When: One Friday a month (it varies, so check its Facebook page ahead of time)
It's hard to improve upon the formula of great food and great comedy, and Westy's knows it. Hosted by Mary Prantil, once a month, this show lets you watch comedians at work up close and personal. Mary, a veteran of the New York scene, books comics that are worth comedy club admission, and are a total steal at “free.” The show is also formatted like a club show, with two feature acts and one headliner, kicking off at 7pm.
When: Every Wednesday night
Cost: Free before 9pm, $5 after
The Wood is not only one of the best independent comedy shows in San Diego, it even gives the comedy clubs a run for their money. And at zero dollars, it won't give you a run for yours. This mid-sized bar, just a stone's throw from the ocean, gets packed. And for good reason -- Josh Nelson books nationally touring comics to headline and cherry picks the very best locals to open. With bulletproof lineups, a raucous atmosphere, and a great location, it's hard to find reasons not to go. Show starts at 9:30pm.
When: Every Tuesday
Having run for years, this is about as consistently fine a show as you can ever hope to see outside of a major club. Held in a small performance space next door to a coffee shop, it hits all the right notes and none of the wrong ones. You'll see the best local talent San Diego has to offer, as well as many of LA's indie luminaries. It's even plausible to catch A-listers like Morgan Murphy, Jerrod Carmichael, and Eddie Pepitone if you come on the right Tuesday. The only downside is that seats are limited -- get there early if you don't want to stand on the sidewalk.
When: Every Monday
This relatively new nightlife spot in Old Town has a lot to offer. Tons of games, a dozen televisions, a list of craft brews half a mile long, and damn good pub fare. It's already a win before you add on free comedy. The ever-industrious Josh Nelson runs a weekly show here to make Monday sting a little bit less. No Kevin Hart pyrotechnics here, just a fun show in a slightly unusual context. Show starts at 8pm.