Churchill's Pub & Grille


47 Reviews
Churchill's Pub & GrilleChurchill's Pub & Grille

Type: Bar, Eatery

887 W San Marcos Blvd
San Marcos, California, 92078-1107
United States

(760) 471-8773 | map

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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 103
Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.59/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

Love stopping by here when I come down to check out some North SD Breweries or when I have an engagement at Lost Abbey or Stone. The special events have insanely delicious beers and usually really good food to compliment said beers. However, on any given day the tap list and food are solid.

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Photo of mabermud
4.5/5  rDev +2.3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

I finally got around to rating this joint. I grew up 15 minutes away, and it has always been a rad place to drink. Great vibe, quality place, good service, and world class selection.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.54/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Had my first Pliney here so that says something. The beer selection is world class. When The Lost Abbey makes an exclusive beer for your bar you know this is a great place. I ordered some appetizers and they were pretty good. You really go here for the amazing craft beer.

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Photo of NathanielCush
4.75/5  rDev +8%

Great place, and those Guinness BBQ chicken wings?? The best. Enjoy desert with the Highwater Campfire Stout.... mmmm s'mores

(would be nice if there was better parking)

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.44/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Went recently following the Stone Sour Fest. Parking lot full, so just drive down the side street and wait for a spot to open up. FIFA World Cup on the big screen created a packed and festive party-like vibe. Usually not so crowed or noisey. Open, pub-like feel. Large and small tables, long bar, patio, TVs. Servers were swamped, but did a very good job - congrats. Wonderful variety of beers on tap form local to regional to international. Something for everyone. Food is mostly stellar, and I'm still yearning for that Maryland burger. Reasonable prices. Always stop by this place.

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Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
4.01/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Recently visited on a CA trip from AZ. Had really high expectations but wasn't blown away with the inside vibe or the service. Luckily the tap list makes up for a good portion of that but still sucks that there isn't much else going on. Would certainly be a good place to spend most of your night if you had to pick one place in the area.

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Photo of orangesol
4.31/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Decided to stop in after Lost Abbey since it was pretty close by, have always heard great things about this place so I was pretty psyched to check it out. It definitely has the english pub feel but with a more modern take. Atmosphere was solid. Lots of people all over the place enjoying themselves. Guys beside us were enjoying the USA hockey game from two days before, apparently oblivious to that fact. Quality was great. Food and beer were top notch and the furnishings were more than adequate, loved the dedicated darts area as most places don't leave you enough room. Service was fine. I didn't have to wait for a beer and our food came out quickly. Selection was awesome. Only a handful of the 50 or so taps were kicked and they had plenty of local offerings which is always nice to see. I totally forgot to look at the bottle list, wish I could go back and check it out. As far as food goes, we weren't super hungry so we just got an order of their loaded fries which were quite good. Prices were a bit high on certain items but nothing over the top. Overall an awesome pub, I would definitely be a regular here if I lived in the area.

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Photo of pda22
4.74/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Great British Pub atmosphere with darts and pool tables. Nice outdoor patio with fire pits for those cool nights. Only negative is that parking isn't great. This place is a phenomenal balance of awesome food and awesome beer. During the most recent Sand Diego Beer Week, there was a compelling reason to go to Churchill's every night...and I went almost every night. The food is outstanding. They have their standard menu of British Pub fare which is excellently cooked. They also have a menu of several different specials. Their food is always top notch. The beer selection is out of this world. They probably have over 50 taps, 2 casks, and one of the best bottle selections in San Diego. Every time I go, there are several beers on tap that I have never seen before: a unique twists on an old favorite, or a great vintage stashed away for a while. They frequently have special menus for holidays and beer dinner pairings. This is a phenomenal place.

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Photo of dwagner003
4.53/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

This is a place to drink amazing beer, and the food has made amazing strides over the last year. The beer list, however, is incredible. I've had some great rare offerings from Russian River and Hair of the Dog, just to name a few, but there are always a ton of options. This place also frequently hosts some great beer-themed dinners and is generally a welcoming place to visit.

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Photo of Zbeetleman
4.59/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

The atmosphere is great for a pub of that size. They have reasonable inside seating, outside seating with a fire pit, and it is a kid friendly place. The beer selection is great, 50 beers on tap, two on cask at all times, and a healthy bottle list. The staff are knowledgeable and enjoy their jobs and it makes for a better experience. The selection of beer is amazing, the beer nights are great, and the food is pretty damn solid, with rotating specials. They also have a vegan menu. The price is pretty reasonable to me, and I frequent Churchill's quite often.

