Pizza Port Solana Beach

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Pizza Port Solana BeachPizza Port Solana Beach
Very Good
6,290 Ratings
Pizza Port Solana BeachPizza Port Solana Beach

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

135 North Highway 101
Solana Beach, California, 92075
United States

(858) 481-7332 | map

The original location opened in March 1987 by Gina and Vince Marsaglia. Not affiliated with The Lost Abbey / Port Brewing.

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Ratings: 157 |  Reviews: 92
Photo of Billolick
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Our first stop in SD after a long ride from the mountains, this place is just a terrific BA stop. Casual, fun athmosphere, outstanding house brews and guest brews, mostly other SD area micros, tasty salad to start and outstanding pizza to finish, friendly folks enjoying life all around us, LOU P.LIN2x IPA, wow, what outstanding stuff! ...Yeah it was crowded, but the salad and beer held us over till the pizza was ready, and we were able to squeeze into a few seats... Go, relax and enjoy an outstanding brew destination, they even had the METS game on!

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.23/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 3.75

I had an idea to what to expect at the Solana Beach chapter after visits to San Clemente and Carlsbad; a hangout with surf and skate brands stickered around the shop, good pizza, and good beer. Relatively small compared to the other locations, but on an early Tuesday that didn't matter much.

Food and beer are ordered at separate parts of the restaurant, though counter service at both stations are quick and very friendly. Pizzas, salads, and snacks make much of the menu, with single slices of pizza available during the lunch hour. Completing the pair is the bar, which was pouring 9 house beers (including a fresh hop pale ale, oatmeal stout, Belgian IPA) and an additional dozen guest beers (Lightning, Ninkasi, Mayan Judgement Day). I opted for two house beers, both delicious and absolutely worth reordering on their own. The beers are inexpensive to booth, going from $4.50-$5 a pint.

Between quality and pricing, Pizza Port holds an edge which is worth taking advantage.

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Photo of Sammy
4.56/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

I was at this place and at Carlsblad. This is clearly smaller, 5 minutes from the Solena Beach hotels where I was staying, and right at the ocean. There is less beer taps, it's a scale down from Carlsblad. I had to stand. But what a great time I had - it was one of the best "beach" party places I have been to, and I have been down here since grad school 30 years back. Lou was tending bar, he was pouring beer every minute and said he was at 25% capacity on a Tuesday night. So he had a lot of time, was an athlete of a bartender, and he brought out for me extra pints including a 2003 Cuvee de Tomee that was one of the best beverages ever. His knowledge of the operation was excellent-his passion for beer impressive- he is an up-and-comer and I got after going to an after-hours (after 10 in California) bar with some of the crowd, after 1 am (4 am on our time). There is different bottles to sell here, different brews on tap. I am glad that I stayed up here, took the coaster around, instead of staying like a typical tourist downtown.
I can see why this place is copied but never equalled.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Transcribed from extensive notes taken M, 20 July 2009

This place could not have been more public transit-friendly! It was literally on top of the station! OK, I had to cross the street, but the station was lower (by an elevator ride) than the highway.

A long patio area ran down the left-facing side of the entry with two heavy double doors featuring oversized porthole-style windows. Once inside, there was a raised dining area to the immediate right with three picnic tables. To the left was an ATM followed by a wood and glass cabinet of logo items, then the pizza kitchen, the bank of taps, the brewhouse, the pop dispenser and the lavs. The right wall was pretty blank with some shelf and stool seating and a portal window. That was it. The back wall was a bank of video games as well as .25 vending machines filled with all manner and stripe of candy and geegaws. The bulk of the center of the space was dominated by the (now) ubiquitous picnic tables. It also had a very beach/surfer/nautical theme with a prevalence of retired surfboards, ropework around the upright stanchions, and various signage, one of which made me feel right at home. It read "Woody Parking Only - All Others Will Be Towed". I want to bring Mr. Allen here sometime for a pie. Let me know if you have any contact information for him.

