Food & Drink

Where to go late-night in San Diego

Published On 12/11/2013 Published On 12/11/2013
BNOYL Late-Night SD
Sara Norris

Sometimes you have to embrace the fact that every awesome night out has to come to an end eventually. Or does it? When you're desperately in need of late-night sustenance, these late-night joints are here for you.

Flickr User D.B. Blas

Turf Supper Club
Golden Hill
One of SD’s oldest cocktail lounges, Turf Supper Club has been around since the 1950s. Food is served until 1a, although it's served raw and you have to do all the work yourself. Simply pick your meat preference and prepare to put your BBQ skills to the test. They have a communal grill where you can cook your entree any way you like it over the open flame.

Sara Norris

Studio Diner
Kearny Mesa
Hidden away in Kearny Mesa next to the only movie/TV studio lot in San Diego, you’ll find one of the best 24-hour spots in town that isn’t a taco shop. In fact, along with all the traditional greasy spoon diner fare you'd expect, they have a whole section of the menu devoted to dishes you’re more likely to find on the other coast, like Maryland crab cakes, lobster rolls, and clam chowder.

Uptown Tavern
If you’re looking for some late-night grub in Hillcrest, head over to Uptown Tavern where you can take advantage of their full menu of locally grown fare until 1a on Fridays and Saturdays -- and chill out around the fireplace on the back patio sipping cocktails and beer flights (and digesting) until 2a.


Mission Hills
They’re serving craft cocktails and other adult beverages in this mid century-style vintage bar until 2a, but the best part is that the kitchen stays fired up until midnight every night for when you need your fix of house-made sausage, mac 'n cheese, hangar steak, and more.

Sara Norris

Blue Ribbon Rustic Kitchen
The same guys from The Craftsman and Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizzeria opened up a new spot in Hillcrest that not only serves food until midnight, they have late-night happy hour deals on their farm-to-table fare like crispy duck wings and house-cured lardo bruschetta (which will NOT cure you of being a lardo), not to mention craft beers and cocktails from 930p-midnight Tuesday through Saturday.

La Puerta
There's no better place in the Gaslamp to burn the midnight oil (!) than La Puerta, where the kitchen doesn't close until 1a and they offer late-night happy hour deals from 10p-2a, which gives you a whole hour to focus on sampling as many of their 100 tequilas and discounted cocktails as you can before last call.

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1. Turf Supper Club 1116 25th St, San Diego, CA 92102 (Golden Hill)

Have you ever been to a spot where you can cook your own steak? If not, get yourself down to the Turf Supper Club (also one of SD's oldest cocktail lounges) to do just that.

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2. Starlite 3175 India St, San Diego, CA 92103 (Little Italy)

This cocktail bar and late-night dining spot satisfies with a seasonal menu that marries American and Mediterranean tastes. The phyllo strudel is glutted with gold potato, artichoke, spinach, onion, and feta, then mortared with layers of pastry that crumble as they make the treacherous journey from plate to mouth. Meanwhile, Starlite's brioche burger gets an extra-rich dose of flavor from a blanket of Gruyere cheese. Reservations are recommended -- especially if you're looking for a seat on the outdoor patio.

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3. Uptown Tavern 1236 University Ave, Hillcrest, CA 92103 (Hillcrest)

This SD location boasts a laid-back, rustic atmosphere with over 20 beers on tap and an outdoor patio where you can mingle in the sun (who doesn't like to mingle?). It's straight-up American with a Southern Californian flair -- no glitz, frills, or anything fussy.

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4. Blue Ribbon Rustic Kitchen 530 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103 (Hillcrest)

Home to craft cocktails and beers, as well as inventive cuisine that utilizes high-quality ingredients, Blue Ribbon Rustic Kitchen is a restaurant in Hillcrest that supports local farms and artisans who subscribe to the principles of sustainability.

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5. La Puerta 560 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101 (Gaslamp Quarter)

Street food-style tacos might be the meal du jour in San Diego, but this sleek place on Fourth Avenue also delivers heartier family recipes in quesadillas, sopas, and specialty burritos, like "The California" made with Arranchera Steak, French fries, and grilled onion. La Puerta offers more than 100 tequilas, plus mezcals, raicillas, sotols, and bacanoras. Just ask the bar staff for guidance -- they'll be happy to school you.

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6. Studio Diner 4701 Ruffin Rd, San Diego, CA 92123 (Kearny Mesa)

Late-night you're always looking for massive portions and good food, and Studio Diner, named for its proximity to San Diego's sole movie/TV studio lot, is there to deliver. They are open 24hrs and serve traditional diner food alongside a dedicated East Coast-style menu that includes crab cakes, clam chowder, and other New England-y seafood treats.



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