Hamiltons Tavern

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Hamiltons TavernHamiltons Tavern
138 Ratings
Hamiltons TavernHamiltons Tavern

Type: Bar, Eatery

1521 30th St
San Diego, California, 92102-1503
United States

(619) 238-5460 | map

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Added by stoner420 on 10-09-2006

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Ratings: 138 |  Reviews: 88
Photo of Yetiman420
4.24/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I did a three day brewery, brewpub, beer bar tour of San Diego and Hamilton's was my final stop on a pretty busy Sunday (Stone, Lost Abbey, Ballast Point, The Linkery and a couple of bottle shops in between).

I made it around 8 PM to some very loud 70's classic rock. Hamilton's was the most neighborhood of the places I visited. Lots of people seemed to know each other and at least three people were there inside with their dogs - a bonus in my book.

I was pretty tired by this point and struggled to enjoy the atmosphere of loud 70's rock and people playing pool (one group even asking me to join which I had to pass on).

While there were plenty of beers on draft to choose from, I struggled to find one and settled on a Craftsman Pale Ale which was so bad I had to dump it out. I then went with a sure thing and ordered a Pliny. To me, it seemed like the draught list had too much stuff I could get at any good beer bar in the US and not enough unique WC micros. Just me and I could be wrong on this.

Free bottled water was a nice touch.

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Photo of tbase
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Awesome beer bar. Solid amount of quality taps, and a fairly extensive bottle list. Great food, I ordered while it was really busy and they asked for a phone number, 20 minutes later I got a text saying my food was ready. The atmosphere is great, lots of beautiful beer logos and the roof is filled with taps. Also I think it's on the second Saturday of every month they have a brewery come in and its 3 dollars for that breweries beer while they cook up a lot of FREE food. So if your in the area you owe it to yourself to check this place out.

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Photo of Tinfoilrcr
4.43/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Had a 6 hour layover at SAN and decided to check this place out after a quick scroll through beerfly. And let me just say I am glad I did!

Was there on 2nd Saturday with Firestone Walker. As a result 20 of their ~28-30 taps were devoted to FW (they even had a cask conditioned unfiltered BDA and a Black IPA on tap - soooo good!)

The prices were cheap, at least what Im used to paying in NYC (although everything is cheaper....).

The atmosphere was great, and the people/bartenders fantastic.

Overall i hihgly enjoyed my visit and would highly recommend to anyone. I will definitl,ey be stopping by on my next layover or trip to SAN

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Photo of gildobeer
4.83/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Hamilton's is the spot. Great beer, good people, good games, good times. Bad toilets. That should really be their slogan. I used to come here a lot when I lived less than a mile away. A great selection of rotating taps, an even better selection of all different kinds of bottle, only second in S.D. to Toronado, but in my opinion this place has way more character. Good food too, the chili burger is a can't miss but it can be inconsistent. A great place to come to for Chargers games, but the 3+ hours can lead to larger tabs than expected (like a bizarro-costco). As a bonus, they have free food on certain saturdays, you cant beat it.

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Photo of glid02
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Stopped by here after having dinner at Toronado.

Atmosphere is very nice. A surly looking bouncer checked my ID at the door however while stepping outside for a cigarette it turned out he was a lot less surly than he looked. The inside is dimly lit but the selection behind the bar is really all that needs a lot of light. The ceiling above the bar on the left side is covered with hundreds of tap handles. On the right side of the place there are a few tables and a shuffleboard table.

Quality is par for the course - proper temperature, head, and glassware.

Service is good. I never had to wait terribly long to order a drink and it also never took terribly long to get it to me. A friend and I also spoke to one of the bartenders on his way off his shift and he knew his beer.

Selection is very good. I remember there being a few standards along with a few beers that were a bit more on the rare side. All told I'd say it was somewhere between 18-24 taps.

Value is good, about average for what I saw during my stay.

Overall this was one of the more interesting places I visited while in SD and I'm sorry to say I didn't get to see it when less people were present. Be careful if you venture over here on a weekend night and don't like crowds, but if that's not a problem be sure to stop in.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

It's sad, but between the loss of at least one notebook and my laptop, I was put off of doing BeerFly reviews for a while. I finally got back on the horse while visiting my dear cousin Colby last summer, but am only now getting around to their transcription. My apologies.

