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Ritual Kitchen and Beer Garden

Not Rated.
Ritual Kitchen and Beer GardenRitual Kitchen and Beer Garden
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

16 Ratings
Ratings: 16
Reviews: 15
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 8.41%
Taps: 15
Bottles: 32
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Bar, Eatery ]

4095 30th St
San Diego, California, 92104-2601
United States
phone: (619) 283-1618

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
Cask ale every Thursday.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-08-2007)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 16 | Reviews: 15 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chippo33
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

chippo33, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of radshoesbro
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Ritual, in many ways, is San Diego's hidden gem. They've always got good beer on tap (yes, it's a little limited compared to bigger bars) and their food is good (try the hummus). The real advantages of Ritual come when you think about their outdoor seating. You can really get a feel for why the locals love living in San Diego when you sit outside drinking all afternoon. Here's the real plus for locals: you know that two week period at the end of August/beginning of September when it gets excruciatingly hot? They've got A/C. COLD A/C! There is no other bar in North Park that can boast that.

There is a front porch and a rear beer garden. Sometimes they've got a live band. They know and love beer and food. Go to Ritual. You'll like it.

radshoesbro, Oct 30, 2013
Photo of BillRoth
4.57/5  rDev +9.9%

Been meaning to write this...Went in April 2012 with my son to enjoy an afternoon Lost Abbey Rare Beer tapping. Met Michael Flores and Staci (both wonderful!) and were treated to a great afternoon of beer, beer talk and genuine friendliness. No matter how busy it got, we never were rushed or not checked on. That and sipping on fresh drafts of Red Poppy, Cuvee de Tomme and Deliverance...well, let's say it was pretty special. Can't recommend Ritual enough, and look forward to getting back to San Diego so I can swing over to Ritual again.

BillRoth, Oct 16, 2013
Photo of jjboesen
4.21/5  rDev +1.2%

Following a lunchtime visit to the wondrous Toronado, and to snatch some pizza in the interim, I wandered a few steps to the Ritual Tavern (I guess coming here from Toronado must be the ritual), where I made my way to a dark and claustrophobic bar area for my final evening quaff. That said, there were offered a great choice of draft specials from which to choose. I went for a Left Coast Voodoo Stout ($4.00!) The service was decent despite the clusterf--- atmosphere. So, I enjoyed my stout immensely and made my departure. All in all, this was another great day in San Diego. So, boarding the No. 2 Bus for my return trip to downtown and bed, I anticipated tomorrow, because after all, “Tomorrow is another beer.” (My sincere apologies must go to Scarlett O’Hara.)

jjboesen, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev -3.8%

We stopped in here for dinner on our last night here and enjoyed the place. Rather small with an eight or ten seat bar area to the left inside the door. We did not check out the dining room.

About eight taps, all high quality, with some different selections than we saw the rest of our visit (fresh winter Yulesmith, yum!). A nice bottle selection too, though our focus was on the tap beer.

Food was good, maybe a bit of a letdown as we were expecting better. Service was good. Nice place, missable but nice.

HV

sholland119, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of djaeon
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%

My wife and I have been coming semi regularly for a few years now. It's our Friday the 13th "ritual".

The atmosphere is nice, but a bit odd at the same time. It's a small place, so it can be cozy. It seems like there are two opposing atmosphere's they're trying to go for, which accounts for the oddity. On one side, it seems like they're going for a nicer cafe/restaurant feel. On the other, it seems like they're going for a more casual lived in pub feel.

The service is always great when I've gone. The host/hostess is attentive and the servers are knowledgeable about the food and beer.

I think they have a great beer selection for their size. All craft beer, all the time. They also do occasional special casks. I'm able to try something I've never had before every time I go, and always enjoy it.

The food selection is also good, with a focus on locally grown products and good options for vegetarians.

djaeon, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%

Ritual Tavern was my last stop in San Diego, and it was more of a dinner and beer place for me, which was fortunate.

Atmosphere is nice. Very laid-back with a bar on one side and seating on the other. A string trio plays in the background. Dimly lit, kind-of trendy in a good way and generally a neat vibe. Lots of outside seating, but it is all occupied by dogs today for yappy hour.

The food was pretty good. The stand out was the house made roasted red pepper hummus. 5 bucks for a big portion and it was fantastic. My bouillabaisse was good, and came with fresh baked bread. My friend's crab cake sandwich was also good.

The waiter was friendly and prompt, but kind of strange. My friend and I got a large table to ourselves, although there were a few smaller ones. When we offered to move to accommodate a party that was waiting, he thought we were trying to pick up girls or something and kind of blew us off. Oh well, not a negative for us.

The beer selection is solid, but nothing amazing. Some solid, very small local choices, so the choices there are pretty good.

