Summer is finally here! Which means it’s time for days at the beach, lots of beer, and even more bites. As soon as the sun starts shining San Diegans are on the hunt for the perfect place to relax with a beer in hand, but many breweries don’t have food, aside from the occasional food truck. Here at Bite, food is our main priority so we set out to find the best places for brews and food after a day at the beach. Because you shouldn’t have to sacrifice great food for beer, or vice versa.
Solana Beach, Carlsbad, Ocean Beach
Pizza Port was established in 1987 by siblings Gina and Vince Marsaglia. They turned what was once a struggling pizza parlor into a Solana Beach favorite, and eventually a San Diego institution. In 1992 they sold their first home brewed beer, and as they say, the rest was history. Today Pizza Port has locations in Solana Beach, Carlsbad, San Clemente, Bressi Ranch and Ocean Beach. Making it easier than ever to grab a quick bite and brew during a long summer day. Pizza Port is constantly rotating their beers, which they stream for each location on their website. When it comes to the pizza, we’re huge fans of the Pizza Laguna, which is a veggie pie with olives, mushrooms, onions, and artichoke hearts – because everything is better with artichoke. Another fan fave is the Pizza Solana, named after Pizza Port’s birthplace and filled with shrimp, clams, onions, olives, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Serving just about every beer under the sun and a huge array of pizza, anyone can find something to like at Pizza Port.
Amplified Ale Works
For a long time, Pacific Beach seemed to be the only San Diego neighborhood untouched by a local brewery. PB residents were forced to sip their craft beers inside sports pubs or venture to neighboring breweries. That was until 2015 when college friends JC Hill and Alex Pierson turned their kebab shop into Amplified Ale Works. Keeping the menu Mediterranean-style the friends introduced their full array of beer to the menu. Amplified Ale Works is situated right on Mission Blvd steps from the beach, making the journey from sand to beer painless. Amplified has indoor and outdoor seating, but the best time to go is when the sun is shining so you can enjoy your Falafel looking out onto the ocean. We also recommend the Chickpea Veggie Burger which is loaded with sauteed mushrooms, corn, zucchini, carrot, rice, and panko served on an onion ciabatta with a cilantro lime aioli. It makes for a perfect post-beach snack.
California Tap Room
Known as the hidden gem of North Park, you’d be crazy to not try hand-rolled pretzel next time you’re in town. Friends Boomer and Jeff concocted their pretzel dreams while working the boring 9-5, until one day they decided to jump head first into the ball of dough that is now California Tap Room. Like the rest of North Park, Tap Room is growing quickly. Just last year the pretzel joint was half the size, but now the menu includes sandwiches, sweet pretzels, and charcuterie boards. As for the beer, Tap Room has ten rotating taps and over twenty different bottled selections to choose from. You can’t stop into Tap Room without trying their beer cheese, which is infused with a different local beer each week, and their pretzel puffs. Visit California Tap Room on our North Park walking tour every Saturday and Sunday at 2 pm.
For those with more refined taste, you will find simplicity and class at Bier Garden in Encinitas. Renovated in 2013, Bier Garden is located in a historic building originally built in the 1940’s. Wanting to keep the original t-bone shape of the building, the new owners worked around the historic space to create a beautiful restaurant dedicated to beer. All 32 of Bier Gardens taps come from local California breweries, so you can try what California craft really has to offer. As for the grub, we love the Beef Short Rib Nachos, Lump Crab B.L.T.A, and Pork Belly Burger. You really can’t go wrong with such an expansive menu. We’ve also heard that Bier Garden is a hot spot for professional surfers, so keep your eyes peeled when you stop in.
Any of these spots will be sure to chase the June gloom away. Just make sure you towel off and cover up before you go in!