San Diego Places to Drink and Be Merry

Fun & Festive San Diego Places to Drink and Be Merry

The holiday season in San Diego is a truly special time. So what better way to celebrate than by raising a glass in some of the city’s most iconic and festive watering holes? San Diego’s bar scene offers a diverse range of options to suit every taste, from craft cocktail enthusiasts, to wine lovers, to beer fans, and everything in between. So if you’re looking for a spirited holiday experience, here’s our guide to some of the best places to drink and be merry during the 2023 San Diego holiday season.

Nolita Hall (4.8 miles)

(Photo: @nolitahall)

In the heart of Little Italy, Nolita Hall offers a decidedly European-inspired holiday ambience. Their extensive beer selection, artisanal pizzas, and craft cocktails provide the perfect backdrop for any festive gathering. The spacious and inviting interior is always cheerfully adorned with holiday decorations, and their extensive beer menu (featuring a large section of local selections from the “Craft Beer Capital of America”) is sure to delight connoisseurs.

2305 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

Craft & Commerce / False Idol (5.2 miles)

(Photo: @falseidoltiki)

Hidden behind a façade that resembles a bookstore, Craft & Commerce in Little Italy is a unique spot for the literary and cocktail enthusiast. Their cocktail menu is as extensive as their collection of vintage books, and the dimly lit atmosphere with plush leather chairs provides the perfect setting to enjoy a holiday drink while surrounded by the charm of literature. While there, explore the world of sneaky tiki at nearby False Idol. The exotic, muted-light décor combines with an extensive list of rum-based concoctions to transport you to a far-off white-sand paradise. False Idol’s elaborate holiday decorations and themed drinks make for a memorable experience, especially if you’re looking to escape the more classic trappings of the traditional holiday season.

675 W Beech St, San Diego, CA 92101

The Duck Dive (7.7 miles)

(Photo: @theduckdive)

For blissfully breezy beachfront beverages, head to Duck Dive in Pacific Beach. Their zero-stress atmosphere, killer coastal vibes, and array of holiday-inspired tipples are a great way to celebrate the season in more relaxed environs. The ocean view provides a perfectly picturesque backdrop for knocking back a few of your favorite holiday libations.

4650 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

Grass Skirt (7.8 miles)

(Photo: @thegrassskirtsd)

If you’re craving a more chill holiday hang, head to Grass Skirt in Pacific Beach. Known for its tiki-inspired cocktails and vibrant décor, this vivid venue offers a tropical island escape without leaving the city. Try a festively feisty, fruity refreshment under the glow of low torches and colorful holiday lights. It’s a lovely and laid-back way to enjoy the holidays, San Diego style.

910 Grand Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

You & Yours Distilling Co. (8.9 miles)

For those who appreciate craft spirits, a visit to You & Yours Distilling Co. in East Village is an absolute must. Their holiday cocktails feature their own meticulously crafted gin and vodka, creating a uniquely SoCal experience. The distillery’s cozy, welcoming ambiance and seasonal spirit is certain to warm you up once the sun slips below the Pacific.

1495 G St, San Diego, CA 92101

InsideOUT (9.5 miles)

(Photo: @insideoutsd)

This upscale Hillcrest hotspot offers an elegant and stylish rooftop bar with spectacular views of the city skyline. Their expert mixologists concoct holiday-inspired cocktails that are as photogenic as they are delicious. The outdoor patio, adorned with twinkling lights and cozy fire pits, is an ideal spot to enjoy a cool, breezy evening with friends old and new.

1642 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

Polite Provisions (10.8 miles)

(Photo: @politeprovisions)

Polite Provisions is a storied North Park locals’ favorite where tradition meets innovation. This beautifully restored 1930s-era pharmacy-turned-bar features a wide selection of classic and house-developed cocktails, all crafted with precision. The ambiance is a cocktail itself; one stirred up from a combo of vintage décor and seasonal libations — making this the perfect spot for sampling a little holiday spirit. Sip on a beautifully crafted Old Fashioned or Tom Collins while surrounded by a festive ambience that will transport you to a bygone era.

4696 30th St, San Diego, CA 92116

Raised By Wolves (13.7 miles)

(Photo: @raisedbywolvesspirits)

Step into the sophisticated at this clandestine cocktail lounge, tucked away inside a hidden corner of Westfield UTC mall. This slick speakeasy not only offers an impressive selection of spirits but also a curated menu of classic and contemporary mixed drinks. The elegant interior — reminiscent of the roaring ‘20s — is always wonderfully adorned for the holiday season, making it a perfect spot for a cool and classy celebration.

4301 La Jolla Village Dr, San Diego, CA 92122

Raised By Wolves Cocktail Lounge in San Diego


Xmas Bar: Holiday Pop-up (7.3 miles)

(Photo: @xmasbarsandiego)

Located in the former ‘Tin Roof’ bar in Gaslamp, the venue is set to transform into ‘Good Night John Boy,’ a 70’s themed disco bar, restaurant, and night club in early 2024. But before its grand opening, get ready for the holiday season as it debuts as ‘Xmas Bar‘—a Christmas-themed bar and restaurant offering an over-the-top Christmas experience until Christmas Day. Indulge in holiday-inspired spins on classic cocktails, seasonal shots, and festive menus before it temporarily closes for the New Year and reopens as Good Night John Boy.

401 G St, San Diego, CA 92101

Toast the Holidays at Island Palms

(Photo: @island_palms)

Although San Diego is known for its beautiful beaches and sunny weather, it’s also a city with a vibrant and diverse nightlife scene — especially during the holidays. Whether you prefer classic cocktails, craft spirits, or tiki-inspired concoctions, Best Western Plus Island Palms is the ideal place to call home during your yuletide bar crawl! Our competitive rates, guest-first amenities, and comfy accommodations all add up to a very festive stay. Plus, our own Blue Wave Bar & Grill will be featuring fantastic specials and unique holiday décor all season long — like our “Parade of Flights” specials to celebrate the Bay Parade of Lights. Take a look at our exclusive offers to find the best rates for your holiday visit to sunny San Diego!