Club ListingsWhat's This?
The Tipsy Crow
The Tipsy Crow features three different floors of action. There is a great view from the third floor lounge out onto the bustling Gaslamp. The drinks are stiff, and the staff is great. Prices are high, and you've got to get here before 8 p.m. to avoid the minimum $10 cover.
Typhoon Saloon is packed nearly every night of the week. In addition to having great drink specials and a feverishly loyal student clientele, Typhoon Saloon is attached to Fred's, a popular Mexican restaurant.
About as hip as it can get, The W is a hotel between Little Italy and the Gaslamp. It's a great place to take out-of-state guests who like to roll their eyes at all things California. The Living Room, the downstairs lounge, transforms from a bar into a nightclub.
Flamenco and salsa dancing occurs nightly with professionals and near-professionals. Lessons are often offered at around 8 p.m. A night at Sevilla can be fun, but drinks and cover can be brutal. There is no cover on Wednesday, but it is $15 on Friday and Saturday.
This club is 21-and-over every night with musical acts almost daily.
On Broadway Event Center
This high-energy club is built inside the old Home Federal Bank building and features multiple levels of dance floors and bars. There's also a high-end sushi bar and restaurant here. The cover is pretty steep, and once inside, there are VIP rooms that require further buy-ins. However, "$5 Fridays" have $5 drinks. The dress code is strict-no jeans, tennis shoes, T-shirts, or hats-and parking is the downtown version of impossible.
Pacific Beach Bar & Grill
This is a hybrid club/bar. It gets packed Thursday night through Sunday, but you can dance, play pool, watch sports, ogle locals, and eat great pub grub all in one spot. It's serviced by two square bars and has a massive dance floor known as "Club Tremors."
Bar ListingsWhat's This?
Princess Pub & Grille
This could be the most enjoyable bar in San Diego County. The Princess Pub is an excellent place to grab some real pub grub and down excellent pints of beer. It's also a spectacular bar for soccer fans to catch international action. On days featuring important matches, the crowd can spill out onto India Street in chic Little Italy. Pub fans looking for a long night of beer, darts, and English atmosphere can't do better than the Princess, and she's just a short walk from the Little Italy trolley station, which is only two stops south of USD on the Orange Line.
1665 India St.
Plum Crazy Saloon
Foosball and 68 beers on tap keep Plum Crazy at the top of the list. This is a popular target for hyper-attractive representatives of liquor companies offering samples of their product. Bacardi and Jack Daniel's representatives may actually live in the back.
There always seems to be an enormous crowd spilling onto the deck and out of the windows, and the atmosphere is also always tremendously raucous. On weekends, neighboring Lahaina is its only rival. Anything goes at Open Bar-yelling, dancing, and blatant scamming are constant. Monday has a $2.50 drink special for those who won't let the weekend die.
4302 Mission Blvd.
Located profitably close to the ballpark and staffed by exactly the kind of people you'd want if you owned a bar, Tivoli is a bar-lover's bar. Ask about the antique call button used to warn prostitutes about impending police raids many-a-moon ago. Obviously, if there is a Padres' game, you should take a cab or trolley instead of trying to park.
The Tavern at the Beach
If you want to sound like a local, you can offhandedly refer to the days when The Tavern was known as the Daily Planet. If people look at you suspect, just reminisce about Fetch's old spot across the street. The Tavern used to be an afterthought, a little to the east of the action, but nowadays, you have to wait in line. The Tavern rarely disappoints and has excellent drink specials.
The Silver Fox Lounge
Spectacularly unassuming, The Fox has only a few TVs, a pool table or two, darts, and a couple video games. Locals, students, and tourists all end up here to relax, and even on the most crowded of nights, the "San Diego Vibe" is in full evidence here. There's no better place to find this feeling in Pacific Beach. Other highlights include the hot dog vendor right outside and the local flower lady selling roses at 1 a.m.
1833 Garnet Ave.
Nick's at the Beach
Nick's is really a two-story restaurant, but USD students tend to spend most of their time upstairs at the bar. Tucked away on Thomas Avenue, Nick's is almost always forgotten until late-arriving partygoers encounter the long lines on Garnet Avenue. In all fairness, Nick's is a great place in its own right. A pen-air patio and a cool layout make it a hard spot to leave.
The Field somehow manages to pull off an Irish feel in the middle of downtown San Diego. Fans of all things Irish swear by this place, as well as anyone who appreciates a good pint. It has welcoming atmosphere in an area known to turn you away if you are carrying last spring's bag.
Coaster Saloon has an outdoor patio and shows a "game of the week" on its large projection screen.
The Beachcomber is the penultimate USD bar. A large percentage of off-campus USD students live within a mile of this place, and they love to walk over on Friday nights and take advantage of crazy drink specials. The bar is in an old wooden building, and almost feels like you are below board in an old ship, and the staff is great. The "Comber," as it is normally called, is a great place to go any time of day or night. Friday nights, the pub turns into dance inferno, and drink prices plummet to less than $1 for cosmopolitans and domestic beer.
2901 Mission Blvd.
A little more upscale, Moondoggies is the best place in PB to watch sports (and the only place in San Diego to watch out-of-market NHL games). Moondoggies has excellent food specials and a solid happy hour. The absence of a large dance floor makes this a bar more than a club, although there is live music all of the time. There is a second Moondoggies in La Jolla.
Maloney's is one downtown bar that is near and dear to most students' hearts because the place is nice and actually reasonable. It's got a huge lower level complete with bar and dance floor, and it is about as casual as you can get at a large Gaslamp night spot. You can actually hold a conversation if you want, but there's plenty of loud music and dance space if you are more into body language.
Lahaina Beach House
Lahaina is a converted wooden beach house with a patio right on the boardwalk in PB. The place is always packed during the day. The beer is cheap, and it comes in plastic keg cups. Lahaina is a great place to watch people, as well as show off your own wares.
710 Oliver Ave.
What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?
Sometimes Voyeur has 18-and-up events.
Belo is open from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Also, it's open occasionally during the week for special events and for private parties.