Food Places to Visit

San Diego Bars -15 Coolest and Best Bars to Explore

In addition to its beaches, museums, and nature trails, San Diego, California, has various ignitable party areas that you can explore while exploring its historical legacies. San Diego’s nightlife is reflected in its bars. The pubs in San Diego are always happy to serve you traditional drinks and stunning ocean views, whether on sunny days or peaceful evenings. Enjoy cocktail bars while listening to cool live music and taking in the views of the beach while sitting in the brilliant sun during the day, and choose some rocking nights in one of these well-known and adored San Diego bars.

San Diego Bars
By Lyle Hastie/ Unsplash, Copyright 2020

San Diego Bars

1. The Nolen

You can enjoy skyline views from the rooftop bar lounge of The Nolen, located over the Gaslamp hotel in San Diego while holding expertly created beverages in your hands and enjoying live music.

This rooftop bar can create a different ambiance, so relax, have a good time, or have a loud party with your friends. Order the Damnit Janet, a chic vodka cocktail with lychee and rose water, to receive the Nolen’s experience.

This upscale pub’s seating and lively crowd will make San Diego’s bright nights and sunny days appear a little tipsier.

To enjoy your high time in the comfort of The Nolen, you can just make reservations for a game of the original Nolen Smash at The Nolen.

2. Noble Experiment

Noble Experiment
By Ash Edmonds/ Unsplash, Copyright 2017

The Neighbourhood restaurant’s mysteriously hidden bar, Noble Experiment, has a gothic, ethereal interior decorated with golden skulls.

Enjoy one of San Diego’s most eccentric and secretive bars’ beautiful selection of cocktails, wines, and beers served by trained bartenders.

In this San Diego neighborhood known for its parties, the bar serves up a tasty craft cocktail menu with seasonal syrups that are beautifully presented.

You can make reservations for this 45-seat, elegantly decorated bar to ensure a great evening with inventive beverages.

3. Bar by Red Door

This San Diego bar offers an exceptional personal experience in your cocktail, cuisine, and happy hour environment while playing live music. An Italian chef runs the restaurant next door to this incredibly gorgeous pub, a branch of the same company called “Red Door.”

Visit this relaxed bar in Mission Hills to sample some of the area’s alcoholic and tropical brews while surrounded by a white interior and macrame plant holders hanging from the ceiling. Under the exquisite lighting at night, the bar’s mid-century decor of stools and a pebbled bar creates a romantic and dreamlike atmosphere.

You can use the happy hour to your advantage or visit any time of the day to participate in a speakeasy experience while drinking.

4. Madison

The Madison is an aesthetically pleasing and picture-perfect pub that serves as a hip hangout for beverages and meals with Mediterranean influences close to the university heights. This stunning bar’s exterior and inside are embellished with striking geometric cutworks and patterns.

The arching ceilings and cedar wood walls of this classy and beautiful pub provide light to the moths excited about drinking. The bar also offers an exciting mix of classic cocktails like Stone Stairs with sporadic live music with drinks.

Two new parklets offer excellent seating options for San Diego’s scorching days or peaceful starry nights. This bar, which San Diego magazine recognized as a cocktail bar and décor, is a must-visit because of its gorgeous ambiance and the vibe it fosters beneath the illumination of the iconic University Heights insignia.

To take advantage of the outdoor, street-side courtyard setting, make your appointment, and remember to select outdoor.

5. Kindred

With its unique design and charitable mission, this trendy vegan bar in San Diego is a product of the nationwide vegan boom. Although the bar offers a vegan menu, it welcomes all intrepid travelers and curious foodies as it strives to straddle the line between a bar and a restaurant by providing a warm environment for its patrons.

Visit this restaurant to indulge your palate. It has a large following in San Diego for its fine cuisine and distinctive and inexpensive cocktail menu, including Cosmic Key and King in Yellow.

To have some fantastic beer drinks and enlightening homemade cheese, reserve your seats at this unique pub decked with wolf totems and carnivorous wallpaper in contrast to its vegan theme.

6. False Idol

False Idol, an exotic tiki bar with exaggerated tropical decor, is hidden beneath Little Italy’s Craft and Commerce. Visitors move through the airy, open space to a dark, mysterious, and mystical bar that serves potent tiki-inspired cocktails in themed mugs and an enjoyable moment with friends.

The entrance is decorated with fake human skulls and rocks. As you sit beneath the fishing net stretched from the ceiling with blowfish and colored floats peeking through it, you must sample the communal cocktail known as Alkala the ferocious.

This False Idol bar top is decorated in an archive style with old postcards, menus, and mugs that pay homage to San Diego’s tiki history with live music.

In this bamboo-decked bar, wood sculptures of false idols pay homage to mid-century American ideas while also taking advantage of the tiki culture’s vibrant visuals. Make reservations to experience this “totally immersive setting” while sipping vintage San Diego beverages.

