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Hillcrest and its sister neighborhood North Park know how to show visitors a good time. The wealth of inclusive bars, clubs, and places to get your all-night dance on make San Diego a fun and appealing LGBTQ+ city. If Sunday Funday is more to your liking, there are plenty of options for that too. When it comes to getting loose and letting your pride shine, there’s no shortage of options in this fun-loving city.
Hillcrest's nightlife activity runs along University Avenue, between Second Avenue and Park Boulevard, but don’t skip the cross streets, which bring their own flavors to the party.
The revelry runs along University Avenue, where dance clubs and video bars kick the party up a notch.
Where: 308 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
At the western end is Urban MO's Bar & Grill, a "hetero-friendly gay bar" and local favorite. It's the hot meeting place, featuring a festive outdoor patio, kicky cocktails, and enormous, juicy burgers.
Where: 1017 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Almost nightly, Flicks is packed to the gills. Go-go dancers, stiff and cheap drinks, and music videos above a small, spirited dance floor are the reasons why.
Where: 1051 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
At the high-octane dance club Rich's, you'll find two separate full bars and dance floors along with a popular outdoor lounge. Theme nights, killer music, and a pumped up crowd mean you can expect lines out the door after 10:30 PM on weekends. But it's worth the wait.
Where: 1220 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
A short jot away is the lesbian-operated Gossip Grill, which greets with ample patio space and a rousing dance floor for the ladies. But don't worry, it also plays nice with men and everything in between. American comfort food is served in the restaurant.
Where: 1236 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
At nearby Uptown Tavern, crafty cocktails, microbrews, and farm-to-table fare dominate this stylish yet down-to-earth space. Fronted by an alluring sidewalk patio, it checks all the right boxes for excellent day drinking and happy hour.
Where: 1403 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
With a rock 'n roll feel, the Alibi, a cash-only, casual dive bar, boasts a small outdoor patio, pool tables, and a kickin’ juke box with loud music.
Where: 1421 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
For those looking to wash down big plates of Mexican food with prized tequila and other libations, Baja Betty's obliges.
Where: 1458 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
A trip along University Avenue isn't complete without a visit to Hillcrest Brewing Company. Considered the world's first and only gay-owned brewery, it's a great spot to grab a pizza or two and make friends at a communal table, while enjoying the many beers on tap.
Where: 1642 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Sexy, chic and casually elegant, insideOUT's inside bar and main dining room open to an outdoor atrium with sitting nooks, water features, and spacious seating. Craft cocktails and a seasonal menu of California and Mediterranean-inspired fare are served.
This stretch hosts a handful of popular joints, many with rainbow-filled histories.
Where: 3845 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
Number One Fifth Avenue greets with a pleasant neighborhood dive-bar feel. The slender indoor bar leads to an inviting back patio, which is equally worthy in daylight or after dark.
Where: 3610 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
The Loft—a San Diego institution—is known for its strong drinks and unpretentious atmosphere. It was once voted one of the best gay bars in America by Yelp.
Where: 3537 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
A Hillcrest landmark since the 1960s, LGBTQ+ friendly Nunu's offers an inviting and laidback vibe, with an undeniable divey charm.
Where: 1807 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92103
With deep red walls and chandeliers, SRO Lounge is a legendary gay bar that delivers a glam but laid-back vibe.
Where: 2046 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
Leave your dress threads behind when venturing to the jeans-and-leather atmosphere at Pecs, where pool tables, darts, and inexpensive drinks rule the day.
Where: 3036 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104
A supper club run by drag queens, Lips has nightly live acts with big hair, high heels, and lots of duct tape; events like Bitchy Bingo and the Dragalicious Gospel Brunch on Sundays, kitschy décor, and a cafe menu.
Where: 3040 North Park Way, San Diego, CA 92104
Catering to the leather community is the long-established San Diego Eagle. There's an unofficial dress code here, and fetish wear is recommended.
Where: 4012 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
At Redwing Bar & Grill, a solid neighborhood vibe pervades, and every night is karaoke night. The large central bar points the way toward the spacious back patio with its own full bar and food service.
Where: 2020 Lytton St, San Diego, CA 92110
Over on the Point Loma Peninsula you'll find The Hole in the Wall, a friendly, no-fuss space with a large outdoor patio, beer pong, pool, and karaoke nights. This is a place for simple, straightforward drinks and icy pitchers of beer and the Original Sunday Funday.
Where: 1839 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
In the charming University Heights neighborhood, blink-and-you'll-miss-it Cheers is a cheery little community bar with festive carpet and a sliver of a smoking patio.
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