5 Places to Drink Craft Beer in Coronado
It took a rainy day to keep me off the freeways and revisit my favorite Coronado places for tasting craft beer. Every one of these places is great for spending a little time, or even hours, tasting craft beers with friends, watching the world go by, or just reading by yourself.
These Coronado favorites are welcoming, laid-back, close to either the bay or the ocean, and of course, they serve tasty craft brews. Don’t get me wrong; there are other great places in Coronado where you can have a cocktail, glass of wine, or even an industrial beer. But if you want a true craft beer selection in this town, these are the five places to get one of the best.
Orange Avenue is Coronado’s main drag and runs the length of town from San Diego Bay to Main Beach and the Pacific Ocean. The avenue is broad and there are trees, flowers, flags, and city-mowed lawns running down its center. Shops, bistros, galleries, coffee places, stores, and restaurants line its sides. My favorite places for drinking craft beer in Coronado are at either end of mile-long Orange Avenue. In a day you can visit them all and still have time for the bay or beach.
Coronado Brewing Company
Visiting craft beer drinkers head to this award-winning and popular brewpub at the bay end of Orange Avenue. Coronado Brewing is the only brewpub in Coronado at this time, serving amazing food along with their delicious beers. From their Golden Pilsner and Orange Avenue Wit, to their Mermaid’s Red and Islander IPA, they have a beer style for everyone.
With Coronado Brewing’s bottled beer distribution nationwide growing rapidly (they have a production brewery and tasting room across the bridge near Sea World) and 2014 World Beer Cup Champion Brewery and Brewmaster award, Coronado Brewing has brought pride to the San Diego craft beer community and to Coronado. A visit here for one of their beers is a must. And you are worthy!
Nicky Rottens Bar & Burger Joint
Just up the block from Coronado Brewing is Nicky Rottens. This place has great pub food and craft beers, and if you sit by the always open picture windows or at one of the tables out front, the view of the bay and San Diego’s skyline is priceless. That view is so spectacular that on most weekends you will see wedding and Quinceañera photographers at work and visitor after tourist snapping photos of the beautiful view.
During the day Nicky Rottens is packed with the lunch crowd; by night fall it’s full of life with people coming in after work for a snack and/or dinner. Me, I go for a craft beer and stunning view of San Diego Bay and the San Diego Skyline.
Candelas On The Bay
If you prefer to drink your craft beer with a close-to-water view, Candelas is the place. Their view of the San Diego skyline is breathtaking, especially at night. Although Candela’s is cuisine-focused (modern Mexican fusion), their craft beers are from some of the best local breweries in San Diego County. Pair a West Coast-style IPA with their Seafood Street Tacos appetizer. Combine them with the view, and I know you will be happy you visited.
Leroy’s Kitchen & Lounge
At the other end of Orange Avenue are two of my other favorites. One of them, Leroy’s Kitchen & Lounge, is one of the newest additions to the village of Coronado’s restaurant scene. Along with great food, they serve numerous craft beers from famous breweries. I like how they describe themselves:
“Leroy’s is a departure from conventional island eateries. We are committed to fresh, local, sustainable food, specializing in eclectic cuisine that changes with the season to provide diverse flavors year round.”
I’ve tasted craft beers at Leroy’s enough to tell you that the same thing could be said about the beers they pour. They have a nice rotation of diverse beer styles from quite a few San Diego County brewers. I like to go to Leroy’s for an appetizer to pair with a local San Diego County craft beer, then take a stroll along the beach in front of the Hotel Del Coronado.
Close to the southern end of Orange Avenue you will find Tavern. Situated between Leroy’s and the Hotel Del, Tavern is a bar and restaurant, with savory lunch and dinner dishes, hip bar food, cocktails, and at least a dozen craft beers.
Of all my favorites, Tavern is closest to the Main Beach of Coronado. It is below street level so the view is not great, but they do have a small patio upstairs at street level where you can sit with a cool craft beer and watch the world go by on Orange Avenue. Tavern has friendly service, and after tasting some great beers there, the beach and blue water of the Pacific are a block away.