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Soy sauce cocktail.
Dolly’s at Hoxton Manor
Courtesy Photo

The Hottest Cocktail Bars in San Diego, June 2022

The newest drinks in the city can be found at these bars

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Dolly’s at Hoxton Manor
| Courtesy Photo

With summer heat is sweeping over the city, San Diego’s cocktail bars are ready with cool relief from brunch to late night hours. Enjoy longer days supping drinks muddled with Carlsbad strawberries or settle into a shimmering lemonade spiked with lemongrass and vodka.

The Eater Cocktail Heatmap will be updated frequently to highlight new openings or fresh menus that are generating serious buzz around town.

Know of a cocktail spot with a decent amount of heat that should be added to the list? Send us a note!

Note: map points are not ranked.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Communal

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602 S Tremont St Suite 100
Oceanside, CA 92054
(619) 376-5710
Visit Website

This month Communal launched their summer menu. Come enjoy an Oceanside Summer, their fresh take on a pina colada spiked with sabe gold rum. Or enjoy a flight of seasonal spritzes like rose vanilla and elderflower with prosecco.

White interior with flowers.
Communal Coffee
Lets Frolic Together

2. Matsu

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626 S Tremont St
Oceanside, CA 92054
(760) 338-8902
Visit Website

The four and eight-course Japanese menus at Oceanside’s Matsu is the star, save a space on your table for the excellent cocktails. Chill with a Kaku-Hi, a shimmering blend of icy Japanese whisky, sparkling water, and lemon oil; or, try the Kitsunu made with Etsu gin, citrusy yuzu, and a hint of shiso leaf.

3. Beshock Ramen

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2525 El Camino Real UNIT 211
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(442) 615-2325
Visit Website

Known throughout San Diego for their ramen, Beshock offers excellent cocktails as well. The lavender hue of Falling For Ube comes from a blend of coconut milk and house made ube syrup with a kick of rum and squeeze of lime. Or stick to a classic profile like the Tokyo Negroni with Japanese Roku gin, Kampari, Sweet vermouth and luxardo liqueur.

Bold purple cocktial.
Beshock’s Falling for Ube
@twovegannuts

4. 20|Twenty

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5480 Grand Pacific Dr
Carlsbad, CA 92008
(760) 827-2500
Visit Website

Strawberry season is in full swing in San Diego. Chef Julian Quinones and beverage manager Steve George took inspiration – and ingredients – from this year’s crop to create a cocktail with muddled local strawberries with lemon, basil, and sparkling water.

Strawberry cocktail.
20|Twenty
Courtesy Photo

5. Cross Street

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12925 El Camino Real
San Diego, CA 92130
(858) 793-5757
Visit Website

Cross Street recently opened at Del Mar Highlands with an impressive cocktail menu by Jesse Ross (Sycamore Den, Fernside). Favorites include the citrusy No Fly List with Blanco tequila, cocchi americano, yuzu, pineapple, lime, agave, and soda. Or try their spin on an Old Fashioned, the Oak & Sesame, a blend of American and Japanese whiskies and house-toasted black sesame with a kiss of amaro.

Cocktail with pineapple leaves.
No Fly List
James Tran

6. Joya Kitchen

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10275 Science Center Dr #150
San Diego, CA 92121

Perched on the edge of Torrey Pines, Joya Kitchen offers a massive indoor/outdoor space for cocktail lunches and happy hour. The menu offers after work wind-down cocktails like a Passion margarita with Casamigos Reposado, agave, passionfruit, and jalapeno and the Transfusion with 50 Bleu Vodka, grape, lime, ginger, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Pink cocktail with a lime.
Joya Kitchen
Kelly Bone

7. Queenstown Bistro

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4545 La Jolla Village Dr #9028
San Diego, CA 92122
(858) 623-2748
Visit Website

An outdoor respite in the heart of the UTC Mall, Queenstown Bistro recently partnered with Hera the Dog Vodka to introduce two new cocktails with a portion of the proceeds going to San Diego’s all-breed dog rescue The Animal Pad. Choices include the Hair of the Dog, their take on a bloody Mary, and Posh Pooch a summer lemonade with house-made lemongrass syrup, St. Germain, and splash of sparkling white wine.

Pale yellow cocktail on white table.
Queenstown Bistro
Kelly Bone

8. Sandpiper Wood Fired Grill & Oysters

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2259 Avenida De La Playa
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 228-5655
Visit Website

La Jolla’s Galaxy Taco recently reopened under a new vision: Sandpiper Wood Fired Grill & Oysters. The menu holds the same high standard of cocktails, from classics like an Aperol Spritz to their boozy homage to their namesake seabird with black rum, vermouth, pineapple, and lime.

