Alison

San Diego is Home to Nation’s Best Brewpubs

Just a Selection of Beer Taps at Pizza Port OB
Just a Selection of Beer Taps at Pizza Port OB

Just a Selection of Beer Taps at Pizza Port OB

Any idea where you’ll find the best small brewpub in the country?

It’s right here in San Diego – in Ocean Beach (OB), to be more precise.  Pizza Port OB, which opened in May 2010, was tapped Small Brewpub of the Year at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival (PDF), the nation’s largest and most prestigious showcase for brewers and their brews. Head brewer, Yiga Miyashiro, was named Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year.

The OB location is the fourth link in the Pizza Port chain launched in Solana Beach in 1987 by Gina and Vince Marsaglia, a sister/brother team who are not brewers but have the Midas touch for finding top beer-making talent. (At that 2011 national beer fest, Pizza Port Carlsbad won Large Brewpub of the Year – for the third consecutive year.)

Delicious pizza goes great with a local beer

The chain began has a pizza-only restaurant – and chewy-crust designer pizzas are still a hot draw. Make sure to request the signature wholegrain beer crust. Salads are fresh, large and tasty.

Pizza Port Ocean Beach family Style Seating

Pizza Port Ocean Beach family style seating

Customers order at the counter and sit on benches at long picnic-style tables in the large, often packed, dining area. Ambiance is informal, friendly and noisy – a surprisingly strong family vibe (baby strollers are often parked alongside tables). There’s a small indoor bar and a sidewalk patio.

Delicious Pizza Port Beer

Delicious Pizza Port Beer

Choose from a wide selection of affordable high-quality beer on tap, including award-winning house-crafted brews as well as other locally crafted offerings covering a wide range of styles, flavors and punch. Can’t decide? For $4-$8, sample a four-brew tasting.

Pizza Port Ocean Beach is at the corner of Bacon and Santa Monica in OB.  It’s open from 11:00 am – 10:00 pm Sundays through Thursdays, till midnight Fridays and Saturdays.  Pints cost $3-$7; 10” pizzas run $7-$10.

Candice

Where are We Wednesday

Help us figure out where we are in San Diego today by leaving your comment below. Where can you find this hand-tossed pizza?

Need a hint? This place is home to some of San Diego’s award-winning craft beers.

Need another hint? The name of this place is hidden somewhere in the photo!

 

Suzzanne

Dining in North County Coastal San Diego

Discover San Diego’s neighborhoods with our Summer Sweepstakes. Join us every week as we showcase the best in what to do, where to eat, and where to stay in some of San Diego’s unique neighborhoods. Be sure to check back for exciting insider tips, giveaways, and more! This week’s spotlight is on North County Coastal.

From pizza and brew to San Diego’s only 5-star restaurant, there is something for everyone in North County. Here’s our top 5 spots in the North County Coastal.

1. Pizza Port: A true pizza joint located a few blocks from the beach is Pizza Port. Visitors will find homemade pizza and home-brewed ale. With two locations in North County, Solana Beach and Carlsbad, it’s the perfect place to take the kids after a long day hanging on the beach.

2. Wine Steals-Cardiff: With over 40 rotating by-the-glass wines and more than 250 bottles, this is a great place to sip some wine and enjoy the ocean breeze. The stone and wine barrel bar is the centerpiece while stone arches and dark weathered wood add the old world charm reminiscent of Tuscany. There are ample leather couches and coffee tables to add to the comfort and with $5 tastings on Wednesdays, you can comfortably enjoy your wine into the night.


3. Addison: Inside the Grand Del Mar, you will find San Diego’s only 5-star restaurant. The Grand Del Mar’s signature restaurant features Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef William Bradley’s artisanal approach to cooking, combining local ingredients with contemporary French influences. A seasonal menu offers an inspired evening of culinary expertise.

4. Fidels Little Mexico: With some of the best chips and salsa in San Diego, this is a great spot to try authentic Mexican food. The restaurant and cocktail lounge features a taco bar, strolling Mariachis (Thurs-Sunday only) and two heated outdoor patios.

