Craft Beer and Burgers at Nicky Rottens on Coronado
Where: 100 Orange Avenue | Coronado, California
Cost: Draft Pints $5.00-$8.00 | Cocktails $9.00-$11.00 | Starters $7.95-$24.95 | Burgers $10.95-$14.50 | Hot Dogs $9.95-10.95 | Salads $8.95-$14.95 | Desserts $6.95 | Happy Hour M-F $4.00 for drafts, well cocktails, house wine
About: There is a lot to say about the burgers and craft beers at this popular restaurant. I visited my local Nicky Rottens recently for lunch before heading over to Petco Park for Opening Day.
Located inside a restored circa 1926 building in Coronado, the vibe at Nicky Rottens is exactly the way they describe it on their website: “pub grub in a lively, spacious brick-walled room with sports on TV and rock music.” There is mouth-watering pub grub galore, and I counted 14 flat screens mounted on the surrounding walls showing various sports. Plus they have two large screens for ceiling-mounted video projectors for special sporting events.
With all those TVs there is no way to have their speakers on, so in their place the restaurant plays excellent music from world-class rock artists on the sound system.
Lively? Oh yeah. Inside, the spacious room is half-packed with people streaming in for lunch– mostly colorful visitors to Coronado, some Navy personnel, and a local here and there, like me. Collectively, the mood is upbeat and energized.
Outside there is a patio along the sidewalk with an unobstructed view of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline. Like the view, people-watching from the patio overlooking one of Coronado’s busiest intersections is enjoyable.
What I Ate: The menu read well and though I was tempted to try a hot dog to prepare myself for Opening Day, instead I ordered a Famous Rotten Burger ($10.95) with grilled onions ($1.00) and pepper jack cheese. The burger is served with a decent portion of fries and a pickle on the side. Tater Tots are available as a replacement for fries.
The beef patty of this burger is fantastic: lots of flavor and moisture. It is grill-seared so the juices and flavors stay in the meat. I asked for my burger to be medium-rare, and that is the way it was served. Nicely seasoned, it is delicious beefy goodness. When it arrived at my table the cheese was slowly dripping down the sides. Its hand-crafted bun from a local baker was excellent– fresh, soft, and with nice flavor (buns are brought in fresh, daily). The fries were perfectly cooked, crisp and tasty.
Bite after bite of the burger was so good, and just right. And messy! No wonder the table is stocked with plenty of napkins. It is because of this burger! Eating it I realized it is the way a burger should taste.
What I Drank: I had a pint of Blazing World (6.8% ABV), an American Amber Ale brewed by Modern Times Beer (San Diego). Blazing World is a hoppy, dank amber, nicely balanced, with a clean, dry finish; well-suited for refreshing palates between burger bites.
Likes: Nice range of craft beers and burgers. Craft beers are reasonably priced, especially during happy hour. The Famous Rotten Burger is a classic, delicious American cheeseburger at a reasonable price. Attentive, friendly service from wait staff. Competent bar staff who understand craft beer and craft cocktails. Valet service is available in the evenings. Clean restrooms.
Dislikes: parking can be a hassle
The Verdict: Nicky Rottens Bar & Burger Joint is a great local place for well-made pub grub, craft beers, and craft cocktails. If you love elevated burgers, local craft beers from San Diego, plenty of sports on TVs, classic rock music, and attentive service, you will enjoy this Coronado restaurant. Recommended