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San Diego Activities: Top Things to do in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter

This San Diego Visitors Blog article, ‘Top Things to do in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter,’ provides you with just a few of the great things you can do, see and experience in this very special San Diego neighborhood.

Written by
Maria Mancuso

San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is famous for all the things there is to do in this energetic neighborhood located in Downtown San Diego.  The San Diego Gaslamp Quarter is home to  fantastic Restaurants, Bars, Shops, Nightclubs, Coffee Shops, Rooftop Bars, Sports and so more.

This latest San Diego Visitors Blog article, ‘Top Things to do in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter’ presents you with just a few of the best things you can expect to see, do, eat, drink and experience during your next visit to San Diego and our Downtown San Diego Hotel.

Places to Sip:

Spill the Beans Coffee & Bagels | 555 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-233-3836 
This great little San Diego Coffee Shop serves up fresh California-style Bagels & Dark Horse Coffee.  They offer patio seating which is great for experiencing the beautiful San Diego weather as you enjoy your fresh brewed Coffee and Bagel.  Spill the Beans offers up great eats too!  Bagels are made from scratch daily and served with artisan-compounded butter or a selection of homemade cream cheeses.

Cup of coffee with white foam
If perfectly brewed Coffee is what starts your day you are in luck.  Some of the best Coffee Shops in San Diego are in the Gaslamp Quarter - just steps from The Keating Hotel.

Coffee & Art | 777 Sixth Ave., #105, San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-501-8458 
This is a popular spot serving tasty brewed Coffee with art-filled walls & patio seating so you can appreciate the near perfect San Diego weather.  Coffee & Art serves breakfast, great Coffee & freshly made smoothies.  Select breakfast items include a perfect Acai Bowl, Fruit & Yogurt, Oatmeal and fresh baked Croissants. Coffee & Art also services up a number of lunch items certainly worth the mention, including, homemade Potpies. Yum!

Chocolat Cremerie | 509 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-238-9400 
Sleek Italian counter-service cafe offering great Coffee, panini, salads, crêpes, gelati, chocolates & pastry.  This shop also offers some incredible chocolate treats made onsite.  Stop by for a perfectly brewed cup of Coffee and be sure to try a bit of house made chocolate….I mean you are already there; it would be a shame to miss the opportunity.

Gran Havana Cigar Lounge | 745 Fourth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-234-2826  
Yes, a Cigar Lounge made this list. The Gran Havana Cigar Lounge is far from the old, dungy looking smoke-filled Cigar Bars.  This newly opened spot is located very close to The Keating Hotel and serves up the finest ‘in house’ rolled Cigars and amazing Coffee.  You do not need to be a fan of Cigars to enjoy the prime roasted Coffee, Gelatos, cakes, and selected desserts.

Copa Vida | 905 J St., San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-501-7529 
Copa Vida steps up the growing, brewing and serving up of artisanal Coffee.  Their expertly brewed Coffee is crafted by a team certified in the farming, milling, roasting and preparation of Coffee from Costa Rica.  It goes without saying that these guys take their Coffee seriously!

Lani Coffee | 101 Market St., Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-299-5466 
If you have ever visited Hawaii and wondered why the Coffee tastes sooo good, it is because the Hawaiian climate is perfect for growing some of the best Coffee beans on the planet.  Lani Coffee serves up the famous, Hawaii brand of Coffee, LION Coffee.  Come in and try a cup or two and you will be a lifelong fan.  You will also enjoy their freshly baked Bagels and freshly made items including their Acai Bowls, sandwiches and burritos.  


Places to Eat:

Rustic Root |  535 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-232-1747 
Modern rooftop destination featuring local, seasonal cuisine & craft cocktails in stylish surrounds. Their food and drink selections offer high quality ingredients that make simple dishes transform into seasonally infused and flavorful dishes that make Rustic Root a memorable dining experience.

Searsucker | 611 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-233-7327 
Great music, great cocktails and better food.  Enough said to get you to brave the crowds to enjoy the offerings of this ‘Voted Best’ spot in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.

Cowboy Star | 640 Tenth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-450-5880 
Cowboy Star combines a contemporary American cuisine, great steaks along with a Western flare.  The classic rustic-chic decor of Cowboy Star makes a visit to this award-winning restaurant and butcher shop as visually appealing as it is fulfilling to the most discriminating guest.

