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Jan 13, 2008 04:46 PM

Best Happy Hour - The Yard House - Downtown SD

For those who enjoy "American" style food, i.e. burgers, nachos, fish and chips, chicken wings and millions of beers on tap, go to the Yard house M-F between 3-6 PM. The best deal ever, you can't beat half priced appetizers, cheap beers ($3 a pint), cheap martinis ($5) and a great atmosphere. They play classic rock and have ESPN blasted on well placed plasmas throughout the restaurant. If you use the restroom downstairs you will see a room with countless kegs that run upstairs to the huge bar, its impressive.
The portions are large, three appetizers can easily feed four people...easily. I suggest the Chicken Nachos, The Cheeseburger Sliders and the Spicy Chicken Wings. Not only are they delicious but you will definitley be beached like a whale afterwards.
The only downside is parking, It's downtown and I guess the best bet would be parking in Hroton Plaza and validating buy buying a black coffee at the Nordstrom coffee stand. Get there early its gets packed very quick on Fridays.

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  1. San Diego has a number of better places for beer and food than Yard House, IMO. Within two blocks of Yard House you can find Downtown Johnny Brown's and The Local, both of which are locally owned and operated small businesses that feature San Diego's premier local brews. As I recall, Yard House had very few San Diego beers on their list.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Josh

      I agree completely with Josh on this.

      1. re: Josh

        Downtown Johnny Brown's easily serves the best burger downtown and is a local favorite for lunch and after shows at the Civil Theatre. I highly recommend it.

        The Yard House is a generic brew pub chain restaurant caterring to sun burned Zonies. Don't mean to flame, but The Yard House is no different that the Rock Botom Brewery and other nation chains. With San Diego's national reputation for microbreweries there are so many better places.

        1. re: wanker

          Actually, Rock Bottom sort of breaks a little from the "chain", because they give their individual brewers a lot of leeway. I've had some pretty good specialty beers at the La Jolla location, and since the specialties are only brewed and served there, I'd have to call it local . As a restaurant, however, I agree with your assessment.

          The Yard House has an impressive list, but I agree with what somebody else said - you'd think that they'd feature more of the local brews.

          1. re: RB Hound

            Let me say that I don't really have any issues with the general quality of the Yardhouse - I've been a few times and the food and service was pretty good - but their beer list is not very impressive. It is large but almost all of the beers are poor to mediocre. It's strictly a tourist joint as far as beer is concerned. The Local and Downtown Johnny Brown's typically have more quality craft beers available than the Yardhouse on any given day. O'Brien's, Hamilton's, Ritual Tavern, and Liar's Club have many more quality craft brews available than the Yardhouse every day. I'm not trying to hate the Yardhouse but there are so many independant local joints that do a much better job with their beer lists. On the other hand, if you have a group of people that includes Bud Light lovers as well as craft brew lovers, the Yardhouse would be a good compromise. But it's not a real beer bar despite its 100+ taps.

          2. re: wanker

            As far as beer goes I would have to agree that the selection at Yardhouse, while large, does not exactly encompass good local beers. However, the food there is head and shoulders above the quality of Rock Bottom. Karl Strauss has pretty good food too. But as far as brew pub chains go, RB is the worst IMO.

        2. No no, you can validate at Horton Plaza by buying a small bag of M&M's at Longs for 89ยข...or a $1 Quick Pick Lotto Ticket (and you might win!).

          But Downtown Johnny Brown's is better for beer and food.

          1. Horton Plaza actually changed its parking system very recently (I was there yesterday). You don't need to buy anything anymore. You just go to one of the five kiosks around the mall, and validate for free. The ticket is now a paper card with a magnetic strip, so no ink stamping or anything.

            For the record, I always bought candy from the hot foods store near Sam Goody for validation.

            On topic, I always liked the Yard House during its quiet times. The food isn't bad (they have a pretty good pot pie, IIRC), and the drink selection is large and varied. I just can't stand it there when it gets busy.

            4 Replies
            1. re: ekomega

              I agree. The food at Yard House is above average for a chain restaurant and I much prefer it to something like Cheesecake Factory. But trying to get a table there on a Friday/Saturday night is ridiculous and its certainly not worth a 2 hour wait.

              What are some good alternatives to the Yardhouse in the gaslamp? Johnny Brown's sounds interesting but is it more like a casual sports bar/lunch place than a dinner place? Sounds mostly like pub food and not as upscale as the Yardhouse. Same goes with the local.

              1. re: mliew

                Strangely, I'm hard pressed to find a beer I want to drink at the YardHouse but I visit Johnny Brown's at least once a week for a pint. -- Sure they only have 8 or 9 taps, but in my opinion, you only need one tap, provided it has a good local beer on it.

                The food at the Yardhouse is decent and, IMO, better than what Johnny Browns has to offer. Still, you'll often find me down there on a theatre night with a pint of Hop 15 and a quesadilla and you'll get no complaints from me.

                1. re: Ewilensky

                  I've been to Yard House I think 3 times, and they were all before I knew about Liars' Club, O'Brien's, or any of the other good places to drink beer. I looked at their list online, and it's lame. Yay, 100 kinds of corporate macrobrew.

                  1. re: Josh

                    I'm going to check out this Johnny Brown's on friday, i'm excited!!