It’s all about the views—and the drinks—at these stylish new (and new-again) San Diego cocktail bars. Check out these three San Diego cocktail hotspots for delicious drinks and stunning views.
Adapted from “High Spirits” by Sarah Daoust in the Spring 2016 Issue of WHERE San Diego Magazine.
Watch the big game in style at Striders, a turf club-inspired luxury sports lounge offering casual dining, craft beer and cocktails. Guests can place bets on horse races from racetracks around the world—including Del Mar Racetrack’s two seasons in summer and late fall—as well as watch other national worldwide sporting and entertainment events year-round. The 8,200-square-foot, multilevel space houses a signature horseshoe cocktail bar, two outdoor patios, 150 televisions, a casual dining room, and an open kitchen with chef’s tables. The second-floor Turf Club lounge includes the Winner’s Circle Bar, where patrons can wager on horse racing and dine in premium booth seating with 360-degree views of the San Diego Convention Center and downtown. Sample seasonal small plates by Executive Chef Rodrigo Campos, and sip signature suds such as the Striders Pale Ale by Mike Hess Brewing. 100 Harbor Drive, downtown, 619.363.7166. striders.com
Top of the Hyatt
Boasting some of the most dramatic and spectacular ocean and city views in the city, Top of the Hyatt—one of the best San Diego clubs—has undergone a multimillion-dollar facelift to give itself a more youthful glow. Sitting 40 stories above San Diego Bay at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego—the West Coast’s tallest waterfront building—the refurbished space still offers the same jaw-dropping views via gleaming floor-to-ceiling windows. Only now, the heavy, dark wood paneling and lighting that once defined the décor have been replaced with a redesigned bar, sleek high tables and lounge seating, a warm color palette of light woods and cool blues, and soft lighting—all designed by Forrest Perkins. Try one of 12 signature libations on the cocktail menu, and snack on light bar fare such as the crab stack salad served in a Mason jar. Open daily at 3 p.m. 1 Market Place, downtown, 619.232.1234. topofthehyatt.com
It’s a modern-day speakeasy that blends classic and contemporary with nostalgic cocktails and brand-new construction. Welcome to The Nolen, nestled on the 14th-floor rooftop of the new Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Gaslamp. Bluemotif Architecture gave the 2,500-square-foot, open-air space a refined den-like feel—with 6-foot glass walls along the perimeter, two fireplaces, and leather and brass accents. Named after landscape architect and San Diego visionary John Nolen (1869-1937), the bar focuses on spirits-driven, Craftsmen-era cocktails (read: stiff drinks)—with a house-batched barrel-aged program that features rotating spirits aged in oak barrels for at least two months. Choose from a selection of cocktails on draft and “hoptails,” with both local distillers such as Ballast Point and craft distilleries from around the world represented. Oh, and the surrounding downtown views are stunning. 453 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.796.6536. thenolenrooftop.com