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9 Most Popular College Bars in San Diego

Exploring San Diego’s dynamic college scene? Dive into our guide to the ultimate college bars in the area. These energetic hubs are more than just places to grab a drink – they’re where friendships are forged and unforgettable stories are created. From classic watering holes with a laid-back vibe to trendy hotspots that define the student experience, join us as we uncover the best college bars in San Diego that makes its nightlife as vibrant as its beach culture.

friends drinking at college bars in san diego

Aero Club Bar

3365 India St, San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 297-7211
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Located near the historic Balboa Park, Aero Club Bar is always on the list of the best college bars in San Diego. Founded decades ago by a local pilot, the bar boasts a vintage, divey vibe with aviation memorabilia adorning the walls. It’s a down-to-earth spot where patrons can enjoy a decent selection of drinks, including an impressive selection of over 800 whiskey options. While focusing on whiskey, they also serve draft beers, wine, and cocktails such as the San Diego Whiskey Sour and the Old Fashioned. It’s a cozy place where a group of friends can enjoy themselves.

Park & Rec

4612 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116
Phone: (619) 795-9700
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Adjacent to the Old Trolley Barn Park, Park & Rec is a trendy bar with a friendly atmosphere. The bar’s expansive outdoor patio and lush greenery provide a unique setting for socializing. The environment here is upscale-casual, perfect for gatherings. They serve craft cocktails that creatively blend flavors to create gems like the Flower Bomb and offer a variety of draft beers from local microbreweries. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a long day of classes!


627 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 234-0094
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Conveniently located in downtown San Diego near tons of shops and restaurants, Werewolf is my favorite pub in the neighborhood. I’m a huge fan of sports, and this place is a hotspot for game nights and offers a mix of casual and sophisticated vibes. With its vintage and slightly rustic decor, Werewolf serves a range of draft beers from local and well-known brands. Alongside beers, they have an innovative cocktail menu with tasty treats like the Pink Panther or the Lite Brite, along with comfort food options, making it an excellent destination for a relaxed night out.

Prohibition Lounge

548 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 501-1919
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You can also find the Prohibition Lounge in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego. As you can tell from the name, this bar pays homage to the city’s history during the Prohibition era. Though it’s amongst the best college bars in San Diego, it isn’t too noisy and crowded. The lounge specializes in craft cocktails that harken back to the Roaring Twenties, using unique ingredients and presentation. There’s the Kentuckey Tippler and the Balboa, two popular signature drinks that I recommend you try. If you want a touch of nostalgia and expert mixology skills, head over to the Prohibition Lounge.

Triple Crown Pub

3221 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116
Phone: (619) 281-0263
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Down the street from the 7-Eleven convenience store, Triple Crown Pub is a fun spot with excellent service and amongst the best places to go out if you want a genuine pub experience. The bar’s proximity to Balboa Park makes it an ideal destination for relaxation after outdoor activities. The vibe is welcoming and casual, attracting both locals and visitors. They serve a variety of draft and bottled beers, including local favorites and classic brands. You can also go the more sophisticated route and order a glass of their top-shelf wine.


600 Fifth Ave #6916, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 255-7373
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Looking for the best college bars in San Diego? Right in the heart of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, barleymash is a trendy and energetic place with a unique twist. The bar seamlessly blends a rustic and modern ambiance, and locals always recommend barleymash for newcomers who don’t know where to get a drink. As the name suggests, barleymash offers a wide range of craft beers, along with a creative menu that features dishes made from, you guessed it, barley and hops. It’s a go-to destination for those seeking a mix of great drinks and inventive cuisine.

McGregor’s Grill

10475 San Diego Mission Rd, San Diego, CA 92108
Phone: (619) 282-9797
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The most fun places to go out in San Diego have drinks, food, sports, games, and more. McGregor’s Grill, located in the Rancho Mission Plaza, gives you everything at once! The restaurant/bar boasts a relaxed and casual setting, making it suitable for various occasions. There’s trivia night, live music performances, and good vibes all around. Their drink menu includes cocktails, wines, and local craft beers. My favorite drink is the Strawberry Mojito, which pairs wonderfully with the Spicy Bird Sandwich.

Dirty Birds College Area

6499 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92115
Phone: (619) 265-2086
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Dirty Birds is a sports-centric bar known for its vibrant atmosphere. Just a few blocks away from the DMV, it’s in the running for the best bars for sports enthusiasts and college students. The atmosphere is energetic depending on the time of day, but it can still be the perfect casual hangout location as well. There are multiple screens airing games at all times, and despite it being a bar, I can’t miss the opportunity to talk about the mouthwatering chicken wings to accompany the solid lineup of draft beers from well-known and local breweries.

The Tipsy Crow

770 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 338-9300
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Do you need suggestions on fun places to get drinks? Stop by The Tipsy Crow, a multi-level bar with diverse entertainment options. With the historic Horton Grand Hotel nearby, it exudes a lively and historic charm. The ambiance varies across its levels, from laidback lounge to electric dance floor. The bar serves a wide array of cocktails, including creative mixes, and features local craft beers on tap. Its versatility and central location make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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