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Diners' Choice: Lively restaurants in San Diego

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OpenTable
Updated July 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants that have the most vibrant bar scenes in San Diego? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!


A photo of Tavern restaurant
4.8
4.8 (744)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Coronado
About the restaurant
Open for Lunch and Dinner. Reservations for Lunch are not accepted, however we do accept walk-ins!
Top review
JulieS
Dined on Jul 8, 2024
Super nice servers and awesome food. Was there for lunch and returned the following day for dinner.
A photo of Noble Experiment restaurant
4.8
4.8 (313)
$30 and under
American
Downtown
About the restaurant
Noble Experiment is a small, intimate cocktail bar located behind a secret door inside of Neighborhood restaurant at 777 G St. San Diego, CA 92101. Reservations for 4 or less are accepted as early as two weeks in advance. Large party reservations can be made through our reservations team at info@nobleexperimentsd.com. Walk-ins are welcome based upon availability.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 1 day ago
Amazing drinks, ambiance and great service! They were running late with our reservation, but they took care of us in a great way!
A photo of Fortunate Son restaurant
4.8
4.8 (155)
$30 and under
Chinese
North Park
About the restaurant
“Among my chef friends and the epicurean elites, aka “foodies”, the conversation around great Chinese food was always centered around authenticity, with classic American Chinese takeout dishes not considered authentic. But, having grown up in the Chinese American restaurant my parents have worked at for the past 25 years, I’ve always seen it as a by-product of enormous creativity and ingenuity of Chinese Immigrants. They adapted to what was available to them in the early 20th century and created some of the most iconic dishes in the history of this country,
Top review
SuzannahC
Dined 2 days ago
Fortunate Son did not disappoint! A beautiful spot - and service was excellent!
A photo of Mona Lisa Cocktails & Cuisine restaurant
4.8
4.8 (75)
$50 and over
Italian
El Centro
About the restaurant
Step into Mona Lisa, an opulent haven of Italian cuisine. Discover a culinary masterpiece where prime steaks are elevated to perfection, accompanied by meticulously curated sides that redefine indulgence. Our open bar offers an endless selection of finely crafted cocktails and wines, enhancing every moment. With an ambiance of refined luxury, Mona Lisa invites you to savor the art of flavor in every bite of our prime steaks, making your dining experience unforgettable.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 3 days ago
Everything was awesome! Food, people, music. My BF loved his birthday celebration there!
A photo of Craft Bar Kamon restaurant
4.8
4.8 (141)
$31 to $50
Japanese
Downtown
About the restaurant
"Taisho Roman craft cocktail bar in the heart of East Village San Diego that reflects the period in Japan when traditionalism and modernism first converged. We are committed to offer the unique and best craft cocktails!
**To make a reservation for a party of 6 or more, please contact us through email at info@barkamon.com
Please refrain from booking multiple tables as we most likely won't be able to accommodate to seat together.

**Please be aware that table or bar seating selection is just a request and it is not a confirmation. We will try our best to accommodate but due to limited seating availability, you may be seated to a different section from what you have requested at the reservation.

Top review
jcheslervip
Dined on Jul 6, 2024
An incredible one of a kind experience! You’ll feel like you discovered a secret bar on a Tokyo side street. Every cocktail is unique and excellent, and the service is exceptional. Couldn’t recommend this place more highly
A photo of Kettner Exchange restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1223)
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
Little Italy
About the restaurant
Kettner Exchange boasts two levels of indoor/outdoor drinking and dining and Little Italy’s only rooftop patio with spanning harbor views. We feature Progressive American cuisine from critically acclaimed Executive Chef Brian Redzikowski. In 2019, Kettner Exchange was named to Michelin Guide's prestigious Bib Gourmand list. Kettner Exchange has proudly maintained this award every year thereafter. Originally introduced in 1997, the Bib Gourmand category highlights restaurants that serve high-quality meals which include two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less.


Top review
Anniervip
Dined 3 days ago
Every time we come here we are blown away by flavor! I love being able to share small plates and talk about how delicious it all is. Service is always amazing, our server Zach made us laugh and we felt taken care of. Cocktails are on point and you can tell the bar staff focus on intentionality in the ingredients. Love it all!
A photo of Blanco Cocina + Cantina – Fashion Valley restaurant
4.7
4.7 (541)
$30 and under
Mexican
Mission Valley
About the restaurant
Blanco is more than your typical Mexican restaurant, it‘s an escape from the ordinary, a happy hour hang out, a place to sit back, recharge and party. It’s a vacation in your neighborhood that helps you relax with your favorite people. For food, margaritas, and good times, Blanco is the perfect place to find your bliss.
Top review
Schnazzyvip
Dined on Jul 10, 2024
This place is fantastic! The food is always very good, the service was great and the drinks were strong!
A photo of Gravity Heights Sorrento Valley restaurant
4.7
4.7 (1151)
$30 and under
American
Sorrento Mesa
About the restaurant
We’re not out to take the San Diego beer scene by storm or reinvent the wheel because the truth is, there’s no shortage of good breweries in San Diego. Instead, our aim is to pair that good beer with the same delicious food, exceptional service and genuine hospitality we’re known for so you never have to compromise one for the other again. Tucked away in Sorrento mesa, our 12,000 square foot brewpub includes a full service restaurant, an event space, an expansive and lush outdoor beer garden and a pretty stellar team to make sure you always have good food in your mouth and a solid beer in your hand.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
Amazing food great service - we loved the pirogies and cabbage absolutely fabulous food
A photo of Barrel & Board Social restaurant
4.6
4.6 (313)
$31 to $50
Californian
Hillcrest
About the restaurant
A New Woman-Forward Intimate Cocktail & Food Experience is Here!
Welcome to Hillcrest’s chicest spot for craft cocktails, barrel-aged potables, and chef-inspired shareable boards. An upscale LGBTQ+ bar, restaurant & event space brought to you by the Mo’s Universe Group!
Named San Diego's Top 10 Hottest Cocktail spots by EATER, as well as Open Table's Top 10 DINERS CHOICE Winner!

Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
Wonderful experience for a business networking dinner. Everyone loved it! Staff was amazing and food delicious.
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