clock menu more-arrow no yes

15 of the Best Cocktail Happy Hours in San Diego

View as Map

As we ease into our last day of Cocktail Week 2013 (thanks for reading, we'll be back to our regularly schedule programming on Monday) and because it's Friday, we bring you 15 of the Best Happy Hours in San Diego.

We've been talking a lot about our city's best dedicated cocktail bars, but this list focuses on restaurants that offer great cocktail programs so that you can drink and get a good bite to eat. Take this as subtle encouragement to leave the office just a wee bit early today.

Did we miss your favorite cocktail bar happy hour? Leave your picks for the best of early bird drinking in the comments if you please.


· All Cocktail Week 2013 Coverage [~ESD~]
-Tierney Plumb Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Whisknladle

Copy Link
1044 Wall St
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 551-7575
Every day from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., feast on an assortment of $4 to $8 Mediterranean tapas in the bar and lounge (Patatas Bravas, maple glazed chicken wings, bacon-wrapped dates, to name a few) and enjoy $8 cocktails, $25 pitchers of sangria and 25 percent-off all bottles of wine.

2. Quality Social

Copy Link
789 6th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 501-7675
Visit Website
A daily happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. includes $3 housemade pretzel bites, $2 crispy fish tacos and $3 cheese fries. House wines run for $5 and tall cans, select drafts or must-try pickle backs will only set you back $3.

3. Bailiwick

Copy Link
756 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 795-3036
Visit Website
Bailiwick's pack of Mules just doubled from four to eight this month; pick your poison (new options include Gosling's black rum or Evol liquer) to add to a base of ginger beer and fresh-squeezed lime – all for $5 each from 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday (when beers and house wine are $5, too).

4. Grant Grill

Copy Link
326 Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 744-2077
Visit Website
Cheers to $6 Tanqueray vodka martinis, $6 house wines, $6 select brews, and half price small exotic bites (think Calamari Tempura, Grant Grill’s Signature Charcuterie Plate, Oxtail Rigatoni, Niman Ranch Beef Sliders and Lamb Pierogi). Its new Raw Cocktail menu, which includes The New Apple Martini and The Watermelon Ball, is a contemporary spin on classics cocktails using the fresh, pressed juice of the entire fruit. Specials run 4 to 7 p.m., Sunday to Thursday.

5. Katsuya

Copy Link
600 F St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 814-2000
Visit Website
This swanky sushi spot recently gave their daily happy hour menu a facelift. Pick from $5 to $7 dishes like crispy Brussels Sprouts, Portobello Sliders, and Chicken Karaage, a Japanese take on fried chicken. Specialty cocktails such as the Burning Mandarin, White Grapefruit Cosmopolitan and new Le Grand Saint Apple Press cost $7 each, while well drinks are $5; select draft beer, $4; hot sake carafes, $6; and select wines, $6. Available from 4 to 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close, Monday through Saturday and all night on Sunday.

6. Vintana Wine + Dine

Copy Link
1205 Auto Park Way
Escondido, CA 92025
(760) 745-7777
Visit Website
North County's latest stomping ground for wining and dining offers 7 Appetizers for $7 from 2:30 to 6:30, seven days a week in their lounge (choose from Chorizo Mussels, Duo of "all jarred up", Crispy Chickpea Calamari, Chef Deborah's Nut Crusted Brie, Black Peppercorn Bacon Wrapped Dates). Also pick from 125 vodka selections to craft $7 martinis.

7. Fish Public

Copy Link
4055 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 281-4014
Visit Website
Catch this new fish house's specials from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily ($3.50 draft beers; $5 rose sangria; $5 well cocktails). Slice off half the price on all fried fish on Fridays or any bottle of wine all night on Wednesdays and stock up on $1 oysters all night on Sundays.

8. JRDN

Copy Link
4551 Ocean Blvd
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 270-5736
Visit Website
A gem in PB, this glass-enclosed lounge in the Tower 23 hotel offers diners happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., as well as a weekend happy hour from 6 to 9 p.m. Pick from $3 drafts, $4 well drinks and $5 select wines. Chef David Warner's small plates menu includes truffled avocados, seafood ceviche, fried brussels sprouts or veggie empanadas.

9. Sea & Smoke

Copy Link
2690 Via De La Valle Suite D210
San Diego, CA 92014
(858) 925-8212
Visit Website
Available in their bar/lounge and on the back patio, Sea & Smoke's happy hour includes a $6 sipper called For the Love of Rosemary (gin, rosemary syrup, fresh grapefruit juice), any beer by Culture Brewing and host of drink-friendly snacks, including roasted bone marrow and cauliflower-cheese dip.