Beer: Six house beers on my visit - California Honey; Cardiff Cream Ale; Shark Attack Imperial Red; Commando Scottish Ale; Tovarisch Imperial Espresso Stout and Swami's IPA. Also, lots of guest taps, but I was all about my host.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

This was the fifth Stop of the day on fellow BA EyeChartBrews Bachelor Tour cum San Diego Pub Crawl by Bus.

I always seem to do things backwards way round it seems, so it was no surprise to visit the original Pizza Port in Solana Beach, long after I had already done the other ones at Carlsbad and San Clemente. As such, the set up was of little surprise to me. Just as with the other Pizza Port locations, the set-up revolves around some pretty serious kick-ass Pizza (where you order and wait until they call your name) and an excellent selection of high quality home made beers. The range of home-brewed beers is well thought out and they are all of high quality. A good smattering of 10+ Pizza Port beers, a handful of Guest beers and a brace of Handpumps for Cask Ale complete the dispensing line-up. The usual styles are all here, Pale Ale, Red, Golden, Honey beer, Porter, Brown and of course the obligatory India Pale Ale. Additional seasonal brews and odd-ball styles come and go, and some bottled offerings are also on sale, such as Hop15, SPF45 and the Cuvée de Tommé (Cuvée spelled correctly note, unlike the website where the accent is on the wrong e!!). Enough of this nit-picking, well maybe not. I’ll get the downsides out of the way first. The place has a rather tatty feel, both inside and out. It’s not even a nice well-worn feel, just, well, completely worn-out. The place could benefit with a spring clean and a little tidy up I think. That said, you only come here for the Beer & Food, and these two items are both certainly first class here.

I visited late on a Saturday evening, part of a 12 strong mixed crowd of BeerAdvocates, Ratebeerians and Homebrewers. The place was crowded, as expected, and there were no Tables available in the smallish seating area. This was no big deal, as we were only here for the beer after having visited the Carlsbad location earlier and stocked up on Pizza there. Neither is there any real bar area, nor even a place where you can drink standing up. So we elected to sit outside. I opted for a Pitcher of one of the Guest Beers, the 11% Alpine Pure Hoppiness (hey no messing around when I buy the beer!). The outside of the Solana Beach location has an array of picnic benches which are close to the roadside and with a great view of the Train Station opposite. However, if you sit to the left of the entrance, you will be in front of a large gauze window which lends a much better and more inviting view of the very lovely young women making the Pizzas in the Kitchen, nice! No table service here, it’s a go and order and collect it yourself affair, but the service once at the Pizza counter and/or Bar was friendly & quick.

Whilst the beers here are without a doubt some of the best brewed in Southern California, and the Pizza some of the very best that I have ever eaten, I found this location to be a little small and cramped to be comfortable if I am honest.

If you are in the area though, this is a Premier Beer and Pizza location and is well worth a visit. But be warned that finding parking outside, or even a table once inside, could make this is a difficult visit during busy times, especially for small groups. Such is the price of high quality and it's well deserved fame.

Last Visit: 6th March 2004

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.4/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This Pizza Port location is about a block from the beach on Hwy 101, not too far away from I-5. There is a small private lot next door and street parking behind.

The interior of the restaurant looks like a pizza parlor (mostly because it is) with long wooden benches, arcade games in the back and paper plates/plasticware. The bar area is on the left side and only has a couple seats, but a nice view of the brewing equipment. There is also a small cabinet at the front of the store filled with Port merch and a few bombers of their beers. Some real gems are hidden in there.

The beer selection is eclectic and all the beers are good. They have 11 taps ranging from Cream Ale, Malt Liquor, Belgians and Stout. Fairly eclectic overall. They offer their brews in 4-beer samplers as well.

Both food and beer orders are taken at the front counter. As such you roll the dice as far as beer knowledge goes. Luckily I interacted with the bartenders who were fast and knowledgeable. One of them had an OSU hat on and we ended up discussing some of Ohio's finer beers. Small world.

I ordered the cheese sticks and passed on the pizza due to time constraints. The appetizer was really good and I hope to try the pizza next time.

