Ballast Point Tasting Room and Kitchen, 2215 India St.:
Lots of on-premise-only beers, including some in the "research and development" phase. I love that! Plus, the food is incredible - I stopped there on the first night we got into town, and I craved their Fish Tacos ($12) the rest of the trip. It's also located right near the airport, so it's a great stop for when you first land, or for before you take off. (Also: you can buy bottles to-go!).
Modern Times Flavordome, 3000 Upas St.:
Berkeley Pizza, 3934 30th St.:
Berkeley Pizza is a great, walkable stopping point between Modern Times and Toronado (a fun spot for beer lovers, although we find the San Francisco location has a much better selection). Berkeley was one of those spots that pleasantly surprised us. We just wanted a quick bite, but ended up sitting at their bar and getting a pint each, as their beer selection was quite impressive. (I got the 21st Amendment Toaster Pastry, which I really enjoyed). Their pizza is deep dish, and somewhat backwards as the sauce is on top of the cheese. But it was incredible, albeit filling, and we ended up taking a slice home for later. (Which we may or may not have eaten for breakfast on Friday before heading home. Champions).
Hamilton's Tavern, 1521 30th St.:
Right next door to South Park Brewing (definitely stop there for a pint beforehand; the beer's decent, and they have great large tables for imbibing at with big, open windows all around), Hamilton's is a no-frills spot for great beer and even better food. The menu is mainly comfort food, done very well, with mainly sandwiches, wings, burgers, and pub snacks gracing the pages. You also order the food at a window at the back of the bar, making the experience that much more casual (and fun!). The Vegetarian Baja Dogs ($6.25) were an indulgent "starter," although the portion was large enough to be a filling meal. (We ended up taking half home...also for Friday's breakfast). My meal was the West Coast grilled cheese ($7.75), piled high with melted sharp cheddar, Haas avocado, tomato, and pickles, served on rosemary sourdough with fries on the side. I almost never eat a full plate of such a large portion, but just about everything was gone from this one. Absolutely delicious.
Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens, 2816 Historic Decatur Rd., #116:
The beer here was good, with a number of on-premise-only taps and bottles. The only downside is they had several rare bottles on the list that actually weren't available for sale until the next day/next week. An odd typo to look over, and an unfortunate misprint for our table. But we did buy some rare bottles to-go, which helped ease our disappointment.
(For the active folks, Stone also offers fun lawn games on their patio - like bocce!).
All in all, we had a great few days in San Diego. I highly recommend making a trip out there for the weather, food, and beer alone!
Have you ever been to San Diego?