10. Bertrand at Mister A's

Copy Link
2550 5th Ave, Fl 12
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 239-1377
Visit Website
Catch one of San Diego's best discounts (Monday through Friday and Sunday from 2:30 to 6 p.m.) from the bar or wraparound outdoor patio. Take in busy bay views of incoming planes, cruises and cars below with a drink (ranging from $3 to $13) and $7 starters built for two (think Kobe beef sliders, Seared Rare Ahi Sliders, Croque Monsieurs).

11. Davanti Enoteca

Copy Link
1655 India St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 237-9606
Visit Website
From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily, sip on a $5 Spritz (Aperol, prosecco, soda) – an everyday drink in Italy – on a busy India Street patio or under the peaceful olive tree out back. Plates priced $4 to $8 include the chicken liver pate on toasted Italian bread, fritto misto (shrimp, calamari and oysters), Venetian style sandwiches, Pizzeta del Giorno and the cult favorite Davanti Burger. Beer, wine and mixed drinks range from $4 to $6. (Expect incoming fresh cocktail options from mixologist Michael Vitale, just hired as lead bartender.)

12. Donovan's Prime Seafood

Copy Link
333 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 906-4850
Visit Website
Deduct bucks off fancy eats with Donovan's happy hour menu launched this fall. From Monday to Saturday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., try $1 Oysters on the half shell from its new full-service oyster bar; $6 Blackened Fish Tacos with pico de gallo, coleslaw and chipotle mayo; and $8 Mussels Diablo served with roasted tomatillo and Serrano salsa. All draft beers are only $3 each, and select glasses of wine go for $6.

13. Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant

Copy Link
2202 4th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 231-0222
Visit Website
There aren't many night owls in Bankers Hill during the week, but this neighborhood favorite hopes to encourage more late night drinking and eating. Its 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. weeknight happy hour includes a BH Cheese Burger Slider with shoestring potato crisps or BBQ Braised Pork Taco with cilantro cabbage slaw for $3 each; a bowl of addicting truffled french fries with fine herbs and truffle aioli for $5; and house red or white wines and select drafts for $5.

14. La Puerta

Copy Link
560 4th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 696-3466
Visit Website
Say yes to specials every night of the week at this Gaslamp hot spot. From 3 p.m. to close, get half off drinks and appetizers on Mondays and celebrate Taco Tuesday with $2 street tacos and $2 Tecates. From 10 p.m. to close on Thursdays, sip on $3 frozen drinks and half-priced cocktails on Sundays. A solid lineup of rotating DJs keep the tequila and tunes flowing.

15. R Gang Eatery

Copy Link
3683 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 677-2845
Visit Website
Fun and food co-mingle at this Hillcrest eatery, where an extensive happy hour includes $4, $5 and $6 plates of food (tater tots, mac and cheese, sliders) and plenty of drink options, including $5 specialty cocktails.

Loading comments...

1. Whisknladle

1044 Wall St, La Jolla, CA 92037
Every day from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., feast on an assortment of $4 to $8 Mediterranean tapas in the bar and lounge (Patatas Bravas, maple glazed chicken wings, bacon-wrapped dates, to name a few) and enjoy $8 cocktails, $25 pitchers of sangria and 25 percent-off all bottles of wine.
1044 Wall St
La Jolla, CA 92037

2. Quality Social

789 6th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
A daily happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. includes $3 housemade pretzel bites, $2 crispy fish tacos and $3 cheese fries. House wines run for $5 and tall cans, select drafts or must-try pickle backs will only set you back $3.
789 6th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

3. Bailiwick

756 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Bailiwick's pack of Mules just doubled from four to eight this month; pick your poison (new options include Gosling's black rum or Evol liquer) to add to a base of ginger beer and fresh-squeezed lime – all for $5 each from 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday (when beers and house wine are $5, too).
756 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

4. Grant Grill

326 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101
Cheers to $6 Tanqueray vodka martinis, $6 house wines, $6 select brews, and half price small exotic bites (think Calamari Tempura, Grant Grill’s Signature Charcuterie Plate, Oxtail Rigatoni, Niman Ranch Beef Sliders and Lamb Pierogi). Its new Raw Cocktail menu, which includes The New Apple Martini and The Watermelon Ball, is a contemporary spin on classics cocktails using the fresh, pressed juice of the entire fruit. Specials run 4 to 7 p.m., Sunday to Thursday.
326 Broadway
San Diego, CA 92101

5. Katsuya

600 F St, San Diego, CA 92101
This swanky sushi spot recently gave their daily happy hour menu a facelift. Pick from $5 to $7 dishes like crispy Brussels Sprouts, Portobello Sliders, and Chicken Karaage, a Japanese take on fried chicken. Specialty cocktails such as the Burning Mandarin, White Grapefruit Cosmopolitan and new Le Grand Saint Apple Press cost $7 each, while well drinks are $5; select draft beer, $4; hot sake carafes, $6; and select wines, $6. Available from 4 to 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close, Monday through Saturday and all night on Sunday.
600 F St
San Diego, CA 92101

