A Vibrant Urban Paradise.
The heart of every city lives in its downtown, and San Diego is no exception. Located only minutes from the airport, San Diego's thriving downtown districts offer a plethora of options for accommodations, activities, dining and cultural attractions, all accessible by foot or by trolley. Modern and historic buildings stand side-by-side, in the downtown historic Gaslamp District, housing shops and boutiques, trendy nightclubs, rooftop bars and fine dining restaurants.
During the day, families can enjoy various cultural attractions, like The New Children's Museum , or take in a baseball game at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres , or catch a ride on the trolley to Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo . With plenty choices to eat, shop and explore, families can enjoy a true California urban safari in San Diego's downtown district.
After dark, the area transforms into a sophisticated playground for adults. With an endless variety of posh night clubs, sizzling music venues and sky-high rooftop bars, you are bound for an adventurous and memorable night on the town.
On the west edge of San Diego downtown lies 3 miles of the Embarcadero district. Meaning "the landing place" in Spanish, the Embarcadero boardwalk hugs the east side of San Diego Bay, and is home to the San Diego cruise terminal, the Navy Pier and Seaport Village . Climb aboard to explore the ships at the USS Midway Museum , the Star of India, or the Maritime Museum of San Diego . If a moving sea vessel is more your flavor, hop on a harbor cruise and explore the San Diego Bay. For fun on land, visit Seaport Village to grab a bite or pick up a one-of-a-kind gift.
If you're looking for some local flavor, immerse yourself in San Diego's Little Italy district, just north of the downtown. Grab an espresso and biscotti from a local café, or dine alfresco with a plate of hand-made pasta and a glass of Chianti. To walk off that authentic Italian meal, stop into any one of the many art and design galleries in Little Italy, showcasing artwork by international to local artists and furniture designers.
With an array of hotels, attractions, restaurants and cultural venues close by, San Diego's Downtown is a great spot to base your San Diego vacation.
What to Love
- Dining at any of the fabulous downtown restaurants, many of them featuring celebrity chefs.
- Lounging at an outside café in Little Italy, people watching while enjoying a cappuccino.
- Taking in a Padres game at Petco Park, or enjoying the game from a rooftop bar at a hotel close by.
- Viewing the “Urban Trees” sculptures along San Diego's Embarcadero.
- Summer concerts and movies along the water's edge.
What to Know
- Parking can be a bit of challenge in Downtown, consider Public Transportation to avoid the hassle.
- San Diego's downtown is filled with many one-way streets, be sure to look carefully before turning.
- The International Visitor Information Center is located on Harbor Drive in front of the cruise ship terminal.
- Public transportation is readily available via bus, trolley and train.
- Many of the main attractions in San Diego are not downtown, however there are many transportation options available to get you where you want to go.
Downtown Gaslamp Quarter
Downtown San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter is a veritable playground, rich with cultural offerings that include theatres, art galleries, symphony halls, concert venues and museums.
You can spend an entire day in the Gaslamp Quarter, shopping at one of the many trendy boutiques or in the multi-level outdoor mall, Horton Plaza .
Dining options are plenty with options for al fresco on the sidewalks of this dynamic and cosmopolitan district, sky high at a rooftop lounge, or in an intimate and ornately designed restaurant. Baseball fans rejoice at Petco Park , where you can enjoy the game in sophisticated style in the Western Metal Building lounges, or take in the innings from the Park ball field with your kids. Fun with the family continues as you explore the whimsical and educational exhibitions at the New Children's Museum , climb aboard the U.S.S. Midway Museum , visit the candy store in Seaport Village or catch the Trolley for a quick ride to Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo .
Under the sparkling night sky on a cool California evening, the Gaslamp Quarter transforms into a sophisticated cosmopolitan playground as thousands come out in style for a night of fine dining, craft cocktails, live theatre, music and dancing. Make a reservation at any of the high-profile restaurants featuring celebrity chefs, enjoy a signature cocktail by a crafty mixologist at a rooftop bar, or groove and sizzle on the dance floor at any of the happening nightclubs.
Dining Out in San Diego Gaslamp District Restaurants
The Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego is a delectable foodie's paradise. Visitors to this unique California community can embark on culinary journeys from around the world, dining in the Gaslamp Quarter's many restaurants. Cuisines to be savored include Afghan, Brazilian, Chinese, Indian, Italian, Mexican, Persian, Spanish, Thai and more. Renowned chefs, including Top Chef finalists, create eclectic menus that will please any palate.
Gaslamp Quarter restaurants range from casual to upscale, allowing baseball fans as well as romantic dates to find the perfect place to savor the evening. Thanks to San Diego's perfect weather, outdoor dining can stretch from the afternoon well into the evening. Half the fun is people watching while enjoying a great meal or sipping on a cocktail.
Asti is located in the heart of San Diego's Historic Gaslamp Quarter. The victorian style building adds to the character of the restaurant. Choose to dine outside for a pleasant shaded lunch or indulge in a candlelight dinner on the patio, where you can watch passersby and enjoy San Diego's perfect weather. Come on inside to experience the warm elegant ambiance of this traditional Italian restaurant, with its red brick walls, shades of warm burgundy and touch of white elegance. Asti has been providing this exquisite Italian fine dining experience to guests from all over the world from locals, to tourist, to our greatest celebrities for over 18 years and continues to be one of the Gaslamp's finest Italian restaurants.
