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
589 reviews
  • Fun
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Good for a Date
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
90% recommended
Late Night Find in San Diego
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Born & Raised

$$$$·Steakhouse·
Little Italy
2,081 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for a Date
  • Good for Anniversaries
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
93% recommended
Best Service in San Diego
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Sugar Factory American Brasserie - Theatre Box

$$$$·American·
Downtown / Gaslamp
990 reviews
  • Good for Birthdays
  • Fun
  • Special Occasion
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
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Cloak + Petal

$$$$·Japanese Speciality·
Little Italy
535 reviews
  • Good for a Date
  • Authentic
  • Romantic
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
90% recommended
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UNION Kitchen & Tap

$$$$·Contemporary American·
Encinitas
638 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
  • Fun
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
95% recommended
Hot Spot in San Diego
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Bang Bang

$$$$·Sushi·
Downtown / Gaslamp
353 reviews
  • Fun
  • Hot Spot
  • Good for Groups
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
92% recommended
Hot Spot in San Diego
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Raised by Wolves

$$$$·Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service·
San Diego
664 reviews
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Good for a Date
  • 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
97% recommended
Late Night Find in Exclusive
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Kairoa Brewing Company

$$$$·Brewery·
University Heights
102 reviews
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Bar Seating
  • Great Beer
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
86% recommended
Great for Lunch in San Diego
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The Lion's Share

$$$$·Wild Game·
Downtown / Gaslamp
770 reviews
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Good for a Date
  • 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
95% recommended
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Le Papagayo

$$$$·American·
Encinitas
998 reviews
  • Live Music
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Casual
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
92% recommended
Hot Spot in San Diego

Beaumont's

$$$$·Contemporary American·
La Jolla
459 reviews
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Casual
  • Bar Seating
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
93% recommended
Hot Spot in San Diego
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Tahona Bar

$$$$·Mexican·
Old Town
185 reviews
  • Handcrafted Cocktails
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
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
93% recommended
Mexican in San Diego
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Solterra Winery and Kitchen

$$$$·Mediterranean·
Encinitas
486 reviews
  • Notable Wine List
  • Good for a Date
  • Tapas
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
84% recommended
Notable Wine List in San Diego
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West Coast Tavern

$$$$·Comfort Food·
North Park
211 reviews
  • Happy Hour
  • Casual
  • Live Music
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
85% recommended
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Dobson's Bar & Restaurant

$$$$·Californian·
Downtown / Gaslamp
953 reviews
  • Pre/post Theatre
  • Bar Seating
  • Good for a Date
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
100% recommended
Californian in San Diego

Urge Gastropub & Common House

$$$$·American·
San Marcos
189 reviews
  • Great Beer
  • Bar Seating
  • Casual
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
90% recommended
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Manhattan of La Jolla

$$$$·Italian·
La Jolla
943 reviews
  • Special Occasion
  • Good for Anniversaries
  • Good for a Date
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
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Jeune et Jolie

$$$$·Contemporary French·
Carlsbad
954 reviews
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
  • Creative Cuisine
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
94% recommended
Best Overall in San Diego
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King & Queen Cantina - San Diego

$$$$·Mexican·
Little Italy
628 reviews
  • Fun
  • Happy Hour
  • Good for Birthdays
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
91% recommended
Mexican in San Diego

Gravity Heights

$$$$·American·
Sorrento Mesa
314 reviews
  • Great Beer
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Casual
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
97% recommended
American in San Diego
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