Gaslamp Quarter/Downtown/Little Italy
Rock ‘n’ roll glamour at the Hard Rock Hotel; two nightspots offer different vibes, from the street-level 207 lounge to the rooftop Float, featuring bottle service in poolside cabanas. Hard Rock Hotel, 207 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.702.3000.
Cathedral-inspired décor, complete with a mural of Jesus behind the bar, and theatrical elements—including aerial performers and state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems. 905 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.780.3606.
Campy, Asian-inspired restaurant/nightclub serves cocktails, punch bowls and an extensive sake list, while big-name DJs get the dance floor going on weekends. 526 Market St., Gaslamp, 619.677.2264.
Choose from 30 beers on tap from local microbreweries at this casual-cool bar, featuring Ginger’s cocktail lounge below ground. 600 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.255.7373.
Urban bar in a cool, renovated warehouse near the ballpark serves brick-oven pizzas. 410 10th Ave., East Village, 619.531.8869
This spacious, light-filled spot features vintage Prohibition-inspired design accents plus pub grub, flat-screen TVs and more. 804 Market St., East Village, 619.794.BOOT.
Bub’s at the Ballpark
his super-casual East Village sports bar boasts flat screens at every turn so you’ll never miss a game, no matter the sport. Great beer selection and comfort food-style bar menu, plus salads and wraps. 715 J St., East Village, 619.546.0815.
Small but legendary rock club has hosted superstars like Nirvana and The Black Keys on their way up. Live music nightly. 2501 Kettner Blvd., Midtown, 619.232.4355.
Craft + Commerce
This cozy watering hole features reclaimed wood ceilings, a library (with real books!) and craft cocktails by the city’s top mixologists. Prepare to wait for a table on weekends.675 W. Beech St., Little Italy, 619.269.2202.
East Village Tavern & Bowl
This lively sports bar and bowling alley near Petco Park offers cocktails, darts and pool. Fun bar menu. 950 Market St., East Village, 619.677.BOWL.
Indoor/outdoor Mexican eatery and cantina features unique under-the-flight-path location. 2400 India St., Little Italy, 619.685.3881.
Hip downtown bar boasts retro-clad mixologists, couture cocktails and DJs. 1030 Broadway, East Village, 619.237.0550.
Gaslamp Irish pub has excellent fish ‘n’ chips, frothy pints and patio seating, plus live entertainment select evenings. 544 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.232.9840.
Ambiance-changing dance club from the design team behind Sidebar and other venues. 500 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.232.8100.
Nightclub and restaurant serves California cuisine and showcases live entertainment nightly. A Gaslamp staple. 618 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.238.2389.
House of Blues
Live rock, blues and pop music, plus Sunday gospel brunch. Regular mix of national and regional acts. Call for current shows. 1055 Fifth Ave., downtown, 619.299.2583.
Lively venue features country-western line dancing, live music and DJs; plus a full bar and kitchen. 344 Seventh Ave., East Village, 619.255.7625.
The Music Box
Three-story live music venue boasts superior sound and lighting systems, multilevel V.I.P. areas, bar/lounge and upscale dining. 1337 India St., Little Italy, 619.795.1337.
Named after landscape architect and San Diego visionary John Nolen (1869-1937), this stylish, 14th-floor rooftop bar features skyline views, lounge seating, a fire pit and barrel-aged, Craftsman-era cocktails and a small menu of upscale snacks. 453 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.796.6536.
The city’s most posh nightlife experience includes indoor/outdoor spaces, interactive features, state-of-the-art technology and a superstar lineup of live DJs and electronic artists. F-Sa (nightly). 454 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.544.9500.
This posh restaurant and nightclub delivers an unparalleled nightlife experience—with a 20,000-square-foot dance space accessed via a stone tunnel. 615 Broadway, downtown, 619.727.6789.
Surprises at this “elevated dive bar” include live art, a vintage photo booth, private champagne parlor and an emphasis on Scotch and rye. 789 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.501.7675.
Vegas-worthy club in the Andaz Hotel boasts sexy décor and a massive, recently renovated rooftop bar with panoramic downtown views. 600 F St., Gaslamp, 619.814.2055.
The Shout House
Dueling pianos played by impossible-to-stump musicians. Music ranges from classic rock to contemporary hits. 655 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.231.6700. theshouthouse.com
DJs, dancing and bottle service at this sexy, modern downtown lounge. Watch out for swinging bird cages and nude portraits lining the walls. 536 Market St., Gaslamp, 619.696.0946.
The Tilted Kilt
Scottish-themed pub near the ballpark has 30 plasma TVs and pretty barmaids serving up 24 international brews. 310 10th Ave., East Village, 619.814.5458.
A stylish neighborhood bar with three levels, pool tables, shuffleboard and trivia. Menu features pub grub, craft beer and signature cocktails. 770 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.338.9300.
Vin de Syrah
Alice in Wonderland-themed nightspot located below street level features whimsical, eye-popping décor, live music, light bites, great wine selection and a full bar. 901 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp, 619.234.4166.
Beautiful people to go along with the artistic sushi and Asian fusion fare; plus a full bar. Thursday nights are popular for the singles crowd. 8960 University Center Lane, UTC, 858.450.3355.
The Comedy Store
It’s stand-up comedy at its funniest at this cozy entertainment venue in the heart of town, featuring both up-and-coming and headlining comedians who tour nationally. 916 Pearl St., La Jolla, 858.454.9176.