Overall, Pizza Port is a must stop in the San Diego area and I cannot wait to visit again.

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Photo of GJ40
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

A similar feel to Carlsbad with picnic tables, a pizza counter, a beer counter / bar and an open front but not quite as well laid out.

I stopped in on a Monday night but the place was packed and the crowd was buzzing. It was a pretty diverse crowd too. I walked past several neighboring bars and they were almost empty.

They had about 8 of their own on tap and about 12 guests. I went with a Pliny the Elder.

I prefer the Carlsbad location but this is another killer stop for great beer and solid pizza.

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Photo of Yetiman420
3.94/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I did a three day brewery, brewpub, beer bar tour of San Diego and after a wonderful first stop at Pizza Port Carlsbad, decided to visit the two southern locations on my drive back to LA.

Solana Beach ranked 3rd of the three I went to. It was the smallest, had no bar to sit at, and I had to dump out the fresh hop beer because it tasted like they forgot to add hops. The bartender gave me the "good choice" so I wonder if it was the wrong beer.

I didn't spend a whole lot of time here. They did have Pliny on tap. What time I did spent here, I was 5 feet away from the brewing setup as the brewer was working.

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Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of chrisjws
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

Photo of aoampm
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

A smaller Pizza Port than Carlsbad or San Clemente yet the format is the same. Order the pizza, they'll call you when its ready. All of the great tap beers are here and the seating is strictly picnic tables as elsewhere. There are several tables out front on the sidewalk, parking can be a little challenging, but you can catch the train across the street. Surfboards line the ceiling and that's appropriate as the surf is just a hop, skip, and a jump away.

Didn't try the pizza here, but I'm sure it's as good as the other outlets. Must try spot when you're in San Diego and southern Orange counties.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Pizza Port Solana Beach is conveniently located on Highway 101, not far from I-5, and across from a commuter train station. There is on-street parking and a free parking lot a couple of doors down from the brewpub.

The inside of the brewpub is similar to the Carlsbad location with ~18 picnic tables for seating (and a few more tables outside on the sidewalk in front). The front of the pub has large windows looking out onto the street. There are some TVs, and there was music playing (CDs?). There are a few arcade video games in the rear of the pub. You order your food and drinks at the counter and bar (no seating at the bar). There is a surfing motif, but not as predominant as at the Carlsbad location. There is one steel brewing kettle visible next to the bar area, but most off the brewing equipment seems to be downstairs.

On my visit they had 10 of their house brews on-tap as well as 10 guest beers, which included Russian River ESB and some Stone beers. A very good selection. Pints were $3.75-$4.00, and samples (3-4 oz) were $3.50 for four. Pitchers were also available. Growlers, 750 mL's, and t-shirts were for sale at the front of the pub.

The service was good and friendly. I visited on a Thursday afternoon, and saw the brewer Tomme Arthur there (who apparently bartends on Thursday evenings). As you might surmise from the name of the pub, Pizza is a large part of the food offerings, and the pizza is very good. There are a lot of interesting pizzas to choose from. Great food, great beer, comfortable atmosphere -- what more could you ask?

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Photo of flexabull
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Snuck in here for a beer before heading down to Del Mar.

Place is cool, it's an old tiny pizza place / brewery just a few blocks from the ocean. It's was pretty packed on a Sunday afternoon with lots of younger folks enjoying beers and / or pizza while watching games on the TVs.

Quality is very good, it's Port, enough said.

Service was good, the server acknowledged and served me quickly.

Selection was pretty good, but not as good as the other places I visited on my trip, they had about 6 house beers, and 10 or so guest beers.

Didn't try the food, this was one pint and done.

Overall, a cool little pizza and beer place that was worth the stop.

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Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Kegatron
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This is another fantastic location in the Pizza Port chain and is probably the closest to the beach, only being about a block away.