Dated H, 16 July 2009, this would have been shortly after my arrival in SD that summer.

The entrance was to the far left of the building with the door opening onto a long bar directly inside, along the left wall. The bar had a huge chalkboard detailing the "Hamilton's Tap List". Also behind the bar was a three-door cooler with various rotating beers inside. Coming right were the lavs, followed by a short divider and then the game room which featured two red-felt billiards tables and one of the fastest shuffleboard tables that I have ever encountered. Along the left front wall were three rough-hewn booths. The overhead of the bar area was festooned with tap handles while the game area had a fair amount of signage with a heavy emphasis on Belgians. Mondo Cane!: My cuz-in-law, Tammi, noted that she had never seen so many dogs just hanging out with their owners, having (literally) a howling good time. Noise was definitely on the menu here.

Beers: Better than thirty (30) drafts, almost all west-coast beers, plus the rare (on-tap) Hitachino White and a few others that have escaped my survey. I did not pay a whole lot of attention to their bottle selection as I prefer draft and/or CANs. They had plenty of bottles, but I simply was not interested.

Food: A cautionary note for those who may not like heat - an innocuous burger was initially laden with peppers which died an unseemly death at my hand. Caveat emptor! Otherwise, huge, satisfactory portions.

Atmosphere: A rolling, rollicking party!

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Photo of BrlyHpsWtrYst
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

All I can say is WOW... All of my favorites under one roof. Killed off their signature porter and within a few minutes had Alpine's "Token" up on tap to replace it. A ridiculously good tap selection.. heavily representing our local fare, and why not. We have the best beer in the country imho... for those of you who doubt, drink some Alpine beer... anyway great food to boot, and if you're doin a 30th st crawl, head to Small Bar (same owner), where you will find an equally good beer selection but will be totally different from the beer at Hamiltons.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.15/5  rDev -7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Love this place before sunset, can't stand to be in there after - too many hipsters and the place gets packed to the point where it's difficult to get a drink at the same rate your puttin' em back.

The darkness, decor, selection and food really make this place, especially the selection though - absolutely ridiculous (probably the best in town). Really dig all the taps hanging from the ceiling. Pool tables and shuffleboard are pretty killer too. The jukebox is solid and man, the food is off the hook! The beer cheese fries - what the hell!? Those are so bomb. Also, this place offers a few different wine selections that are pretty decent - this is crucial for me as my wife doesn't like beer; she'll actually post up in this place and get buzzed with me.

Overall solid spot and one of my favorite bars in San Diego, just look out for all the cool kids that seem to ooze from every crack and crevice in this joint like vampires after sunset.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.93/5  rDev -11.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Me and my friend headed to San Diego without making any plans visiting one of the cities famous beer bars. We came across a telephone book at a phone booth and happily found Hamilton's Tavern in the book. We wrote down the address and called the establishment to see if they could give us directions. We got our directions, and in 15 minutes, we were at Hamilton's.

The inside is very dark and pub-like despite the sun shining at the windows (thank you window shutters!). There are a few booths to one side, beer memorabilia all over the walls, two pool tables, a shuffle board, and a small window that takes food orders. Oh, and a bar. There were at least 20 people there when we were there around 6pm, and to our surprise, a few dogs.

The draft menu sits off to one side of the bar, with the names of the beer, the ABV, and price. Beers from Avery, New Belgium, Green Flash, Lightning, St. Bernardus, Russian River, Coronado, Alpine, Anchor, and Bear Republic were available from tap. I saw 4 cask engines at the bar, but it didn't look like any of them were in use. Towards the other end of the bar are several cooler with the bottled beers. Bottled offerings from Cantillon, Kiuchi, Deschutes, Hofbrau, Full Sail, and lots of other offerings. While the food and bottle prices were reasonable, we were surprised about the draft prices; most beers were $5 and below, including Pliny the Elder. Even better, the two Nelson's I got were priced at $4.50 a pop, but received for only $4 each (was there a happy Hour I wasn't aware of).

We munched on some fried mushrooms and chicken wings, a step above the usual bar food quality. How I liked those fried mushrooms while not being fond of mushrooms in the first place will remain a mystery.

