Stone World Bistro & Gardens - Escondido, CA

"For all those harsh beer names, this place is surprisingly zen."

~ Joey upon being seated for brunch at Stone World Bistro & Gardens

Whether you love, hate, or are indifferent about Stone's often challenging but also constantly evolving brews, you have to marvel at what they've done with and for the craft brewing industry. They've pushed the limits, and expanded the horizons, of the beer drinker's palate. And now with their bistro-gardens and beer pairings in these really lovely and organic feeling garden settings (they also have their own farm), they're helping to elevate the appreciation and enjoyment of beer to that which we could, until recently, only experience with wine.

And they've created such a demand for their product that people are willing to make a special trip to BFEscondido (not that Escondido isn't beautiful, but there isn't much other reason to make a destination of it - and no, I don't consider the Wild Animal Park a good reason to go... :P) just to partake.

But if you have to drive out of your way to their Escondido location to see what it's all about, they've even built in a second attraction for you by building their craftbrew mecca right next to a trailhead.

FOOD: Lots of hearty globally inspired ideas that seem designed to stand up to the complexity and boldness of many craft brews. On this day, we went during brunch and ordered the Potato Pierogies, Biscuits & Gravy, BBQ Duck Taco Trio, and the Wild Boar Korean BBQ Sandwich (which comes with a healthy side of kimchi), and no one was disappointed, which rarely happens in this family of foodniks.

AMBIENCE: Like Joey said, it really is a sort of minimalist zen kind of vibe. Lots of sleek yet somehow rustic feeling stone and steel surrounded by what seems a smart and relatively low maintenance and conservation minded garden. Outdoor seating is plentiful, and the environment really does feel like an unexpected oasis.

Bonus points for a truly aesthetically pleasing middle finger to our hypercautious, hyperlitigious society in the form of a garden with stone steps, dirt paths, and unsure footing for the enjoyment of patrons walking around with their glasses full of high ABV libations.

SERVICE: Friendly, professional and accommodating, without being overbearing or transparently schticky in the least.

Definitely worth a visit if you're in North San Diego in search of a pleasant dining experience regardless of your taste for craft beer. Worth special effort if you happen not only to love Stone's brews, but want to see a good and truly interesting evolution in the craft beer movement.

Stone World Bistro & Gardens - Escondido
1999 Citracado Parkway
Escondido, CA 92029




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