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Photo of vonnegut21
4.26/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.5

After hearing so much about Churchill's, I knew it was a must hit destination on my trip to San Diego. From the outside, it's not much to look at. Once inside, it has sort of a run-down English pub, dive-ish feel to it. Nothing wrong with it, but just not really what I was expecting. The service was prompt and friendly. The bartender went digging through the cellar to find me a bottle of CFH '13 to try so I was pleased. The selection is great. Nice bottle list and an excellent draft selection. The food was just okay. The burger was kind of mediocre (seemed to be a trend during my time on the West Coast...) Not terrible though, and decently priced, but I wouldn't come here to eat unless it was with a group who really wanted to check out the beer. Overall, I'm glad I came, but it didn't quite meet the hype.

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Photo of claspada
4.23/5  rDev -3.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Stopped in for dinner on my trip and to see my buddy's brother who lives in the area.

Half typical bar, half restaurant, all connected obviously.

Plenty of cool beers on tap, mostly local, was hoping for a rare Finest Hour Sighting, but I wasn't so lucky. Had some Societe and Rip Current beers with dinner. Obviously amazing.

Food was pretty good, a little on the expensive side. Service was decent enough, nothing worth while to say good or bad.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
4.81/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

A - Doesn't look like much from the outside, almost displeasing to someone who doesn't know any better because of the reputation, but the inside is your typical pseudo-English pub in America. Highly clad with antiqued wood, a little dark and smaller than one would imagine for having such a large beer selection. But the people who work there make the place great and everyone there is always in a good mood. Not a lot of fraternity boys/college scene ordering shots of jager, etc. but most people are there to hang out, enjoy some pints and have a good time.

Q - Always have a hard time with this category...quality of the building, quality of the ownership, quality of the experience, quality of what? If it's a combination of all the aforementioned, then the place usually has me leaving with a good experience. No establishment is perfect, once I stopped getting jabbed in the head by pool cues while trying to eat dinner it was much better, but now just avoid sitting next to the billiards at night or you'll feel like you're in a constant wooden stick sword fight.

S - Can't speak highly enough about the staff. I'm always greeted by at least 1 person as soon as I walk in and the bartenders are quick to ask for your drink order if you're in the bar. If eating dinner the staff is very knowledgeable about the menu AND the beer and always make sure that you have everything you need without being intrusive. The bartenders aren't you're typical "I'm cooler than you because I can pour beer in a glass from a tap" but can constantly be found having social conversation/joking with bar-folk while getting their job done at the same time.

S - As most know, the beer list is what puts this place on the map. Something like 51 taps and 2 casks going at all times and constantly rotating. There are usually several high quality IPA/IIPA on tap including The Pupil or Pliny. Everything from BA stouts, sours, flanders reds, local beers, etc. What truly makes it great is the exclusivity Churchill's shares with few other establishments in San Diego and they get access to rare kegs, casks or beers made specifically for the pub. But like most people say...where are the Alpine beers??

F - Typical pub food menu items, although excellently executed, don't walk in hoping to get some small plate/gourmet, white table cloth type entrees. The chef is a master of his craft (often wonder how they keep him around) but I'm glad they do. Every now and then they'll do a special/ticketed/limited dinner with a brewery and prepare a special menu to compliment said brewery's beer, they are fantastic. There's a few "vegan" menu options (it's my knowledge that they use the same fryers/oil/pots/pans for the vegan items as the regular entrees) but a beer bar/pub with "vegan" food is kind of an oxymoron IMO.

V - Overall I very much enjoy going to Churchill's. I appreciate the low volume of people at the bar compared to other establishments around San Diego county, rarely have to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with bros to get a beer. I always enjoy myself and love sharing stories, catching up with friends in a relaxing atmosphere where I never feel pressured or rushed while inside. I'm treated how I would treat others and feel very welcome at Churchill' get more kegs of Churchill X ASAP.

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Photo of dvmin98
4.64/5  rDev +5.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

A: Typical English pub. The pool table was a bit too close to the tables, so we often has a poolstick in our grills. Parking lot is a bit tiny, but I took my dad and he has a handicapped plate.

Q: The quality of their drafts was amazing. Great barrel-aged items, some good locals, etc.