Gaslamp Fish House | 411 Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-795-3800 
This amazing fish house is an easygoing, contemporary style eatery offering a Raw Bar & fresh Seafood and Steaks. Gaslamp Fish House was awarded the ‘Best Restaurant of Gaslamp’ and ‘Taste of Gaslamp 2018’ – so you know it is worth a try!

The Crack Shack | 2266 Kettner Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-795-3299 
This fun spot is located just outside of the Gaslamp Quarter in Little Italy, but it is that good! The Crack Shack serves up some tasty Southern California Fried Chicken and Egg fare with a cool So-Cal spirit.  This uniquely designed open space restaurant brings together great food,  lawn games and great craft drinks  

Bud & Rob’s Bistro | 815 F Street, San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-542-9002 
If you have ever visited New Orleans and marveled at how good all the food tastes – you will love Bud & Rob’s.  If you have not been to New Orleans to enjoy their amazing food, then you owe it to yourself to stop by Bud & Rob’s.  This casual spot is famous for its Po' Boys sandwiches, Jambalaya & authentic New Orleans style Creole and Cajun Cuisine. 

Places to Drink:

You & Yours Distilling | 1495 G Street, San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-955-8755 
This local distillery is California’s first urban distillery.  All the sprites served at You & Yours Distillery are crafted and distilled onsite.   This casual but serious distillery and tasting room presents cocktails in a relaxed, minimalist lounge.

Purple Cocktail

Prohibition | 548 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-501-1919 
If you like a little mystery with your nightlife and cocktails, you’ll love Prohibition.  This well-hidden speakeasy is one of the best kept secrets in the Gaslamp Quarter…hidden behind the door marked, ‘Eddie O’Hare’s Law Office’ – step into this secret bar and enjoy the great live music, cocktails and 1920’s style experience.

Side Bar | 536 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-696-0946 
Try out this hip and smart spot with great drinks, live DJ beats and that is part nightclub, part lounge but all good. Relax on one of the deep velvet sofas with a hand-crafted cocktail and watch the beautiful people.

Craft & Commerce | 675 W Beech Street, San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-269-2202 
The décor of this popular spot is reason enough to make a visit and enjoy their cocktails and beer.  But it may be their food that makes you remember this Gaslamp favorite.  The walls are  decorated with old school books and taxidermy….what a perfect combination for dining and drinking. 

Ballast Point Little Italy | 2215 India Street, San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-255-7213 
This brewery is in San Diego’s Little Italy, just blocks from the Gaslamp Quarter.  This local favorite brewery & pub serves up award-winning beers, refined bar fare in a casual dining environment. Guests enjoy a pint indoors or outside on the patio or in a private Cabana.  If you’re interested in how they make such tasty suds, you can actually watch their brewing process while you enjoy your beer.

Places to Shop:

Wild Dove | 740 Market Street, San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-501-5849
This cool, chic boutique provides clothes to the urban woman with  sensible and affordable fashion set with a high standard on quality clothing at a reasonable price.

Blends | 719 Eighth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-233-6126
The two owners of Blends grew up in Japan and have the goal to combine international tastes and global level products with an international perspective.  You’ll find shoes, shirts, pants, jeans and other fashion items for men.

BAIT | 920 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-239-1887 
An extensive collection of sports shoes and related fashions for the sporty crowd.

Bradley Mountain | 710 17th Street, San Diego, CA 92101 
Everything leather.  This boutique store offers a wide range of leather goods, bags, belts, jackets, pants and leather care items.

Urban Outfitters | 665 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101 | Tel: 619-231-0102
This national chain has inspired customers with freshly designed clothing and lifestyle items since 1970.

Sugar Factory | 701 Fifth Ave., San Diego, CA 92101| Tel: 619-814-2225
This celebrity favorite spot offers an amazing collection of more than 500 types of candy and an extensive offering of gourmet Coffee, gelato, fresh pastries, and more.  If you have a bit of a sweet tooth that candy can not cure, try the signature Banana Split at Sugar Factory and you will thank us later. This ‘candy shop’ also is a movie theater and a full-service restaurant that keeps the night moving with the latest music beats played by a live DJ.

This article, ‘Top Things to do in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter’ is certainly not a complete list of all there is to do, see, eat and drink in the Gaslamp Quarter but this  list gives you a good place to start your next visit to San Diego!

Check back on our San Diego Visitors Blog for more entertaining and informative articles about making the most of your next visit to San Diego.

Visit our San Diego Visitor’s Guide for more recommendations for more suggestions on what there is to do, see and experience when visiting San Diego.

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