Guest Contributor: Meredith
Now that summer is well underway, it is brewery and winery season again. While it’s actually that season in Southern California year around and the list of breweries and wineries is a long one, here are our top five to help you narrow down your list if you’re stationed in San Diego!
Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens (Liberty Station)
Centrally situated in Liberty Station you’ll find Stone Brewing World Bistro. Featuring indoor and outdoor dining, bocce and other games, as well as more than 40 different Stone Brews on tap. While you’re playing the Top Gun theme music while looking for parking (yep, portions of Top Gun were filmed here!), you can look forward to tons of outdoor space to roam and planes taking off from San Diego International flying right overhead to keep kids well entertained.
You can also visit the Stone Brewing location in Escondido (1990 Citracado Parkway, Escondido), which makes a great stop after a morning at the San Diego Safari Park! Stone also has a third location at the San Diego International Airport for one last taste of San Diego on your way out of town.
- Kid Friendly: Yes! Lots to see and do to keep kids occupied as well as a very strong showing on the kids menu.
- Pet Friendly: Leashed pets are allowed in the outdoor areas, service animals only indoors.
- Food Options: Stone Brewing offers a full menu, we’re partial to the fish and chips.
Karl Strauss (Sorrento Mesa)
Karl Strauss, recently voted Mid-Sized Brewery of the Year, has several locations throughout Southern California, but the location in Sorrento Mesa is our favorite! This location features an open air indoor and outdoor dining and a full service menu and tap selection. What makes this location unique is their deck built around a koi pond for a serene setting or to entertain little guests as well! They often have live music on most weekend evenings.
- Kid Friendly: Yes! Another brewery with a full selection of kids menu choices and koi watching to boot. Gourmet mac and cheese? Yes, please.
- Pet Friendly: Yes! Leashed pets are allowed.
- Food Options: All locations have a full menu.
Coronado Brewing Company (Coronado)
Coronado Brewing has three locations in Coronado, Imperial Beach and Bay Park. The Coronado location is a great place to stop after a trip to Breakers Beach at Naval Air Station North Island or make a fun date night (and skip any bridge traffic!) by taking the ferry from downtown to Coronado Island. The Orange Avenue location is just a short 8-10 minute walk from the Coronado Ferry Landing.
- Kid Friendly: Yes
- Pet Friendly: Leashed pets are welcome at all outdoor dining locations.
- Food Options: Another great full service menu featuring pizzas, pasta and other pub fare. We love the crispy fish tacos!
Cordiano Winery (Escondido)
Located in North County, this winery has views for days of the gorgeous southern California mountains, making a great date night option to take in the gorgeous sunsets. Open Wednesday through Sunday, and reservations are recommended. Cordiano Winery serves a wide variety of California wines and also fierce Southern California sunsets.
- Kid Friendly: Yes, lots of space to explore and sights to see.
- Pet Friendly: Leashed pets are welcome!
- Food Options: Charcuterie boards, handmade pizzas (including gluten free options!) , salads and pasta. A true Italian menu!
Ballast Point Brewing (Little Italy)
Parking can be a bit of a challenge downtown in Little Italy, but the trouble is worth it to have a fresh tap of the world famous Ballast Point IPAs. This downtown location has both indoor and outdoor dining and serves Ballast Point R&D brews, available nowhere else. The Little Italy location also offers Trivia Tuesday every week at 8pm. The Miramar location (9045 Carol Way, San Diego) has a great view of aircraft taking off from MCAS Miramar if you have plane-obsessed people in your group as well!
- Kid Friendly: Yes, and a great selection of kids menus choices as well.
- Pet Friendly: Yes, leashed pets are allowed in outdoor dining locations.
- Food Options: Lots of food to share and a great list of burgers and other bar food.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of breweries and wineries in the San Diego area, and I have many other spots to try out this summer! What are some of your favorite locations or ones you’re excited to try out in San Diego?