The only glitch I found was the glassware/presentation. I only saw shaker pint glasses being used. I didn't see any fancy/correct glassware. Maybe if I decided to just go for the Cantillon, I would have found out. But you know, I'd rather have my Nelson, thankyouverymuch.

The beer selection was what prompted me to drive over to Hamilton's Tavern, and it didn't dissapoint. And as a bonus, draft prices were cheap. I'm definately coming back.

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Photo of yemenmocha
4.68/5  rDev +4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Nice combo of good pub food with great beer selection, especially West Coast hoppy beers. Few places had Sculpin but was happy to have found it here.

Atmosphere is dark with a more youthful crowd, a few dogs inside, and music that is a bit too loud for me.

Service from the kitchen person and bartender was just fine. Prices were fair, and parking wasn't too much of a headache.

Another must stop for my future visits to the area, especially given that it's a few minutes' drive from Toronado.

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Photo of pwoods
4.84/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The atmostphere is fucking awesome. Unpretentious, laid back, local, pool tables, pub grub. The quality of the taps was good but a bit lacking on the days that I went. More smaller local stuff, which is awesome and I enjoyed it, but I was looking for some of the bigger guns that I see on their website quite often(their website is great). The service was outstanding. The first visit wasn't too crowded but Friday night was jam packed and they were definitely on top of everything. The selection is great with all the smaller locals and I frequently saw some fantastic big name brews on their website the weeks before my visit. The bottle selection looked great as well. I didn't try the food but everyone that talked about this place said it's great and it certainly looked good. Looked to be pub grub but the portions look pretty damn big and just the right stuff for a place like this. Prices seemed reasonable but the bottles were obviously more expensive.

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Photo of nickd717
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Solid beer bar located close to downtown San Diego. Went here during SD Beer Week '09.

Hell of a solid place. Great atmosphere - lots of space with some nice bar games in the back. Shuffleboard and maybe some others that I would have remembered had I been less drunk at the time. Solid crowd too, lots of younger people. Seems they draw a good deal of business from UCSD. Being somewhat of a spring chicken myself at 26, I enjoyed this aspect. Not too many dude/bro types or "chads" (such as the guy in my avatar).

Tap selections are very good. I had a Green Flash Hamilton's 3rd Anniversary Gruit, a Ballast Point Brandy Barrel Aged Navigator Doppelbock, and an Alpine Duet. But I'm not finished yet. The bottle selections are also excellent. Had an awesome mildly infected bottle of AleSmith 2008 Decadence out of the cooler almost a year after its release.

The food is pretty much standard pub fare but is well-executed. Prices are not bad for the area. Service is great. I'll be back.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.14/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I made sure to check this place out the last time I was in San Diego and was not disappointed. It was a Sunday and between the Chargers and Raiders bullshit I knew I'd need an extra beer or three. Luckily they had several ballast point beers on draft which I had yet to swill. The sea monster stout was the best and while the other two (sour wench and a wet dog lager bullshit beer) were duds it didn't matter too much. I haven't had the food but I've heard its good. The service was fine and the crowd was decent enough as far as a bar full of Chargers fans goes...

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Photo of Telix
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

So, the perfect bar needs: great taps, great food, enough room to get a seat, a good jukebox, pool/darts/shufflepuck/etc, and a good staff. Decent parking and decor don't hurt either. Wouldn't you know it, Hamilton's has all of that.

As a visitor to San Diego, I read reviews for Hamilton's here on Yelp and decided my partner and I should check it out. I'm so glad we did. On Thursday we got there around dinner time, and I chatted with the awesome bartender about beer and he gave me some things to try. They had an excellent draft selection of around 20 different brews with things both I and my partner liked quite a bit.

The decor was cool - wooden half tables attached to the walls with stools, a nice long bar, lots of beer signs and schwag on the walls. The coolest part were the hundreds of tap pulls screwed into the ceiling rafters and white christmas style string lights. Across from the main bar area was a gaming area of two pool tables and a shufflepuck table, along with some booths. The jukebox featured mainly good classic rock and some good contemporary stuff as well.

The extensive menu amusingly described the food, which was EXCELLENT. My GF got a killer bacon grilled cheese on Thursday and a pretty good one Friday, and I got a good Monte Cristo and amazing homemade sausages. Definitely top-tier bar food.

