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7 San Diego Breweries Stand Out with Dishes That Go Beyond Bar Food

It's not just about what's in the keg—these breweries also know what they're doing in the kitchen
Salmon chicharrones from Kairoa

By Bruce Glassman

Of San Diego’s nearly 160 breweries, these seven stand out with dishes that depart from what we typically think of as brewpub fare. Peanuts and popcorn, step aside!

Stone Brewing Co.

Stone Brewing Co. recently redesigned its menu and added a number of outstanding items, including the organic, grass-fed Belcampo burger (ground daily on the premises—one of the best burgs in town), ahi tuna nachos, and the hearty and delicious spicy lamb sausage with rigatoni. Among the older breweries, they have the most exciting new menu.

Locations in Escondido and Liberty Station

Duck Foot Brewing Company

Inspired by classic Brazilian cuisine, Duck Foot’s small menu not only offers intriguing and delicious dishes, it does them all gluten free. Menu highlights: Brazilian cheese bread, elote, and Buffalo chicken sliders.

550 Park Boulevard, East Village

Gravity Heights

Gravity Heights combines a wonderfully designed space with a menu that provides an astounding variety of ingredients and flavors. Menu highlights: charred peach crostini, crab fries, Moroccan vegetable tagine.

9920 Pacific Heights Boulevard, Sorrento Valley

Kairoa Brewing Company

Kairoa puts a SoCal spin on New Zealand–inspired fare, from classic meat pies to “butties” (deep-fried shrimp). They also have a great brunch menu, which I consider a big plus for a brewery. Menu highlights: fried green tomatoes, mussels chorizo, lamb meatballs.

4601 Park Boulevard, University Heights

My Yard Live

My Yard Live features a great selection of fresh fish, house-smoked meats, sides, and soups alongside a host of kid-friendly items that will make the entire family happy. Menu highlights: Tuscan seafood stew, house-smoked beef brisket, and a vegan jackfruit sandwich.

288 Rancheros Drive, San Marcos

Viewpoint Brewing Co.

Viewpoint features a selection of upscale bar bites, served with a unique view of the San Dieguito Lagoon. Menu highlights: crispy Spanish octopus, charred broccoli, naan mi.

2201 San Dieguito Drive, Del Mar

Original 40 Brewing

Just opened in North Park, Original 40 offers a few items no other brewpubs do. Menu highlights: gougères (small popover pastries filled with cheese), grilled halloumi, and housemade corn ravioli.

3117 University Avenue, North Park

Honorable Mentions

Urge Common House/Mason Ale Works


Bagby Beer

Belgian frites

Belching Beaver Brewery Tavern

Hopped lamb chops

Blind Lady Ale House/Automatic Brewing

Great creative pizzas

Amplified Ale Works

Killer döner fries

7 San Diego Breweries Stand Out with Dishes That Go Beyond Bar Food

Salmon chicharrones from Kairoa

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