7. Polite Provisions

For drinkers and travelers alike, Polite Provisions in San Diego is a must-visit establishment serving powerful and excellent cocktails and beers. This elegant San Diego tavern calls itself an apothecary due to its apothecary motif, “manufacturers of local tonics, elixirs, and remedies.”

The bar allows you to order food from its menu eatery across its walls while serving various cocktails, from classics and tropical to crew favorites.

The bar takes great pride in its drinks and provides seminars or lessons to assist patrons in creating this incredible cocktail mixture.

You can make reservations for seats at this chic San Diego bar with color-blocked walls if you want to spend the evening celebrating the craft of mixing drinks.

8. Starlite

Under the moniker Starlite, a modern mid-century décor with a hexagonal doorway offers San Diego’s most sparkling cocktail selection. The bar gives and hosts a sparkling atmosphere, true to its name, for its patrons to enjoy their good times while sipping thoughtful cocktails.

The brass mugs and the bar’s overall cactus-decorated desert ambiance contrast with its highly contemporary timber furnishings and elegant lighting. The bar, which has an outdoor terrace, has become the most fashionable thanks to its signature beverages and affluent atmosphere. It should be visited for a variety of drinks and elegant music.

9. Sycamore Den

In San Diego, there is a retro bar called Sycamore Den. Its style and decor are based on a middle-class family living room, and it pays homage to the 1970s. It is renowned for its wide selection of beverages and beers on tap.

You will undoubtedly get in the mood to drink recklessly with a well-crafted whisky menu and robust beers served inside the bar that makes you think back to your childhood memories of your father’s cabin.

You can make reservations at one of San Diego’s most spectacular retro and nostalgic bars to be served by some of the most knowledgeable and hospitable bartenders.

10. The Grass Skirt

Another tiki bar on the list, The Grass Skirt, is found in the lively city of San Diego, embellished with elements typical of southeast Asian culture.

Its hula girls and totems are carved into the pebbled walls to provide an escape from tiki culture in an exotic and tropically decorated bar.

The bar serves inventive beverages, especially a broad palate of rums. Select one of the three specialty beverages on the menu to activate unique effects like thunder sounds and lightning that stretch throughout this straw-decorated bar.

Straws, lanterns, fire pits, and bamboo furniture all work together to unlock the beachy and seductive vibe of the location and allow guests to learn about San Diego’s tiki culture. This tiki bar, hidden inside the Good Time Poke, is a must-go-to destination for rum-loving history aficionados.

11. Fairweather

Sit on the tropical rooftop bar and take in the trade winds. Bright, vacation-worthy cocktails are served at the outdoor bar, with a mid-century beach resort vibe thanks to its beautifully patterned tiling, lush living walls, and an abundance of citrus.

Enjoy street tacos and Cubano sandwiches while sipping mojitos, Aperol Spritzes, and Singapore Slings while rooting on the Padres across the street.

12. Charles + Dinorah

The Pearl Hotel houses this indoor/outdoor restaurant with a mid-century design. Enjoy movies and beverages next to an oyster-shaped pool.

An energetic bar scene awakens early in the morning for happy hour oysters, fish tacos, and specialty drinks.

A lively crowd enjoys cocktails and chicken skewers while classic movies like Grease and Austin Powers are displayed above the shimmering pool on Wednesday nights.

13. Kettner Exchange

Follow the music to Kettner Exchange, a restaurant with two levels that comes alive at night. Live DJs parties fill the highly sought-after rooftop cabanas with indoor and outdoor bars and seats.

The first-floor bar is typically easier to access, but the rooftop bar may become crowded on weekends.

14. The Pendry

Go on a vibrant bar crawl inside The Pendry, a super-hip downtown hotel that houses many venues all in one location, stopping at four chic establishments.

Before checking out the bustling Nason’s Beer Hall’s assortment of regional specialty brews, start with a rosé slushie at the rooftop Pool House.

Get a drink at Fifth & Rose, the lively lobby bar, then spend the rest of the evening dancing on tables at the posh, underground Oxford Social Club.

15. Trailer Park After Dark

Everyone has a fantastic time at this Gaslamp bar decorated with old trailers and lounge chairs made of wheelbarrows.

The yacht rock is loud, the Miller High Life is cold, and there are Jell-O shots on the TV dinner plates. Pull up a shopping cart stool at the bar, or settle into one of the plush trailers with TV trays and plastic-wrapped sofas.


Visit one of these San Diego bars to discover the seedy underbelly of America’s Finest City. These bars will make your already hazy recollections with your buddies even fuzzier, whether through closed doors or open patios.

Some of these bars can get crowded and full, so be careful to book your seats.

Read more from us: Best 12 Hiking Trails in San Diego to Explore



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