There are two things my husband and I will travel for: good food and great beer. When we visited San Diego, we lucked out on being able to enjoy both thanks to one of his good friends who lives there currently. We were able to stop by breweries that are responsible for creating some of our favorite craft beers, as well as indulge in “real” Mexican food.  I am sharing some of our favorite places to enjoy good food and even better beer in San Diego.

Did you know that San Diego is home to over 140 breweries? During our visit, we were able to enjoy brews from three: AleSmith, Stone, and Ballast Point.

AleSmith Brewing

Our first night in San Diego, we stopped at AleSmith Brewing. It is an artisanal microbrewery offering a rotating draft menu and year-round staples, such as our favorites the Wee Heavy (Scotch Ale) and Grand Cru (Belgian Strong Dark Ale).

Good Food and Even Better Beer in San Diego AleSmith

AleSmith has a large and inviting tap room, with a super long bar to match. There is plenty of seating both indoors and outdoors. The staff is friendly and answered any questions we had about other beers on the menu with which we weren’t familiar. However, any time we head to a brewery, we usually get a flight, which allows us to taste as many beers as we can and possibly find something new that we like. Our flight during our visit consisted of Wee Heavy, Speedway Stout, Robust Porter, and Vietnamese Speedway Stout (VSS). As you can see, we love our dark beers!

AleSmith Brewing
9990 AleSmith Ct
San Diego, CA 92126

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido

After spending a better part of our afternoon at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, my husband’s friend, knowing that stone is home to one of my husband’s favorite beers, suggested we stop by Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens in Escondido.

Good Food and Even Better Beer in San Diego_Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens is a beautiful place with an outdoor patio and garden, and indoor seating that provides views of it. Since we had our children with us and it was hot, we chose to sit inside. The atmosphere made it the perfect place for my husband and his friend to catch up and for our kids to play and get to know each other.

Good Food and Even Better Beer in San Diego_Stone brewing Flight of beers

The kids enjoyed house-brewed root beer, while the adults enjoyed craft brews from Stone’s extensive beer menu featuring beers that you can only get onsite, they have a pretty good food menu.

Good Food and Even Better Beer in San Diego_Stone Brewing Food

The kids had the Mini Mac-n-Cheese and Pasta & Marinara. Since it was a group of us we ordered multiple dishes for the table to share. These included the Stone Aji-Verde Black Tiger Shrimp, Brussel Sprouts, Duck Al Pastor Tacos, Pork Belly Adobo, and Pan Roasted Barramundi.

We enjoyed visiting the Escondido location as it was the perfect family-friendly place for us to enjoy a good meal and brews after an afternoon at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which is a 20-minute drive away.

Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – Escondido
1999 Citracado Pkwy,
Escondido, CA 92029

Ballast Point Brewing Company – Little Italy

At the suggestion of my husband’s friend, we ended our trip at Ballast Point Brewing Company due to its proximity to the airport and it has food – good food at that. Coming to Ballast Point was one of the best choices we made during our trip to San Diego as far as breweries and restaurants go. They have an extensive list of craft beer and the food is also amazing. My husband and I constantly revisit the idea of going back to San Diego just to experience the beers at Ballast Point. Plus, they have truffle fries! I love anything truffle, but their fries are legit.

Good Food and Even Better Beer in San Diego_Ballast Point Brewing

Like most breweries, Ballast offers individual and flight options. Since we were stopping here to bid adieu to our West Coast family before getting on our flight back to New York, we opted for a few flights just to try out what Ballast has to offer. They have some interesting infusions and combinations. Our flight consisted of the following stouts and porters:

  • The Commodore American Stout
  • Homework Series #6
  • Victory at Sea Imperial Porter
  • Black Marlin Porter
  • Piper Down Scottish Ale
  • Indra Kunindra

Good Food and Even Better Beer in San Diego Ballast Point Little Italy

Of the beers we had in our flight, Indra Kunindra with the curry, cumin, cayenne and coconut flavors had me hooked. I let my husband finish the rest of the flight, while I ordered a full glass of this one.

Ballast Point Little Italy
2215 India Street
San Diego, CA 92101

Carnitas Snack Shack – Embarcadero

Before we got on the plane, we made one more stop because my husband’s friend swore our trip wouldn’t be complete without us having something from Carnitas Snack Shack. We stopped by the Embarcadero location, which is right on the pier.  If we had enough time it would have been nice to have a drink at the bar and enjoy the water views and naval ships, but we had to get our food to go.

Good Food and Even Better Beer in San Diego_Carnitas Snack Shack Embarcadero

We called ahead to place our order so that we could pick it up and make it to the airport in time for our flight. They are known for their pork food items, but my husband nor I eat pork so we got the Snack Shack Steak Sandwich with all of the works and it was so, so, good! It has just the right amount of heat and the meat melts in your mouth. The sandwich is pretty filling; we were only able to eat half. We ate one half on the way to the airport and the other during the flight home. We can’t wait to go back to enjoy another one. Well, my husband since I gave up eating meat.

Good Food and Even Better Beer in San Diego_Carnitas Snack Shack Steak Sandwich

Carnitas Snack Shack
1004 N Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101

Lucha Libre Taco Shop

We could not leave Cali without trying the Mexican food. We have been told by many of our friends that the Mexican food we have here in New York is not “real” Mexican. Funny, right? My husband’s friend introduced us to Lucha Libre. They are known for their surf-n-turf style burritos. That is what we got, along with a quesadilla and Mexican corn (elotes).

Good Food and Even Better Beer in San Diego_Lucha Libre Burritos

The burritos are super huge, at least for me. I couldn’t even finish mine. You can tell that the ingredients are fresh. Each burrito comes with complimentary chips with which you can dip into one or two or all of the many salsas available at their extensive salsa bar.  They have everything from mild to spicy salsas and even fruit salsas. There is something for everyone.

The kids loved Lucha Libre based on the wrestling theme alone; it’s fun and colorful.

Lucha Libre Taco Shop
1810 W Washington St.
San Diego, CA 92103

These are our favorite places for Good Food and Even Better Beer in San Diego.

Do you have favorite places to eat and drink in San Diego? Drop the name below. We just may check it out during our next trip!