The Best Bars for Foodies in San Diego

The OpenTable Team

Known as America's Finest City, San Diego nightlife has everything from near-perfect weather and beaches to diverse neighborhoods and cultural institutions. Most associate the California town for its Gaslamp District, but Downtown San Diego is just the beginning. From local craft breweries to upscale cocktail bars, clubs and lounges, the San Diego bar scene has something for every taste and budget. But where are locals and tourists alike going for the best bar scene that San Diego has to offer? Welcome to our Tastemaker List. We've collected data from thousands of restaurants to find the top spots among Open Table's most seasoned diners, foodies and cocktail enthusiasts. From Little Italy over to North San Diego, the ocean-side bar scene mixes trends and sophistication with a Southern California flair. Whether you feel in the mood for a prime steak paired with a robust red or prefer a hoppy IPA and fresh fish tacos, book a table today at one of San Diego's world-class bars.

Restaurants:The Grass Skirt, Born & Raised, Sugar Factory American Brasserie - Theatre Box
Price Range:$$$ - $$$$
Cuisines:Polynesian, Steakhouse, American
Neighborhoods:Pacific Beach, Little Italy, Downtown / Gaslamp

The Grass Skirt

$$$$·Polynesian·
Pacific Beach
618 reviews
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Good for Birthdays
A good tiki bar never goes out of style, and The Grass Skirt is the rule to the exception. Located just a few blocks from the ocean in Pacific Beach, this is the perfect place to eRead more
94% recommended
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Born & Raised

$$$$·Steakhouse·
Little Italy
2,355 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Good for a Date
Located in San Diego's Little Italy neighborhood, Born & Raised takes the elevated steakhouse and cocktail lounge experience to new heights. With 250 seats spread across two levelsRead more
96% recommended
Best Ambiance in San Diego
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Sugar Factory American Brasserie - Theatre Box

$$$$·American·
Downtown / Gaslamp
1,401 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Birthdays
  • Good for Groups
Located in the heart of the Gaslamp District in a space formerly occupied by an old movie theatre, Sugar Factory American Brasserie may be a dessert lover's dream come to life, theRead more
Kid Friendly in San Diego

Cloak + Petal

$$$$·Japanese Speciality·
Little Italy
537 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
  • Special Occasion
Tapas and craft cocktails may not be the first things to come to mind when doing Japanese, but that's exactly what diners will find at San Diego's Cloak + Petal. Located in Little Read more
84% recommended
Not available on OpenTable
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UNION Kitchen & Tap

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Encinitas
687 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Great for Lunch
San Diego is known for its craft beer scene, and UNION Kitchen & Tap in Encinitas offers diners a rotating selection of brews for every palette, from pilsners and lagers to IPAs anRead more
100% recommended
Vibrant Bar Scene in San Diego

Bang Bang

$$$$·Sushi·
Downtown / Gaslamp
355 reviews
  • Bar Seating
  • Fun
  • Good for a Date
Bar patrons looking for a little sushi and smart cocktails with their dancing will feel right at home in Bang Bang. Located in the heart of Downtown San Diego in the Gaslamp DistriRead more
100% recommended
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Raised by Wolves

$$$$·Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service·
La Jolla
730 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasion
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
Fans of low key and off the beaten path cocktail experiences will enjoy Raised by Wolves, a “hidden” classic cocktail bar tucked away in the wide open space of the Westfield UTC MaRead more
95% recommended
Best Ambiance in San Diego
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Kairoa Brewing Company

$$$$·Brewery·
University Heights
103 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Bar Seating
Kairoa Brewing Company brings a little taste and flair of New Zealand to San Diego. The bar keeps it simple with a selection of local and Kiwi craft beers, which includes a rotatinRead more
84% recommended
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The Lion's Share

$$$$·Wild Game·
Downtown / Gaslamp
825 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Creative Cuisine
The Lion's Share does quaint and sophisticated all at the same time. Tucked in to its spot across the street from Seaport Village in Downtown San Diego, The Lion's Head has a contiRead more
97% recommended
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Le Papagayo

$$$$·American·
Encinitas
1,214 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
Latin and Mediterranean fusion is what's on tap at Le Papagayo in Leucadia in North County. With live music several nights a week and a cozy, rustic vibe with indoor and outdoor seRead more
97% recommended
American in North San Diego
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Beaumont's

$$$$·Contemporary American·
La Jolla
530 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Brunch
Beaumont's Eatery in La Jolla has a little something for everyone. A 2019's Diner's Choice winner, the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, happy hour specials, and includesRead more
96% recommended
Contemporary American in San Diego
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Tahona Bar

$$$$·Mexican·
Old Town
194 reviews
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Cozy
  • Romantic
Mezcal lovers will feel right at home at Tahona, whose stated mission is to enlighten diners and cocktail enthusiasts about Oaxacan cuisine and culture with a focus on its most famRead more
100% recommended
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Solterra Winery and Kitchen

$$$$·Mediterranean·
Encinitas
487 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Bar Seating
  • Good for Birthdays
Solterra Winery and Kitchen in Leucadia brings the vineyard to the coast, so wine lovers can enjoy the best of both worlds - a winery on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in North CoRead more
100% recommended
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West Coast Tavern

$$$$·Comfort Food·
North Park
211 reviews
  • Happy Hour
  • Vibrant Bar Scene
  • Neighborhood Gem
The North Park neighborhood of is home to some of San Diego's trendiest and creative bars and eateries. West Coast Tavern mixes the quintessential laid back San Diego vibe with an Read more
86% recommended
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Dobson's Bar & Restaurant

$$$$·Californian·
Downtown / Gaslamp
981 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good for a Date
  • Live Music
Diners are encouraged to make a reservation at this hidden hot spot in the center of the Gaslamp District in Downtown San Diego. With a mixture of old world charm and modern sophisRead more
83% recommended
Late Night Find in San Diego

Urge Gastropub & Common House

$$$$·American·
San Marcos
206 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Kid-friendly
  • Great Beer
Urge Gastropub and Common House in North County offers diners and beer lovers an opportunity to bowl and enjoy custom craft brews in a modern, industrial chic brewery setting. The Read more
93% recommended
Kid Friendly in North San Diego
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Manhattan of La Jolla

$$$$·Italian·
La Jolla
1,029 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Romantic
  • Neighborhood Gem
Manhattan of La Jolla serves up fine Italian dining reminiscent of a New York City bistro on the shores of La Jolla. Along with a classic Italian dinner menu complete with homemadeRead more
93% recommended
Romantic in San Diego

Jeune et Jolie

$$$$·Contemporary French·
Carlsbad
1,327 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Special Occasion
French charm and chic meets Southern California chill vibes at this stylish Carlsbad eatery. A hearty drinks menu includes an extensive wine, spirits, and custom cocktails list andRead more
97% recommended
Best Service in North San Diego
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King & Queen Cantina - San Diego

$$$$·Mexican·
Little Italy
690 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Special Occasion
  • Fun
King & Queen Cantina gives Little Italy diner a little Latin flair in the heart of Downtwon San Diego. With a happy hour special seven days a week and classic crowd pleasers like HRead more
94% recommended
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Gravity Heights

$$$$·American·
Sorrento Mesa
431 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Good for Groups
  • Great for Lunch
Bites and brews is the name of the game at Gravity Heights. The menu includes a mash up of wood fired pizzas, tacos, burgers, and “munchies” like Crispy Octopus, Duck Liver “Banh MRead more
96% recommended
Good for Groups in San Diego
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