Although San Diego is most commonly known for its miles of beaches, beautiful properties and surf perfect waves, this sunny city has more to offer than just good weather. Being the second largest city in California, San Diego is a frequent tourist destination. With 70 miles of coastline and a range of activities, this city offers something for almost everyone. Whether you’re visiting for the day or making a weekend trip out of it, this relaxing So-Cal sensation is the perfect spot to cool down and enjoy a cocktail. With that being said, I’ve put together some of my favorite bar spots where you can try out a refreshing cocktail or sip on some wine.
First Stop: Craft and Commerce
Located less than a mile away, in the heart of Little Italy, Craft and Commerce was our first stop of the day. The drinking tour began in the late morning as we stopped here for brunch but proceeded to enjoy the cocktails. The interior opens to the outdoor seating and the décor is eclectic with writings on the wall and bookshelves filled with books. With a great cocktail list, you can head straight to the bar, but, based on the brunch, I promise that the food is well worth it as well and luckily Craft and Commerce serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and keeps on cooking until 11pm.
Craft and Commerce
675 W Beech St (between India St & Kettner Blvd)
San Diego, CA, 92101
Second Stop: Noble Experiment
As the sun went down we headed over to this hidden gem located in downtown San Diego. An intimate bar with a Prohibition-era theme, Noble Experiment is tucked behind the restaurant Neighborhood. Once you enter through the stacked kegs (which are actually a door), you enter the dark, small bar with wall full of skulls. There are a few booths along one side but we sat at the bar and ordered the “Dealer’s Choice” which meant we were in the hands of the bartender for our drink choices. After describing our flavor preferences, our bartender mixed up some tasty classics. Due to the size of the bar, and its popularity, reservations are suggested. Noble Experiment is open Tue-Sun from 7pm-2am.
777 G St (between 7th Ave & California St)
San Diego, CA 92101
Third Stop: El Dorado Cocktail Lounge
Just a few blocks away on foot from The Noble Experiment, we stopped at the western themed El Dorado Cocktail Lounge. El Dorado is a large space and is more of a dance club. However, despite the loud music, crowds and high volume service, the bar has a great whisky and rye menu and even has Mule service (at the reserved tables). Happy hour is until 9pm during which seasonal cocktails are a whopping $5 bucks.
El Dorado Cocktail Lounge
1030 Broadway (between 10th & 11th Ave)
San Diego, CA, 92101
Fourth Stop: Polite Provisions
Our final stop for the night was at Polite Provisions in University Heights, a 10 minute drive north of downtown San Diego. With over 50 types of bitters and a 46-tap system that pours everything from craft beer and craft sodas to select spirits and draft cocktails, Erick Castro and his talented bar team offer the most ambitious and sophisticated cocktail program in San Diego.
4696 30th Ave (between Madison Ave & Adams Ave)
San Diego, CA, 92116