Hojaminbag, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of yemenmocha
3.21/5  rDev -22.8%

Closed on Sunday and Monday - WTF? Atrocious service at this place from the moment we walked into the door. Someone who arrived 20 minutes before us was told 5 minutes, and was then told that she (the hostess/server) forgot to put them on the written list (and said this as she seated yet another party at the open table). Our wait was similarly problematic, with virtually no organization or planning on their behalf with the tables in this tiny place that reaks of fish.

Very average tap selection if you're measuring it as a San Diego beer bar. Menu is vegetarian friendly but has relatively few choices overall. I know they're running a small, intimate place but anyway...

Cute atmosphere both inside and out, but it's just sad that the service was so poor and they're only open five days per week.

yemenmocha, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of olympuszymurgus
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%

This place drips of sexy. The dark atmosphere, the crowded bar, the textiles and beautiful people. Half a dozen of the finest taps, a cask, and a long bottle list make up the beer selection. The snack was delightful, the patio cool and fun.

The problem came from the cask beer. It was a Barleywine, something I have a deep love for. A love that was squashed when I tasted the vile brew. To call it sweet would be an understatement. Cloying isn't harsh enough. The mere sight of it could probably kill a diabetic. It was, without a doubt, the grossest thing I have tasted since my last trip to mexico.

The bartender laughed and insinuated I wasn't ready for such heady beer when I returned the offending chalice. He also charged me for the unconsumed beer. (I feel like I am lying when I call it beer, it had more in common with wort)

The owner was kind though, we had a fine conversation and we walked into the night. I will be back there, for even the slimy glass of honey water couldn't ruin this fine place.

olympuszymurgus, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of Floydster
4/5  rDev -3.8%

I stopped here last sunday with my girlfriend before heading back to LA, pretty cool little place with a dark restaurant feel, atmosphere was cool and this place was pretty mellow, with all the old wood and tight space it was pretty cozy, place was super clean and had a cool layout, service was decent and was helped quickly, not the nicest bartender but cannot really complain, saw they had Alpine Duet on cask which was cool, I had a New English ESB, they did not have many taps but the ones they had were quality, there was another Alpine, Alesmith Lil Devil, Green Flash, and Ballast Point, just missed the Triple Rock collaboration for the red rye beer, the food looked good but we did not eat as we had just indulged at Bronx Pizza a few minutes before, for having only eight taps or so, this place was cool, and while Toronado is a half block away on the other side of the street, I could see myself going back here

Floydster, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%

Well, I enjoyed my visit to the Ritual tavern, that's for sure!

They don't open until 5:30 (and I was about an hour and a half early for that after visiting Balboa Park for the day), so I headed south and hit a few other places for beers before heading back for a bite to eat. Fortunately, there are quite a few places fairly close by.

The bar was kind of crowded when I returned, but a few seats were available on the deck. Overall, it's a pretty small place. I think there are about 14 seats at the bar, and about 10 to 12 on the front side of the deck. There's a little more space, but not much.

I found the service to be very friendly, and helpful and attentive. My server made suggestions on both food and beer, and I felt really welcome.

They have 8 taps, but they're all good local brews. (I had a Green Flash Double Stout). I took a quick look at the bottle selection (a couple dozen), but who can beat fresh draft beer? There were several that I could have easily leapt for, so there was really no need to even look at the bottles.

The food is a bit limited (maybe that's not the right word... maybe I should say something like "select" or "focused"), but also very well done. You've got stuff like onion rings for $5, a cheese board for $12, burgers at $10, and vegan shepherd's pie (very tasty!) or mussels for $12.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. The Ritual Tavern is a really nice, comfortable and welcoming spot with a limited but very good selection at really reasonable prices given the area. Kudos!

NeroFiddled, Aug 07, 2009
Photo of functionology
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%

Ritual is on my short list of restaurants / bars I go to when I feel like unwinding after a day of class or work. It doesn't have the selection to match Toronado SD (which is on the same block), but it has a terrific, comfy atmosphere and excellent slow-foods cooking.

The 8 taps are always local breweries: Stone, Alesmith, Green Flash, Lost Abbey, etc. The bottle list contains several 750s and 22oz-ers of stronger / more expensive brews from the same breweries. Most of the bottles are either Belgians or SoCal brews -- very little from elsewhere in the US. They have a cask on tap fairly frequently, it seems.

The food menu is short but excellent. The daily dinner specials are usually quite tempting, but I tend to stick with the burger or the fish & chips. The shepherd's pie is very good, too. When I'm with my boyfriend we love getting the mussels or the oysters (oysters are only on Thursdays). My only complaint on any of their dishes was with their strawberry shortcake: the cake was so overly dense and sugary I had to stop eating it after one bite.

