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5 Hip Bars in Downtown San Diego

Updated on July 12, 2013

Hip and Trendy Bars

When it comes to night-life for the Hip and Trendy, San Diego is becoming more popular. The Gaslamp District has hundreds of restaurants and bars for everyone, but a few stick out in my mind. I've made a list of the Top 5 Hip and Trendy Bars in Downtown San Diego - And I recommend you go if you enjoy craft beer, great food, and a fun/relaxing atmosphere.


Neighborhood is a one-of-a-kind bar and restaurant located at 8th and G. It has dozens of the finest craft beers on tap and a delicious menu of appetite-pleasing foods. With an industrial, modern look to it and casual serving style, there's no wonder it's hit for the hip and young crowd. Some of my favorite beers are the Allagash Curieux, Alesmith Speedway Stout, and Mission Hefeweizen (a local favorite).

But don't be fooled - it's not just a place with great beers. The food there costs slightly more than pub food, but is prepared gourmet style and tastes unbelievable. Some great menu picks are the Spicy Cajun Burger and Sweet Potato Fries. If you have room for dessert, try the Bourbon Butter Pecan Milk Shake - it's second to none!

Quality Social

Located at 789 6th Ave in the Gaslamp District, Quality Social is the perfect mix of your local dive bar feel - spruced up with a cool, trendy look. You'll typically find bar-goers between the ages of 21-35 at this hip hotspot. It has a couple bars inside, and seating for dinner and drinks, as well.

The food is pretty amazing - Between the Bacon Wrapped Dates, Duck Wings, and Fresh Jerky (yes, they serve that) you'll be sure to find something new and exciting to eat. Quality Social has all the typical beers, plus plenty of micro-brews such as the Flying Dog Raging Bitch IPA (a local favorite) and the Napa Smith Amber Ale. Full Menu Here

It's a great place to celebrate a birthday (or anything, really) because it has an open, inviting layout with a great staff and a young, hip crowd.


Located on 10th Ave close to Petco Park, Basic is a trendy, warehouse style bar and pizza place. It's the perfect place to go before or after a Padres game to mingle with San Diego's happy people. They offer an assortment of beer, wine and drinks - along with some unheard-of pizza.

In my opinion, they serve an amazing Caipirinha and a Basic Old Fashioned - two outstanding drinks. Of course, they have a full bar with beer and other spirits, as well. You HAVE to try their pizza - don't miss out on it! they serve thin-crust and flatbread style pizza with some interesting toppings - Full Menu Here. A must try is the Mashed - It has mozzarella, mashed potato and bacon. Sounds strange, but it is crazy savory.

I hope you check out Basic and mingle with a great crowd there. It's a bar, restaurant, and even a late night mini dance floor - Perfect for the hip and trendy bar-goer.

Vin de Syrah

Vin de Syrah is located in the heart of the Gaslamp at 5th and E St., underground from the street level. You enter through a big grassy door (you'll see what I mean) and it opens up to an exciting, trendy, lounge/bar. The d├ęcor is a mix between modern bar and lounge, with couches and tables lining the interior.

They serve some light appetizers, such as delicious meat boards and bruschetta, and they also have a full bar with high-end wine and beer. You MUST try the Sangria and some craft beers - All are unbelievable. On weekend nights, it turns into a bar/club scene with a small dance floor and not much elbow room, which you get used to. Full Menu Here

Overall, it's a great place with a unique ambiance and unforgettable atmosphere. Remember, when you're down in the rabbit hole entrance, everyone in the bar can see you!

El Dorado

Don't be fooled by the unpolished street entrance and old building - El Dorado is amazing! It's a hidden gem in Downtown SD right off Broadway and 11th. The inside is dark and mysterious, with incredible cocktails.

With a hipster feel (and hipster bartenders from Spokane, WA), long bar, and tables, this unique cocktail lounge is a sure-fire way to experience a different side of San Diego. Mingle with and interesting and eclectic group of people, while enjoying amazing cocktails. Some of my favorites I recommend are the Moscow Mule and Kentucky Buck. Full Menu Here

There's a different DJ every night bumping everything from smooth lounge music to funk, electro and house music. By the way, ALL MENU COCKTAILS ARE ONLY $5 UNTIL 9PM, EVERYDAY! Go ahead, get your drink on and have a blast at this awesome bar.

Go ahead, be awesome!

There you go! These are the top bars in San Diego for the Hip and Trendy Crowd. From unique beer and pizza to house-made cocktails, these are all crowd pleasing, interesting places to frequent. Hope you enjoyed this hub - check out my others. Enjoy!


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    • SamTravels profile image

      SamTravels 5 years ago

      Thanks, Marlene!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from Northern California, USA

      I'm really enjoying your reviews, Sam. Another great and helpful hub. I'm definitely sharing with my readers.