1. Station Tavern2204 Fern St, San Diego
2. Bali Hai2230 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego
3. Queenstown Public House1557 Columbia St, San Diego
4. Fairweather795 J St, San Diego
5. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - Liberty Station2816 Historic Decatur Rd #116, San Diego
6. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens1999 Citracado Pkwy, Escondido
7. Kettner Exchange2001 Kettner Blvd, San Diego
8. Tidal1404 Vacation Rd, San Diego
9. Quartyard1102 Market St, San Diego
10. Bagby Beer Co601 S Coast Hwy, Oceanside
A South Park staple, Station Tavern helps foster friendships between carnivores and herbivores. The all-meat burgers here are just as good as the solid vegetarian options, including the house veggie burger (a chickpea patty topped with the regular burger accoutrements, with cucumbers and smoked paprika sauce to boot) and the spicy black bean burger (lime-cilantro aioli, anyone?). Combined with the cozy patio (heat lamps for cooler evenings, strings of light criss-crossing overhead, communal picnic tables and a train-themed play area for the little ones), it’s a veritable crowd pleaser for local dining options. Besides, we’re pretty sure anyone can get behind the addictive sweet potato fries and craft beer offerings at this joint.
The Polynesian paradise that is Bali Hai is known for its Hawaiian-inspired food, tiki cocktails, and unparalleled views of the Downtown San Diego skyline. Bali Hai's signature is its Mai Tai, a juice-free cocktail so high in alcohol content that the menu includes a note touting it as "quite possibly the strongest drink you'll ever consume." Lightweights should order from the "Mild to Medium Potency" section of the menu or try one of the whipped cream-topped frozen drinks. Either way, you'll need something substantial to eat, like spam carbonara or lamb pad thai.
Queenstown Public House, from the New Zealander team behind Bareback Grill, is a totally vintage burger joint that looks like your grandma's house touched down in Little Italy.
Located above Rare Form, Fairweather isn't perched very high for a rooftop bar, but it does offer a killer view of Petco Park. Cozy dotted blue sofas and fruit displays offer bright bursts of color amidst white marble benches and a mosaic-tile bar backdrop. You can take your pick from over a dozen specialty cocktails, like the honey-and-lime flavored King Bee or the sugary Oh Captain My Captain, and if you get peckish, just head downstairs for a grilled cheese or hummus plate.
At Stone Brewing's Liberty Station location, you can expect great beer and bocce ball courts in a massive outdoor space.
A one-acre beer garden and serene koi ponds make the cold beers all the more enjoyable at Stone Brewing's Escondido location. Stone Brewing's brews are known for their bold and hoppy flavor, while its food stand outs for its local and organic ingredients. Items like tiger shrimp ceviche, rice noodles with spicy lamb and chile oil, and slow-braised duck tinga tacos exemplify the global tone of the bistro.
This Little Italy spot's named after the highly held William Kettner, a democratic governor of San Diego in the early 1900s, and its theme does him justice. A sleek and welcoming space with a vague nautical theme hosts a slew of modern twists on American classics like roasted chicken, New York strip steak and Maine diver scallops. After dinner, head up to the rooftop bar to peruse the long wine and sprit lists or order a house cocktail like a spiked egg nog or the PD Collins with blood orange, cinnamon and peach bitters.
The bay view from the patio at this upscale yet laid-back restaurant located within Paradise Point Resort in Mission Bay is beautiful any time of day, but you get the best return on your investment during sunset. The cuisine matches the atmosphere with refined seafood dishes like wood-roasted arctic char and Baja prawns with house-made Longanisa sausage, though the land options are just as impressive. With plentiful parking and easy access to the sand (and fire pits), you can easily turn a dinner or happy hour visit into multiple hours of fun and relaxation.
This all-in-one urban park in the East Village populated with repurposed shipping containers and long, communal tables has a dog run, free Wi-Fi, and a bar with 26 local brews on tap. Beer-friendly food, like sausage sandwiches from S&M Sausage and Meat, and a host of grub provided by rotating food trucks makes it a great place to make new friends in the neighborhood, whether you’re a human or a dog.
An ambitious brewery taphouse can’t simply have one bar, it has to have many: Oceanside’s Bagby Beer Co sports a 20-barrel brewing system and presents multiple bars and dining areas in a former Saab dealership. On the ground floor, you'll find a pub with 40-plus taps and bar food like pizza and burgers, while upstairs offers more of a beer garden vibe, also with a 40-tap bar. Did we mention the separate tasting room? Bagby's mile-long beer list is varied, and before you venture into guest brews, try one of the house beers.