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Diners' Choice: Lively restaurants in San Diego

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OpenTable
Updated June 05, 2024

Looking for restaurants that have the most vibrant bar scenes in San Diego? You’re in the right place. Each month, OpenTable analyzes nearly 2 million global diner reviews from the past four months. We sort the results by location and category to help you discover new favorite restaurants. It's a great partnership: you reserve, eat, and review. We listen...and deliver the results for all to benefit. Enjoy!

A photo of Tavern restaurant
4.8
4.8 (739)
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Coronado
About the restaurant
Open for Lunch and Dinner. Reservations for Lunch are not accepted, however we do accept walk-ins!
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 2 days ago
Great night for my son’s birthday. Staff were great and food was wonderful.
A photo of Noble Experiment restaurant
4.8
4.8 (309)
$30 and under
American
Downtown
About the restaurant
Noble Experiment is a small, intimate cocktail bar located behind a secret door inside of Neighborhood restaurant at 777 G St. San Diego, CA 92101. Reservations for 4 or less are accepted as early as two weeks in advance. Large party reservations can be made through our reservations team at info@nobleexperimentsd.com. Walk-ins are welcome based upon availability.
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 7 days ago
Interesting fun place to visit! Good cocktails! Well go again when in town.
A photo of Blanco Cocina + Cantina – Fashion Valley restaurant
4.8
4.8 (529)
$30 and under
Mexican
Mission Valley
About the restaurant
Blanco is more than your typical Mexican restaurant, it‘s an escape from the ordinary, a happy hour hang out, a place to sit back, recharge and party. It’s a vacation in your neighborhood that helps you relax with your favorite people. For food, margaritas, and good times, Blanco is the perfect place to find your bliss.
Top review
CandaceMvip
Dined 3 days ago
Our family loves Blanco! The food and the service is always amazing!
A photo of Barrel & Board Social restaurant
4.8
4.8 (308)
$31 to $50
Californian
Hillcrest
About the restaurant
A New Woman-Forward Intimate Cocktail & Food Experience is Here!
Welcome to Hillcrest’s chicest spot for craft cocktails, barrel-aged potables, and chef-inspired shareable boards. An upscale LGBTQ+ bar, restaurant & event space brought to you by the Mo’s Universe Group!
Named San Diego's Top 10 Hottest Cocktail spots by EATER, as well as Open Table's Top 10 DINERS CHOICE Winner!
Top review
StephanieBvip
Dined on May 23, 2024
Fun girls night. The drinks were really good. The bar in the back is really cute. Music was good. Service and food were also good. Highly recommend.
A photo of Harlow's - Art of Life restaurant
4.7
4.7 (202)
$50 and over
Contemporary American
Bonsall
About the restaurant
Harlow's Cocktail Lounge is a unique restaurant focused on traditional classics with modern reinvention. Through the use of specialized ingredients and techniques, international influence and attention to detail, Harlow's offers adventurous creations rooted in comforting familiarity. Our shareable menu and bar selections are crafted for our guests enjoy on any occasion or outing. Come enjoy the lounge, bar, restaurant and private dining areas with friends and family. Harlow's stage features weekly live music showcasing local talent. Call or visit harlowslounge.com for more details
Top review
OpenTable Diner
Dined 5 days ago
We had a wonderful birthday dinner for my adult daughter last night at Harlow's. The food, the atmosphere and the service was exceptional.
A photo of Urbana Del Mar restaurant
4.7
4.7 (139)
$30 and under
Contemporary Mexican
Carmel Valley
About the restaurant
Its ‘Dia de los Muertos’ every day at URBANA, the Skydeck's most colorful restaurant. Farm Fresh Mexican Chef inspired plates. Complementing the menu, URBANA’S sexy departure on craft cocktails featuring Tequila and Mezcal favorites as well as top shelf agave spirits. Massive smiling murals a tribute to owner Javier Cuadra's Michoacán upbringing where ‘Dia de los Muertos’ is celebrated to define URBANA.
Top review
NareshL
Dined on May 17, 2024
Service by Avery was excellent. Very attentive and customer focussed. Food was delicious. Really enjoyed the lunch.
A photo of Cocina de Barrio Encinitas restaurant
4.7
4.7 (88)
$30 and under
Mexican
Encinitas
About the restaurant
*Brunch hours are on a walk-in basis only.

Cocina de Barrio by Chef Jose J. Flores

Welcome to Cocina de Barrio, the newest modern-urban Mexican restaurant located in Encinitas, CA! We are proud to feature the culinary richness of Oaxaca as well as other Mexican regions. Stop by and enjoy our bar stocked with plenty of tequila and mezcal selections, beer, and wines sourced from Valle Guadalupe.

Don't forget to join us during our weekend brunch (where we add a Mexican kick) and our happy hour every Monday-Friday from 3-5pm! Stay Chido!
Top review
Thompsonvip
Dined 4 days ago
Love this place! We wish it were closer so we could go more often. The food, service and atmosphere were great!
A photo of Blind Burro restaurant
4.6
4.6 (665)
$30 and under
Mexican / Southwestern
Downtown
About the restaurant
The Blind Burro specializes in fresh, coastal Baja Mexican cuisine. Our emphasis is on quality, from the customer service, to the ingredients we use in all of our hand crafted food and drinks. We want our guests to enjoy Baja Mexican fare right here in East Village, San Diego. Come in and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere where you can meet over a carafe of spicy margaritas or on tap house sangria. . Or try us for lunch with clients while enjoying steak tacos and a quinoa mixed green salad. Hope to see you soon in the unique, airy and comfortable environment we have created for you in downtown San Diego.

**All checks will have a 4% pandemic recovery surcharge due to the additional costs associated with the impact on our business and operations. This is not a gratuity and will be used to help us offset the additional product, labor, overhead and other costs.**
Top review
OpenTable Dinervip
Dined on May 1, 2024
Cadillac margarita was really tasty, I added muddled jalapeño. Salsa flight and nachos were so full of flavor! Best nachos I’ve probably ever had. We added chicken and al pastor pork.
A photo of The Shop - Rancho Bernardo restaurant
4.6
4.6 (232)
$30 and under
Pizzeria
Poway / Rancho Bernardo
About the restaurant
The Shop: Pizza + Cocktails is a family owned and operated restaurant located in San Diego's Rancho Bernardo Center.

We specialize in west coast deep-dish and traditional crust pizza, served with a range of fresh salads, appetizers, sandwiches, and pastas -- all made from scratch.

Enjoy our warm, welcoming atmosphere on our expansive outdoor patio.

Our full bar features a range of hand-crafted signature cocktails, limited production wines, and local beers... and an insanely awesome (and growing) selections of hard-to-find liquors, especially whiskeys.

Table sizes on our outdoor patio are limited. For parties of 6 or more people, please contact us directly so we can plan accordingly to accommodate you comfortably. See you soon!
Top review
WendyAF
Dined on Jun 9, 2024
Delicious cauliflower crust pizza, yummy mixed green salad, and great service! We ❤️ The Shop!
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