Let’s face it, craft beer is to San Diego what wine is to Napa. San Diegan’s have loved beer long before we had our kids and long before it became trendy. So why, just because we now have kids, should we not be able to enjoy it in the same way we did before? Whether you are a local or a tourist, there is no reason why you should forgo a good brewery or favorite beer on tap just because the kids are in tow. Lucky for all of us parents, these awesome kid friendly breweries and restaurants are not only serving up great beer they are doing it with a laid back vibe that is welcoming to both beer and non-beer drinkers alike.
10 Best Kid-Friendly Beer Joints in San Diego
It’s one thing for kids to be welcome at a brewery and it’s another for them to actually be entertained for long enough that the parents get to enjoy themselves. This isn’t a list of places that happen to have highchairs and fries – these brew co.’s, taprooms and restaurants take it to the next level with awesome kid-friendly spaces that are sure to entertain for hours.
There are some awesome well kept secret spots on this list that you probably haven’t even heard of.
Where: East Villlage
What to Love: I generally don’t mix East Village and kids but this is my exception – its basically bar park. The venue is awesome and you would have to try really hard not have a good time. There are always different food trucks, S&M (Sausage & Meat), great beer, corn hole, music, a big jenga and dogs. It’s a perfect venue to meet up with friends so your kids can entertain each other while the grown-ups socialize.
On Tap: Sometimes there is a Tap Takeover so selection varies.
Yelp: Quartyard – Yelp
Insider Tip: Check the website before because when they have certain events it becomes a 21+ venue.
1102 Market St
at 11th Ave
Bottlecraft Liberty Public Market
Where: Liberty Station – Liberty Public Market
What to Love: Liberty Public Market is probably San Diego’s most trendy new eatery, but for good reason. If you simply want to get good food an good drinks without all the fuss, this is a must try. With a dozen food vendors everyone in the family can order exactly what they want whether it’s burgers, Thai, Mexican, you name it. Grab you brew from Bottlecraft and bring it out to the huge patio where you can drink eat and relax. Kids love the freedom of being on the patio, playing at the tractor, and playing on the wood boat.
Insider Tip: Bring the kids scooters or bikes and have them work up and appetite before by riding around the miles of paved paths in Liberty Station. Or check @libertystation to see what events are going on. We went here last weekend and ended up catching free concerts and outdoor movie and all the happenings of Liberty Station Block Party event.
On Tap: Phenomenal selection, it will be easy to pick a winner.
Insider Tip: Order your food, get your beer, your food will be ready. Or, get your beer, take it to order your food, walk around and drink while you wait.
Liberty Public Market
2820 Historic Decatur Rd
Fathom Bistro Bait and Tackle
Where: End of the pier on Shelter Island Drive.
What to Love: Epic view of San Diego from this hidden gem. For food and beer at the end of a pier, this place is top noche and the food is better than you would expect. Kids will love playing on the pier and watching the boats. It gets even better after dark.
On Tap: 15 taps of local and not local beers.
Yelp: Fathom – Yelp
Insider Tip: Bonfire pits run alongside the pier so if you want a summer night to remember, host a bonfire in addition to heading to Fathom.
1776 Shelter Island Dr
San Diego, CA 92106
Bay City Brewing Co.
Where: Tucked south of 8 East right near Sports Arena. You probably have seen it leaving Ocean or Mission Beach.
What to Love: This fairly undiscovered gem has a cool warehouse vibe and just the right amount of space. It also has a large enclosed patio and great mix of mellow patrons (and pets). Despite being a new brewery it almost feels like you have been transported back 7 years in time before craft beer became such a scene.
On Tap: Moms should try the Experimental Pale Ale.
Yelp: Bay City Brewing Co.
Insider Tip: If you are making a special trip just to go here, make sure there isn’t an event at Sports Arena. We generally check it out from the freeway on our way into Ocean Beach and then know if there will be traffic or a crowd for if we want to stop on the way back.
3760 Hancock St Ste A
b/t Kurtz St & Channel Way
Ballast Point – Mira Mesa
Where: Mira Mesa. There is also one in Little Italy but it’s not as kid friendly. Kids are welcome but they don’t mesh in nearly as well as at Mira Mesa.
