Welcome to the Neighborhood
The heartbeat of every city lives in its downtown, and San Diego is no exception. Located only minutes from the airport, San Diego's thriving urban center offers an abundance of options for dining and entertainment, all easily accessible by foot, car or public transportation. In the historic Gaslamp Quarter, where modern architecture and Victorian-Age buildings stand side-by-side, you'll discover trendy nightclubs, rooftop bars, gastropubs, craft beer haunts and fine dining restaurants lining the streets.
With such a rich culinary scene and active nightlife, finding the right eatery or watering hole can seem challenging. Therefore, the PDMI Team has published a “welcome to the neighborhood” guide to help you experience the local flavors of San Diego.
Limited on time? Too tired to leave the hotel? Want something convenient?
Pendry San Diego has several first-class food and beverage outlets:
Sometimes Locals Know Best.
Here are 15 additional Zagat-rated, uniquely San Diego restaurants located in the renowned Gaslamp Quarter and walkable from Pendry San Diego.
One of the best Italian restaurants in the city is Biga, which specializes in artisanal pizzas and dishes made with house-made pasta. Owner Tae Dicky is known for scouring local farms and markets to find the best, most sustainable and freshest local produce, so expect quality no matter what is ordered.
950 6th Ave. C, San Diego, CA 92101
STK San Diego
High quality chops and seafood are on the menu and a party vibe is a given.
600 F St., San Diego, CA 92101
The Morning After
This bistro and bar serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and bar selections. The Morning After transitions to a sports bar in the evening, becoming part of the energetic and vibrant downtown nightlife scene. The evening menu features an array of bar bites.
531 F St., San Diego, CA 92101
Tocaya - San Diego
The Los Angeles-based Mexican chain has hit downtown San Diego. Regulars love the variety of bowls, which are ideal for a grab-on-the-go lunch.
755 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
Pushkin Russian Restaurant
One of San Diego’s only destinations for Russian food, Pushkin serves up quality borscht, pelmeni, Armenian dishes like grilled salad, and a hearty selection of specialty vodkas.
750 Sixth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
Osteria Panevino is one of the best quality Italian restaurants in downtown San Diego. The fresh pasta and osso buco are not to be missed. A bonus: gluten-free options.
722 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
Dinner and a movie? Theatre Box features a top-of-the-line viewing experience complete with a full dinner and snack menu alongside craft cocktails and other sweet treats. For a full sit-down experience, hit the on-site Sugar American Brasserie.
701 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
The Butcher's Cut
The Butcher’s Cut features prime cuts and a meat locker that is able to be viewed by the public.
644 Fifth Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101
The Lion's Share
In-house charcuterie, one of the best cocktail lists in San Diego, and less common meat options, like wild boar, are what The Lion’s Share is known for. Think of it as a quirky (in the best way) gastropub — and one that offers one of the best dining and drinking experiences in the city.
629 Kettner Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101
Tacos el Cabron
Tacos El Cabron was opened by an Argentinian who had spent five years living in Tijuana eating and loving tacos before opening up shop in San Diego. Favorites include anything with shrimp — be it a shrimp taco or a surf-and-turf with carne asada. For vegetarians, the portobello taco is a hit. The adobada is also popular, as is the classic carne asada.
532 Fourth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
A city-wide destination for breakfast, Cafe 222 is particularly known for its ever-changing specials — particularly its pancakes.
222 Island Ave., San Diego, CA 92101
With a rooftop bar and an ever-changing menu, Jsix in the Kimpton Solamar is one of the Gaslamp’s best dining options. Executive chef Anthony Sinsay is known for introducing Filipino flavors to some of the dishes, providing an extra dose of creativity in the menu.
616 J St., San Diego, CA 92101
The Oceanaire Seafood Room
For an upscale, special occasion seafood dinner, The Oceanaire Seafood Room is a solid bet. It doesn’t win major points for creativity, but it can be counted on for quality and well-executed classic seafood dishes with a small twist.
400 J St., San Diego, CA 92101
WhipHand brings comfort food and creative cocktails to J Street.
935 J St., San Diego, CA 92101
Water Grill San Diego
Water Grill specializes in plates of the freshest catch. A stacked raw bar and creative mains complement an ever-changing specials menu.
615 J St., San Diego, CA 92101
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous and open to taking a 5-minute taxi, Lyft, or Uber ride, we encourage you to explore Little Italy – rich in culture and cuisine.
If you're looking for some authentic local flavor, immerse yourself in San Diego's Little Italy district, just north of downtown, where you can grab a slice of pizza or an espresso and biscotti from a local café, or dine at one of the celebrity chef restaurants located on bustling Kettner Boulevard – known as "Top Chef Alley."
