San Diego Rooftop Bars are the perfect spot to enjoy the best of San Diego. Here we share our local’s list of favorite rooftop bars in San Diego that offer staggering views & crafty cocktails.
Whether it’s swanky, stylish, glamorous, or laid-back, there’s something about rooftop bars that’s definitely hot, trendy, and alluring. The formula for a perfect rooftop bar however remains pretty darn simple: a deck, a table, your favorite cocktail, the company of friends, or that perfect date, and of course…THE view. Yes, there has to be a view!
San Diego rooftop bars are plenty thanks to the perfect weather. They come in a variety of flavors to satisfy all who prefer to imbibe at a lofty bird’s eye level. Looking for an ocean view? Got that. City view? Got that too. Happy Hour? Yep, but always make sure to check with the venue or their websites for updated information.
So, let’s take a peek at some of our favorite places for food, fun, and drink. Here’s a list of the top bars perched high in the city of San Diego and its environs.
Best San Diego Rooftop Bars with a View: Downtown/Gaslamp Quarter
ALTITUDE SKY LOUNGE
Address: 660 K Street, San Diego, 92101
Phone: (619) 446-6024
This stunning rooftop bar soars 22 stories above the historic Gaslamp District offering unparalleled views of the city skyline, Coronado Bridge, Point Loma, and San Diego Bay.
But the best view this rooftop lounge offers is the spectacular vista over Petco Park providing the most impressive platform to watch a Padres game when the team is in town.
Located on the top floor of the Marriott Gaslamp Quarter, guests can enter the hotel lobby then take an elevator to the rooftop. Lounge sofas, cozy fire pits, and front row bar stool seating make this a perfect place for drinks and appetizers. And it’s hard to beat the vibrant and lively atmosphere of ALTITUDE.
The ROOFTOP BY STK
Address: 600 F Street, San Diego, 92101
Phone: (619) 849-1234
Located on the 7th floor of the hotel Andaz San Diego, STK’s rooftop steakhouse restaurant (hence the name) and bar feature American fare with a creative SoCal twist along with an inventive list of drinks and cocktails.
What’s great about this bar is its magnificent 360-degree panoramic view of the city and the San Diego skyline. It also just happens to be the largest rooftop bar in the Gaslamp District making for plenty of seating. No need to stand hawk over the next available seating.
Theatrical lights illuminate each table, and here’s the best part…STK has a retractable roof in the rare case the weather turns cold or rainy. Of course, that doesn’t happen much here in San Diego, so you can almost bet you’ll be enjoying the stunning views, amazing sunsets, and DJs happily playing your favorite tunes.
UPPER EAST BAR
Address: 435 6th Avenue, San Diego, 92101
Phone: (619) 819-9500
This trendy rooftop bar perched on the 4th floor of the Kimpton Solamar Hotel provides the ideal setting for chilling out and enjoying time with friends while relaxing on stylish lounge sofas, cozy fire pits, or private cabanas overlooking a lovely rooftop pool.
Guests can order from an innovative list of signature cocktails and small bites from Solamar’s award-winning ground floor restaurant Jsix. Happy Hour here is fun, and for those into outdoor games like Corn Hole or shuffleboard, this Kimpton location definitely has you covered.
Address: 535 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, 92101
Phone: (619) 232-1747
It may not be the highest rooftop bar in San Diego’s downtown, but there’s something about Rustic Root that is really special. This buzzing, open-air restaurant/cocktail bar is a favorite locals’ hangout. The delightfully vibrant establishment is a great place for socializing, sipping cocktails under the stars, and people-watching all the activity happening on the main drag of the Gaslamp.
The modern creative California cuisine rooted in local tradition is amazing as are the timeless classic cocktails and Rustic Root originals. On a cool night, we love sitting by the warming firepits.
Address: 453 Sixth Avenue #7007, San Diego, 92101
Phone: (619) 769-6536
Modern and trendy, this wonderful Gaslamp bar offers spectacular city views of Petco Park all the way to the Coronado Bridge. And those panoramic sunsets? Well, those come free of charge.
Situated on the 14th floor of the Courtyard Marriott Gaslamp, this visually-appealing swanky lounge delivers the perfect ambiance to enjoy happy hour, catch a setting sun, and get into the exuberant downtown vibe. Though the spacious terrace isn’t typically overcrowded, it might be a good idea to make reservations in advance to secure your best spot.
Best San Diego Rooftop Bars with a View: Little Italy
BORN AND RAISED
Address: 1909 India Street, San Diego, 92101
Phone: (619) 202-4577
Featuring gorgeous panoramic views of Little Italy, this fun and festive rooftop bar is quite popular with locals and visitors, especially given the tremendous growth and development of this eclectic San Diego neighborhood.
First of all, the upscale steakhouse restaurant with its shi-shi décor and wow factor really takes the cake. Then when we head to the lantern-lit rooftop bar and outdoor restaurant with its sexy velvet chairs, plaid booths, brass accents surrounded by a garden enclave, we are in absolute awe. Bottom line, it’s not hard to settle in for a cocktail or two in this classy but relaxing paradise.
