Ritual Tavern: Beer Desserts at Gothic North Park Gastropub [CLOSED]

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Restaurant San Diego

Ritual Tavern has built a reputation as one of San Diego's best gastropubs and even uses beer in desserts.

We already ate dinner, but didn’t want to leave town without experiencing Ritual Tavern. On Saturday night, Sea Rocket Bistro owner Dennis Stein said that Ritual shared his restaurant’s approach for seasonal, local cuisine. Since Sea Rocket worked out so well, we figured it was probably worth acting on Stein’s recommendation. It was.

Owner Mike Flores and wife Staci Wilkins opened their gothic-style gastropub in old greasy spoon a little over a year ago. The couple divided Ritual Tavern into three distinct areas: a wraparound plant-lined patio, an indoor dining room, and the bar. If you’re interested in learning about what you’re drinking, and like to be close to the taps, the bar is definitely the spot. Mike and his bartender Nick were both passionate and knowledgeable about the local beer scene and happy to chat.

Restaurant San Diego

Ritual Tavern was decorated for Halloween, including Jack ‘o lanterns and skeletons.

Ritual Tavern offers two house-made desserts that incorporate beer. Flores said beer’s bitterness lends itself to sugary sweetness in desserts.

Beer Milkshake San Diego

Stone Smoked Porter Shake ($7) was just beer blended with vanilla ice cream and dusted with chocolate shavings. With only three ingredients, the shake was still terrific, sporting the bitter/sweet dynamic that Flores predicted.

Beer Cheesecake San Diego

Ritual Tavern’s shake was good, but couldn’t compete with Beer Cheesecake ($6) made with Rock Bottom IPA and featuring fluffy texture, pronounced beer flavor, moist shortbread crust and milk chocolate sauce squiggle.

Ritual Tavern’s beer cheesecake was a big improvement on the overly fussy beer cheesecake that we ate at Stone World Bistro.

Our Ritual Tavern experience certainly warrants a full-force return visit. Especially if they continue to have blackboard specials like pork tart and braised lamb.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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