The atmosphere is perfect for having a beer -- and a good conversation -- with a friend, date, or whoever. The staff are all friendly and knowledgeable, happy to offer you a taster of some local beer while you make up your mind.

I'll miss this place a lot when I move out of SD. It hasn't been "discovered" yet to the point where it gets stuffy and crowded night after night; if you show up at 600 pm you'll be fine.

functionology, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of mithrascruor
4.45/5  rDev +7%

Visited on a Sunday afternoon. Nice place with a rather European atmosphere. Small but nice bar with a seating area available on the other side. Has a relaxing feel to it.

They have 8 taps, most of which are dedicated to local beer. Their beer list isn't quite as long as some other places, but it's all excellent stuff, covering a diverse set of beer styles. Plus, they have some beers that are hard to find elsewhere, like Traquair Jacobite. The staff is all friendly and seems knowledgeable regarding beers.

Their food menu is rather small, and leans towards a very local/organic/natural trend (not necessarily a bad thing). I just had an order of onion rings, which were quite good. There are some vegan offerings on the menu, along with more haut-cuisine items. However, they do have standards like fish & chips, and shepherds pie. Prices were all reasonable.

A nice place that I'll definitely return to!

mithrascruor, Sep 12, 2008
Photo of AmilcarCabral
4.5/5  rDev +8.2%

The Ritual Tavern is a great little tavern. It is small, compact and cozy, with a nice atmosphere. The bar area to the left is small, about 8 stools but you also have options out on the patio.

The menu is very good with an excellent burger, gumbo and some nice appetizers and entree options. There is een a nice dessert milkshake made out of a Stone Porter.

The taps are local brews with Alesmith, Green Flash and Stone being the main stand-bys. They rotate out, so there is often something interesting. Cask nights are once a week on Thursdays.

Bottle list is about 30 bottles, with a good mixture. Of particular interest are a number of Lost Abbeys, North Coast brews, and Jolly Pumpkins from Michigan. A number of Belgian and German beers sprinkle throughout the list.

The service is always excellent and friendly, with Chris, Todd and Jeni all being laid-back and knowledable bartenders.

If you are looking for well above average, local food, a nice beer selection in a quiet, soothing atmosphere, the Ritual is a great place.

AmilcarCabral, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of d0ggnate
4.45/5  rDev +7%

After last night's experience, I had to let everyone know how great The Ritual is. My friends and I absolutely enjoyed our dining experience at The Ritual. Everything about our trip was great and the food, wine and beer were definitely memorable.

We started the night we a few drinks and appetizers. The wine selection seemed acceptable (being that I don't really drink wine that often, so I skipped that and went straight to the beer). The beer list was above average and offered some tasty treats. With our drinks, we enjoyed the beer-battered shrimp and the cheese plate. The shrimp themselves were very juicy and meaty, and the batter was a bit spicy, but still delicious. The cheese plate is what we all enjoyed most. With a four cheese selection from Venissimo, there was something for everyone to enjoy.

We continued to enjoy another drink as our entrees were served. I enjoyed the Niman Ranch natural beef burger. Very tasty, juicy beef cooked just the way I ordered it (medium). The house-made fries were great, the house-made condiments were delicious, and the homemade pickles were great!! Others with me enjoyed the Shepard's pie and the lamb dish. The lamb was the table favorite.

After dinner I enjoyed the Stone Smoked Porter Shake, which was very ice creamy up top, but you had hints of Stone Smoked Porter on the back of your tongue as it went down. Very good!!

I have to say I was impressed with the entire restaurant. I can't wait to go back and try more. It does seem as if they are still new and getting some things worked out, but nothing they can't handle over time. The menu offered many other enticing choices, including a wealth of vegan, gluten free, and organic choices. Stop by this North Park gem if you are into a relatively inexpensive meal to be enjoyed best with a fine brew.

d0ggnate, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of m1ked
4.2/5  rDev +1%

I had an excellent dining experience here. My wife and I dined with good friends here, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The apps were tastey, we ordered 3 to share,including a crowd favorite Venissimo cheese plate. I may be biased gut I felt my lamb sirloin was by far the best on the table, but the Shepard's pie was delicious. I love the local wine and beer selection, they have multiple locals on tap, Alesmith, Green Flash, Lightning, Port among other non local offerings. They also carry a wide bottle selection, much more than your average restaurant. The bar is very small, usually fills up with people eating dinner at the bar. They have a patio, but have yet to experience it. The feel of the place is small/unique/local/personal...they have their fair share of vegan offerings, if you're into that, I like meat. I would recommend this place to anybody that likes quality food, unique & local beer & wine offerings, and local restaurants.

m1ked, Jan 18, 2008
Ritual Kitchen and Beer Garden in San Diego, CA
92 out of 100 based on 16 ratings.