I have to be honest and say that this is a "hipster" bar, which is fine for me and anyone else who doesn't want to deal with brah dudes and bitches. Thursday was more laid back and quieter, but Friday was definitely more crowded and louder - the juke was cranked and it was harder to talk to each other. However, for any beer lover it's a must-see. I seriously asked my GF if we could move to San Diego....

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Photo of botham
4.16/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Hamilton's is very worn in and towny with a wonderful beer lineup and great barkeeps. the place contains two spaces; you enter into one where the bar and seating are, and to the right there is a side space with pool, and a couple other games along with some more seating. the bar area ceiling is full of tap handles hanging from the rafters. the beer list is not printed; there is a chalk written lineup above the bar because the taps change so often.

quality and service are both great. correct glassware, great pours and friendly bar staff that are easy to talk to. the bar staff knows beer to some extent, but the friendly aura more than makes up for it.

selection is great. twenty to thirty taps with a great variety and fresh lines. this BA had two Cuvees, an IPA, a Black Lager, and a Russian Imperial Stout.

overall, this is a great beer bar in San Diego with a good variety of taps and a good atmosphere. fresh lines and friendly barkeeps; cheers!

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I was there on a Friday night and was *very* impressed. Its got a friendly, neighborhood feel with a bit of dive thrown in. Couple in the fact that it's in a residential area and you're in for an interesting experience. The million tap handles hanging from the ceiling and displayed all over add to the eye candy.

The quality is fantastic. When I was there, they had 4 Alpine beers on tap and 2 on cask, as well as a variety of excellent beers on. They also had a pretty extensive bottle selection, including some FW12. While leaning towards west coast hoppy beers, the selection did have something for almost everyone. Prices were excellent too, at around $5 a pint of most beers on tap.

Service was great, I was never kept waiting. Despite it being rather crowded, the bartenders made sure customers didn't wait too long for their beer.

I had one of their hop sausages and was quite impressed. While a little bit on the salty side, it was pretty enjoyable.

Very highly recommended if you're in the San Diego area.

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Photo of Trappissed
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

An awesome place in a low-key part of town. It was very crowded inside though, but it was Saturday night. Could have more seating available. Nonetheless, the selection was amazing for both on-tap and bottle selection. I wanted to get an Alesmith ESB, but the keg was tapped just before I got there.

I settled on a Green Flash Hop Red and then had a Shipyard Barley Wine. Both were great and I will come back here. Actually liked it a little more than Toronado, which is close by. They are very similar places, but the prices at Hamilton's were a little better and the bottle selection was more impressive. Not necessarily in rareness, but in overall selection. Bartenders were very attentive and cool. Will have to try the food next time.

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Photo of quinlin
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

This is a great local pub in the heart of South Park, just outside of downtown.
The selection of beers here is awesome! 28 taps and over 200 bottles to choose from. They update the tap and bottle list daily via their website which is really convenient.
Hamiltons Cafe(purveyors of fine bar food) is right next door. You can order from the cafe through the shared wall and put the food on your tab. Perfect! This is probably the best bar food youre gonna find, i'd say go for a burger or one of their homemade hop-sausages.
They also always have great events happening almost ever week. One of my favs is their second saturdays where they host a brewery(have as many taps on from them as they can) and have free amazing food to go with the brew. Get there early.
There are two pool tables(which arent free), a shuffle board(is free), and a jukebox with classic blues and rock playing all night.
It doesnt get much better than hamiltons, get there!

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Photo of radshoesbro
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

i've been in here a few times, but just put up a review.

hamilton's is a very nice dive like bar in south park. it's dimly lit, has tap handles on the ceiling and there's a great jukebox with old delta blues and rock 'n roll coming out of nonstop. there's three tv's that will play anything from sports to anime. there's a massive chalkboard that they update regularly. of course on that chalkboard is what we all came here for, beer. they have an impressive list of stuff that's some time's pretty difficult to get on tap (they have pliny the elder pretty much any time it's available). they've got a lot of locals (ballast point, stone, russian river, etc) and some stuff from out of town. if you're looking for something a little more rare there's a good chance they've got it in a bottle. their bottles are definitately overpriced, saw some really good stuff that i wasn't about to pay $50 for!