5. Solace and the Moonlight Lounge: Okay, so this hasn’t opened yet, but will be shortly. If you’ve been to Urban Solace in North Park, then you’ll understand why it’s already on the list. The original location features new american comfort food and a fantastic selection of West Coast wines and handcrafted beer.

Discover North County Coastal for yourself with our “Enjoy the Grand Life in San Diego’s North County” sweepstakes. Unwind during a two-night stay at The Grand Del Mar, one of San Diego’s most exclusive luxury resorts. Discover the dramatic North County coastline by air on “The Unforgettable” scenic helicopter ride for two from Corporate Helicopters of San Diego.

Candice

5 to Try: Be a Beer Tourist (but drink like a local)

With a casual, relaxed atmosphere and locals who take good beer seriously (but without taking themselves too seriously), San Diego is the perfect place to escape for a libation vacation. Craft beer is so much a part of San Diego, that Mayor Jerry Sanders officially declared June “Craft Beer Month.”

San Diego boasts an enviable 38 breweries (many of them award-winning) and a wide variety of pubs and restaurants catering to those who enjoy unique, locally crafted beers. Whether you’re visiting San Diego during Craft Beer Month or any other month of the year, head to one of these places to sample a local brew and feel like a local while taking in the sites and attractions of San Diego at the same time.

Stone Brewing Co. photographed by Studio Schulz

  1. Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido is recognized as one of the best breweries in the United States by the two largest beer enthusiast websites, Ratebeer.com and BeerAdvocate.com. Brewing more than 50,000 barrels of beer annually, it is also one of the fastest growing breweries in the nation.  Guests can enjoy big character beers like Arrogant Bastard Ale with its high quality ingredients and high alcohol contents. The Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, a restaurant with a large outdoor patio and one-acre garden, serves a rotating organic menu. Keep an eye out for a Stone Brewing Hotel located directly across the street from their Escondido facility to open in 2013.
  2. The North Park neighborhood is bisected by 30th Street which locals like to call “the best street in the world for craft beer.”  More than a dozen restaurants and bars located along 30th Street proudly serve local craft brews including beer-havens like Hamilton’s Tavern, Toronado San Diego, The Linkery and Ritual Tavern. 30th Street is also a great place to find up-and-coming restaurants and hip boutiques.
  3. Pizza Port, a favorite San Diego North County restaurant with locations in Solana Beach, Carlsbad, and Ocean Beach, is a brewpub featuring hoppy Pizza Port beers and over 15 different pizzas served on the Port’s signature wholegrain beer crust. From their Solana Beach location, you can stroll the Cedros Design District’s funky shops and galleries or hop on the Historic Highway 101 for a coastal cruise through vintage surf culture.
  4. Head over to scenic Coronado to try family-owned Coronado Brewing Company. The brewpub features quality handcrafted beers and delicious food like woodfired pizzas and fresh seafood. Eight signature beers are brewed on-site including the popular Coronado Golden, the unfiltered Idiot IPA and the full-bodied Outlet Stout, Afterwards, take a stroll on the beach, try your hand at surfing or tour the historic Hotel del Coronado, famous for its appearance in the movie “Some Like It Hot” and possible ghostly resident.
  5. Enjoy a beer downtown. Karl Strauss Brewing Company is one of the largest craft breweries in San Diego, offering a core lineup of seven delicious beers, plus a variety of specialty seasonal beers, each perfectly paired with the restaurant’s menu of Southern inspired cuisine.  Karl Strauss also hosts monthly “firkin” parties in which kegs are tapped in the traditional way, by driving a spigot through the front of the keg with a wooden mallet. At their downtown brewpub, you’re just steps away from San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the San Diego Symphony and Balboa Park – with 15 different museums – is just a short jaunt up the road.
Bruna

La Jolla’s Cottage Industry

“I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon than to occupy the most splendid post.” —Thomas Jefferson

Jefferson preceded the settlement of La Jolla by a hundred years, but he would’ve been at home in the Village with the number of cottages offering bacon on their menus today. Cottage culture is experiencing a legitimate resurgence in La Jolla through its cafes, pubs and restaurants—white picket fence and strategically placed rose intact.

