Neighborhood Guide to the Best Drinks in San Diego

San Diego may have earned its reputation as a “foodie” town plate by plate. But as any dedicated gourmand knows, even the finest of fine dining isn’t complete without a signature cocktail to complete the experience. So if you’re looking for an insider’s guide to the best drinks in San Diego, you’ve come to the right place. 

Here’s what you should be drinking in every neighborhood in the city.  

Mission Bay 

Mission Bay is an easygoing neighborhood. Visitors to our backyard will discover a close partnership of hotels, restaurants, watersports recreation and fishing spots all adjacent to our beachside communities. Here — at our own on-site Firefly Eatery & Bar — we’re big on featuring local ingredients, as well as highlighting local craft beers and wines. When visiting the Firefly, we recommend trying one of our locally brewed San Diego craft beers (such as Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin) to really get into the area’s laid-back waterfront flavor. Feel the vibe of our tight-knit community at Discover Mission Bay!  


Pacific Beach (3.1 miles away)

A couple of Girls enjoying drinks at pacific beach in San Diego

(Photo: @pbshoreclub)

Looking to keep the party going all day and night? Pacific Beach is the place to be! This high-energy neighborhood is known for its spectacular location with fantastic beach-side bars and restaurants. But you came for the beverages! So don’t drop the (beach) ball — go for the Vodka Red Bull Slushy from PB Shore Club. 


Ocean Beach (2.5 miles away)

(Photo: @thc1502)

Looking for the perfect afternoon drink in OB? Head into Sunshine Company Saloon just about sunset and order an ice-cold pitcher of beer right before happy hour ends. Then, take it up to their rooftop bar and drink it in along with the sunset (and the always-present fun local crew)! Before you leave the area, make sure you stop at The Holding Company for a shot of their famous Peanut Butter Whiskey.


North Park (9.3 miles away)

(Photo: @sevengrandsd)

The Seven Grand whiskey bar in this trendy hipster area offers such a dizzying array of whiskies, you may have trouble narrowing it down. So just pick a favorite, and ask for a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned. That may seem like an easy choice, but the experienced mixologists here can turn even a simple order into a work of art.  


South Park (8.7 miles away)

(Photo: @barkindred)

Head to South Park early to grab a bite, swing through a local record shop or three and soak up the neighborhood vibe. Then pop over to Station Tavern. Their craft beer selection that’s the envy of most other bars in the city, so they’ll have your brew. If you’re feeling adventurous, head over to Kindred and ask for a Spinal Tap, Death Rider or White Noise. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you. 


Hillcrest (5.5 miles away)

(Photo: @gossipgrill_)

Hillcrest undeniably has the best brunch culture in the city, so just about anywhere you go is going to have a stellar Mimosa, Screwdriver or Bellini. We recommend stopping by Gossip Grill for a fun LGBTQ environment known for day drinking and drag brunches. For a more subdued cocktail-lounge experience, pay a visit to Martini’s, and get ready to relax.  


Gaslamp Quarter (7.7 miles away)

(Photo: @doubledeucesd)

Truth be told, it’s tough to find a BAD beverage in the epicenter for the city’s nightlife. Still, there are standouts. The Moscow Mules at the Double Deuce are the stuff of legend, so make sure you grab one during your visit. 


La Jolla (5.9 miles away)

(Photo: @dukeslajolla)

La Jolla is one of the area’s more upscale communities. As a beachside neighborhood with refined tastes, you’ll find no shortage of delicious cocktails to enjoy along with stunning ocean views. The Southside at George’s at the Cove is a playful take on a Mojito with gin, lemon, mint and a hint of sweetness. And the Honi Honi at Duke’s is like a Mai Tai that went to college.


Little Italy (6.1 miles)

(Photo: @bornandraisedstk)

Little Italy is one of the most romantic San Diego neighborhoods. It’s ideal for a date night, or anyone looking to enjoy views of the city with fantastic food or beverages. To fully capture the feeling of this area, we suggest grabbing a glass of wine or sangria at one of the local Italian restaurants. As you can imagine, the wine lists in most Little Italy spots are absolutely outstanding. If you’re in the mood to sample some exquisite vintages, check out Antica Trattoria, Barbusa, or Vino Carta — which offers more than 400 wines at any given time. We’d also recommend checking out a special craft cocktail at local mixology hotspots Born and Raised, or Craft & Commerce.


Old Town (4.4 miles away)

(Photo: @cafecoyoteoldtown)

As the city’s center for Mexican culture, Old Town is brimming with fantastic restaurants, most of which also serve Margaritas, Reposados, Tequilas and Daiquiris on a world-class level. Seriously, just pick someplace, and wander in. It’s impossible to go wrong. 


Make The Dana Your Last Stop

When the bar-hopping draws to a close, you’ll be glad you reserved your stay with us. Our comfortable accommodations, central location, and friendly amenities make us the ideal home base for your exploration. Take a look at our Special Offers page — including our Brew Hop Package that bundles in a local brewery tour — and book your stay.