HomeHappenstance at The Harp- San Diego (Ocean Beach)Happenstance at The Harp- San Diego (Ocean Beach)

Happenstance at The Harp- San Diego (Ocean Beach)

Name: The Harp Irish Pub and Restaurant

Address: 4935 Newport Avenue | San Diego, California

Cost: Breakfast Eats $5.45-$10.95 | Salads $7.95-$12.95 | Sandwiches $8.95-$11.95 | Small Plates $2.95-$10.95 | Faves $11.45-$14.95 | Burgers (with fries) $9.45-$10.45 | Dessert $3.95-$5.45 | Craft Beer $5.00+ | Cocktails $4.00+

Photo of a large Celtic harp mounted over the entrance to The Harp Irish Pub in Ocean Beach, San Diego.

About: Last week I made a special trip to Ocean Beach to taste beers at a new brewery that recently opened. Unfortunately, when I got there, I found out they were sold out of their house-brewed beers. Fortunately, while walking back to my car, I noticed it was parked right in front of The Harp. It was happenstance, and I went right in.

Photo of the entrance to The Harp Irish Pub.

The Harp is a long-time favorite of Ocean Beach locals. The neighborhood pub is known for its good eats, large craft beer selection, a full bar (including over 30 whiskeys, 15 which are Irish), sports TVs, occasional live music, and dog-friendly patio out back.

Photo of the back bar at The Harp.

Located on the shady side of Newport Avenue, the main business street of Ocean Beach, The Harp is a block and a half from the beach. Its big front windows open onto the sidewalk and cool ocean breezes drift inside. At lunchtime, tourists, shoppers, and locals pass by and look in with curiosity; many stop in for a drink and food.

Photo of the big windows at The Harp looking out onto Newport Avenue.

The décor recreates an authentic Irish pub, with a well-worn wood bar top, leatherette bar stools, cozy booths, and sturdy wooden tables and chairs. Irish memorabilia, neon beer signs, and soccer team flags adorn the walls.

Photo of an Irish coat of arms at the entrance to The Harp.

The Harp is open weekdays from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., and on the weekend, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Happy hour is 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.

What I Ate: The elevated pub food menu is impressive and includes authentic Irish dishes such as Irish Breakfast, Shepherds Pie, and Bangers and Mash. For dessert they offer house-made carrot cake and ice cream, including an ice cream made with draft Guinness. The Harp also serves burgers, one of my favorite comfort foods to pair with craft beer.

Photo of The Harp Burger with fries at The Harp Irish Pub in Ocean Beach.

The Harp Burger and fries

So, I ordered The Harp Burger– a half pound patty of seasoned beef, lamb, and bacon, topped with fresh arugula, a roasted tomato slice, garlic aioli, Feta cheese, caramelized onions, and a fried egg, sandwiched inside a toasted ciabatta bun ($10.45). This gourmet burger was served with a large pile of perfectly cooked fries.

Photo of The Harp Burger

The Harp Burger

I loved this burger! It is a good one. The bun had great texture, the meaty patty was juicy and perfectly cooked, and the flavors from all the fresh ingredients combined to play a delicious symphony with every bite.

What I Drank: Thorn St. Brewery’s Pale Ale (5.3% ABV/44 IBU). Cold, flavorful, smooth, and well-balanced. Perfect for pairing with any burger, especially The Harp Burger.

Photo of a pint glass full of pale ale beer on the bar at The Harp .

Thorn St. Pale Ale

Likes: The Harp Burger was delicious. Thorn St. Brewery’s Pale Ale was tasty and paired well with the burger. I was impressed by the number of outstanding craft beers they have on tap (24). The selection of Irish Whiskeys was also striking. Service was excellent. Prices are reasonable for the level of quality in the food and drink.

Dislikes: none

The Verdict: A great local pub serving quality craft beers and gourmet pub food. A perfect lunch for me at The Harp starts with a local craft beer at the bar, accompanied by The Harp Burger with a side of fries. Recommended.

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