Ignite romance in America’s Finest City by exploring our curated list of the best date bars in San Diego. Whether you’re seeking an intimate ambiance, breathtaking views, or innovative libations to impress your special someone, we’ve got you covered. From cozy nooks ideal for heartfelt conversations to stylish venues that set the perfect backdrop. Join us in discovering the most enchanting spots to kindle connections and create unforgettable moments in San Diego’s vibrant dating scene.
629 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 564-6924
The Lion’s Share is a quirky but classy upscale bar adorned with art pieces featuring anthropomorphic animals in wacky situations. It’s located near the Embarcadero Marina Park and the Seaport Village, accessible via the nearby light rail stop. The menu is a creative take on familiar favorites and exotic meats, and that sentiment extends to their cocktails. I enjoyed their “Wrong Answers Only,” a creamy apple spice-inspired cocktail with Cynar bitters, gin, and lemon apple powder.
9550 Waples St #115, San Diego, CA 92121
Phone: (858) 450-9557
Located in Sorrento Valley near Lopez Ridge Park, The Wine Seller & Brasserie is one of the best date bars in San Diego for wine enthusiasts. My partner and I love it because if we try a glass of something we like, we can take a bottle home for a nightcap. The WineSeller & Brasserie has an impressive list of Happy Hour specials, including Wine Tasting Wednesday and Martini Friday. They also have a rotating stock of wine and beer in addition to their “Casual Side” cocktail list.
3175 India St, San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 618-2830
For a casual date night spot in Mission Hills, the laid-back Starlite gastropub is a hidden gem that’s been around since 2007. It’s right off the San Diego Freeway, a short drive from the airport. I recommend it to anyone looking for a fun place to get a drink from one of San Diego’s many breweries. Their draft list exclusively features local libations, including the award-winning Societe Harlot Blonde and an easy-drinking Fall Plenty for All pilsner.
777 G St, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 888-4713
You can find a secret slice of San Diego’s bar scene at Noble Experiment. Inspired by pre-Prohibition speakeasies, it’s behind a hidden door disguised as a stack of kegs next to the restrooms inside the Neighborhood restaurant. You can enjoy a heavy-handed pour from their cocktail list while taking in the gothic-style decor, including a wall of brass skulls. I’m a fan of Foreplay (in the Foyer), a twist on the French 75 with raspberry brandy and Ricard anise aperitif.
675 W Beech St, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 269-2202
Craft & Commerce is a fun place to go out if you’re a cocktail aficionado who wants a taste of something new. This bustling bar near Waterfront Park has a ton of personality and even more taxidermy, including a massive cougar in a glass “cage.” Their cocktails feature creative infusions and often incorporate herbaceous flavors like basil or cilantro. As for beer and wine, the list is small and artfully curated. Go for the local Mother Earth Cali Creamin’ Peaches and Cream.
910 Grand Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
Phone: (858) 412-5237
Take your date to a tropical paradise without leaving San Diego at The Grass Skirt. This tiki bar is a fun place to get drinks if you’re looking for a feast after spending the day at Pacific Beach, as it is located just a couple blocks away from Crystal Pier. Beverage director Tony Coxum demonstrates his passion for tiki cocktails in every sip. It shines in his creations like the Aku Aku Lapu punch bowl featuring the house rum blend, demerara, falernum, and plenty of fruit. It’s perfect for sharing with someone special.
901 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 234-4166
My partner and I love sitting down for something light and tasty at Vin de Syrah after a show at Balboa Theater or a walk around the Gaslamp Quarter. It’s just a few blocks away from either location, at the corner of Broadway and Fifth Ave. The space is beautiful, boasting vibrant greenery despite its subterranean location. There’s also a bit of whimsy and “Wonderland” everywhere, so try playing a game of “I Spy” over a Mad Hatter Platter and a couple of Frothing for Apples cocktails. It’s one of my favorite date night spots for precisely that reason.
956 Broadway Cir, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 231-6771
You’ll find Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant in downtown San Diego near the historic Westfield Horton Plaza and the Civic Theater. It’s elegantly upscale, ideal for dressing up and celebrating a special occasion. While Dobson’s isn’t known for its draft beer selection, they have an extensive wine list and tasty specialty cocktails. Try the Gaslamp Girl for something sweet and sparkly or the Backwards Clock with Bulleit bourbon.
353 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 233-5979
If you and your date are in the mood for tapas. Cafe Sevilla is another great place to get a drink in the Gaslamp Quarter. Its Spanish ambiance is fun and festive, especially if you can catch one of their Saturday night Flamenco Dinners with a three-course paella dinner menu. Cafe Sevilla specializes in sangria, of which they have 13 options, including a mouthwatering Sangria Blanca. For the perfect date night, try the Journey Through Spain. It’s a five course dinner for two and $10 off any sangria pitcher.
453 Sixth Ave #7007, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 796-6536
The Nolen is a romantic rooftop bar with spectacular views of the downtown city skyline. You and your date can enjoy your drinks al fresco in style and sophistication while taking in the beauty of a Californian sunset. The bartenders have a flair for whipping up classic cocktails made with small-batch spirits from San Diego and craft distilleries across the United States. You and your date can choose from options like Padre Punch or Georgia Peach, then customize with your pick specialty spirits.
2101 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: (619) 915-6172
Whisk your love away for a romantic Parisian experience at Zinque, a chic French bar in Little Italy. It’s near the Waterfront Park and Maritime Museum, offering a little bit of Europe in the heart of San Diego. You’ll never be hard up for choices at Zinque, as their cocktail, wine, and beer menu is positively brimming with beverages. They have something for everyone, including an impressive selection of bubbly.