Well would you looky here, a blog post not so much about the great outdoors! That’s right folks, Cruise and I spend a majority of our time exploring, not just what Mother Nature has to offer, but what good ole Mankind can offer us too. On our recent trip to Kings Canyon National park, we decided to leave a day early and stay the night in Fresno. Whenever we find ourselves in a new place we absolutely cannot help but to find the best places for craft beer for Cruise and Vegetarian/Vegan delicacies for me. On our one evening in Fresno we managed to hop around to three different establishments and I had little to no disappointment the entire night.
Stop #1 - Rocket Dog
This little restaurant may have been one of my favorite places I’ve been to just about ever and it definitely took the Gold Medal for our night in Fresno. If you didn’t already guess it, Rocket Dog is a counter service Hot Dog joint with a different Hot Dog for anyone’s desires, and the best part? You can substitute a Veggie Dog, they call it their vegan Soi Dog, with ANY of their unique Hot Dog creations making it Vegetarian or even Vegan friendly!
But aside from the dogs alone? They have a wide array of select craft beers and ciders on draft, in the bottle, or even in a can. Somehow the night we were there, there was a specific shelf in the fridge where anything on it was only $2.50! IT WASN’T EVEN HAPPY HOUR! I didn’t think to ask whether or not this was deal was an every night thing or if there was a specific reason they had the deal that night but either way they have great prices on the regular AND for happy hour.
Cruise indulged in their seasonal special, The Backyard Dog, a Bratwurst served on a pretzel bun with BBQ Sauce, Bleu Cheese, and topped with Fried Onions. To drink he grabbed a can off the $2.50 shelf and enjoyed a cold Citrus Mistress IPA from Hop Valley Brewery.
For me? I had their #5, The Hansel's. I chose a vegan Soi Dog, also served on a pretzel bun topped with Mac and Cheese, Cheddar, and Ketchup. The 7-year-old in me was dying at how amazing this looked and tasted. To drink, I also chose from the $2.50 and had a Pineapple Mango Sancha by Riley’s Brewing Company.
The Rocket Dog had an awesome vibe, a great outdoor seating option, and incredible prices. I enjoyed the time spent here immensely and look forward to returning for a round two one day.
Stop #2 - Tioga-Sequoia Brewing, Co. Tasting Room
Settled in Downtown Fresno, this tasting room is a great place to kick back for some great beer, relaxation, and fun. They have fun outdoor activities like life-sized Connect 4, Bocce Ball, and more. The night we went they had a DJ and specials for those enjoying the Soccer Game across the way. Being that it was 4th of July Weekend we enjoyed an unexpected Fireworks show from the stadium as well.
I ordered their Half-Dome, a California Wheat beer made with Stone Fruit. It was refreshing and delicious. Cruise ordered their Taster with 4 different beers, you should follow him on Untapped for his craft beer adventures. He is far more fluent in craft beer than I am and you can see all of his ratings and thoughts on the beers he tastes there. He also takes quite a few tastes of whatever I order and rates that as well.
The tasting room also had a few Food Trucks on site if you’re looking for a bite to pair with your beer. The night we were there we ordered Garlic Fries from the Chicken Shack truck and they were delightful. Just the right amount of Garlic and flavor. We enjoyed our beer, fries, fireworks show, and a couple of rounds of Giant Connect Four and then headed on our way (I beat Cruise best 2 out of 3 by the way!).
Stop #3 - Mad Duck Craft Brewery
Mad Duck was our last and final stop on our one night in Fresno. You might be noticing a trend here, Cruise is a huge fan of Craft Beer, and while I do like to partake, the food is where it’s at for me. This last stop definitely had a more corporate-y vibe to it out of the 3. But it was still really nice. We sat in the bar section and decided to take it easy on our last round of beers.
Cruise ordered their Honey Pot Blonde Ale, and for me? The Hopical Paradise. If you noticed, I really enjoy beers with prominent fruit flavors, or better yet made with fruit to begin with. This one was a little hoppier than I generally enjoy but that was to be expected from a beer with “hop” in the name. Cruise’s Blonde Ale was smooth, light, and refreshing. I quite enjoyed that one as well.
To eat we also went on the lighter side and ordered their Hummus plate. This was your average hummus plate, nothing too exciting or unique about it but the pita came out soft and warm which made the hummus that much more enjoyable.
Mad Duck is situated in a very nice upscale shopping center with a movie theater just across the way, so it’s a great option if you want a nice date night out or some post-shopping drinks and lunch.
In general I had an amazing time in Fresno, even though we only got to experience it for a couple of hours. I’d love to go back and see what else we could discover in the area, and to hit up Rocket Dog for round 2. Are you from Fresno? Have you ever been? Let us know some of your favorite places to eat or grab a cold one down in the comments! We’d love to chat about it.