S: Not bad. Took them about 10 mins to get to our table, but after that, it was great

Sel: Lots of great stuff on tap. Tons of bottles to choose from

F: Good pub food. Had the fish and chips. My dad had the Prime Rib Sandwich. Good quality.

V: Not too shabby, especially for the drafts they offer.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.15/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Located in San Marcos amidst lots of good breweries, this place is a natural fit for the clientele that make the area the best beer city in the world. The usual stuffy English bar layout, lots of wood, I think when you enter, its bar to the left, dining area to the right, patio area even further to the right.

I really like the ambience on the patio, there's some fire pits, very nice, where I'm from there'd be some BMC douches getting wasted and falling into the fire pit, suing the establishment and voila!, no more fire pits, but thankfully, this place doesn't seem to enable such people, so instead, we just had a nice cozy night by the fire with pleasant people around us. Its true, good people do drink good beer.

Quality of the beers was awesome, almost everything I drink there are things I've never had before. And most of those turn out to be pretty damn good too. Drank a lot of Societe and Iron Fist taps while we were there. Disappointed by the lack of Alpine, also disappointed that they never, NEVER have Churchills Finest Hour bottles available when I'm there, despite some BA's claiming they always have it, its been my exact opposite experience. Who knows, maybe I'm not local or cool enough to get a bottle, or maybe the waitress I get is always the clueless one, because the last one I had acted like she didn't even know what I was talking about, then when I informed her a little more, she kind of guessed that it was only available one day a year. Who knows, disappointing in the end, regardless of the reason.

Did enjoy a Cascade Figaro out of the bottle. $40 for something I couldn't order online, that was $25 I believe before shipping, seemed like a good deal. Was quite enjoyable. Food was decent, typical pub stuff, I think we had some irish nachos or something, was like potato skins with bacon and cheese on it. They offer smaller pours, but really kill you on the price per oz when you do it that way.

Really hate the slanted driveway out front, I only had about a gallon of gas in my truck, and because of the incline, I had to walk to a gas station, buy a gas can, fill up the truck. Nobody from the bar, not even the doorman who watched the entire time, offered any help. Not a big deal, but damn, last time I park in that spot again, we missed our reservation at Stone because of it!

In the end, I can see how Churchills could be a big favorite, especially if you have access to their unique offerings.

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Photo of fox227
4.9/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

The look of the pub is fairly ordinary, which several televisions displaying sports games, random pictures on the wall, presenting a very casual atmosphere the belies how very great the food and beer is.

The tap list is exceptional. I spied five different vintage beers, and there are enough fresh IPAs to make any hop-head feel in heaven. There's also an extensive whiskey list if that is your fancy.

Service was great. We scored free desert because a friend on mine spilled ketchup on her pants. Service was always prompt despite being very busy.

The food is also exceptional. A simple item like Grilled Cheese is made delicately with gourmet ingredients. There's a good mix of items around ten dollars, and more expensive choices.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.45/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I've been to Churchill's a few times and because Ehammond1 keeps telling me to. I am reviewing it.

Atm- A nicer smaller version of a traditional English Pub. The two sides are seperate with a long L shaped bar dominating the left side of the place. Some booths and tables on the right for the pub side. Big board with taps going. A fairly well lit place with some decent seating. Nice decor on the walls and a dart board as well as a pool table.

Quality- Really well done bottle list as well as a draft board. They keep a good selection rotating from SD locals to harder to find out of state beers. Nice thing is they keep the website fairly updated.

Service- Everytime I have visited the staff here has been nothing but helpful and attentive. Knowledgeable and will to offer suggestions and banter for a bit.

Food- Just order a burger. Any burger. Just pick one. I think ive had all of em them now. Cant beat em. The KOBE burger is just amazing and the black and blue is great as well.

Value- Burger runs about 12 bucks, pints in the 5/6 range. Its a nicer establishment in North SD County. Although you do get great service for the price.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.53/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

I visited Churchill’s for their Renaissance Festival this past weekend. Obviously the festival was going to be pretty crazy but it ended up being a great time. My wife and I went back the day after too. The building is fairly large with a bar area and separate seating areas. They also have a patio where you can hang out. The walls are decorated with lots of beer memorabilia, especially lots of UK beer stuff. They have a couple of TVs set up around the building that were broadcasting sports all day. Even with it being super crowded it was still a great atmosphere. Service was extremely good both days, which was very surprising during the fest because there were just so many people. Staff also didn’t mind people bringing in their own bottles to open and share. The quality of all the beers I tried was very good. The selection was obviously pretty ridiculous but I have seen their list of stuff on tap when there aren’t any festivals and they always seem to have an awesome tap list no matter what. The food we had was good with some pretty savory burgers and spicy fries to go with all the beer. Prices were very reasonable for everything as well. My favorite thing about this establishment was the offering of taster sized pours for all their beers. Overall, this is a great place to come visit and I won’t soon forget the awesome weekend I had here at Churchill’s.