Herb & Wood
An award-winning restaurant by celebrity Chef Brian Malarkey that is known for wood fire cookery focusing on basic rustic preparations that rely on the quality of the ingredients.
Juniper & Ivy
Led by "Top Chef: All-Stars" winner Richard Blais and the team at Juniper Hospitality, the popular modern American restaurant sits in a converted 1920s sawtooth warehouse. Blais' innovative approach to cooking and cuisine is a hit with locals.
The menu features progressive American cuisine using seasonal ingredients and is also influenced by Chef Brian Redzikowski's classic French culinary training and passion for Asian flavors and ingredients. The menu boasts some of the most innovative entrees in San Diego.
The Crack Shack
Another of Chef Richard Blais' creations. It's comfort food thanks to locally-raised, free-range, antibiotic-free chicken, and creative recipes.
Bencotto Italian Kitchen
Voted Best Italian Restaurant by San Diego Magazine four years in a row, Bencotto puts a unique spin on traditional Italian cuisine or regional specialties by offering dishes designed to share. The atmosphere is contemporary though mixed with the feel of an Old World kitchen.
Looking for some after-hours fun? The Gaslamp Quarter houses just about every kind of venue you can think of. We’ve pulled a few fun selections together for you here.
Fun, high-energy downtown restaurant and bar that celebrates the richness of American culture through its appetizing and progressive bar fare. Both the restaurant philosophy and menu offerings draw heavily from two barroom staples: beer and bourbon.
Downtown restaurant and bar that channels Cuba’s heyday, when the island became a playground for Americans to escape prohibition and hit a happening bar scene. Enjoy live music every Thursday through Saturday evenings!
Pops Liquor Cabinet
With a capacity of only 12, Pop’s Liquor Cabinet isn’t just the smallest bar in San Diego, it’s a throwback to a grand time when phones were actually used for calling, cocktail hour was a daily event, and opening a bottle of bourbon was Pop’s cure for your toothache.
Prohibition Liquor Bar
Here at the original San Diego speakeasy bar, Prohibition, we go unseen by most people in our underground, secret bar. Be mindful of their strict dress codes.
A cozy New York-style nightclub and lounge with a glamorous yet intimate
feel. Choose your party pleasure at the “Gaslamp’s Favorite Lounge”: a late night on the dance floor with unexpected champagne showers and sparkling chaos, or a classy rendezvous complete with delicious bites and libations.
The Shout! House – Dueling Pianos
It’s the greatest music hits of all time combined with great showmanship, energy, and comedy. Watching the people, watch the people … it’s worth the price of admission alone!
Downtown San Diego’s original line-dancin’, boot-stompin’, mechanical bull-ridin’ entertainment venue that’s a little bit Country, a little bit Rock-n-Roll and a whole lot of unique FUN!
The Whiskey House
The Gaslamp’s premier whiskey bar. The Whiskey House, featuring over 2,800 whiskeys, craft cocktails, 20 international draft beers, an eclectic wine list and a delectable menu of house-made fare.
Vin de Syrah Wine Parlor
Quirky decor plus DJs and live music in this hip, hidden lounge serving wine, cocktails, and small bites.
The Nolen Rooftop Bar
The Nolen is a destination rooftop bar and lounge that honors modern, timeless cocktails and a renewed spirit of community.
Cuban Cigar Factory
Happening lounge serving global wines and microbrews, offering hand-rolled premium and basic cigars.
Amazing live music from the country's most talented musicians playing your favorite songs to keep the dance floor rockin' until last call! San Diego's friendliest bartenders serve up drinks behind the bar including $5 shots of Jameson and Fireball all day, every day!
An in-your-face honky-tonk bar with a sexy edge, Moonshine Flats features live music, line dancing, and DJs spinning top country, rock and pop music.
Swanky speakeasy tucked behind a secret door in The Neighborhood eatery that serves incredible craft cocktails. Reservations recommended. Visit Website
Trailer Park After Dark
Subterranean dive bar serving American comfort fare and beer amid funky trailer park-themed decor.
Trendy tiki bar located in Craft & Commerce, serving strong drinks in tropical surroundings.
Located in the heart of the Gaslamp, Atomic explodes with an amazing sound and light show. Atomic offers three unique levels that will give you an experience like no other.
Patrick’s Gaslamp Pub
Circa-1933 haunt presents live blues bands every night, plus happy hour, in a welcoming setting.
The Tipsy Crow
Historic tri-level hangout serves pub grub and signature drinks alongside games, comedy, and live music.
The Smoking Gun
Urban setting and southern-influenced dishes draw industry friends, restauranteurs, and tourists from all over. Grab a drink, enjoy the music, and try your hand at ping pong.