The Red Lion

The Red Lion
4501 Pleasanton Avenue
Pleasanton, CA 94566


  • First Timer Friendly: Yes/Yes
  • Food: 6/?
  • Beverage: 7/7
  • Atmosphere: 5/3
  • Overall: 5/4
  • But is it a pub? No/Yes!!!
Okay, its got to first be said that this is not REALLY a pub.  At the Highland Games (147th consecutive!!) in Pleasanton, CA they turned The Palm Pavilion on the fairgrounds property into a temporary “pub.” We ate there at about 2 on the last day of the event.
Chris’ Opinion:
As “Fairground” food, you really couldn’t ask for better. The food options were sparse (I think they had a burger, a meat pie, a salad, fish/chips, and bangers/mash) but the food was pretty tasty.  They had a full bar and the beer was terrific (Twisted Thistle on tap?? YES PLEASE). The reason I gave it a bit lower score is that the beer was more my style than it was the people we were with. They didn’t have a ton of options. We were in a large cafeteria-feeling room that was loud and uncomfortable but again, what more could you expect from a temporary setup?
Karl’s Opinion:
It was at the Highland Games-nothing else matters.  Sure, for 362 days out of the year the location is “The Palm Pavilion” but for three days it’s “The Red Lion”-on Saturday night they held a Ceilidh!  If you tried real hard, you could NOT picture the old men with comb-overs and sky-blue polyester pants tearing up their losing tickets from the adjoining race track.
What this location may have lacked in “authenticity” was easily obliterated by “Whiskey Live” in a nearby hall.  A stranger was nice enough to give us 20 tickets (in addition to our 7) so we could taste many of Scotland’s (and America’s) finest.

Note to self-DON’T go car shopping after whiskey tasting. (See next review)


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