Prep Kitchen La Jolla

Prep Kitchen, 7556 Fay Avenue: The owners of Whisknladle opened this establishment and another in Del Mar. Their personal philosophy: “PK serves great seasonal comfort food in super relaxed environment.” Brunch seems a bit fussy, but make it to PK for the more relaxed Happy Hour, daily from 3 to 6pm, with $5 sangrias and 25% all bottles of wine, paired with $3 Spanish-style tapas like Farro salad, manchego, stuffed piquillo peppers, marinated olives, calamari fritti, and bacon-wrapped dates.

Pannikin Coffee & Tea, 7467 Girard Avenue: This café, tucked between a Maserati dealership and used bookstore, might not be a cottage per se, but it is very cottagey, much like its Del Mar, Encinitas and downtown locations. Expect a collegiate feel mixed with ‘90s post-boho. The bandiera bagel and cheese tamales with veggie chili are hearty stand-bys, and the burrito is equivalent to two meals; the espresso is pleasing, and there’s wi-fi, too.

The Cottage in La Jolla

The Cottage, 7702 Fay Avenue: The trellised patio provides a picturesque frame for its clientele and cuisine. California bistro fare includes farm-fresh eggs, granola and fresh fruit, oatmeal pancakes, Belgian waffles or a vegetable frittata, plus desserts and pastries, fitting the cottage aesthetic.

Brick & Bell Cafe, 928 Silverado Street: The Brick & Bell possesses an old-country cottage vibe. Try the Mediterranean sandwich on ciabatta or any of their down-home soups, the chicken enchilada, tomato ravioli or Italian wedding varieties.

The Public House in La Jolla

The Public House, 830 Kline Street: One of the original La Jolla cottages, here you can choose from 21 taps of Belgian ales, local San Diego beers and many hard to find microbrews, as well as over 120 bottled beers—many which are specialty and limited release bottles—and wine. Pair them with a burger, from the “Bootlegger” with whiskey barbecue sauce, onion straws, bacon and pepper jack, to the grass-fed “Kobe Wagyu” with gruyere, gorgonzola, onions, tomato and baby greens (vegetarian options also available).

Extreme Pizza, 834 Kline Street: There might be more than a few Extreme Pizza franchises, diluting some of the independent Jeffersonian homestead spirit, but with a toddler, this might be one of the most convenient cottage options. For less than a Hamilton ($10), little ones get a huge slice of pizza, orange wedges, and a fruit drink–perfect after a day of scaling rocks at the Cove. Plus you can stroll to nearby Cups for no-guilt organic cupcakes afterward.

Stephenie

5 to Try: Beer+Food = Beerfood

If you haven’t heard, San Diego brewers are pretty much kicking Heineken these days in the craft beer scene as they continue to pump out award-winning brews and take home coveted titles like “World’s Best.” Our beer is so tasty, that local restaurants and brewpubs have joined in on the fun and are rounding out their menus with beer-infused foods to compliment our sophisticated beer palates.

Some of my beerfood favorites include:

  1. Hamilton’s Tavern in South Park – the oldest beer and wine licensed establishment in San Diego serving tasty pub food with a twist because almost every menu item is made with beer! Highlights include Hop Sausages (house-made sausages, made with hop leaves), Beer Cheese Soup, Beer Candy and beer marinated chicken wings.
  2. Karl Strauss, multiple locations in San Diego – the largest craft brewery in the county offering a core lineup of beers, plus a variety of specialty seasonal beers.  Beer food items include Lemon Hef Chicken, Beer Brined Pork Chops, Big Beer Burger, Beer Battered Fish and Chips and my personal favorite, a Beer Float made with vanilla bean ice cream, dark chocolate and Red Trolley Ale. Continue reading