Atmosphere: Being the first one, this location definitely lives up to the surf-shack vibe. A little dark, earthy, and grungy, with tons of surfboards hanging around. Plenty of TVs are available to watch news and sports. Whether sitting outside in the warm So Cal sun or chilling out at one of the indoor picnic tables, it's always a super fun and relaxed time while you eat your pizza and drink your beer.

Quality: Typical Pizza Port. In other words, outstanding. Their staple Swami IPA and Seaside Stout are too big favorites of time. They also had the Tovarish Imperial Stout on tap during our last visit, which was pretty incredible. The guest taps they have always have some quality local brews on them.

Service: Always prompt and courteous (and laidback) service form the bar and food counter. Never had a problem.

Selection: It's fluctuated during our various visits here over the years. In terms of house beers, I've seen anywhere from up to 16 to just 7 on tap during our latest visit. There are usually always anywhere from 15-20 guest taps on at any given time though, so it definitely balances out, even if you visit when the house selection isn't popping.

Food: Typically great Pizza Port menu of house-made pizza, salads, and appetizers. We usually go for the home-team Pizza Solana (fresh shrimp & clams) with a side order of Beer Buddies. Mmmm...

Awesome vibe. Awesome beer. Awesome food. Plus it's right near the beach! A must if your in the San Diego area.

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Photo of SDRedDevil
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of rousee
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Its hard to give a fair score to the atmosphere of this place but I have to say that it is unimpressive. Doesnt look like anything special as you're driving by and in fact it is easy to miss. It does have outdoor seating and pinball and other video games which I enjoy so that counts for something. Seems like a pretty nice town also.

You walk in and u have steel counters all around. Off to the left is where you order pizza when it gets busy but I am one of the first customers so I proceed directly to the brewing area. They had so many fine beers on, I wanted to try all of em. Unfortunately, I only got to try 3. They were all great. I had the honey ale, session pale ale and an amber I beleive. It shoud also be noted that they had about 12- 15 different beers of their own plus another 8 or so guest beers. Very cool. They also added 2 new beers to the draft list while I was there. I didnt see them taking any out of rotation . The beers are pretty cheap too. They also have happy hour I think.

I got the bbq cheeseburger pizza which was excellent. Service got friendlier after I tipped them which is fine. This place doesnt seem to be set up for a lot of tipping but the people still appreciated it. I would love to go back to this place tomorrow. This place is classic !!

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Photo of Floydster
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Stopped here last night after a fabulous trip to Stone

Ordered a Rogue XS Old Crustacean barleywine first, and it was served in the appropriate glassware, five dollars was a good price for this, considering a 750 ml bottle is around fourteen dollars

Other guest beers there were Lightning Fulminator, which I tried later, Russian River Damnation, Ballast Point Yellowtail, Sierra Nevada Harvest and Brown, and Fox cider, not a bad selection, but not as good as Carlsbad

They had about eight of their own beers, Grumpy's Pale and Hot Spots Hefeweizen were the two that I had, also there was a cream ale, Ponto Pale Ale, and amber and stout, pints of their own beer were only four dollars, but unfortunately they did not have any Lou P. Lin, Synergy, or the Mother of All Beers

Had a pepperoni and sausage pizza, but it was not as good as the one I had at San Clemente a couple months back, the sauce was very different and lacked the sweetness I liked from the last place

This Pizza Port was very crowded and loud, took us about fifteen minutes to find a seat, a lot of young people, seemed like a college crowd even though it is not really close to any bug universities

Getting bear was easy and fast because you just walk up to the bar and order one right there, bartender was nice and gave me some free taster glasses

Place was pretty cheap, only spent twenty-five dollars total, fifteen for the pizza and the rest on brewskies

Probably my least favorite of the Ports, but still not bad and good beer selection for the small amount they carry, would go back if I was in this area and was too lazy to drive to the fantastic Carlsbad location, or further down south to the Liars Club or O'briens Pub

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Photo of Deuane
4.15/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Hurray for Pizza ort at Solana Beach celebrating their 20th year!

Smaller than the Carlsbad least a lower ceiling with of faded wood everywhere. Again big with the, Hey, you are right on the beach and this is So Cal feel.

