1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

O'Brien's

O'Brien'sO'Brien's

Taps: 20 / Bottles: 85
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
BA SCORE
96
world-class

126 Ratings
Ratings: 126
Reviews: 115
rAvg: 4.36
pDev: 8.49%
$$ - reasonable


[ Bar, Eatery ]

4646 Convoy St
San Diego, California, 92111-2315
United States
phone: (858) 715-1745

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @obrienspubsd

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: xlperro)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
Ratings: 126 | Reviews: 115 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of coolparrot
coolparrot

California

4.7/5  rDev +7.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$

Great spot to hang for a few pints and eat some Grub! The burger menu is the best and the garlic fries, BOMB! Love the different Beer events these guys host. I just recently found out about this place through an acquaintance who is regular. Now I'm quickly becoming a regular! Tom and Tyson are great guys and the vibe is really cool here. The only and I mean only Con is the Bar itself is a little small (I'm one of those guys that loves to sit AT the bar). But, if I get there early, no problemo! Highley recommended and I'll be back in the future for sure! This place ROCKS!

11-14-2011 19:48:11 | More by coolparrot
Photo of pmarlowe
pmarlowe

District of Columbia

4.72/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$

Love this place. They always have lots of good San Diego locals on tap, as well as a solid bottle list. Definitely leans toward the hoppy bears, as their motto would indicate.

Prices for taps and bottles are eminently reasonable. Check their website or Facebook page for regular updates of the tap list.

Food is good but not out of this world. The tortas (like paninis) are tasty, and the sausages that come with the Brewer's Plate are out of this world good. The garlic fries are pretty heavy on the garlic, and the hamburgers are pretty standard. The good thing is, if you like Asian food, there are dozens of Asian restaurants nearby (like Tajima, which is across the street).

My only complaint is that they allow smoking on the outdoor patio. This would be more tolerable if they didn't allow cigar smoking as well.

Pet friendly, there are usually a dog or two roaming around outdoors. Overall, the staff are very friendly and O'Brien's has a great atmosphere. One of my favorite San Diego bars.

09-25-2011 18:21:12 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
ThreeWiseMen

California

4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$

I moved to the San Diego area (La Jolla-UTC to be exact) about two months ago, and since then I've visited O'Brien's Pub on at least three different occasions. I've been very happy with my experiences there so far, and I plan on visiting much more in the coming years, especially given how close it is to my house.

While it doesn't offer many TV's, O'Brien's is known locally as one of the city's finest soccer pubs. When I first arrived in San Diego, local news stories about the US women's World Cup run were being broadcast from O'Brien's. While I haven't watched any soccer matches there yet, it seems like it'd be a fun thing to do in the near future. The interior of O'Brien's is decorated to look like an English sports pub: dim lighting, long wooden bar, firkin handles, a somewhat dungeon-like atmosphere, and walls coated in flags and pennants. They also have a large outdoor area (where I've sat each time thus far) that doesn't offer anything besides plastic patio furniture, which is all you need when it's 70 degrees and sunny outside. I love it!

When it comes to service, don't expect to be waited on. The waitresses deliver food dishes and bus tables, but don't take orders. Patrons must place their food and beer orders at the bar. The bartenders and waitresses are very friendly though, when my friend accidentally spilled her freshly ordered beer, a waitress replaced it free of charge.

And now for the most important part: the beer. Of the dozen or so beer bars I've visited since moving here, this may have the best local selection. You can almost always find two Alpine beers on-tap, and I've spotted one-off releases from Green Flash, Stone, and Ballast Point (e.g. Habañero Sculpin on cask). The beer selection also offers a wide variety of styles, including imperial stouts, barleywines, and sours (typically Flanders red or oud bruin). The bottle list is also very impressive and reasonably priced. Whatever your mood, you'll find the beer(s) you want.

The food menu consists of standard pub grub: burgers, sandwiches, wings, fries, etc. Everything I've had is very tasty and goes great a beer or two.

This may not make the itinerary for first-time visitors, but it's an absolute must if you're staying in San Diego for more than a few days.

08-28-2011 17:20:45 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.83/5  rDev -12.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | $

Bar at the end of a strip mall type setting. Arrangement inside is kinda cluttered for what it is. Lots of soccer shit and pub stuff on the walls, seemed like a TGIFridays that went through an English vibe. Some horrible tuffman contest stuff (i.e. fat guys with boxing gloves on) on the television, I may have enjoyed some malnutritioned futbol instead.

Bar service occurs only at the corner of the bar, which can be beneficial, but creates kind of a cluster at the entrance. Selection was kinda lacking I thought for what they had on tap. Decent bottle list, leans Euro more than the tap list that leans ipa heavy. Was hoping for more Alpine beers on tap, ended up having the only one available, O'Brien's ipa, which was good, but not the equal of other Alpine ipas.

Draft prices are great.

06-02-2011 17:07:41 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of gerrick
gerrick

California

4.58/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$

This place has it all. Great beer, great food, and a master brewer as the owner. Tom has really made this place great. The pub seems to get all the great beer releases. It also happens to be the official American Outlaws Pub and soccer plays nearly all the time on the many TV's. The food is outstanding. I'm constantly amazed with the flavors. It seems like a shame to call it bar food. The beer week events are amazing at the pub. The group trips to soccer events are outstanding. Say hi to Michelle (My personal Fav).

