Today I want to share one of my favorite places in San Diego. This is a place that has played a vital role in my development as a craft beer enthusiast. It’s not a secret how much I love this place, so don’t even think this is a review, it’s a glowing endorsement of a place that people should check out immediately.
I am referring to Ritual Tavern.
Located on the northern end of the pinnacle of all beer corridors in town, 30th St, Ritual Tavern is a multifaceted bar, able to accommodate the craft beer crowd, the wine lovers and fans of good food. A hat trick for any who enjoy treating their taste buds.
When we moved back to San Diego four years ago, we were lucky enough to live two blocks off of 30th St and Ritual was the bar right on the corner. Our first visit there was something of an eye opening experience. I was keenly aware my craft beer knowledge was at a pretty amateur level, but I had no idea just how deep the pool I was jumping into was. I found the experience to be utterly fascinating and intoxicating…on multiple levels.
Mike and Stacey, the owners, are incredibly friendly and very knowledgeable when it comes to describing the qualities of a beer to anyone who asks, and as they have gotten to know, my fiancee loves to ask questions. They are great people to get to know, and they take a lot of pride in what they do.
This is the place where I had my first Bear Republic, Duvel, Shipyard, Mission, Alesmith , and so many others that I don’t even have a count. Every time we went it with a mission to keep trying new things and Ritual never disappointed with its constantly rotating selection of drafts and bottles.
Going here was a near weekly experience and probably one of the places I miss the most after we moved out of North Park. Our visits back have been sporadic at best, but that something that I’m working to rectify, especially since my most recent visits have really reminded me just how much I love it.
Walking inside still gives me the sense of walking into a place that knows it’s beer. The whole place has a very cozy feel, and the hospitality that you get almost makes you feel like you are a guest at your long lost Bavarian Uncle’s house. Steins line the ceiling and bottles line the back wall of the bar. When you’re there at night, the lighting is low and adds to the cozy vibe. The only thing missing is a fireplace.
An aspect that I find personally appealing, most especially when I’m out with the fiancee, is the noise level in Ritual is at a level where we don’t always need to shout at each other in order to have a conversation. Also, the crowd is of a friendly sort, always happy to strike up a conversation if you find you’re drinking alone for a bit.
Probably the biggest addition to Ritual Tavern since we moved out of the neighborhood is the Beirgarten/Patio around back. It’s a nice open area with tables, plenty of sunlight and a real good energy to it that I found conducive to drinking beer on a Saturday afternoon. My visit included such delightful beers as Socitete’s Scrapper Dark Ale, Rough Draft’s Emboozlement triple finished off with another from Societe, The Harlot. Three wonderful beers that I plan to talk about more in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!
I’ve not eaten often when here, but when I have, the food has always very good. I appreciate the fact that they use chemical free ingredients and that the condiments are made in house. It’s a great touch. In fact, the new brunch menu looked great so I’m thinking that another visit is right around the corner.
Also would like to note that Ritual participates in the Drink About San Diego – a free bus service that has 8 bar stops in South Park, North Park, Normal Heights and University Heights. Drink About is the 3rd Wednesday of every month.
So whether you feel like pulling up a chair at the bar for a draft, sitting on the patio with a glass of wine, or dining in the cozy atmosphere, Ritual Tavern is a place that is sure to take care of you and treat you well. It should be a destination for any beer or wine lover, no matter how discriminating your palate may be.
Ritual Tavern is located at 4095 30th St, San Diego CA 92108 – It’s on the corner of 30th and Polk. Check out their website for upcoming events and other info.