George’s Level 2
The new second-level bar at George’s at the Cove boasts jaw-dropping ocean and cove views; plus craft cocktails that focus on the classics with a twist. 1250 Prospect St., La Jolla, 858.454.4244.
The Public House
This cozy pub inside a renovated bungalow knows its beer—serving specialty ales from all over the world and creative burgers. 830 Kline St., La Jolla, 858.551.9210.
North County’s premier live music venue with killer local and touring acts in a semi-intimate and relaxed setting. 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach, 858.481.8140.
Cardiff Beach Bar at Tower 13
Casual beach haunt features live music, healthier bar fare and ocean views. 2633 S. Coast Hwy. 101, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, 760.635.1200.
Club M at the Grand Del Mar
Chic bar/dance club features live music and guest DJs on Friday and Saturday nights. Dress to impress, as North County’s socialites are out in full force. 5300 Grand Del Mar Court, Carmel Valley, 858.314.2700.
Coyote Bar & Grill
Locals love its cool live music and hot fire pits; plus dancing and karaoke. Indoor/outdoor spot offers casual ambiance and a view. 300 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, 760.729.4695.
Lively singles vibe and tasty Mexican food served up on this restaurant’s bustling patio. 1342 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, 858.792.6551.
A favorite of sports fans and locals. Choose between the sports bar and the nightclub. Friday and Saturday nights are popular for Del Mar socialites. 225 W. 15th St., Del Mar, 858.350.3735.
Enjoy craft beer, stiff drinks, live music and DJs at this Wild West-inspired bar located just a mile away from the racetrack. 123 W. Plaza St., Solana Beach, 858.755.5007.
San Diego Beerworks
Sample dozens of local craft beers—from lighter lagers to hoppy IPAs—at this tap room and store where exploration is highly encouraged. 437 S. Highway 101, Suite 107, Solana Beach, 858.353.7174.
710 Beach Club
Steps from the beach, this live music venue has everything from rock to hip-hop. 710 Garnet Ave., Pacific Beach, 858.483.7844.
Humphreys Backstage Lounge
Live jazz and blues along with dancing. A longtime favorite located right on the water. 2241 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island, 619.224.3577.
Tower 23 Hotel’s hip bar and lounge overlooks the Pacific Ocean and has a variety of cocktails, beer, wine and a raw bar. 4551 Ocean Blvd., Pacific Beach, 858.270.5736. www.jrdn.com
Pacific Beach Shore Club
A true beach bar just steps from the sand, this upstairs bungalow is known for action sports décor, beach views, tasty pub grub and schooners of beer. 4343 Ocean Blvd., Pacific Beach, 858.272.7873.
South Beach Bar & Grill
Just steps away from the ocean, this bar offers a beachy-casual vibe, light fare and drinks. 5059 Newport Ave., Ocean Beach, 619.226.4577.
Turquoise Cafe Bar Europa
Casual, Euro-style wine bar with tapas, cask wines and live music. 873 Turquoise St., Pacific Beach, 858.488.4200.
Wonderland Ocean Pub
The laid-back American restaurant and sports bar serves up burgers, seafood, craft beer, margaritas and views of the beach. 5083 Santa Monica Ave., Ocean Beach, 619.255.3358.
Blind Lady Ale House
Modern tavern features communal tables, a renowned craft beer list and wood-fired pizzas. 3416 Adams Ave., Normal Heights, 619.255.2491.
The Brew Project
Craft beer-centric bar, restaurant and bottle shop offers regional microbrews, wine, cold-brew coffee and full cocktail bar. 3683 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest, 619.795.7890.
Park & Rec
Casual-cool neighborhood bar and lounge features a charming courtyard and back patio, old-fashioned cocktails, and games such as Ping-Pong and shuffleboard. 4612 Park Blvd., University Heights, 619.795.9700.
Retro-style, apothecary-inspired bar and atrium offers the city’s best craft cocktails; plus microbrews. 4696 30th St., Normal Heights, 619.677.3784.
The Regal Beagle
Quirky and fun tavern is known for local craft beer, sausages, sandwiches and burgers. 3659 India St., #101, Midtown, 619.297.2337.
Stylish whiskey lounge outfitted with dark, wood-lined interiors showcases an extensive bourbon menu. 3054 University Ave., North Park, 619.269.8820.
Shakespeare Pub & Grille
UK-inspired pub is great for watching soccer games; plus traditional British fare, beer, an outdoor patio and an excellent whiskey selection. 3701 India St., Midtown, 619.299.0230.
Casual pub features craft brews, picnic tables and wood-fired sandwiches. 3025 El Cajon Blvd., North Park, 619.487.0401.
Premier beer bar boasts 56 beers on tap and 300 bottled selections, focusing on Belgian imports and American craft brews. 4026 30th St., North Park, 619.282.0456.
Triple Crown Pub
Casual pub is outfitted with TVs, patio space and games such as table tennis, shuffleboard and foosball. 3221 Adams Ave., Normal Heights, 619.281.0263.
Urban Mo’s Bar & Grill
Bustling LGBT-friendly hotspot has a regularly packed dance floor, festive theme nights and an outdoor patio. 308 University Ave., Hillcrest, 619.491.0400.
West Coast Tavern
This former movie theater is now an urban-cool casual spot for cocktails, happy hour and upscale comfort food. 2895 University Ave., North Park, 619.295.1688.
A true locals’ bar, it has a laid-back house party vibe, with regular events and themed nights; plus local bands and DJs. 2236 Fern St., South Park, 619.284.6784.