05-27-2011 20:33:36 | More by gerrick
Photo of Dankbeers619
Dankbeers619

California

4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$

My overall impression of O'Brien's is that they are one of the few establishments in San Diego that can actually keep up with the ever changing beer market and pace of the beer industry. I have been here numerous times, and only a very few times have I ever been disappointed in the selection of beer or the wait.

One time was the Russian River night were, no joke, the line was around the block and down the street to get a beer...No Thanks..!!!
The other was meeting a mutual friend for lunch and O'Brien's had just opened and I was a few minutes late to join him in line and I ended up not even ordering and just joining him outside.

My recommendation to you is if you are in San Diego for a business meeting or just looking for a good beer joint, then, O'Briens is your spot.. Plus they are the few people in town that cater to the soccer crowd..!

Cheers

05-05-2011 02:52:57 | More by Dankbeers619
Photo of notchucknorris
notchucknorris

California

4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $

Yes, the atmosphere of this place could be better. However, this place has some great events and usually has a pretty solid (albeit not huge) lineup on tap. I've been lucky enough to try a few amazing beers here that I've never seen anywhere else. They tend to get a ton of great stuff from Alpine, which is a huge plus for me. I was also able to try some offerings from Russian River that I've never seen anywhere else in town. It's worth a trip just to see what they have on an average day. And don't be afraid to try some of the surrounding restaurants. Tofu House next door is bomb. I'm definitely a fan of this place. Just try not to go when it's too crowded. Yikes.

04-20-2011 16:03:12 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of nanobrew
nanobrew

California

3.7/5  rDev -15.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $

The atmosphere of this place is not that great. The arrangement makes it seem crowded with few people in the place. It is dark and fairly simple. The upside is they do have dart board. They definitely specialize in IPAs, that makes up most of their tap list, and they usually have some great ones on tap. They do have a pretty good bottle list. Their prices were really good, especially if you catch a special (I have gone on nights for discount bottles). The food is pretty good for bar food. I enjoyed it and thought it went well with the beer. The staff is nothing special. I am sure if I was a regular they would be more willing to chat. But I have been during slow nights and they seem uninterested in any conversation aside from what my order is. I most likely won't be a regular, but I have no problem stopping by here every once in a while.

After being here a few more times I feel the same about the space, way to crowded, however, their service has been great, so I increased that from 3 to 4.

03-25-2011 05:59:38 | More by nanobrew
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$

Visited today while spending the week in the LaJolla area.

Atmoshere was good, smallish place with a capacity of around 60-75. Beer signs decorated the one wall, coasters from around the world on the ceiling. Sports Bar feel with 3 TV's tuned into ESPN channels on a early Thursday afternoon.

Quality was very good in the beer department and the food was good as well.

Service was friendly. It is self serve for food and beer, two ladies did it all manning the taps, serving the food, etc. They were friendly.

Selection was good, approximately 20 taps of mostly Cali beers. Huge bottle selection available if you checked the web site ahead of time.

Food was good, I had a burger that was tasty and Da Boss had a chicken sandwich. We shared fries that were nice and crispy.

Overall value was good. Prices of beer were reasonable and the food was inexpensive.

Nice place to visit, glad we stopped!

02-24-2011 23:56:03 | More by arizcards
Photo of DeanMoriarty
DeanMoriarty

California

4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$

I'm born and raised in San Diego and have somehow overlooked this little gem (it is a bit off the beaten path). After filling up some growlers at Alpine Brewery (they brew an exclusive IPA for the bar) we were essentially scolded by the crew for not stopping in and giving the place a try. I checked their website later in the week to see what they had on tap and they had Sierra's "Estate Harvest" on cask, so it was easy bait for me to go and check the place out.

Upon walking into this place, you get a low-key, localized, European pub feel with a mixture of average Joe's and business men/women (it's located in a large business district area of San Diego) - definitely not a hipster joint (which is a major bonus in my book). Also, i'm not sure if we were fortunate to stop in during their shifts, but there were two gorgeous women working the bar complete with short shorts and striped knee-high socks (both hot as hell and good barmaids to boot).

Excellent selection of beer overall (properly listed on a chalk board over the bar), and the Sierra cask was absolutely fresh, delicious and served properly for the fairest price in town (it was $4.99 for a full pour into a pint, not the typical short pour into a tulip - this type of ale should be served into a pint anyways, let's be real here!). We didn't try any food, but it looked and smelled better than average. This place is located in the heart of some of the best Asian cuisine that San Diego has to offer and the Tofu House next door was a perfect topper for all the beer we drank at Obrien's.

Any bar that the boys of Alpine Brewery back to the point where they brew an exclusive IPA for them, is one that shouldn't be overlooked and i'm sure glad I finally stopped in and gave this place a shot. I'll definitely be going back again - just wish it wasn't so far from Ocean Beach!

12-06-2010 19:49:25 | More by DeanMoriarty
O'Brien's in San Diego, CA
96 out of 100 based on 126 ratings.