O'Brien's

O'Brien'sO'Brien's
O'Brien'sO'Brien's
Bar, Eatery, Beer-to-go

4646 Convoy St
San Diego, California, 92111-2315
United States

(858) 715-1745 | map
obrienspub.net

Notes:
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.39
Reviews:
119
Ratings:
161
pDev:
8.88%
View: Place Reviews | Events
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Reviews: 119 | Ratings: 161
Reviews by ThreeWiseMen:
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.3/5  rDev -2.1%
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. HabaƱero 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.

 2,273 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of psumjl269
4.66/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of chrisjws
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of brycevolk
4.19/5  rDev -4.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of hops_and_waves
4.7/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

One of San Diego's original craft brew bars. The tap list is usually awesome. Tap for tap, usually one of the best lists in town. Especially if you like hops. They also have a good bottle list. The service is great. The food is great and very reasonably priced by San Diego Standards. The parking isn't so great. They also have a bunch of TVs for sports fans. The craft beer scene owed a debt to places like this who helped create the craft beer bandwagon.

 457 characters

Photo of deniserat
5/5  rDev +13.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Gobzilla
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of mrcraft
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I finally ventured out of my comfort zone of Downtown San Diego during a business trip and stayed at a hotel near O'Brien's. I'm glad I finally visited O'Brien's. I've always heard good things about it, here on BA and other places. It lived up to its reputation.

O'Brien's is located in a strip mall. Once you enter, the bar is on your left, but with somewhat limited bar seating. The do have lots of tables both inside and out. I saw guys playing darts in the back; this place is grungy in a good way.

The tap list was nice. I was specifically wanting to try the Alpine O'Brien IPA, but the keg kicked earlier in the day. Darn. Another trip! I ended up trying a maple porter brewed by a local brewery for full pint. It was solid.

I enjoyed my visit.

 766 characters

Photo of sunrats
4.88/5  rDev +11.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of billab914
4.34/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Photo of blockdude
4.79/5  rDev +9.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.75

Photo of Thepleasantimbiber
4.39/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Photo of the_encinitan
4/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Photo of MisterGone
4.73/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

I would first warn potential new patrons of the parking issue. The small lot that services this place is always completely full. No worries, plenty of street parking (not on Convoy!). Every time we've come we've had less than a block of walking. I now skip the lot and go straight to street. On reason for this is that it appears that this little strip mall holds 4 of the most popular eateries in all of Kearny Mesa (this being one of them).

Get in line and order at the corner of the bar closest to the front door. Take your brew and number (for food) an head for a seat. Myself, I prefer the green rolly-chairs, reboots from some 1970s law firm library. Take in the decor of brew banners and signs, and soccer on TV (our last visit was watching Tottenham thrash Chelsea).

As for the beer, this is a beer geeks place. Simple as that. They've got what you want. Full selection of San Diego, notable American, and Belgian offerings. So far the only place I've been that has Alpine without having to go up the hill to Alpine.

The menu is a bit deceptive. Looks like typical pub far of sandwiches, burgers, deep fried stuff. Bu the sandwiches are just fantastic. Great flavor combos. And who would think that a beer place with burgers and sandwiches would have stellar salads? Perfectly tart Caesar.

This is a must. Just go.

 1,328 characters

Photo of bigTmachine
3/5  rDev -31.7%

Photo of HunterSBeerson
4.75/5  rDev +8.2%

Photo of AmandaBT
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Coconuts
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.35/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Halloran33
4.25/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of DoubleJ
4.45/5  rDev +1.4%

When I look back at my 20's, I'm going to remember a number of things; college graduation, trips to Brazil, life on my own, a taste for beer. Not far off that list will be "Why did it take me more than seven years to visit O'Briens?" Although I've lived an hour north, I found time to make a few beer-related trips to San Diego each year, but each time bouncing pass O'Brien's.

But finally, that moment happened. Brazukas from overseas in town, and they're ready to drink the town dry of hops. In a strip mall filled with Asian eateries, O'Brien's look out of place. There was no parking inside the strip mall, so that meant parking on the street. I was worried that all the cars were driven by thirsty beer drinkers, but on a Thursday night, there was still ample space to crawl around and find our own seats at the bar. Somewhat darkly lit inside, lovely Belgian beer glassware visible behind the counter, beer signage pasted on the walls, a marker board posting special events, and even pimping its own special beer trip to Europe, you can tell there's a love for beer at O'Brien's.

Choosing a beer was another challenge, as two dozen fun beers were pouring from tap, two casks, and a bottle list filled with lovely Belgians. We were lucky to hit on the night of fresh hop ales, as it looked that one of my mates reached a hop orgasm before the night was through. Beers from Ballast Point, Bell's, Artifex, Nickel, Rochefort, Tripel Karmeliet, all available and (of the beer I tasted ) in excellent shape. Perhaps the one small flaw I can think of involves those boring shaker pint glasses

On par with the beer was the service, which was not only knowledgeable, but quick and enthusiastic to serve. I also snuck in time for some food. Food is simple but tasty (garlic fries, nachos, sausage & cheese plate), further putting O'Brien's into legendary status.

Can't decide which brewery to visit? Just visit O'Brien's instead. It's certainly better than feeling undecided to which brewery to visit next!

 2,011 characters

Photo of nebuchadnezzer
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of AlexM
5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Bubbawilly88
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of aoampm
4.5/5  rDev +2.5%

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O'Brien's in San Diego, CA
Place rating: 4.39 out of 5 with 161 ratings