WHERE San Diego Magazine Winter 2013

Page 47

From casual coastal hangs where flip-flops rule the dress code, to downtown martini-sipping and the busting of some serious dance moves, San Diego nightlife offers a little something for every speed. Set yours to cruise control and let us guide you. 207/Float Get your party on rock star-style at these two nightspots at the Hard Rock Hotel. At street level, 207 bar features a dark, sumptuous interior and occasional celeb sightings, while the rooftop Float bar promises a lively evening of dancing and mingling around fire pits. 207 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.702.3000

ALTITUDE Sky Lounge Head 22 stories up at the Marriott Gaslamp Quarter to this airy, outdoor lounge for unrivaled views of Petco Park and the downtown skyline, DJs spinning hip-hop and rock, and plenty of stylish eye candy. 660 K St., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.696.0234

Belly Up Some of the country’s most popular headlining music acts pass through sleepy North County for a stop in Solana Beach at this veritable institution for live concerts. Expect both local and international vocalists and bands ranging from rock to reggae to blues to country to hip-hop. 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach, 858.481.8140

Croce’s Jazz Bar Run by Ingrid Croce, widow of famed singer-songwriter Jim Croce, this iconic downtown staple is among the best intimate spots in San Diego for live music— with a regular rotation of local and touring acts playing jazz, blues, jumpin’ jive and R&B. 802 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.233.4355

Fluxx This mega-club-style dance spot is for those looking to really turn things up a notch and step out big time—the kind of place to splurge on bottle service and a new sequin mini dress. Fluxx features a steady rotation of the hottest DJs and hip-hop acts in the country; always-changing themes, brought to life via its sexy house dancers; a

sunken, circular dancer floor; and a stateof-the-art sound system. 500 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.232.8100

House of Blues Dine on Southern cuisine at the club’s restaurant, Crossroads—we recommend the Shrimp and Grits or Buttermilk Fried Chicken—before catching a concert in the mostly standing-room-only, basement-style space. 1055 Fifth Ave., downtown, 619.299.2538

Stingaree This three-level, velvet ropes-style nightclub is one part lounge, one part dance club and one part rooftop haven—complete with cozy cabanas, a fire pit and dressed-toimpress scenesters. Expect a cover charge on Fridays and Saturdays if you’re not “on the list.” 454 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.544.9500

Side Bar Mingle and people-watch at this intimate club that screams sex appeal—from the hanging birdcages to dozens of sultry, nude paintings to titillating videos playing on a loop near the rompin’ dance floor. 536 Market St., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.696.0946

Andaz San Diego

The Lion’s Share Venture outside of the Gaslamp to this cozy neighborhood spot in downtown’s Marina District if you’re in the mood to explore an ambitious craft cocktail selection amid candlelight and eccentric local artwork on display. 629 Kettner Blvd., Marina District, 619.564.6924

Starlite This casual, hipster-centric, “alterna-bar” is a funky-fresh hangout with arguably the most popular mule in town: the Starlite Mule, made with organic vodka, ginger beer, lime and bitters. Nab a seat on the back patio for drinks in jeans, and don’t miss Early Cocktail Hour on Fridays from 4-7 p.m. 3175 India St., Midtown, 619.358.9766

Raglan Public House Escape the downtown bustle and head to this laid-back hang in Ocean Beach—a New Zealand-inspired burger and beer joint known for its Michael Soriano-designed décor and “serious cocktails.” Be sure to try the beer flights and pairings. 1851 Bacon St., Ocean Beach, 619.794.2304

Cardiff Beach Bar at Tower 13

Formerly the Ivy Hotel, this happenin’ spot features the expansive Ivy Rooftop, the basement level Ivy Nightclub, street level Andaz Wine Bar and its adjacent Katsuya restaurant. Be ready to see and be seen no matter where you land on the property. 600 F St., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.849.1234

Quite possibly the best bar overhaul in North County right now, this new casual beach haunt (which replaces the former Yogi’s), features live music, dancing, healthier bar fare and arguably the best Bloody Mary on the beach in Southern California right now. 2633 S. Coast Hwy. 101, Cardiff-bythe-Sea, 760.635.1200

Vin De Syrah

UNION Kitchen & Tap

This whimsical, subterranean wine parlor screams Alice in Wonderland; think ivycovered walls, library-style lounge areas and a 12-foot-long, candlelit tasting table. Ask about Syrah’s weekly wine tastings hosted by its resident sommelier—perfect for groups. 901 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.234.4166

A warehouse-style bar and restaurant serving up local craft brews and cocktails, this new North County spot boasts funky garage door walls, communal tables, reclaimed wood and steel accents, and vintage photos dotting the walls. 1108 S. Coast Hwy. 101, Encinitas, 760.230.2337

Clockwise from top: The campy, colorful main bar at Fluxx nightclub; dreamy Float rooftop bar at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, located at the entryway to the Gaslamp Quarter; and the Belly Up, one of Southern California’s most popular live music venues, located near the coast in Solana Beach.


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