Downtown Johnny Brown’s | San Diego, California
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Downtown Johnny Brown’s
Excellent based on 45 ratings
Type: Restaurant

1220 3rd Ave
San Diego, California United States 92101 [ print map ]
619 232 8414 | facebook | twitter

Hours: Mon - Thu: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm; Fri - Sat: 11:00 am - 1:00 am; Sun: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm

Taps: 15 | Bottles: 20

Downtown Johnny Brown’s

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45 reviews for Downtown Johnny Brown’s
 Ambiance  73%
 Service  78%
 Selection  79%
 Food  73%
 Value  74%
 Overall  81%
 Rating  90%
Rating Distribution

  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 7/10   SELECTION 8/15   FOOD 7/10   VALUE 10/10   OVERALL 15/20
blipp  (176) San Diego, California | August 14, 2015
Kind of a dark interior, but with plenty of patio seating outside. Beer selection is very average for the area; you can honestly find a pretty similar selection at probably 100 bars in the Downtown/Gaslamp area. Visited during happy hour. $3 pints. Giddy up. Also, they had free bar food when I was there. These spicy taquito things. So yeah, I went to this place and got a beer and dinner for $4. Not fucken bad. Anyway, if you’re visiting and have limited beer time, this really isn’t the place to go. BUT, if you need to plan a work happy hour or something, this place would be the jam.
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 10/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 8/10   OVERALL 17/20
Leighton  (795) London, England | January 6, 2014
An interesting place. It is pretty big, filled with tables both indoors and out. I wasn’t blown away by the draft list but it had some quality offerings. The DIPA I tried seemed a bit tired and leafy. Friendly and prompt service, although it wasn’t busy during my time there. The food looked hearty but I wasn’t eating during my visit. Not a must-visit for SD or even for this neighborhood, but if it’s convenient it would be an alright option.
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 12/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 7/10   OVERALL 15/20
t0rin0  (1511) Do Not Resuscitate, California | October 31, 2013
Visited October 2013.

FINALLY. I’ve been wanting to check this out since 2007 but haven’t been able to make it in. The first time we showed up (2007) after searching for the damn place for a half hour and the power had just gone out. They were kicking everyone out. This was only a month after my first trip to Stone where the power had gone out there too just before we arrived (that was on 7-7-7). The second time was earlier this year with friedchickencantsail and chinoskillzian but they had shut down early for some reason that day. This time was equally strange. The place was empty when we arrived. The only other person in the room was the bartender. Two minutes later a show let out across the way and the place filled up with people in their 60s. Kind of strange.

They have a decent tap selection with a number of hoppy beers on, so I got a Mongo. They had a couple of new beers to try but I wasn’t interested in gambling on them so I got a free taste of those. The bartender was really nice and made some beer suggestions, though I wasn’t real interested in trying anything, just wanted a Mongo and to finally have visited this place. Actually the reason that I heard about this place at all was their sour fest. It’s just never worked out but as it turns out the tap lineup isn’t as good normally as it is during a festival, which is probably true of most places. Prices on pints were reasonable and I didn’t try the food.
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 6/10   SELECTION 10/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 7/10   OVERALL 14/20
danielecamo  (42) , Italy | October 3, 2013
Non ho mangiato qui, solo aperirivo, era un pò deserto ma le birra di alta qualità e ben servite, temperatura a parte
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 5/10   SELECTION 7/15   FOOD 5/10   VALUE 5/10   OVERALL 10/20
NateSeats  (17) Barlborough (nr Sheffield), England | September 8, 2013
Tried this place twice and it was closed both times. Why?
  AMBIANCE 5/5   SERVICE 9/10   SELECTION 9/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 8/10   OVERALL 20/20
Odysseyalien  (14) New Jersey | July 18, 2013
Came here during Comic-con 2013. Great bar service. They had Firestone Brewery beers on tap which was the attraction. Could have gone to more popular beer bars but they had what i wanted. Fine bar service and great beer. Would definitely come back next time in San Diego.
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 13/15   FOOD 8/10   VALUE 8/10   OVERALL 17/20
Pivoyager  (88) Gaithersburg, Maryland | January 8, 2013| Updated February 19, 2013
Being somewhat hidden in the bland Civic Center, Downtown Johnny Brown’s is not that hard to find when in downtown San Diego - once you are able to wend your way through the herds of street drifters psychos and myriad homeless, which seem to own the city. But I digress ... Upon entry, Johnny’s is a small, but humble venue with an excrutiatingly small bar, where the well-oiled locals trade banters with the tattoed servers. The rest of the room is devoted to an array of tables and hightops, the latter being along the windows that look out onto the roomy patio. The beer selection consists of local brews - as it should be in this beer-centric city. These are scribbled on the chalkboard opposite the "Order Food Here" sign. The service was indifferent but efficient enough. (The table service is initiated after 4pm.) I hit the place during the $1.00 Fish Taco special - these were damn good and obviously reasonable in price. This was No 4 of my recent SDBW 2012 sojourn - there were plenty of decent specials held here, including one that included Pliny - who gonna quibble bout that. A worthy stop in the downtown area.
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 9/10   SELECTION 13/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 8/10   OVERALL 16/20
Schlenkerla  (413) , Austria | January 1, 2013| Updated May 4, 2014
Beer bar very centrally located in San Diego. From outside it does not look very inviting. They have a very good range of local brews and the owner is a very nice and funny guy. A must stop for me when being in San Diego. We visited again on 3.5.2014. They are under new ownership and it looks like some investments have been made. Looks more tidy now, beer selection is still very good.
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 7/10   SELECTION 12/15   FOOD N/A   VALUE 7/10   OVERALL 15/20
badlizard  (141) Berkeley , California | December 8, 2012
Kind of hidden away down town, this spot has a decent selection, decent service, and a decent ambiance. Worth a stop if you’re nearby.
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 12/15   FOOD 6/10   VALUE 7/10   OVERALL 15/20
Scopey  (517) Croydon, England | March 21, 2012
Downtown Johnny Browns is located only 5 minutes walk from Broadway, but is hidden in the middle of the Civic centre, so may take a bit of time to find - but it’s worth it! Interior is a pretty typical US bar. They had 15 taps on the go at our visit from some very interesting microbreweries - Alpine, Hess, Grand Teton , Craftsman etc. They also had DFH 120minute on, which I haven’t seen before. They have a very small, but good quality bottle selection of RR sours, Jolly Pumpkin and The Bruery. Food is typical pub selection of burgers etc. Very worthy of a visit when in central SD.

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