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Photo of Sammy
3.78/5  rDev -14.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

a good bar but overrated. Selection was good,service was good, the beer was bigger than average. The place was a bit snug, its a restaurant with a good sized bar area. Lots of older guys about. One major issue,The beers did not all taste right, whether its the lines or the age of what was on tap. Bottle selection was decent. A big drop coming from Stone, but different choices and more of a neighbourhood good beer bar. Bartender knew his beer. A bit of a buzy street to sit outside (if the weather was good). I would skip this on the next trip to Stone and head down to Diego instead.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.88/5  rDev +10.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Churchill's is a comfortable, relaxed English-style pub with a pool table, darts, indoor, outdoor, and barstool seating. There's often lively discussion at the bar, a quiet corner to read in, a game on TV, or welcoming firepits outside, whichever sounds best to you. Now that the men's bathroom door is fixed, the atmosphere is perfect.

Clean tap lines. 2 casks. 50 rotating taps, always with a good assortment of locals, other domestics, seasonals, and a few Belgians. There is (almost) always Ballast Point Sculpin and a Russian River hop-forward beer on tap, whether it be Pliny the Elder, Blind Pig, or the underrated, though delicious, Russian River IPA. Terrific bottle list with reasonable prices. Full assortment of spirits as well, including a long list of bourbons/whiskeys.

The staff is knowledgeable, efficient, and personable. I've always received outstanding service.

Outstanding selection. I'm holding off on giving a 5 until they routinely offer Alpine beers on tap. A place that wants to be deemed San Diego's finest beer bar needs to carry San Diego's finest IPAs.

The food is high-quality, affordable, and delicious, with rotating specials daily. The chef is innovative and skilled. Everything on the menu I've had is terrific, and the fries (or chips) are the best in the city, as far as I'm concerned.

Reasonable/typical San Diego pub prices. They do offer all beers in 4oz. taster glasses upon request, which I find especially appropriate for (pricier) beers I'm unfamiliar with.

Also, there's Churchill's Finest Hour bottles available year-round. What's not to love about that?

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Photo of tastyales
4.78/5  rDev +8.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

OK what can i say this place is topnotch the whole way through. Beer selection incredible food awesome customer service even better. When going to a lot of craft beer spots i always think they loose sight on the 2 most important things Beer and Service. This place is on it they have you covered. 50 taps i thin and a good little bottle selection they also have an outdoor patio with fire pits also a nice touch. Its in North County but well worth the drive. This place will take the Pepsi challenge with the best of em. Highly recommend. Oh ya did i mention i dont think they have a draft over $5....

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Photo of dannyhipps
4.63/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

What can I say about this place that hasn't already been said? Has anyone mentioned the killer patio and fire pit area?

A can't miss place when you're in the area, Churchill's pretty much has it all and then some. Not only do you have a GREAT selection of craft on tap, they're also a full bar, and to top it off, the food is good enough on it's own to come for. Very talented chef and crew,so look for the specials. The burgers alone are to die for, and the fries, or "chips" are like crack. Great spot for craft beer events, my buddies and I had an outrageously awesome time here following the Zwanze Day at Stone... Ivan had a mind-blowing array of sours on tap, it was a true tasting fest! As a BA, ya gotta love that the cool cat who owns this joint knows and loves craft beer!

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Photo of HopHead84
4.58/5  rDev +4.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I usually visit Churchill's a couple times a week. The atmosphere is reminiscent of an English pub, with various pictures depicting English people and landscapes. There is a bar side with 8 or so tables, a pool table, TVs, darts, and a jukebox. The internet jukebox allows me to play 20 or so Symphony X songs, which I appreciate until Tony overrides the selections, at which point I shake my fist. There is also a side that is not the bar side, where a hostess will seat you and you can plot and scheme to your heart's content in this darker setting. A foosball table is located here. There is an outdoor area with a few tables, but this is usually filled with cigarette smoke. Churchill's also has a full bar, if you're in the mood for liquor.