i've had their buffalo wings twice, and they're freakin' awesome! definitely a huge reason to swing by here. very flavorful and a TON of chicken on them. on top of that you can order the "deer hunter" wings, which are buffalo wings with one really hot wing thrown in there. it's russian roulette with wings! awesome! i haven't had their burgers, but i hear they're equally as good. this is a very big deal cause a lot of places in san diego have GARBAGE food! especially places like stone world bistro and the linkery, if you're looking for good food and good beer go to hamilton's instead.

they're right down the street and the selection, staff and food make it my favorite bar in san diego.


i'm pretty sure my wife and i come in here at least once a week, and usually bring our dog. the selection never leaves me wishing they had more. they have an amazing ability to please everyone without skimping out on some of the more rudimentary craft brews. plus, it's pretty damn affordable. yeah, sometimes they'll have a $10 8oz pour, but it's almost always worth the money!

if there is one reason you should go to this bar it is because that, without a shadow of a doubt, they have the best burgers i have ever had in san diego. there is literally only one place on EARTH that i've enjoyed more burger wise and that's crazy burger in narragansett, RI. in fact, all of the food they do is out of this world! their BBQ for Second Saturday is near perfection, and it's free, so that's even better! there is nowhere else in san diego that even comes close to the bar food they've got.

make sure you get here sort of on the early side, as they fill up really quickly regardless of what night it is.

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Photo of bigbelcher
3.59/5  rDev -19.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

A small neighborhood dive bar but with a really decent beer selection for IPA's and microbrews. A fun place to hang out with friends and to get rowdy in. Didn't order any food. Darts and other bar type games are around. Very local feel to the place, way off the tourist path. A little dark inside but not as bad as O'Briens. Bartender was friendly and knowledgable. Not a place to take a date or a girlfriend unless she is really into good beer. Worth a visit and located not too far from Toranado.

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Photo of flexabull
4.56/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Great vibe! A little pub in what looks like a nice neighborhood. You walk in, it's very dark, with a nice bar, a lineup of awesome taps, fridges full of excellent beer, plus a few tvs showing sports. And then to the side, are some booths, a couple of pool tables, and an awesome full sized (and free) shuffleboard.

There were also a couple of dogs hanging out inside too. I am a dog person, so thumbs up from me on this aspect too.

Quality was great, lot of San Diego brews, some Belgians, and Pliney the Elder. Nice to see a good friend miles from home...

Service was prompt. And that's usually all I ever ask for.

This ended up being my favorite place that I visited in San Diego. Beats Stone by a nose, just felt right, really comfy little spot with a great beer list, and fun things to do while drinking said great beers.

This would be my regular haunt if I lived in San Diego.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Top notch atmosphere here. Seems to always be crowded, but for some reason, the more crowded the better at this place. Tons of great local beer flowing, TV's with games on, pool tables, a pretty extensive beer fridge and cask options make this place a must stop when in the San Diego area. You can also bring you dog in. Usually there are 2-3 dogs in the place at any given time. Hundreds of tap handles hang from the ceiling with strands of light. Old fashioned chalkboard beer menu. Top quality in terms of the beers served.

Most popular food option seems to be the hop sausages. On the 2nd saturday of each month they also offer free food, and the spread when I was there was awesome.

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Photo of opwog
4/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I have heard about Hamilton's for quite a while and missed them on my last trip to San Diego, as time only allowed for a lunch stop and I guess that they are not open for lunch. This time we did get there and had reviewed the website and decided this was going to be our dinner stop.

First of all, if you go to their website (www.hamiltonstavern.com), it is a very polished layout and we even thought that this might be an upscale place. Boy, were we wrong. Also, it isn't a place that is very accomidating for a dinner. There is hardly any seating and the general atmosphere even by 7:00 is already sloppy drunk. They also seem to allow everybody to bring their dogs in here, so there were several dogs walking around and two even got into a fight. So picture all of this happening while the crowd was swaying and beers were spilling.

Now given that we went expecting a more polished place to eat dinner, you might think that I didn't like the experience going by my last paragraph, but that is not so. We imediately judged the place for what it was and decided to have two beers each and move on to another place for dinner.