Cocktail with pineapple.
Sandpiper Wood Fired Grill & Oysters
Crave Imagery

9. Realm Of The 52 Remedies

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4805 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111
(619) 780-6675
Visit Website

Tea infused cocktails lace through the Eternal Remedies menu at Convoy’s Realm of the 52 Remedies. Highlights include the Earl Grey featuring Kasama Filipino rum with Jura 10yrs single malt scotch, saline water, honey, and cinnamon cream. Or explore their Asian cinema-themed seasonal menu that includes an ode to the Japanese film 13 Assassins made with 10-year single malt Scotch whisky and blood orange under delicate baby breath flowers.

10. Convoy Music Bar

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4646 Convoy St #112
San Diego, CA 92111

Accessed from an alleyway behind one of Convoy’s busiest strip malls, this cocktail haven is an elegant 40-seat space fashioned after Tokyo’s listening bars. With a premium sound system and DJs providing nightly mood music, the bar features a menu of cocktail classics made with Asian flavors and ingredients.

A negroni cocktail garnished with an orange rind.
Convoy Music Bar’s negroni variation.
Salsa Digital

11. The Luau

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7123 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92115
(619) 467 - 7334
Visit Website

San Diego’s newest tiki bar has emerged on the East College/Rolando end of El Cajon Boulevard. Shimmy up to the thatched bar and start the evening with the Luau Shooter made with rum, curaçao, orgeat syrup, pineapple, lime, and a splash of soda or grab a seat on the patio and share a bowl of Pele’s Poison Punch with light and dark rum, bourbon, fruit juice, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

12. Sycamore Den

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3391 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 563-9019
Visit Website

Though the bar recently transitioned ownership to Chad Cline and Jason “Rocky Nichols (Waterfront Bar & Grill, Aero Club), expect all the same vibes along with a frequently refreshed cocktail menu that includes lovely additions likes the Aqua Tofana with gin, lavender and lemongrass butterfly pea flower syrup or the Pop Secret Old Fashioned, a playful take on the classic cocktail with a touch of caramel, salt, chocolate bitters, and popcorn bourbon.

Popcorn and cocktail with large single ice cube.
Pop Secret Old Fashioned
Sycamore Den

13. Madison

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4622 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92116
(619) 269-6566
Visit Website

Grab a seat on Madison on Park’s patio star or end your day with their Carajillo made with Licor 43, espresso and orange peel. Lead bartender Danny Kuehner designs new classics like Heavy Metal Drummer which combines Laird’s Bonded apple brandy, St. George spiced pear brandy, lemon, and Angostura with a splash of port.

Coffee cocktail with dried orange and striped shoes.
Carajillo at Madison
Playbook Digital

14. Verbena Kitchen

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3043 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 269-5776
Visit Website

Verbena Kitchen’s cocktail menu conveys the same level of detail as their food. General manager Dallas Juanes brings his expertise to drinks like Summer is Coming, a tropical treat built with barrel aged tequila, serrano agave, caramelized pineapple, lime, and strawberry accented with chili bitters.

Outdoor cocktails with twist.
Verbena Kitchen
Kelly Bone

15. Dolly’s at Hoxton Square

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3131 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104

Just in time for summer, Dolly’s has appeared on the rooftop of Hoxton Manor. This new open air bar from Matt Bone (Old Man Bar, Reading Club) and Will Pidd (Young Blood, J&Tony’s) focuses on natural wine and classic cocktails like the Pidd’s Cup with aromatized wines, cucumber, gin and ginger and Tokyo Blond Old Fashioned with Japanese whisky, orgeat, and nocino. Or find out if they really do, and the menu states, make the World’s Best Negroni.

Rooftop sunset.
Dolly’s at Hoxton Square
Hoxton Square

16. Part Time Lover

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3829 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104

North Park’s Bar Pink has been transformed into CH Projects’ newest venue, a space still dominated sound with warm vinyl tones spinning through the listening bar and a retail selection of records curated by partner Folk Arts Rare Records. Cocktail include the Kaiju with Japanese vermouth, aquavit, lemon, and sparkling water or the Direct Drive Manhattan with whisky, rye, and sweet vermouth.

A plush living room-style cocktail lounge. Arlene Ibarra

17. Tribute Pizza

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3077 N Park Wy
San Diego, CA 92104
(619) 450-4505
Visit Website

Renowned for their food, North Park’s Tribute Pizza has an equally stellar cocktails program that ranges from the simplicity of the Paloma with tequila blanco, Stiegl Radler and lime to the seasonal Seven Caves Saturn with tiki gin, passion fruit, lemon, almond, and velvet falernum.