What to Love: Tons of space along with great beer. This is the bigger of the two Ballast Point locations and offers a sit down restaurant and large outdoor area. There is nice ambiance and reasonably priced food in a clean atmosphere. Thing the type of brewery that you would feel ok bringing visiting grandparents to without worrying that your mom is going to keep exclaiming how you’ve brought a baby to a bar.
On Tap: Moms try the Grapefruit Sculpin
Insider Tip: If you prefer to try Little Italy with the family plan on just stopping in for a beer rather than making a whole event of it.
9045 Carroll Way
San Diego, CA 92121
Where: Sculpture Garden in Balboa Park
What to Love: Balboa Park is one of the most beautiful and relaxing places in San Diego and Panama 66 is no exception. Nestled right in the center of the park it’s the perfect solution for grabbing a beer and letting the kids run around the sculpture garden lawn. You get to taste some great beers on tap without the full fledged bar/brewery experience.
On Tap: Full bar so Moms get that glass of champs that you really want instead of beer.
Yelp: Panama 66 – Yelp
Insider Tip: Grab the tables closest to the lawn so that your kids can spent the whole time in the garden but still be in eye sight.
1450 El Prado
Loma Club Bar & Grill
Where: Formerly Sail Ho in the northwest corner of Liberty Station, at the golf course. This really is one of the longest and best kept secrets in Liberty Station.
What to Love: TIt has a fantastic outdoor patio that overlooks the golf course. Younger kids have ample room to run around outdoor (mind them staying off the greens) while older kids get plenty of freedom to play pool in the backroom or other table games inside.
On Tap: Mom’s try the Citris Smash mixed drink.
Yelp: The Loma Club – Yelp
Insider Tip: Parking at Loma Club is limited, if the lot is full just park across the road by Corvette Diner.
2960 Truxton Rd
San Diego, CA 92106
Where: Ocean Beach, Solano Beach, Carlsbad, San Clemente
What to Love: What’s not to love about strolling off the beach and curbing your hunger/thirst with delicious pizza and good brews. Pizza Port is basically SoCal’s version of the classic pizza parlor of our youth. With bench seating and an array of arcade games kids can be kids here while the grow-up gets to carb up on yummy pizza and wash it down with so great tasting brews.
On Tap: Moms try O.B. Chronic Brew.
Insider Tip: Depending on when and where you go it can be really crowded. Don’t expect to just stroll in and eat right away on a weekend without waiting in a fairly long line.
1956 Bacon St
b/t Saratoga Ave & Santa Monica Ave
Station Tavern & Burger
Where: South Park
What to Love: The relaxed outdoor seating is as good as it gets. It feels like the half of the crowd here is parents so there are always plenty of kids for your little ones to play with. Tucked into the corner is a play area so all the kids get wrangled into their own area which means you can sit and have a whole round while just watching the kids from your table.
On Tap: Moms try Pranqster Beer by North Coast Brewing, it’s a Golden Ale that tastes like a Hef.
Yelp: Station Tavern – Yelp
Insider Tip: Come early because it gets crowded and this is the type of place people like to linger and hang out.
2204 Fern St
b/t 30th St & Ivy St
South Park, Golden Hill
Where: North Park.
What to Love: Waypoint Public is as good as it gets for kids play areas at an indoor restaurant. Offering more than just standard bar food, this place is a favorite of ours. It never disappoints with a sectioned off area of kids to play fenced in with toys and even a movie playing.
On Tap: Make a point to pair your drink with your food.
Yelp: Waypoint Public – Yelp
Insider Tip: Happy Hour (Mon-Fri) 4-6 is a great time to come with kids. Less crowded and better prices.
3794 30th St
b/t Gunn St & North Park Way
Coronado Brewing Co.
Where: Orange Avenue in Coronado (bayside)
What to Love: It’s hard not to fall in love with anything on Coronado and Coronado Brewing Co. is no exception. There is a separate kids menu and depending on when you go they often have someone making balloon animals. Every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., kids eat free with the purchase of a $10 entrée and beverage.
On Tap: Mom’s try the Mermaid Red.
Insider Tip: Ride the ferry over from downtown. The kids will love the boat and Coronado Brewing is only a block walk from the ferry landing.
170 Orange Ave
b/t 2nd St & 1st St
The Bottom Line
Have any other kid friendly craft beer joints that I left off the list? Got an opinion on any of the places listed? Share your comments below!
If you like this round up don’t mind our popular post
Mom’s Note: Please always drink responsibility and never forget to pick a designated driver especially when you have your kids in the car.