Where's the Best Craft Beer Food Establishment in SD

Recently a former San Diego chef and now internationally acclaimed (Amass and Noma) Chef Matt Orlando was the Galaxy Taco guest chef for Taco Tuesday Takeover. He had some things to say about San Diego upping their game with food that can match our great craft brews. He remarked “that he sees a lot of missed opportunity with local brewpubs that aren’t serving food that compares in quality to the beer.” I think he’s largely right on with his assessment.

So, where are your favorite beer spots with great food around San Diego? Blind Lady Ale House, Tiger Tiger, Ballast Point, Stone, Legacy? Where does the food quality live up to San Diego beer quality? What say you . . .

ZMonkey Paw generally gets good reviews, but I’ve yet to make it there. The menu reads like very basic pub grub . . . Wings, burgers, etc.

Hope the new Beerfish on Adams can Serve some elevated seafood to match our brews.

Has anybody tried Spike Africa’s?

Tiger Tiger is easily my favorite in this regard.

Tiger Tiger, makes some great stuff, and I really like it, but the menu is rather limited to chili, burgers, fries, and sandwiches. Executed very well for sure, but not exactly greatly elevated cuisine.

Stone I think has really tried to create elevated cuisine with their brews, but largely I think their execution just misses.

I have yet to see a single “gastropub” in SD with even decent food, most have just typical, boring “bar-inspired” food.

How About Jayne’?s

Or even better yet, Chef Davin Waite’s, Wrench & Rodent "Seabasstropub? It’s not technically in San Diego, but I would venture to say it’s perhaps our very best representation! Davin is doing really unique and creative locally inspired dishes for sure. His plant based sushi creations are not only beautiful, but delicious. Actually everything he plates looks amazing. And . . . they are starting to do their own in house brews.

HH, do you think the Smoking Goat qualifies with their 6 taps of local draft beer?

isn’t the whole point of a gastropub to have elevated pub foods? I think Tiger Tiger definitely nails that, Blind Lady to a somewhat different degree. Neighborhood as well, at least a few years ago but I haven’t eaten there since then.

Jayne’s and Smoking Goat have very little focus on beer.(especially Jayne’s wants to go much more towards wine and cocktails (but lost one of their key bartender some time ago). Just having some taps with local beer diesn’t make you craft beer centric but you need to show some interest in changing the taps and have some knowkedge (which both don’t have)

I think that is a wrong way of thinking - why shouldn’t beer have the same variety of food as a wine focused restaurant. (I remember a discussion on CH that most people think that you can actually pair a much wider range of food with beer than wine). Just having mediocre pizza, burger, charcuterie and fried food (like in your examples) might be good for your Bud light but is actually doing good craft beer a disservice. Nobody expects French Laundry food (even though it is good to see that even high end restaurants are starting beer pairings etc) but there is some middle ground between high end and the lousy food served in every “beer focused restaurant” in SD. Why not a vegetable focused restaurant with a strong beer focus, SD could start setting trends instead of being behind 10 years

I hear what you’re saying HH, but to a large extent, I think that’s what is happening at W&R with their focus on non traditional seafood and vegetable sushi preparations along with craft beer. Just not sure SD, and for that matter the rest of the world are ready to embrace it yet. I cant wait to see how he incorporates his house crafted brews into the mix and if it will inspire new dishes and preparations.


And, I just enjoy sitting outdoors.

Isabella has decent pizza but there are many better places for pizza in SD

That also have a good selection of craft beer?

The title of this topic, from what I can tell, is “best craft beer food establishment” and not “best food” or "best craft beer selection.

Unless I am mistaken, which is a distinct possibility given that I flunked ESL. Twice.

If we start semantics than the question is what is better/relevant - underwhelming food and decent craft beer selection (Isabella) or good food and underwhelming craft beer selection (Smoking Goat, Urban Solace etc)


Best combo of both.

Then it’s definitely not Isabella (food is too bad)

Tiger Tiger (for example) has numerous vegetable based dished regularly, in addition to their normal menu. I have eaten there a lot and don’t think I have ever had a dish that could be considered lousy. It sounds like you simply can’t fathom the concept of a gastropub existing, instead of their being a lack of quality ones in San Diego. FWIW Kindred, the new spot in the old Alchemy is a vegan gastropub, with a focus on craft beers and craft cocktails.

(some others I have had repeated excellent experiences at are Sessions Public, Urge, Bagby Brewing).

I find Urge to be incredibly inconsistent, though last time there I asked them to make me a fried chicken sandwich (not on the menu) which turned out to be one of the best things I have ever had there.

Have you been to Cork and Craft yet? I think they are really trying to do something special, but the feedback I’ve had has been either spectacular or abysmal.

I have not, I only make it north of the 52 about once a year now haha