Clear cocktail with long lemon peel.
Toki Chino at Tribute Pizza
Kelly Bone

18. KINDRED

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1503 30th St
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 546-9653
Visit Website

Enjoy the breezy indoor/outdoor space of Kindred with refreshing cocktails like the Glitter Mouth Floating, an apéritif with dry curaçao, sparkling rose, and summer fruits. Or, stop by late Fridays and Saturdays for Dark Age Summer with 80’s tunes and cocktail classics like Sex on the Beach.

Pink cocktail with blackberries and pineapple leaf.
Glitter Mouth
Kindred / Instagram

19. Kingfisher

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2469 Broadway
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 432-1014
Visit Website

This buzzy restaurant is continuing to impress on both the food and beverage fronts, with an innovative and appealing cocktail menu by David Tye that incorporates Asian ingredients like bitter melon and lychee into drinks that range from refreshing and straightforward to potent and complex.

A tall tropical drink garnished with pineapple.
Jungle Fang.
Kingfisher

20. You & Yours Distilling Co.

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1495 G St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 955-8755
Visit Website

You & Yours recently celebrated five years of distilling their iconic gins and local vodka (and more) in the East Village. Founder Laura Johnson’s downtown tasting room crafts excellent cocktails like the Liquid Sunshine with Y&Y vodka, orange, turmeric, ginger. macadamia nut milk, and black peppercorn.

21. Callie

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1195 Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 255-9696
Visit Website

This East Village restaurant is destination-worthy for its food as well as a fine cocktail list from bar lead James Roe and team. The bar and kitchen have merged their missions in the new De La Montaña cocktail. The bright orange tumbler includes the leftover carrots from the restaurant’s signature Crunchy Egyptian Carrots, juiced and blended with mezcal, pasilla mixed and pineapple.

Carrot cocktail on wood table.
Callie’s De La Montaña
Words and Pictures Co.

22. La Conde - San Diego

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570 K St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 795-0502
Visit Website

Perhaps the only place in San Diego serving cocktails in a skull, the recently-opened La Conde makes a big impact. Fawn over a delicate glass of turquoise curaçao bubbling with dry ice spiked with bourbon, lemon, and agave commanding you to Make a Wish or embrace you inner Gladiator with mezcal and ancho liqueur fizzling with grapefruit soda.

Cocktail served in skill gripped by blue talon.
The Gladiator
La Conde / Facebook

1. Communal

602 S Tremont St Suite 100, Oceanside, CA 92054
White interior with flowers.
Communal Coffee
Lets Frolic Together

This month Communal launched their summer menu. Come enjoy an Oceanside Summer, their fresh take on a pina colada spiked with sabe gold rum. Or enjoy a flight of seasonal spritzes like rose vanilla and elderflower with prosecco.

602 S Tremont St Suite 100
Oceanside, CA 92054

2. Matsu

626 S Tremont St, Oceanside, CA 92054

The four and eight-course Japanese menus at Oceanside’s Matsu is the star, save a space on your table for the excellent cocktails. Chill with a Kaku-Hi, a shimmering blend of icy Japanese whisky, sparkling water, and lemon oil; or, try the Kitsunu made with Etsu gin, citrusy yuzu, and a hint of shiso leaf.

626 S Tremont St
Oceanside, CA 92054

3. Beshock Ramen

2525 El Camino Real UNIT 211, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Bold purple cocktial.
Beshock’s Falling for Ube
@twovegannuts

Known throughout San Diego for their ramen, Beshock offers excellent cocktails as well. The lavender hue of Falling For Ube comes from a blend of coconut milk and house made ube syrup with a kick of rum and squeeze of lime. Or stick to a classic profile like the Tokyo Negroni with Japanese Roku gin, Kampari, Sweet vermouth and luxardo liqueur.

2525 El Camino Real UNIT 211
Carlsbad, CA 92008

4. 20|Twenty

5480 Grand Pacific Dr, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Strawberry cocktail.
20|Twenty
Courtesy Photo

Strawberry season is in full swing in San Diego. Chef Julian Quinones and beverage manager Steve George took inspiration – and ingredients – from this year’s crop to create a cocktail with muddled local strawberries with lemon, basil, and sparkling water.

5480 Grand Pacific Dr
Carlsbad, CA 92008

5. Cross Street

12925 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130
Cocktail with pineapple leaves.
No Fly List
James Tran

Cross Street recently opened at Del Mar Highlands with an impressive cocktail menu by Jesse Ross (Sycamore Den, Fernside). Favorites include the citrusy No Fly List with Blanco tequila, cocchi americano, yuzu, pineapple, lime, agave, and soda. Or try their spin on an Old Fashioned, the Oak & Sesame, a blend of American and Japanese whiskies and house-toasted black sesame with a kiss of amaro.

