The great thing about putting together our annual Bars & Clubs issue is that we discover scads of watering holes and gathering spots that we'd never find otherwise. When we were divvying up the hundreds of bars listed in these pages, some of us chose drinkeries that we're familiar with. Me, I let issue coordinator Todd Kroviak give me a random chunk. He selected mostly Downtown bars for me to write up, which is ironic because I don't typically hang out in the city's core; it's a little too crazy down there for my aging sensibilities. But forced to see these bars and nightclubs for myself, I was surprised to find some hidden gems.
And that's the beauty of this issue: Ideally, it's a treasure map of sorts, a guide to new discoveries. So, hang on to it, and break it out when you and your friends get tired of the usual haunts. You can even make a game of it: See how many new places, in different parts of town, you can get to before we do it all again next year.In keeping with the “new” theme, we've featured six local bars that have either opened or reinvented themselves within the last year: The Salty Frog, Soda Bar, Syrah, Tin Can Ale House, Voyeur and Whisknladle. Their stories are scattered among the listings that follow.
With so large an undertaking, we're bound to let some bars fall through the cracks (we've likely just scratched the surface of North County, for example, and we have lots of work to do with the South Bay), so let us know what we missed (email@example.com), and we'll get it in next year.
- Downtown and East Village
- Little Italy and Middletown
- Hillcrest, Bankers Hill and Mission Hills
- University Heights, Normal Heights, and Kensington
- North Park, South Park and Golden Hill
- Mission Valley
- City Heights and College Area
- The Mesas
- Old Town and Bay Park
- Point Loma, Midway and the islands
- Ocean Beach
- Mission and Pacific Beach
- La Jolla
- North Coast
- Coronado and Imperial Beach
- South County
- East County
- And more...
Listings by Seth Combs, Kelly Davis, Audrey Gloger, Todd Kroviak, Enrique Limón, Marianne Lontoc, Mary Mann, David Rolland, Sammi Skolmoski and Eric Wolff.