Best places to grab a cocktail in San Diego
If there is one thing I absolutely love about San Diego, it’s that there are plenty of amazing places to grab a cocktail! You know I’m a sucker for a good drink. From a good place to catch a sunset, the hipster under the radar bars to the IG worthy photogenic spots. There’s a place for everyone here and so much to explore. I’m a big lover of a good craft cocktail and an even bigger lover of an aesthetically pleasing place. Combine them both and you’ve got yourself a loyal customer that will always be stopping by!
Here are the best places to grab a cocktail in San Diego:
If you follow me on IG stories you know I’m constantly going to Polite Provisions. If I was on a sitcom, this would basically be my “central perk” meet up spot to my Friends crew. That’s why this is the first on my list of best places to grab a cocktail in San Diego. Happy hour is the best time to go. Especially on a beautiful day! It tends to get REALLY crowded at night. They have the prettiest natural light and big wide windows that open up to let the fresh breeze in. The decor is stunning too! Think marble countertops, velvet cushioned tufted seats, bronze statues, and plants to accentuate it all. Frank Favorite: The Fortunate Son (Tequila + Mezcal + blanco Sherry + grapes + lemon)
Ironside is in one of my favorite neighborhoods in San Diego, Little Italy. Just like Polite Provisions, this place is also beautiful inside (they are within the same company). They have beautiful custom stools and a 14-foot custom bar shelf that covers the whole bar wall. They carry almost everything! The full wall of pirana fish heads is pretty rad and just all the decor in general. I love that I can go here and eat a fresh shrimp cocktail and seafood while also getting my drink on. The food is delicious and drinks on point. Love going here on dates with John or for a drink with a girlfriend. Frank Favorite: Love their Aperol Spritz!
If you’re in the mood for Mexican food and tequila, this is the place! It feels like you walked into a really tiny hidden cantina in Mexico. They have the best selection of tequilas and mezcals plus delicious street tacos to go along with it. These are not your typical touristy margaritas they serve here though. Nope. This is the real deal and they are strong, so tread lightly. This place is tiny and fills up quickly. I love to go here for a quick drink with one or two friends. Pro Tip: Go for happy hour from 12-6 pm (tues-fri) and get a $5 Marg!
Sycamore Den is always a good idea with its 1970s inspired vibe. It’s mostly filled with 25-35-year-old hipsters that just want to have a chill but fun casual time. The small menu has some solid and delicious cocktails that are hard to beat. If Ron Burgundy had a spot, this would have been his jam (before he was famous). They have all the classics here like Aperol Spritz, Gin Ricky, Mojito and more. Frank Favorite: Bourbon Buck (Bourbon, Fresh Lime, Ginger Syrup, Soda Water)
This restaurant has good vegan food, but I mostly go to Kindred to enjoy a good cocktail in a pretty environment. This place has a little edge that I love. For instance, they always play heavy metal and the place has a bit of a punk rock vibe with a feminine Parisian flair. The cocktails here are fun and delicious. Pro Tip: I normally just tell the bartender what I’m into and try out whatever they suggest! I’ve never been disappointed.
You & Yours Distilling Co:
You & Yours is an urban destination distillery specializing in vodka and gin. You can tour their distillery, have a tasting or just chill and enjoy the chic interior and a good craft cocktail. The thing I love about this place the most is how relaxed it is. It’s always easy for me to find parking and the people that work here are always welcoming. Frank Favorite: If you’re in the mood for something tropical try the Island Hopper.
I love The Nolen rooftop bar because of their most perfect view and the ambiance. You can see all the way to the Coronado bridge and all of downtown. This is my favorite place to grab a drink with a group of friends and watch the sunset. Such a good Summer spot! Champagne and a sunset anyone? The view of San Diego alone gets this spot on this list of best places to grab a cocktail. Pro Tip: Try and snatch the corner seat on the far end for the best spot in the house. When you walk out the elevator, turn right and go straight to that corner (pictured above).
Moniker General is a coffee shop that serves cocktails as well. I love the idea that I can go to work here early afternoon and by 5 o’clock I can switch from coffee to drinks (if I feel like it). This place is beautiful inside too with its open wall to ceilings doors and minimal decor. They also have the cutest little boutique shop offering artisanal home goods and more. Basically, you can get coffee, go shopping and grab a cocktail all in the same place. Full disclosure: the cocktails are good, but I like this place more for the vibe and ambiance as their cocktail menu is smaller.
Whats your favorite place to grab a drink in San Diego?? Share below!