Chocolat Cremerie originated and became world famous in Italy for its exquisite chocolates, tantalizing crepes, and scrumptious Gelato. Now Chocolat Cremerie is here in the gaslamp of San Diego and the reviews are in! Check out some of our fantastic testimonials below, then come and see for yourself why Chocolat Cremerie was voted one of the best bistros in San Diego for amazing Gelato, crepes, and much more!
Whiskey Girl, one of the longest running venues in the Historic Gaslamp Quarter, now located at the corner of 5th & G Street!
Casual days meet high energy nights with Resident DJ Marc Thrasher of Channel 93.3 and Super DJ Romeo. The party never stops with live music Monday thru Friday and an exciting menu. Catch the game on one of our 30 HDTVs and enjoy the best brunch in Downtown - featuring $10 bottomless mimosas!
Bandar is the proud recipient of the Best Persian Cuisine Awards Since 1996.
Call us purists, perfectionists, obsessive or compulsive. That may help explain why we at Operacaffe, we are so passionate about our culinary business and our customers. The reputation for excellent cuisine, top-notch service, the quality and freshness of our ingredients, are the reasons we are so proud of our restaurant. No matter whether you are a seasoned food lover, a curious beginner, or somewhere in between, for the love of food, give us a try, you are welcome, it is our pleasure to serve you.
DICK'S LAST RESORT
The most outrageously good time in the Gaslamp. Our staff might be funny looking, unruly or cranky and sure they give away plenty of attitude with their service but folks love it (and the attitude is completely free!) This extremely casual dining experience is "All in Fun & Fun for All". Our expansive dining area seats nearly 500 guests & we're boasting Downtown San Diego's largest outdoor patio. We're known for delicious Buckets of Ribs, Chicken & Seafood and we're loved for our gigantic beers, huge cocktails and good times. Dick's Last Resort's Gaslamp Quarter outpost is an anchor of historic downtown San Diego, partying loudly on 5th Avenue since 1991.
THE BLIND BURRO
The Blind Burro is Good Time Design's newest restaurant concept located in San Diego's East Village. The Blind Burro specializes in Baja coastal cuisine using local and sustainable seafood and produce when possible. Think grilled fish, chicken and shrimp, with a Mexican and Baja inspired twist. The Blind Burro showcases a second-to-none tequila, mezcal and spirits program that enhances the restaurant's Baja Coastal vibe. With a walk up outdoor bar, guests will be able to eat and drink, while enjoying the always-amazing San Diego weather. Come late night, the restaurant will convert into a fun and unique lounge.
Osteria Panevino's prime location in the heart of San Diego's historic Gaslamp Quarter is just minutes from the Convention Center and most major hotels. Spacious dining room features some of San Diego's most highly acclaimed Italain cuisine and the casual atmosphere of an Tuscan osteria. Complementing Osteria Panevino's cuisine is an award-winning collection of domestic and Italian wines.
Located in the heart of San Diego's Gaslamp district, barleymash is the fun, high-energy downtown restaurant and bar that celebrates the richness of American culture through its appetizing and progressive bar fare. Both the restaurant philosophy and menu offerings draw heavily from two barroom staples: beer and bourbon. The name, in fact, refers to the typical grain mixture used in the brewing and distillation process of both beer and bourbon.
LUCKY BASTARD SALOON
The Gaslamp's newest 10,000-square-foot watering hole is biker-themed sports bar gone wild.
There are a lot of entertainment choices out there but only one that has captured the basic desire of everyone to "be" the entertainment
ROCK 'N ROLL / SING-A-LONG / DUELING PIANOS
Dueling Pianos are two piano players/singers performing at two, face to face grand pianos in front of two large mirrors performing the classic rock 'n roll hits from the 1950s to the present. It's request driven by the audience and with the use of multiple teams, goes non-stop all night.
A local landmark, Café Sevilla has been located in the heart of San Diego's vibrant Gaslamp Quarter for more than 20 years. Just steps from the Convention Center, Petco Park, and Horton Plaza, Café Sevilla is a popular meeting place for locals and visitors alike. As the original location that started it all, Café Sevilla is proud to offer the most authentic Spanish ambiance in our Tapas Bar, restaurant, and nightclub. Look for our medieval knight greeting you outside, and join us for an evening to remember.
Located in the heart the Gaslamp Quarter, the SEA in Searsucker pays homage to the menu's love of the ocean and embodies Malarkey's personality: gregarious, mischievous, fun-loving and authentic. Divided into categories like ‘Bites,' ‘Smalls,' ‘Greens,' ‘Ocean,' ‘Ranch' and ‘Farm,' the menu is both serious and fun.
THE TIPSY CROW
Abandon your inhibitions at San Diego's longest-standing bar. Whether you're one of the locals or just passing through, we invite you to step out of the conventional downtown and into an old-world experience that is The Tipsy Crow. Blending classic décor, craft beers, quality cocktails and unique bites with years of experience and upscale service, this corner bar is the prominent destination on the most popular block in the Gaslamp.
HENNESSEY'S GASLAMP TAVERN
Your Neighborhood Meeting Place, open 7 days a week. Dining from 8am ‘til 1am – the LATEST kitchen in the Galsamp Quarter! Open ‘til 2am. We're looking forward to serving you Irish Hospitality soon!
DINING ON FIFTH
Experience Four Fabulous Restaurants:
The Ocean Room | Chianti | La Fiesta | Urban Bar & Grill
SAN DIEGO DINING GROUP
Dining with us isn't just a meal, it is an experience!
Greystone the Steakhouse | Osetra the Fishhouse | Osteria Panevino