The holidays sometimes mean you need a drink -- but sometimes the eggnog grandma is pushing isn’t exactly what you had in mind. Whether you’re separated from family this Christmas or looking to separate from family this Christmas, these San Diego drinkeries are ready to welcome you with open arms.
Guarantee yourself a spot on Santa’s naughty list for next year and gamble away that Christmas cash grandma gave you... or win big and send grandma on a cruise. It could go either way.
It’s officially the last day of the year that it’s acceptable to obnoxiously belt out Christmas songs. Get after it.
Depending on how well that family dinner went you can stop by to knock back a few or go all out and tap a whole keg for your table.
With a beer list a mile long there's bound to be something festive on tap. If not, you still have an infinite number of non-holiday brews to choose from.
Get all international this year and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christo with a tequila shot and some chicharrones.
Do up Christmas like a Brit and celebrate Jolly Old Saint Nick out on the piss.
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Sara Norris will be freezing her tush off in New Mexico this Christmas but wishes you all a happy holiday anyway.
1. Sycamore Den3391 Adams Ave, San Diego
2. The Lion's Share629 Kettner Blvd, San Diego
3. Spiked at Harrah's777 Harrah's Rincon Way, San Diego
4. The Lamplighter817 W Washington St, San Diego
5. Sandbar718 Ventura Pl, San Diego
6. 100 Wines Hillcrest1027 University Ave, San Diego
7. Tavern at the Beach1200 Garnet Ave, San Diego
8. High Dive Bar & Grill1801 Morena Blvd, San Diego
9. Hamilton's Tavern1521 30th St, San Diego
10. Wonderland Ocean Pub5083 Santa Monica Ave , San Diego
11. Barleymash600 5th Ave, San Diego
12. Coin-Op3926 30th St, San Diego
13. El Dorado1030 Broadway, San Diego
14. Duck Dive4650 Mission Blvd, San Diego
15. PB Shore Club4315 Ocean Blvd, San Diego
16. Indigo Grill1536 India St, San Diego
17. Shakespeare Pub & Grille3701 India St, San Diego
If the San Diego backdrop of beaches and palm trees has somehow got you itching for a getaway, look no further than Sycamore Den. This masculine, woodsy bar feels like a hidden hunting lodge getaway right on Adams. The '70s vibe comes complete with mounted guns, stone and wood lining, and polished leather booths, and the drinks match with a menu that's got a heavy emphasis on whiskey, rye, and bourbon (in craft cocktails and on their own).
Don't let the taxidermy, mismatched chandeliers, and surrealist paintings distract you from the food and drink at The Lion's Share (easier said than done, we know). This quirky, hunter's den of a restaurant satisfies your carnivorous side with a game-heavy menu of wild boar bolognese, chicken fried quail, elk loin steak, and bison tartare. You don't have to be a totally adventurous eater though to take part in the fun: the menu includes tamer plates like an aged white Cheddar-topped burger, hand-cut truffle fries, and roast chicken. Both the expected and unexpected offerings pair well with whiskey cocktails and if you can handle it, absinthe.
This hip spot in Harrah's Resort and Casino serves edgy takes on classic cocktails and is only a short drive out of the SD.
This award-winning karaoke bar and local institution on Washington Street is the place to go in town for botched renditions of Ace of Base, the best people-watching ever, and strong, cheap cocktails.
Located right on scenic Ventura Beach, Sandbar offers award-winning tacos, along with a selection of tasty burgers and seafood and 66 high-end tequilas and mezcals -- including its own hand-selected barrel of tequila from Herradura Tequila distillery in Guadalajara, Mexico. Best of all, you can imbibe with a view of the sunset over the Pacific.
Mediterranean cuisine with lots of good wine pairings.
Tavern at the Beach can be found in Pacific Beach, offering a great beer selection, taps at the table, and a menu with double battered bacon.
The name of this Bay Park restaurant might hint at an old dive, but its food and drinks offerings, as well as its kid-friendly menu, suggest a more community-friendly vibe. Those who wander in are immediately greeted by hanging Christmas lights and flashing pinball machines that echo the space's energy, all supported by an especially friendly and attentive staff. As if that weren't convincing enough, 20 craft beers on tap and an extensive burger list (the breakfast burger is a hit) will definitely transform you into one of High Dive's regulars.
Housed in the oldest beer- and wine- licensed location in San Diego, Hamilton’s Tavern is a traditional neighborhood drinkery in the heart of South Park. Named after Marine veteran Herman Hamilton who frequents the bar religiously, Hamilton’s is rooted in a commitment to unparalleled hospitality, making you feel more like a friend than a customer, whether you come in for a beer or a meal. In addition to potato concoctions like garlic truffle tots and Blair-style tots smothered in garlic, green onions, bacon, and Cheddar, snacks include Baja chili dogs, hush puppies, buffalo wings, and banh mi sandwiches. The California-centric beer program features Monkey Paw Brewing Co., Russian River Brewing Co., and other local craft breweries.
Overlooking the O.B. Pier, the longest concrete pier on the coast, it's no wonder that Wonderland Ocean Pub is an Ocean Beach favorite. The tavern is named after a short-lived amusement park in the area that was open 1913-1916, but these days all the amusement comes from the a breezy, seafood version of an American pub menu (with coconut calamari and oysters on the half-shell next to fish & chips and short-rib burgers) and classic cocktails garnished with a view.
Barleymash sports a pub-ish vibe with brick walls, a 360-degree stone-topped bar, and mad flatscreens.
Take everything awesome about being a kid in the '80s, add a killer craft cocktail list and 20 craft beers on draft and you’ve got Coin-Op, the arcade/bar combo that just opened up in North Park with pinball and more than a dozen vintage games on rotation like Donkey Kong, Street Fighter, and Frogger. Score!
El Dorado Cocktail Lounge is perhaps as infamous for its cocktails as it is for its rustic aesthetic. Celebrating Western saloons from days of yore, El Dorado bedecks its deep burgundy walls with vintage cowboy scenes in wooden frames and draws your attention to a massive taxidermied white buffalo head (who goes by Otis) suspended above the dance floor. Signature cocktails include the Fetch Me a Cot and the Basic Bitch, but for something even more unusual (but equally delicious), opt for one of El Dorado’s seasonal cocktails.
Duck Dive is an American Gastropub knocking it out of the park in two categories: gourmet food and drinks that include micro-brews and speciality cocktails.
Right on the Pacific Ocean, Shore Club's got great bar fare as well as boozy slushies sure to cool you down on any summer (or any other season) day. There's an open air rooftop patio, and the kitchen is open late night, slinging greasy yet elevated eats (think in terms of sauteed lobster tacos) from 9pm until close. It’s a good thing, too, because you can work up quite the appetite during those Wednesday night goldfish races, which don’t start until 10pm.
This sweet Latin American bistro in the heart of Little Italy serves colorful small plates from land and sea. Can't choose what to get? Try one of their Anticucho boards which give you a little bit of everything (grilled meat, hummus, chimichurri, and flatbread) for $20.