Address: 2001 Kettner Blvd, San Diego 92101
Phone: (619) 255-2001
Trendy and chic, this lively open-air corner bar in Little Italy features two levels of indoor and outdoor dining. Though the views are not necessarily panoramic, one of the most fun aspects of being here is watching the planes heading to Lindbergh Field flying ultra-low over the terrace. And you’ll certainly find some enjoyable harbor views here as well.
The lounge features a variety of libations including boutique wines, craft and classic cocktails. Patrons can even reserve some really cool private cabanas that include self-serve beer taps. No need to go hungry, as their lounge menu includes several selections from the dinner menu as well.
Best San Diego Rooftop Bars with a View: East Village
Address: 795 J Street, San Diego, 92101
Phone: (619) 578-2392
Perched above the restaurant Rare Form, Fairweather’s patio bar pays homage to “drinks from sunny places” like tiki-inspired Mai Tais, zombies, and daiquiris. The bar’s drinks are not the only show in town here as Fairweather also touts the “best tacos in town” along with an impressive selection of other fun and creative small plates ideal for sharing. Insider tip: we highly recommend the Pololū Punch.
This hidden-gem gastropub is open for all Padres home games, an awesome treat since it boasts the best vantage and view of Petco Park with its rooftop in closest proximity to the stadium. Not to be outdone by their delightful cocktails, Fairweather features several local craft beers on tap, along with a full drink menu.
Seating is somewhat limited at this Mediterranean-styled venue, but it is intimate. This makes it a fun place to imbibe and interact with reportedly the friendliest bartenders around. Patrons however should plan to come early on game nights as reservations are not accepted for parties of less than 20.
Best San Diego Rooftop Bars with a View: Mission Beach
Address: 3105 Ocean Front Walk, San Diego, 92109
Phone: (619) 228-9304
San Diego’s largest rooftop bar is situated right on Mission Beach offering an incredible seascape vista from its ocean terrace. Modern and spacious, the rooftop offers a variety of seating from dining tables to lounge areas with fire pits that are perfect on a chilly Pacific Coast evening.
We love the bustling beach club vibe especially when live local bands enhance the already festive atmosphere. And who can possibly pass up California cuisine with Pacific Rim influences and…Cannonball’s incredible sushi? Add in some fun “beachy” cocktails and it’s the perfect recipe for a spectacular Southern California evening!
Best San Diego Rooftop Bars with a View: La Jolla
GEORGE’S AT THE COVE
Address: 1250 Prospect Street, La Jolla, 92037
Phone: (858) 454-4244
La Jolla definitely has class. Nowhere is this more evident than at this three-story ocean-terrace restaurant with a lovely rooftop bar. George’s offers sweeping views of the La Jolla Cove and it’s a big favorite among local rooftop diners. Cocktails here are creative and trendy with unique spirits and innovative infusions. They even offer up the originals, along with a few new twists of course.
The ocean terrace bar offers a full menu with daily food and drink specials. Modern California cuisine here is simply outstanding. As the saying goes, “Welcome to the Ocean Terrace, where life is to be enjoyed one sunset at a time.” Yes, we agree.
Address: 7863 Girard Ave., Third Floor, La Jolla, 92037
Phone: (858) 551-5105
Though it’s not located directly on the La Jolla coast, Catania dishes up some divine Italian cuisine, Italian-inspired cocktails, and fine wines in a panoramic ocean-view setting.
Located on the top floor of the newly redesigned La Plaza in the heart of the town, Catania is charming and stylish with a distinct friendly vibe. This is not as urban and high-energy as the Gaslamp rooftop bars. But it’s a great place with a lovely setting, ideal for unwinding with a date or good friends. And it’s Italian- and that’s always a recipe for fun!
Come for happy hour, and enjoy one of our favorite things to do here–taking in a Pacific sunset with the towering palms providing a picture-perfect backdrop.
Best San Diego Rooftop Bars with a View: Pacific Beach
Address: 4190 Mission Blvd, San Diego, 92109
Phone: (858) 750-2512
It’s all about the gourmet tacos made with the freshest local ingredients and served with house-made tortillas at this scenic rooftop Pacific Beach bar perched over the Pacific Beach boardwalk. The El Prez offers up panoramic ocean views and the lively night scene PB is known for.
The bar, named in honor of President Abraham Lincoln is themed to the concept of Dia de Los Muertos. This explains the vibrant colors, festive atmosphere, impressive collection of tequila, 18 draft beers on tap, and oh, did I mention the gourmet tacos?
With all these amazing elements blending harmoniously together, it’s no wonder El Prez is one of Pacific Beach’s favorite rooftop bar hangouts.
Actor Bob Basso once said “If it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right.” Believe me, these places are all doing it right.
Hanging out on a rooftop bar with a group of friends is awesome. Great food makes it even better. Now add in some spectacular views, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for an afternoon or night of fun.
Please feel free to share your favorite rooftop lounges in San Diego where you enjoy the food, the drinks, the company, and the view. We can’t wait to hear about your experiences!
Last Updated on November 17, 2021 by Maria Haase
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