arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter tiktok youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Sip and Socialize or Loud and a Crowd

A Twenty-Something's Guide to San Diego Nightlife

Whether you're a seasoned local or just in town for a visit, the nightlife of a twenty-something year-old can be broken down into two categories: sip and socialize, or loud and a crowd. Needless to say, each involves having a drink in your hand, but the closer we get to that 30 year mark we find ourselves searching for a place to sit down and relax.

By: Bridget Meschen

Sip and Socialize - Loud and a Crowd

Grabbing a drink and catching up with friends (without having a beer spilled down your back) seems like a bit of a novelty, but never fear! There are plenty of hidden gems throughout San Diego. Hence, the following is a list of a few go-to, youth friendly bars in San Diego for those completely new to the scene or those looking to change up their routine.

Sip and Socialize

Seven Grand

First on the list is perfect for the sip and socialize type of evening. Seven Grand is located on University Avenue in North Park, and it is a whiskey bar with quite the attitude. Clad in plaid carpet, dark wood paneling and red leather booths, the atmosphere is a tad classier than your favorite dive bar, but dress is casual and service is extremely friendly. Don't be overwhelmed by the international wall of whiskey, they have detailed drink menus at the bar and they serve much more than whiskey. Cheapest drink for a tight budget is a specialty house cocktail at $5, but it is well worth it if you want to sit and enjoy good spirits and company. Happy Hour is 4:00 to 8:00 PM on Monday through Sunday, and patrons are usually within the 20-30 year-old range. So, grab a glass of scotch and pretend you're Ron Burgundy.

Mr. Peabody's

Next on the list is off the beaten track. Mr. Peabody's is an open seating restaurant/bar with full table service. There is a location in Encinitas, but the one hidden on Friars Road in Linda Vista deserves recognition. It exudes the feel of a neighborhood hangout, and it is the perfect place to catch a football game, while indulging in a large bar menu and cheap drink deals. Happy hour on Tuesday or Friday is a good time to stop by, but the $3.25 mouthwatering turkey tacos on Monday night might cause you to question your Taco Tuesday loyalties. Overall, a great place to chill after a long day of work or class. Order a pitcher of beer and a couple of entrées to split, and enjoy a drama-free night with a low bar tab!

Loud and a Crowd

Shifting gears to those in need of something a bit more rowdy, the following suggestions are sure to provide the typical, upbeat atmosphere of loud and a crowd.

Pacific Beach Alehouse

Due to nearby campuses of USD and SDSU, Mission and Pacific Beach are a hotbed for college-aged shenanigans. There is a never-ending list of options in the area, but a big favorite tends to be PB Alehouse in Pacific Beach. Open until 2:00 AM, it is not uncommon to find a line out the door on a good night. A major attraction to Alehouse is the breathtaking rooftop terrace with its own bar, and the cozy outdoor patio with fire pits. This multi-level establishment offers a mix of experiences, including a dance floor. It is also a fantastic restaurant and microbrewery, so if you're looking to avoid an evening of bar-hopping, consider arriving early for a bite to eat before joining the party.

Beachcomber and The Pennant

The tried and true of the young and the reckless: Beachcomber and The Pennant. If you are in your twenties and have not experienced either dive bar on a Thursday night, you're missing a rite of passage in San Diego. If you are willing to brave the crowds, the best deals can be found on Thursday night from 9:00 to 11:00 PM. Drinks are so cheap you will ask the bartender to repeat the total. At Comber beers are $1, select well drinks are $2, and $4 will buy you a pitcher of a domestic draft. You can find quite the competitive game of shuffleboard taking place at the The Pennant, and a packed dance floor at Beachcomber. With the two locations practically next to each other, it's a popular spot to begin and end a big night out.


More importantly, this is nowhere near a complete list of the go-to worthy bars in San Diego. Other honorable mentions of both categories go to Tipsy Crow in the Gaslamp Quarter and Small Bar in University Heights.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Accommodation

Simple Pleasures Package

Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
Valid: Nov 13, 2023 - ongoing

LOVE IS IN THE BAY BREEZES OF SAN DIEGO'S HAWAIIAN ISLE! You and that special someone will be treated like royalty when you reserve this pleasurable package. Delight in one of our well-appointed...

Accommodation

Sun, Sip & Savor Package

Pacific Terrace Hotel
Valid: Nov 13, 2023 - ongoing

Relax & unwind at Pacific Terrace this winter season! Enjoy a special package sure to warm you up and make your stay memorable. Book our Sun, Sip & Savor Package and receive: -...

Accommodation

Wyndham Rewards Member Rate

Days Inn By Wyndham San Diego Hotel Circle
Valid: Nov 13, 2023 - ongoing

Members save 10% on our Best Available Rate. If you aren't currently enrolled in Wyndham Rewards, by selecting this rate, you will automatically be enrolled. Wyndham Rewards is a FREE program that...

Events to check out

Event

Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2024

The Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed...

Event

Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 25 - Jul 28, 2024

Comic-Con International is the largest comics and pop culture event in the United States, attracting thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all things related...

Event

Bike the Bay

Aug 25, 2024

San Diego's finest annual cycling event across the Coronado Bridge and around the bay! Ride the bridge, Bike the Bay for the 17th annual ride on Sunday, August 25, 2024! Cruise around San Diego Bay...

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China
Germany
Great Britain
Japan
Mexico
Korea
Switzerland
Brazil
France
Australia
Canada
USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans
Albanian
Arabic
Belarusian
Bulgarian
Croatian
Danish
Deutsch
Español
Estonian
Filipino
Finnish
Francais
Georgian
Greek
Haitian-Creole
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Indonesian
Irish
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Latvian
Lithuanian
Macedonian
Malay
Maltese
Nederlands
Norwegian
Persian
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Russian
Serbian
Slovak
Slovenian
Swahili
Swedish
Telugu
Thai
Turkish
Ukranian
Vietnamese
Yiddish