Looks Like the Unicycle Just Got a Makeover
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1. Lafayette Hotel2223 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego
2. Poor House Brewing Company4494 30th St, San Diego
3. Saltbox Dining and Drinking1047 5th Ave, San Diego
4. Green Flash Brewing Company6550 Mira Mesa Blvd, San Diego
5. Blind Lady Ale House3416 Adams Ave, Normal Heights
6. Hamilton's Tavern1521 30th St, San Diego
7. Small Bar4628 Park Blvd, San Diego
8. Toronado4026 30th St, San Diego
9. Station Tavern2204 Fern St, San Diego
10. Tiger!Tiger!3025 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego
Located in North Park, the Lafayette Hotel brings fun in the sun inland. They've been around since 1946 and have the eats and accommodations to live up to their dead-sexy pool.
The "pourers" are these pretty cool chicks who like to drink beer (like, a lot of beer), and they may encourage you to order something called a Poor House Panty Dropper Ale, which has a subtle 18.5% ABV. Poor House is North Park's first microbrewery and prides themselves on their hoppy IPA's -- so go ahead, pride yourself on your ability to drink a lot of them.
Saltbox is a 175-seat, bi-level resto/ "gastro-lounge," the base level of which houses a marble-topped booze dispensary, classing it up with tiled pillars and a lengthy albeit delicious cocktail list. Upstairs you'll find the only slightly less classy grubbin' space.
Green Flash Brewing's “beer-first” philosophy has earned the San Diego-based team a reputation for being draught trailblazers. The 30 beers on tap at this massive tasting room in Sorrento Valley include a variety of flagship beers as well as seasonal, rare, and special release selections. Clink your glasses outside in the beer garden and order bites like truffle mac & cheese, tater tots, and wasabi deviled eggs from the on-site Green Flash food truck.
Sometimes known as BLAH, this Normal Heights beer bar and pizza-centric restaurant is anything but. It’s a fine go-to for vegetarians, neighborhood locals with kids, and anyone who appreciates a great thin-crust pie. Pizza varieties run the gamut from margherita and four-cheese to the heavy-loaded egg & bacon, decked out with Swiss chard, caramelized onion, and truffle oil. Pizza and beer, works every time.
Housed in the oldest beer- and wine- licensed location in San Diego, Hamilton’s Tavern is a traditional neighborhood drinkery in the heart of South Park. Named after Marine veteran Herman Hamilton who frequents the bar religiously, Hamilton’s is rooted in a commitment to unparalleled hospitality, making you feel more like a friend than a customer, whether you come in for a beer or a meal. In addition to potato concoctions like garlic truffle tots and Blair-style tots smothered in garlic, green onions, bacon, and Cheddar, snacks include Baja chili dogs, hush puppies, buffalo wings, and banh mi sandwiches. The California-centric beer program features Monkey Paw Brewing Co., Russian River Brewing Co., and other local craft breweries.
Small Bar may be somewhat... small, but it's still able to cram in a bunch of delicious and loaded Bloody Marys, Moscow Mules, and a huge rotation of craft beers on tap -- they've also got a full-service food menu that includes a delicious Southern-style brunch.
This San Diego offshoot of the famed San Francisco beer bar boasts over 50 taps, rivaled only by its extensive, delectable food offerings. Pair Russian River’s Pliny the Elder or a Belgian Blaugies D’Arbyste with snacks like jalapeno corn cakes, maple-glazed beet skewers, and sausage sandwiches (there’s an entire menu section devoted to frank varieties like smoked beer and jalapeno Cheddar). Toronado has dive bar deco down to a tee, with sticker- and button-plastered walls illuminated by neon lights and ventilated by antiquated ceiling fans.
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.
Tiger!Tiger! Tavern, Blind Lady Ale House’s sister venue, purveys draught beer and bar fare in North Park, dishing out clam chowder, curry fries, hamburgers, and other hearty soups, salads, sandwiches, and sides in a rustic yet industrial environment. Peel your eyes away from the gravity-defying, how-are-they-hanging-upside-down-I-don’t-get-it bicycles affixed to the ceiling, take a seat at a communal mahogany picnic table or barstool, and embark upon the journey of choosing a beer from Tiger!Tiger!’s varied beverage list. Take advantage of the Sunday brunch menu, which offers both sweet and savory dishes like house-made doughnuts and a fried chicken biscuit sandwich.