The 10 Best Speakeasies in San Diego
Looking for the Best Speakeasy in San Diego? Well, you’re in luck because this San Diego local has been to almost all of them and I’ll break down everything you need to know so you can make the right cocktail choice. In recent years, Speakeasies in San Diego have become a main part of the culture in this town. Whether you’re looking for a hidden space-themed bar, a Great Gatsby vibe, or even a spooky speakeasy set in next to a cemetery. I am going to share all the secrets of San Diego speakeasies!
Starting off with the best speakeasy in all of San Diego is Oculto 477. This speakeasy is so unique because it is set next to Campo Santo Cemetery in Old Town so immediately you feel the spooky vibes. You’ll enter through Tahona Bar, which is famous for its dedicated mezcal tasting, and reach a door that looks like a confessional. In order to enter you need to recite one of the seven deadly sins.
What I love about this spot is it’s extremely intimate. There are no more than 6 tables and roughly 10 seats at the bar. Not sure if this is part of the schtick or not but the staff here was particularly cold. It fits the vibe so we went with it! Furthermore, you can order a drink called the “dealers choice” in which you roll 3 dies and it essentially picks your cocktail ingredients for you. It’s then up to the bartender to whip you up something special. Finally, if you are a Halloween lover like myself this is the best San Diego bars to visit in October.
Address: 2414 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110
Cocktail prices: $18-$20 per cocktail
Coming in at number two for my favorite hidden bar in San Diego is Youngblood. This experience is located in the back of downtown San Diego’s restaurant, The Neighborhood. An aside but if you have the chance to dine at The Neighborhood, take it because it’s some of my favorite comfort food in town. In order to access Youngblood you have to walk through a “refrigerator” and enter this small decked-out room. The style is very Great Gatsby-inspired and is the perfect spot for a girl’s night out.
They do have a drink minimum here and you need reservations. Furthermore, there is no menu and instead, you let the server know the style of cocktail you love (they’ll ask probing questions). And in return, they will cater a cocktail to your specific likes. We were very happy each time and the cocktails were very tasty. However, I felt as though they put HUGE ice cubes in some of their drinks which as a patron annoys me as I feel cheated a bit after spending so much money. However, I would return for a special occasion. Finally, in recent years it’s become quite popular so make sure to add this to your list!
Address: 777 G St, San Diego, CA 92101
Cocktail prices: minimum 3 drinks per person at $75 total
There is not only Youngblood in the back of The Neighborhood restaurant, there is another speakeasy literally right next door. Noble Experiment is the OG speakeasy in Downtown San Diego and has been around for over 10 years. Once you enter you feel the swanky intimate vibes right away. As well as an entire wall full of skulls. It’s giving Pirates of the Caribbean, but make it chic. They are known for their old-fashioned and have a dealer’s choice option as well. Finally, it’s best to make a reservation for this spot as well.
Address: 777 G St, San Diego, CA 92101
Raised by Wolves
Raised by Wolves has the coolest way to enter a speakeasy of this entire list It’s actually set in a mall and the main liquor shop in which you enter has a vintage vibe. You’ll notice a fireplace with two chairs and while you sit on the chairs it rotates into the bar. Once inside you’ll feel a Gatsby vibe with ornate decor and old-school charm.
It’s extremely dimly lit so be prepared for that. We had the bidi bidi bom bom and especially loved the Tiramisu tini. You most definitely need reservations for this speakeasy as it’s small and intimate. However, you can try your luck as a walk-in since they do have quite a few seats at the bar.
Address: 4301 La Jolla Village Drive #2030, San Diego, CA 92122
Cocktail prices: $13-$16 per cocktail
photo credit Pacifica Magazine
Alert there is a spaceship that has landed in South Park. That my friends is the new hotspot, Mothership. A speakeasy that is set aboard The Ancient Astronaut Shuttle Crew. From the creators of Kindred, the decor of this bar is out of this world. Sorry, had to. You’ll find an entire ceiling with lights, tables that look like spaceship seats, and the most unique menu. I have yet to visit but it’s high on my list. So go for me, will ya?
Address: 2310 30th Street, San Diego,
Cocktail prices: $15-$20 per cocktail
Set in the back of Craft + Commerce is the tiki-themed bar, False Idol. This one has been around for years and is well established in the Little Italy community however, there is still always a long line to enter. That is how you know a place is good! My favorite part about this bar is during the holidays. They deck it out in “Nightmare Before Christmas” and have a special menu inspired by the iconic film.
If you’re visiting with friends the Luau Scorpion is a fan favorite. A drink that you can share with 4 people and it’s lit on fire. If you’re like me and don’t really like people then try the Mai Tai! Finally, you can’t go wrong with a visit to this San Diego Institution.
Address: 675 W Beech St, San Diego, CA 92101
Captain’s Quarters is a recent addition to The Grass Skirt. Set in the same vicinity on the left side you have The Grass Skirt and on the right is Captain’s Quarters. Both of these establishments offer food (which is usually hard to find at a speakeasy) and surprisingly the food is very good. Captain’s Quarters decor feels as though you’re aboard a ship in the 17th century. It was giving Outlander at sea (if you know, you know).
I especially loved the music here it really added to the ambiance. We had the papas bravas, hollumi fries, and beef rioja. Everything tasted great. The majority of the cocktails are gin based and there is a special caviar cocktail that comes with a caviar bump. Our favorite cocktails were the captain’s orders and the son of a gun. Finally, they also serve beer, wine, and spirit-free cocktails.
Address: 910 Grand Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
Cocktail prices: $15-$35
The Grass Skirt
The Grass Skirt is another tiki-inspired speakeasy and they use traditional tiki elements interlaced with seductive details that transport guests to a place of eternal sunset. The space has a cozy environment with a large tiki and fire features. Their claim to fame is their shareable punch bowls ranging from $40-$55. Finally, they also have a Christmas-inspired theme during December. Finally, being that this speakeasy and False Idol are similar it can be hard to choose. If I were to choose I would pick False Idol for a date and The Grass Skirt for a larger group. But either way you choose you can’t go wrong!
Address: 910 Grand Ave, San Diego, CA 92109
Cocktail prices: $14-$18
Bar Three Piece
Bar Three Piece is a dedicated whiskey experience located inside the famous Seven Grand whiskey bar. It is modeled after Japan’s famed whiskey bars and reminisces on an old hunting lodge. If you’re a whiskey connoisseur or looking for the perfect boys’ night out, then this is the spot for you! This San Diego speakeasy offers over 400 marks of rare whiskey and eye. Finally, it focuses on the spirit so the best way to experience your cocktail will be to have it neat or on the rocks.
Address: 3054 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
Realm of the 52 Remedies
Realm of the 52 Remedies is another unique spot in San Diego. Hidden inside Common Theory is this ancient Chinese apothecary-themed bar. Their slogan is to have a concoction for all your ailments. The design of this space is grand and it’s one of the OG spots as well. They have a new spring and summer menu for 2023 and each cocktail explores different cities of South Korea.
Address: 4805 Convoy Street, San Diego, CA 92111
Cocktail prices: $20 per cocktail
Set in the Gaslamp Quarter is one of the first speakeasies in San Diego. When walking down fifth avenue you may miss this entrance as it the door says law office. Super sneaky! Prohibition Lounge gives off a 1930’s vibe, hence the name. They are renowned for their mezcal tasting room. Finally, what’s great about Prohibition is they have live music on certain nights. Make sure to check out their event calendar.
Address: 548 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Well, there you have it you now know the 10 best speakeasies in San Diego! Don’t forget to check out more of my San Diego guides. Comment below if you’ve been to one of these spots!