You know how to EAT THIS CITY. With top chefs as tour guides, you’ve learned how to scout out hot spots for breakfast and brunch, where to go for a delicious date night, and how to feast like a local liege in the cities you love. But where do you wash it all down? Do you know how to find the best brewpub? Uncover who makes the meanest bloody marys and the most sparkling mimosas?
You’re about to find out. Welcome to DRINK THIS CITY!
This week, we’re checking out sunny San Diego, home to the 1200-acre Balboa Park (sometimes referred to as the Smithsonian of the West), nine different arts districts, scores of stoned surfers, and beloved anchorman Ron Burgundy. The city is also home to an incredible cocktail culture — so rich in curated menus and bespoke drinks that having an expert guide is imperative. Which is why we’re thrilled to have Brian Vong, manager at Polite Provisions, walk us through the best boozy beverages the city has to offer.
Under Vong’s guidance, Polite Provisions has carved out a reputation for being as well-versed in the classics as it at dreaming up daring originals. And when we say original, we mean it. Where else can you go to try six different cocktails on draft, pairing lavender soda with London dry gin, or Irish whiskey with cinnamon pop, or one of several housemade bottled cocktails with ingredients as unusual and intriguing as Japanese whisky, sesame, ginger, and barrel-aged soy sauce?
Into old-school tiki? Try the Don the Beachcomber’s Zombie, created in 1934. And if — on a menu that offers spirit-forward, house favorite, sparkling, beer-based, and communal beverages — you still can’t find the tipple that tickles your taste buds, the good people of Polite Provisions will make a special drink just for you. It’s no wonder this purveyor of “local tonics, elixirs, and cures” has been voted one of Thrillist’s Best Bars in California, and San Diego Magazine‘s Best Cocktails in the city.
Ready to check out Brian’ Vong’s favorite bars in San Diego? Let’s go drink this city!
BRUNCH COCKTAIL OR HAIR OF THE DOG
Werewolf in downtown San Diego. You can get that heavy greasy food you need to take the edge off and coat your stomach. My go to hangover cure is a shot of Buffalo Trace and a Coors banquet.
My favorite marg is a blended Mango Marg from Ponces; it’s located in a quiet little neighborhood called Kensington. You walk in and it’s brightly lit — with vibrant oranges and reds — the walls are covered in old oil paintings of women. It just has always had such a welcoming feel to it.
As of right now, I would have to say Jaynes Gastropub is the best place to score a classic. Adele Stratton has put together a killer, true-to-their-roots menu that is highly enjoyable. I can never say no to a Rome with a View.