As with any PP the beer quality and selection are tough to beat. Plenty of house and guest choices and all were fresh.

Pretty much self-serve as with all PP. Here however a nice person did come by and bus ou an extra 0.5.

I ordered beer and food at the counter and went on up when it was ready. No fuss, no muss.

Food...well in a word, wood fired pizza...solid!

Pizza Port must be doing something right...3 locations with 20 years here, they got it going on! I always hit at least one of them up each and every time when I am in the area.

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Photo of kingpin1010
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Lots of wooden tables inside, slight row of bar seats outside, but no tables or close bar service. Always the socal surf vibe going on. Arcade in the back. Nice line to just go order beers.

Beers and pizza are always top notch. This 'original' pizza port location seems to have less variety on tap and less of the heavy hitters they have come to be known for when I visit. Still good though. Also the most expensive. I got charged $20 for a REFILL of the Swami IPA. Clarified, no, still $20 for a refill. Ripoff, especially when the better Psuedo or Poor Man's is cheaper at other locations.

Still a cool place with good pizza and beer, but give me San Clemente or Carlsbad any day.

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Photo of Goldorak
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

After the big letdown that was my visit to Stone (closed, we couldn’t even drive up to the plant and take a picture), my girlfriend was itching for some beach action. We drove around Solana Beach and couldn’t find a hotel (we totally missed the holiday inn, lord knows how) so we settled in the adjacent town of Del Mar. We were feeling limber, so after a stroll on the lovely seashore, the pints I had knocked back in Carlsbad were already halfway between my liver and bladder, so we walked the 2-3 miles over to the other Pizza Port to refuel. Too bad, we missed the farmer’s market by mere minutes.

Even more of a beat up beach cabin look than the other locale, it looked more like a fast-food teenager hangout than a brewpub. Scratched-up picnic tables, old-school arcade games and a few TVs were showing both baseball and football, much to my lover’s chagrin. Fortunately for her, the seating section inside was completely full of college kids and young families with screaming children, so we sat outside. No problem, it was warm and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. A calendar of events was printed out in colored paper, some cool activities were lined up such as group trips to see the Chargers, with plenty of grog and grub included. Apparently their festivals are not to be missed as well.

The line for Beer was shorter than the one for food, so I decided to get some pints first. Two affable dudes were manning the dozen taps, and worked diligently but in a very leisurely fashion, taking time to chat a little with everyone in front of the procession. After a few Beer runs, they gave me a freebie and called me a cab, so big props to them. The selection wasn’t as extensive as I expected, but still had a few really interesting Beers, including a Belgian style and a fresh hop ale. Quality was top-notch, this chain of pubs really lives up to the hype.

I eventually accepted the fact that the pizza line wasn’t going to shorten any time soon, so I sucked it up and got in it. Thankfully, it went pretty fast, since people just order, pay and go. When asked for a name I used my girlfriend’s moniker of “Minou” (pronounce Mee-New, it means kitty), as I warned her about how they call up your name when your order is ready and she said she would be embarrassed to hear hers belted out on the PA system. I must have said it too fast, on the bill it said “Mimou”, which turned into a running gag between me and her for the rest of the trip. Loosely translated, it means “semi-soft”, which was what I getting around the stomach area after all the junk food I packed in since we got to the States.

The pizza was excellent, we went with the Roma with whole grain Beer crust. I’m not in a position to pronounce it the preeminent brewpub pie, American Flatbread in Vermont still holds the belt on this one for me personally, but it came pretty close, so as a consolation I’ll bestow upon it the title of “best in the west”. We were looking forward to splitting a Beer float for dessert, but their fridges were broken down so better luck next time.

As far as overall experience goes, I thought Carlsbad was a bit better on that given day, but I’m sure it must vary wildly depending on what’s on tap at each particular location. Both are highly recommended in my book.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4/5  rDev -4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

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Pizza Port Solana Beach in Solana Beach, CA
Brewery rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 6,290 ratings