Quality: Quality is very good. Quality of service, quality of food, quality of drink. It's all good.

Service: The service is usually very good, but like all bars, sometimes they get slammed (wing night, for example) and then you wait a little bit longer, but you can pass the time by looking at the soothing English pictures and listening to the 30 minute epic progressive metal track, The Divine Wings of Tragedy, which I've just played on the jukebox. The servers are very friendly and won't scowl at you if you ask for a snifter with your 4oz taster.

Selection: The beer selection is extensive. Ivan boasts something like 50 taps. There's a lot of local stuff, which is awesome, but there are also offerings from all over the country, as well as international beers. The bottle list is quite good as well. If you're lucky you might come across Churchill's Finest Hour, a Jack Daniels barrel aged and blended strong ale made especially for Churchill’s by Port Brewing. Just make sure not to order it. I'd be disappointed if you got the last bottle and it wasn't there the next time I visited. But definitely check out the bottle artwork.

Food: The food is very good for a pub. Actually, it's just good food in general and reasonably priced at that. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend anything on the menu. Wings, Tikka Masala, Fish & Chips, Burger, French Dip, Salads (are these proper nouns?), they’re all good. The chef is great.

Value: Reasonably priced beer and food.

Overall: This is one of the best spots in North County, if not all of San Diego. The environment is more relaxed than some of the beer bars in San Diego. The owner, Ivan, is very friendly and knowledgeable. You can view their food menu on their website, where you can also view the current list of beers on tap.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4/5  rDev -9.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Stopped in here for the first time with my roommate on Saturday afternoon. We actually both work along the same road, and I know he's come here several times before with coworkers. I'll likely amend this review a year or so from now once I get a deeper feel for the place.

Churchill's has the feel of a local joint. There's a dart board, a few small TVs, a bunch of little league team pictures, and a busted bathroom door that's apparently been that way for more than a year. The interior is plain and fairly spacious, with a goofy floor plan that makes me think this used to be two separate establishments. It's comfortable though, and I could definitely imagine this being a great destination for after work happy hour.

The food menu offers up a solid variety of British and Indian food, along with creative twists on standard pub grub. My roommate has spoken very highly of their food, and the two dishes we got on Saturday - the Spicy Burger and the Reuben - were both delicious! I can't wait to try more of their food!

The beer menu is clearly posted in several places throughout the bar, and the selection is both diverse and high-quality. They've got (at least) two firkins as well, and both were in use on this Saturday afternoon: FW Pale 31 and a porter from Karl Strauss. Aside from Stone, this bar probably has the best beer selection in north county.

The one downside of Churchill's (on this day anyway) was the service. Even with only a dozen or so customers, we still waited a good ten minutes before being brought menus, and then waited another 30-40 minutes for beer and food. Amand (my roommate) claims that the service always sucks. He was right this time.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.55/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Visited this place with MrVonzipper, Alucard4, Ehammond1, and Nosignsofpain after the 15th anniversary stone festival.

I had been talking to Ehammond1 quite a bit through BA and I told him I had always wanted to try Churchill's 2010 or 2011 and he told me that he goes there all the time and that he might be able to hook something up. So we decided go and check it out. When you first pull up to the place it just looks like a shit hole on the side of a busy street very old and looks like it is going to fall apart honestly. When you walk inside it does kind of remind me of a dive bar it has a pool table to the left and some table and chairs for dining and to the back left is the bar and two dart boards if your into that thing for some reason that dating commercial with the guy being a sponsored dart thrower came to mind. To the right is more table and chairs and a hallway which leads to and outside eating area.

The beer selection is great and they had a few beers on cask and nitro which is always a welcoming sight. As far as the food and service goes I would give the service a higher score except for the fact that the owner actually dumped maranara sauce all over my brother ruining his shirt and shorts for the night but he gave us a free beer but not sure it that made up for it but he took it anyway. The food that we had was pretty good with the mac n cheese really standing out.

On to the Churchill's 2011 Ehammond1 and nosignsofpain were already outside waiting for us and when we walked outside the present was sitting on the table for us to try and if was mighty fine indeed so thanks to you two for making that happen it is much appreiciated.

Final Thoughts, make sure and visit this place if you are in San Marcos and get a chance to it will not let you down great beer good food and a great environment whatelse could you ask for.

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Churchill's Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA
4.4 out of 5 based on 103 ratings.
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