12925 El Camino Real
San Diego, CA 92130

6. Joya Kitchen

10275 Science Center Dr #150, San Diego, CA 92121
Pink cocktail with a lime.
Joya Kitchen
Kelly Bone

Perched on the edge of Torrey Pines, Joya Kitchen offers a massive indoor/outdoor space for cocktail lunches and happy hour. The menu offers after work wind-down cocktails like a Passion margarita with Casamigos Reposado, agave, passionfruit, and jalapeno and the Transfusion with 50 Bleu Vodka, grape, lime, ginger, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

10275 Science Center Dr #150
San Diego, CA 92121

7. Queenstown Bistro

4545 La Jolla Village Dr #9028, San Diego, CA 92122
Pale yellow cocktail on white table.
Queenstown Bistro
Kelly Bone

An outdoor respite in the heart of the UTC Mall, Queenstown Bistro recently partnered with Hera the Dog Vodka to introduce two new cocktails with a portion of the proceeds going to San Diego’s all-breed dog rescue The Animal Pad. Choices include the Hair of the Dog, their take on a bloody Mary, and Posh Pooch a summer lemonade with house-made lemongrass syrup, St. Germain, and splash of sparkling white wine.

4545 La Jolla Village Dr #9028
San Diego, CA 92122

8. Sandpiper Wood Fired Grill & Oysters

2259 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037
Cocktail with pineapple.
Sandpiper Wood Fired Grill & Oysters
Crave Imagery

La Jolla’s Galaxy Taco recently reopened under a new vision: Sandpiper Wood Fired Grill & Oysters. The menu holds the same high standard of cocktails, from classics like an Aperol Spritz to their boozy homage to their namesake seabird with black rum, vermouth, pineapple, and lime.

2259 Avenida De La Playa
La Jolla, CA 92037

9. Realm Of The 52 Remedies

4805 Convoy St, San Diego, CA 92111

Tea infused cocktails lace through the Eternal Remedies menu at Convoy’s Realm of the 52 Remedies. Highlights include the Earl Grey featuring Kasama Filipino rum with Jura 10yrs single malt scotch, saline water, honey, and cinnamon cream. Or explore their Asian cinema-themed seasonal menu that includes an ode to the Japanese film 13 Assassins made with 10-year single malt Scotch whisky and blood orange under delicate baby breath flowers.

4805 Convoy St
San Diego, CA 92111

10. Convoy Music Bar

4646 Convoy St #112, San Diego, CA 92111
A negroni cocktail garnished with an orange rind.
Convoy Music Bar’s negroni variation.
Salsa Digital

Accessed from an alleyway behind one of Convoy’s busiest strip malls, this cocktail haven is an elegant 40-seat space fashioned after Tokyo’s listening bars. With a premium sound system and DJs providing nightly mood music, the bar features a menu of cocktail classics made with Asian flavors and ingredients.

4646 Convoy St #112
San Diego, CA 92111

11. The Luau

7123 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115

San Diego’s newest tiki bar has emerged on the East College/Rolando end of El Cajon Boulevard. Shimmy up to the thatched bar and start the evening with the Luau Shooter made with rum, curaçao, orgeat syrup, pineapple, lime, and a splash of soda or grab a seat on the patio and share a bowl of Pele’s Poison Punch with light and dark rum, bourbon, fruit juice, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

7123 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92115

12. Sycamore Den

3391 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
Popcorn and cocktail with large single ice cube.
Pop Secret Old Fashioned
Sycamore Den

Though the bar recently transitioned ownership to Chad Cline and Jason “Rocky Nichols (Waterfront Bar & Grill, Aero Club), expect all the same vibes along with a frequently refreshed cocktail menu that includes lovely additions likes the Aqua Tofana with gin, lavender and lemongrass butterfly pea flower syrup or the Pop Secret Old Fashioned, a playful take on the classic cocktail with a touch of caramel, salt, chocolate bitters, and popcorn bourbon.

3391 Adams Ave
San Diego, CA 92116

13. Madison

4622 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116
Coffee cocktail with dried orange and striped shoes.
Carajillo at Madison
Playbook Digital

Grab a seat on Madison on Park’s patio star or end your day with their Carajillo made with Licor 43, espresso and orange peel. Lead bartender Danny Kuehner designs new classics like Heavy Metal Drummer which combines Laird’s Bonded apple brandy, St. George spiced pear brandy, lemon, and Angostura with a splash of port.

