arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter 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

Spa Rejuvenation Package

Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa
Valid: Jan 24 - ongoing

Rejuvenate and relax your mind and body with our Spa Rejuvenation Package. This package allows you to pamper yourself with your choice of one 50-minute massage or facial at Spa Brezza. Parking and...

Whale Watching

Kids Go Free at Newport Landing Whale Watching Cruise

Newport Landing Whale Watching
Valid: Jan 29 - ongoing

Free child whale watching cruise. Valid for all 2.5 hour whale watching cruises offered multiple times daily. Valid with all other offers. Just mention "Kids Free San Diego" when reserving.

Accommodation

Stay 3 Nights and Save 15% on Your Next Stay

Old Town Western Inn
Valid: Dec 19, 2018 - ongoing

Stay 3 nights and save 15% off on your next stay at the Old Town Western Inn.

Events to check out

Event

USA Ultimate National Championships

Oct 24 - Oct 27, 2019

The USA Ultimate National Championships represent the pinnacle of elite ultimate in North America and crowns champions in three divisions: men’s, mixed and women’s. 

Event

Fleet Week San Diego 2019

Nov 4 - Nov 12, 2019

Fleet Week San Diego honors and celebrates the men and women of the military through events that entertain and alliances that thank and support these heroes.

Event

San Diego Bay Parade of Lights

Dec 8 - Dec 15, 2019

The San Diego Bay Parade of Lights is a time-honored holiday tradition with more than 80 boats lavishly decorated sailing by the shores for all to see.

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

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician 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 Welsh Yiddish