It was crowded, yet the two bartenders seemed very good at catching my order each time that I approached the bar, even if the crowd was two deep. The dogs made me think that I was at a more rural bar of Alaska or some such place and not within the city limits of San Diego. The selection was incredible, if maybe a little high priced on some offerings. The crowd is friendly and the atmosphere is super casual. It is out of the way of just about everything and is buried into some neighborhood, but is well worth seeking out.

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Photo of John_M
4.53/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Perhaps it's just as well Hamilton's is not my neighborhood beer bar. Otherwise, there's little doubt I'd be over there just about every night, which would not be good for my health or my wallet.

The location of Hamilton's is pretty interesting. It's located in a cozy neighborhood over on the NE side of San Diego, and is one of the most unpretentious beer bars I've ever seen. It looks like it will be just some typical neighborhood bar, where old timers can walk in for a can of macro swill and a shot on the side. On the contrary, Hamilton's is anything but...

As one walks in from the street, Hamilton's is a dark, cool looking, informal looking restaurant with high ceilings and almost a warehouse feel to it. There's nothing fancy about the furnishings and decor here, though the vibe is certainly comfortable enough. As you walk in the door, there is a long bar running straight back in front of you, on the left side of the large room. To the right is the dining area, with a number of booths and table and chairs. As I got there promptly at opening bell, I grabbed a seat at the bar (the better to watch some sports on TV and ponder over the draft list board). While the place never got crowded on the early Saturday afternoon I was there, by the time I left (close to 2:00) the place was already starting to get pretty full. Given the quality of the beer selection, that's no surprise. On this particular day, there were close to 30 beers on tap and the selection was first rate. It seemed like just about every place in town had Pliny on tap, and of course Hamilton's did as well. Otherwise, they had a great selection of beers from Ballast Point, Alesmith, the Bruery and Green Flash (a lot of Green Flash), just to name a few. They also had on 4 or 5 different Belgian beers this day, I guess for those who might be a bit bored with the local stuff (not me!). As was typical of pretty much every place I visited in San Diego, service was quick, friendly and extremely knowledgable. The level of beer geekdom at Hamilton's is off the charts, with the staff obviously knowledgable and clearly big fans of good brew (several of the staff were a bit under the weather the afternoon I was there from the previous evening's festivities).

I should mention that Hamilton's also has a pretty good selection of bottled beers, which they keep in two large cold boxes near the end of the bar in the back. However, given the quality of the draft selection, I barely gave the bottle selection more then a passing glance.

The bartender mentioned that they also own the cafe next door, and there is a service window located in the back of the pub, where one can order food. I got the fast nachos, which in retrospect was probably not the best thing to order. It was bit on the salty side, and I didn't realize that it came with french fries in place of chips. Nevertheless, the menu otherwise looked pretty interesting, and I'll definitely give the food another shot the next time I visit.

What can I say? Despite it's unpretentious trappings, this place is clearly world class. It's also pretty obvious the place has a loyal group of regulars who come by all the time, of which I have no doubt I'd be one more if I lived in the area. This place is highly recommended.

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Photo of HalfFull
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Hamilton's is one of those places I can't 'not go' to if I'm in the neighborhood. And that's OK as I'm not in the hood too often. If I were this place might take my entire paycheck. But still, a round at Balboa or some disc golf at Morley Field and I'm there. I'll even adjust my midweek tee/start times to make sure they're open. Is that wrong? I don't think so, but then I don't golf very much.

Offers a nice dark and woody pub style feel nestled into a primarily residential neighborhood. Just a block away from a much more travelled road, it's 30th Street address can be a bit confusing as the street has a couple bypass sections within a mile or two.

Service is good, bartenders are knowledgable and they offer a very good selection. Website is kept up to date as well as for tap and bottle options. Nothing like travelling for a brew that isn't there, so that's not too likely to happen here.

Lots of foodie options next door; burgers, sandwiches, some salads and some comfort foods with a touch of pizazz. A little better intermingling of the food/bar areas would be beneficial though I assume there are some legal loopholes there. The bar could at least stock some utensils/napkins/condiments as I assume that is within their right. Hint, hint.

All in all a very good experience and likely the best beer bar in town as for my view. Not a harried sports bar, nor a pretentious wine bar. Just a bar, and one with some really good beer and a good mix of locals. Throw in a pool table and a shuffleboard table and draw me a pint.

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Hamiltons Tavern in San Diego, CA
Place rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 138 ratings
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