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Rocky's Crown Pub

San Diego – “Paging Betty Ford!” Not that we’re looking for the former First Lady to join us for lunch…..just the clinic we need to visit due to the excesses engaged in at Rocky’s Crown Pub. Oh but is so worth the temptation to indulge and worry about the repercussions later; having a full belly, a little buzz and good times. Rocky delivers on all counts.

Situated in an ancient strip of small businesses off of Ingram and Pacific Beach Drive, Rocky’s is first and foremost, an immensely popular local hang out. The vibe of the room is abuzz with conversation, laughter and friendly faces. Plan to jockey for position once you arrive and hope to at least find something to lean against. You just have to suck it up. I don’t know how we got so lucky, must’ve been “right place at the right time” because we got a corner table. Cool music echoes throughout and if you’re lucky you can share a beer with the owner, a woman named Rocky!

There is no pretense here. Condiments are served in old cardboard Corona 6-pack carriers, the napkins are in stacks (not in a napkin holder but, yes indeed, on the table) and there are no menus to look over; just a beaten up chalk board with items listed. There is no silverware so that stack of napkins is gonna come in handy. You gotta love how they take your order on post-its! Who knew those things had so many uses?

You don’t need more room than post-its because their meal offerings are hamburgers, fries and onion rings……… That’s it. Nothing else. No salads, no breakfast burritos, no hot dogs. Just hamburgers. You can go all-out and have them with cheese if you like, and all come served with mayonnaise, tomato and lettuce. Aside from that, you’re set. Ahhh but are those hamburgers good! You can spy the cook in the next room grilling them up one dozen at a time. Everything is fresh to order, so they don’t dehydrate under a “heat lamp” as you anxiously wait to gobble them up. The fries and onion rings are equally killer with the potato and onion flavors flourishing in the crisply fried delights.

A couple of tips for Rocky’s virgins; if you are by the payphone (who still has those???) risk the temptation to answer it, even if it looks like no one else is going to. They use the phone for call in orders and you don’t want to interrupt their business trade. Don’t ask how we know not to answer the phone…too embarrassing. Also, stay clear of the doorway to the kitchen. We know the smells are captivating but you don’t want to stand in the way of someone’s burger coming out. Lastly, don’t eat too fast as you will want to savor this burger for an eternity.

Rocky’s Crown Pub is all that it’s cracked up to be. A good ol’ fashioned dive bar where you can enjoy great food, an ice cold brewskie and colorful local flare. And there is nothing wrong with that (despite Betty Ford’s best intentions). Burgers top out at $6.25 and fries are $2.50. Get a sitter because this is adults only. Enjoy!

The good – food plus beer is good

The bad – standing room only, you’re lucky to just get a shelf

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  • City: san diego
  • Phone: (858)273-9140
  • Name: Rocky's Crown Pub
  • Address: 3786 Ingraham Street