results, and I think at this point even Rocky’s die-hards have to admit that, in 2016, there are some better burgers to be had in San Diego. And yet, I’d wager that in another 40 years there will still be plenty of Rocky’s fans insisting otherwise.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

SinShip Spirits is putting tiki cocktails in a can

Peat-smoked rum maker will have Zombies ready to drink by October
Next Article

Margaret Fuller: wrote first major work of feminism in the US

An inspiration on Walt Whitman
Comments
2

It tastes just like a piece of meat which has been ground up, grilled, and put on a bun with some cheese, lettuce, onion, and tomatoes on top. (yawn)

plus the fries are few, yet expensive.

Jan. 18, 2016

Overrated times a thousand.

Jan. 27, 2016

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close