6. Vintana Wine + Dine

1205 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA 92025
North County's latest stomping ground for wining and dining offers 7 Appetizers for $7 from 2:30 to 6:30, seven days a week in their lounge (choose from Chorizo Mussels, Duo of "all jarred up", Crispy Chickpea Calamari, Chef Deborah's Nut Crusted Brie, Black Peppercorn Bacon Wrapped Dates). Also pick from 125 vodka selections to craft $7 martinis.
1205 Auto Park Way
Escondido, CA 92025

7. Fish Public

4055 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
Catch this new fish house's specials from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily ($3.50 draft beers; $5 rose sangria; $5 well cocktails). Slice off half the price on all fried fish on Fridays or any bottle of wine all night on Wednesdays and stock up on $1 oysters all night on Sundays.
4055 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

8. JRDN

4551 Ocean Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109
A gem in PB, this glass-enclosed lounge in the Tower 23 hotel offers diners happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., as well as a weekend happy hour from 6 to 9 p.m. Pick from $3 drafts, $4 well drinks and $5 select wines. Chef David Warner's small plates menu includes truffled avocados, seafood ceviche, fried brussels sprouts or veggie empanadas.
4551 Ocean Blvd
San Diego, CA 92109

9. Sea & Smoke

2690 Via De La Valle Suite D210, San Diego, CA 92014
Available in their bar/lounge and on the back patio, Sea & Smoke's happy hour includes a $6 sipper called For the Love of Rosemary (gin, rosemary syrup, fresh grapefruit juice), any beer by Culture Brewing and host of drink-friendly snacks, including roasted bone marrow and cauliflower-cheese dip.
2690 Via De La Valle Suite D210
San Diego, CA 92014

10. Bertrand at Mister A's

2550 5th Ave, Fl 12, San Diego, CA 92103
Catch one of San Diego's best discounts (Monday through Friday and Sunday from 2:30 to 6 p.m.) from the bar or wraparound outdoor patio. Take in busy bay views of incoming planes, cruises and cars below with a drink (ranging from $3 to $13) and $7 starters built for two (think Kobe beef sliders, Seared Rare Ahi Sliders, Croque Monsieurs).
2550 5th Ave, Fl 12
San Diego, CA 92103

11. Davanti Enoteca

1655 India St, San Diego, CA 92101
From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily, sip on a $5 Spritz (Aperol, prosecco, soda) – an everyday drink in Italy – on a busy India Street patio or under the peaceful olive tree out back. Plates priced $4 to $8 include the chicken liver pate on toasted Italian bread, fritto misto (shrimp, calamari and oysters), Venetian style sandwiches, Pizzeta del Giorno and the cult favorite Davanti Burger. Beer, wine and mixed drinks range from $4 to $6. (Expect incoming fresh cocktail options from mixologist Michael Vitale, just hired as lead bartender.)
1655 India St
San Diego, CA 92101

12. Donovan's Prime Seafood

333 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Deduct bucks off fancy eats with Donovan's happy hour menu launched this fall. From Monday to Saturday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., try $1 Oysters on the half shell from its new full-service oyster bar; $6 Blackened Fish Tacos with pico de gallo, coleslaw and chipotle mayo; and $8 Mussels Diablo served with roasted tomatillo and Serrano salsa. All draft beers are only $3 each, and select glasses of wine go for $6.
333 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

13. Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant

2202 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
There aren't many night owls in Bankers Hill during the week, but this neighborhood favorite hopes to encourage more late night drinking and eating. Its 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. weeknight happy hour includes a BH Cheese Burger Slider with shoestring potato crisps or BBQ Braised Pork Taco with cilantro cabbage slaw for $3 each; a bowl of addicting truffled french fries with fine herbs and truffle aioli for $5; and house red or white wines and select drafts for $5.
2202 4th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

14. La Puerta

560 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Say yes to specials every night of the week at this Gaslamp hot spot. From 3 p.m. to close, get half off drinks and appetizers on Mondays and celebrate Taco Tuesday with $2 street tacos and $2 Tecates. From 10 p.m. to close on Thursdays, sip on $3 frozen drinks and half-priced cocktails on Sundays. A solid lineup of rotating DJs keep the tequila and tunes flowing.
560 4th Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

15. R Gang Eatery

3683 5th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Fun and food co-mingle at this Hillcrest eatery, where an extensive happy hour includes $4, $5 and $6 plates of food (tater tots, mac and cheese, sliders) and plenty of drink options, including $5 specialty cocktails.
3683 5th Ave
San Diego, CA 92103

Related Maps