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Best San Diego Nightlife

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San Diego's nightlife scene has matured in the past few years, thanks in a large part to Downtown's emergence as a hip urbane destination. Downtown now hosts most of the best San Diego nightlife spots - for everything from happy hour drinks to early morning dancing. The Gaslamp Quarter and surrounding streets throb with late-night excitement all week long, as conventioneers and college kids head for rowdy bars with an all-night Happy Hour vibe, and stylish sophisticates line up behind velvet ropes at swank clubs that heat up after 10PM. Pacific Beach and Ocean Beach are packed with casual mainstream bars, while North and South Park draw an eclectic crowd to cozy pubs and trendy lounges. San Diego's excellent breweries are so abundant Men's Journal called the city the Beer Capital of the U.S., and bars of all types feature local brews. If you're at all into beer, be sure to sample the Stone Brewing Company's brews—often called the best on the planet.

Anthology

Neighborhood: Little Italy

Anthology is the all-ages music lover's secret that couldn't be kept. Part restaurant, part concert venue, the casual and yet sophisticated environment provides several levels of entertainment and dining options—literally. Choose from first floor, booth or upper-level seating, but don't worry about the view—no seat is more than 40 feet from the stage. Anthology hosts some of the best San Diego nightlife for music lovers. Come for happy hour and then purchase a ticket to stay for the show. You can catch everything from jazz trios to Circ-style entertainment at Anthology, one of the best San Diego nightlife spots. 

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Croce's Jazz Bar

Neighborhood: Downtown
Visitors to the Gaslamp Quarter head to Croce's for the history as much as the food and music. Created by Ingrid Croce, the widow of legendary singer-songwriter Jim Croce, the spot helped pave the way for the bustling nightlife and restaurants that now dot the area. If you're in the mood to stimulate your taste and sound senses, make a reservation and dwell over Croce's delicious American cuisine and live jazz sounds. Croce's is known around town as one of the best San Diego bars with friendly service, great food and the widest variety of soothing jazz.

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Shout House

Neighborhood: Downtown
Known for its amazingly talented dueling piano players, Shout House always delivers a good time for those who seek one. The drinks are inexpensive and the entertainment is noisy, raucous and often on the raunchier side. It's a popular spot for birthdays and bachelorette parties, and you may even catch a bidding war or two as patrons try to top each other with tips to change the piano man's song. Feel free to challenge their musical knowledge— these guys have been known to play everything from Shakira to Billy Joel to the theme from Mario Brothers.

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Side Bar

Neighborhood: Downtown
If you're looking to put on your coolest clothes, sip your favorite cocktail and dance with San Diego's most beautiful people, then Side Bar may be your pace. The vibe is certainly see and be seen as hoards of San Diego's young and beautiful flock to take advantage of the bar's VIP booths overlooking the dance floor. They practically meld into the scenery as a perfect compliment to the sexy boudoir photographs that decorate the luxurious interior. Side Bar is one of the best San Diego clubs new on the scene with bottle service and private parties available and featured events regularly. On your way out, be sure to grab a midnight snack at the adjoining Ciro' Pizzaria, open until 3AM to catch the weekend party crowd.

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PB Bar and Grill

Neighborhood: Pacific Beach
During the school year Pacific Beach can get run over by college students, but PB Bar and Grill is a welcoming venue for all ages. Expect bar games and a packed dance floor with old-school hits and the occasional Top 40 beat. While you may be tempted to wear your flip-flops and bathing suit, the club does have a dress code after 8PM for safety's sake—nothing will ruin your vacation faster than a toe broken while abandoning your inhibitions on the dance floor, even if it is at one of San Diego's best bars.

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