Everyone loves a good burger joint, and Rocky’s Crown Point Pub off Ingraham in Pacific Beach does not disappoint. Established in 1977 it continues to be a local favorite making the San Diego Magazine “Best Restaurants” list in 2013. The interior of this rustic style restaurant is built entirely with cedar; from the walls and ceiling to the bar and tables, it says “hey we’re casual.” A simple black chalkboard holds the 5-item menu. Place your burger, fries, and a drink order with one of the friendly bartenders, and grab a seat on one of the black cushioned stools while you wait. It’s that simple. Before you know it, a big, fat, juicy burger will be plopped down in front of you just as the day’s game is going to commercial break. Thankfully, there are delicious local craft beers to wash down this hearty meal.
At Rocky’s, their motto tells you everything you need to know about what to expect, “Simple and unsurpassed. That’s who we are.” The unpretentious beach shack vibe definitely caters to the local neighborhood with its ordinariness. It’s a friendly place, nostalgic of simpler times. Most patrons probably live within walking distance. Located on the corner of Ingraham Street and La Playa, Rocky’s is just seven blocks from Sail Bay in the Crown Point neighborhood of Pacific Beach. This is a place for the 21 and up crowd to enjoy sports, burgers, and craft beers. The simple menu emphasizes that this is a bar that serves food; a nice, relaxing place for adults to get away from the kiddos and teens that usually dominate burger restaurants.
When it comes to the menu at Rocky’s, it’s simple. You can order burgers and fries or burgers and fries. Choose from either ⅓ or ½ pound burgers; each beef patty is shaped, weighed, and made to order daily on a flat grill. You get the option of cheese or no cheese, and fries or no fries, it’s that easy. Each burger is cooked to your ideal temperature, served on a sesame seed bun, and topped with tomato, leaf lettuce, red onion, and mayo, with a pickle on the side. The fries are hand cut and cooked to crispy, and delicious perfection with the standard mustard, ketchup, and hot sauce condiments on the side. Order up a nice craft beer on tap or favorite soda for a complete meal.
At Rocky’s Crown Pub, there is no added avocado, bacon, or any of those other ingredients people use to spruce up their burgers these days. This is backyard barbecue from your childhood when the preparation of the meat and the classic flavors spoke for themselves. Rocky’s does however offer grilled cheese as an option for those who are not the carnivorous sort. They have roughly 12 beers to choose from, including well-known name brand beers like Pacifico and Blue Moon, as well as local San Diego craft beers like Saint Archer Blonde Ale and Societe Brewing Company’s hoppy brews. Rocky’s is a local fixture that cranks out one of America’s favorite foods – burgers, while supporting San Diegan breweries and keeping prices low.
The cheap prices and few menu items leave little room for specials, coupons, or discounts, however they offer a Lunch Special every Monday thru Friday which consists of ⅓ pound burger, fries, and a soda or beer for a cheaper rate. There is only street parking offered in this area, but it’s generally easy to find, and even if you have to park a little farther away, the sunshine and beach breeze make the walk a welcome one. You can get your hands on one of Rocky’s juicy burgers seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and enjoy their beers until midnight. This is solely for the 21 and up crowd (parents’ night out). It is a cash only establishment, so plan ahead or you’ll be paying their hefty ATM fee. This is a local hot spot, so expect a wait during prime times like lunch and the 6 p.m. dinnertime.
Pacific Beach is the perfect neighborhood to enjoy a little fun in the sun. Six blocks down Playa Avenue to the right will take you Crown Point Park and Fiesta Bay. Six blocks to the left down Playa Avenue will take you to Sail Bay, where there’s a walking path that goes around most of the bay. Going to the right on the path (Bayside Walk) will take you around to the Catamaran Hotel. Across Mission Boulevard from the Catamaran is the Pacific Ocean. Almost straight across Sail Bay from Playa Avenue is Mission Bay Sportscenter where you can rent virtually any outdoor equipment including bikes and sailboats.
If you’re driving, a left on Ingraham will take you to the two main streets in Pacific Beach – Grand Avenue, or four blocks farther, Garnet Avenue; turn left on either, and they’ll take you straight to the beach. Grand is the fastest and Garnet is the most interesting. Going left on Ingraham, but turning right on Grand will take you to Mission Bay Golf Course, a par-three executive course. Take Grand to Mission Bay Drive and enter Mission Bay Park; stay on North Mission Bay Drive and the entrance to the golf course is on the right. They even have lights for night golfing!
If it’s a view you’re after, take a right on Grand Avenue from Ingraham Street and make a left on Lamont Street. Follow Lamont Street all the way up the hill past Beryl Street and around a small curve to the entrance of Kate Sessions Park on your right. This is a great little park with extraordinary views of the bays, the ocean, and the San Diego skyline that few tourists know about. Don’t be surprised if you see people playing Frisbee with their dogs a few yards from an outdoor wedding. It’s one of the best places to spread a blanket on the grass under a tree and take in the view.