4622 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA 92116

14. Verbena Kitchen

3043 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
Outdoor cocktails with twist.
Verbena Kitchen
Kelly Bone

Verbena Kitchen’s cocktail menu conveys the same level of detail as their food. General manager Dallas Juanes brings his expertise to drinks like Summer is Coming, a tropical treat built with barrel aged tequila, serrano agave, caramelized pineapple, lime, and strawberry accented with chili bitters.

3043 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104

15. Dolly’s at Hoxton Square

3131 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
Rooftop sunset.
Dolly’s at Hoxton Square
Hoxton Square

Just in time for summer, Dolly’s has appeared on the rooftop of Hoxton Manor. This new open air bar from Matt Bone (Old Man Bar, Reading Club) and Will Pidd (Young Blood, J&Tony’s) focuses on natural wine and classic cocktails like the Pidd’s Cup with aromatized wines, cucumber, gin and ginger and Tokyo Blond Old Fashioned with Japanese whisky, orgeat, and nocino. Or find out if they really do, and the menu states, make the World’s Best Negroni.

3131 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92104

Related Maps

16. Part Time Lover

3829 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
A plush living room-style cocktail lounge. Arlene Ibarra

North Park’s Bar Pink has been transformed into CH Projects’ newest venue, a space still dominated sound with warm vinyl tones spinning through the listening bar and a retail selection of records curated by partner Folk Arts Rare Records. Cocktail include the Kaiju with Japanese vermouth, aquavit, lemon, and sparkling water or the Direct Drive Manhattan with whisky, rye, and sweet vermouth.

3829 30th St
San Diego, CA 92104

17. Tribute Pizza

3077 N Park Wy, San Diego, CA 92104
Clear cocktail with long lemon peel.
Toki Chino at Tribute Pizza
Kelly Bone

Renowned for their food, North Park’s Tribute Pizza has an equally stellar cocktails program that ranges from the simplicity of the Paloma with tequila blanco, Stiegl Radler and lime to the seasonal Seven Caves Saturn with tiki gin, passion fruit, lemon, almond, and velvet falernum.

3077 N Park Wy
San Diego, CA 92104

18. KINDRED

1503 30th St, San Diego, CA 92102
Pink cocktail with blackberries and pineapple leaf.
Glitter Mouth
Kindred / Instagram

Enjoy the breezy indoor/outdoor space of Kindred with refreshing cocktails like the Glitter Mouth Floating, an apéritif with dry curaçao, sparkling rose, and summer fruits. Or, stop by late Fridays and Saturdays for Dark Age Summer with 80’s tunes and cocktail classics like Sex on the Beach.

1503 30th St
San Diego, CA 92102

19. Kingfisher

2469 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92102
A tall tropical drink garnished with pineapple.
Jungle Fang.
Kingfisher

This buzzy restaurant is continuing to impress on both the food and beverage fronts, with an innovative and appealing cocktail menu by David Tye that incorporates Asian ingredients like bitter melon and lychee into drinks that range from refreshing and straightforward to potent and complex.

2469 Broadway
San Diego, CA 92102

20. You & Yours Distilling Co.

1495 G St, San Diego, CA 92101

You & Yours recently celebrated five years of distilling their iconic gins and local vodka (and more) in the East Village. Founder Laura Johnson’s downtown tasting room crafts excellent cocktails like the Liquid Sunshine with Y&Y vodka, orange, turmeric, ginger. macadamia nut milk, and black peppercorn.

1495 G St
San Diego, CA 92101

21. Callie

1195 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Carrot cocktail on wood table.
Callie’s De La Montaña
Words and Pictures Co.

This East Village restaurant is destination-worthy for its food as well as a fine cocktail list from bar lead James Roe and team. The bar and kitchen have merged their missions in the new De La Montaña cocktail. The bright orange tumbler includes the leftover carrots from the restaurant’s signature Crunchy Egyptian Carrots, juiced and blended with mezcal, pasilla mixed and pineapple.

1195 Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

22. La Conde - San Diego

570 K St, San Diego, CA 92101
Cocktail served in skill gripped by blue talon.
The Gladiator
La Conde / Facebook

Perhaps the only place in San Diego serving cocktails in a skull, the recently-opened La Conde makes a big impact. Fawn over a delicate glass of turquoise curaçao bubbling with dry ice spiked with bourbon, lemon, and agave commanding you to Make a Wish or embrace you inner Gladiator with mezcal and ancho liqueur fizzling with grapefruit soda.

570 K St
San Diego, CA 92101

Related Maps