North Park is one of San Diego locals’ favorite neighborhoods for eating, bar hopping, and tasting local beers on tap. With a deep-rooted culture in art, craft beer, cocktails, and food, this hipster haven had once been known as an “up and coming” neighborhood, but it’s now one of the top trendy areas in all of San Diego County! There are many things to do in San Diego but you don’t want to miss visiting North Park. If you’re not going on a North Park brewery tour, here’s a guide to help you maneuver your way to getting buzzed and having fun.
North Park’s Cocktail Bars
This hip North Park bar is located right on University Avenue and features one of the largest selections of premium whiskeys in the West and is a part of the 213 Hospitality Group from Los Angeles, and features live music every night of the week. Their happy hour runs Mon-Sat until 8 PM, and features $5 beers, and $6 cocktails! Enjoy Seven, and try a whiskey, scotch or other smooth drinks made by their brilliant mixologists! The best part is that you can enjoy live music while sipping something fancy with no cover, but make sure to get here early to avoid the line to get in on the weekend.
For the refined whiskey drinker, Bar Three Piece can be found at the back end of Seven Grand and offers connoisseurs some top-shelf options. Whiskey bottles are found displayed in vintage cases in what looks like a traditional hunter’s lodge. This venue will give off a downtown speakeasy vibe and is classically styled with rich wood, oil lanterns, and cozy booths. You’ll enjoy jazz and blues playing over their sound system because here they keep it classy and real.
This popular bar reminds us of a bar/bistro in France circa 1923. Escape the dive bars in this handcrafted building. From the white marble and wood bar, to the lady statue lanterns, you’ll feel as if you’ve teleported to a time that was more refined. Have your try at one of their house-made elixirs served in the appropriate glassware with the appropriate type of ice. To say that this bar takes their drink making seriously would be an understatement. A good cocktail, or two, should be enjoyed with a hearty bite, and while Polite Provisions isn’t a restaurant, their neighbor Soda and Swine can have fresh, piping hot meatball dishes delivered directly to your stool.
North Park’s Party Bars
The Office mixes “business with pleasure” and has DJ’s/music 6-nights/week and is known for their classic hip-hop beats. Let some steam off after work for their happy hour, which goes from 4 PM – 7 PM and offers guests half-off on all drinks, or stay later and enjoy their limited happy hour until 9 pm for $5 on select drinks. You can get carried away at The Office with deals like that, but at least you can tell your colleagues you hung out at The Office until really late, and score some points with the big bosses.
This bar is a North Park classic and has been known for their nightly entertainment, authentic disco ball, flying pink elephants, and bubbly-enhanced cocktails. Expect music 7-nights a week, and check out the Tiki Tuesdays for something totally unique. Their rotating line up of bands will have any live music junkie bobbing their head, or check out their first Friday hip-hop nights and comedy nights. This place is perfect for someone with a taste for parties and events. For more information on their schedule, check it out here.
For the sports fan in North Park, head to True North where you’ll get a “true” sports bar experience with TVs around the whole venue. Grab a bite from their surprisingly delicious menu, and hang out on their patio as you watch the such as Monday night trivia, and the art-infused Soul Jam on Tuesday nights, as well as the Indie Pop/Rock Sundays with $4 you-call-its. This bar will keep you busy all week long!
The Redwing Bar and Grill has nothing to do with Red Wing Shoes or Red Wing Minnesota, but everything to do with karaoke and a good time! This is North Park’s signature karaoke bar and features theme nights and a younger, “open-minded” clientele. The “Wing” is a hipster hangout for some, and don’t be surprised to find Drag Queens who pour out their soul, sweat, and insults while singing or such on stage. Come for a beer and cocktails on Wednesday to take part in their all night happy hour.
West Coast Tavern can be considered to be the “anchor” bar/tavern in North Park mainly for its location near the iconic North Park sign and the historic building it calls home. The building was built in 1928 and was known as the North Park Theater, and West Coast Tavern takes up what would have been the lobby of the theater. Today, you can enjoy tasty menu items with your drinks before heading back into what is now known as The Observatory North Park — a theater known for its intimate concerts. The Tavern is known for their amazing late night happy hour and nightly DJs. Even ask about their options for private parties!
North Park Breweries
The Belching Beaver has made quite a name for itself in the world of San Diego Brewing companies. With their fun take on introducing unique flavors, they have managed to win the hearts of beer fanatics of all types. We love their “Me So Honey Blonde” beer, which is brewed with the best local honey, and their ever-so-popular “Mexican Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout” has some cinnamon and coffee notes, making this a great dessert beer. If you’re in North Park stopping by to have a local brew from the Belching Beaver Brewing Company is a must!
Modern Times’ North Park tasting room is often referred to Flavordome. They offer 16 beers on taps of their unique variations and pilot batches, along with some mysterious experiments. You’re welcome to bring in food or have it delivered straight to your table from one of the many tasty restaurants nearby. As a family-friendly brewery, they allow young children (under the age of 13) and dogs are permitted on the patio only.
Just steps away from University Ave you’ll find a large brewing production facility and a tasting room called Mike Hess Brewing. As you walk into the tasting room, you’ll go over a bridge that will have you looking down into the brewery for the perfect view of the production. MHB has great service and ample room, which makes it a great place for beer drinking with buddies, your family, or Fido. Enjoy the local art on the walls and take on opponents at a game of darts.
This tasting room is perfect for the group who loves beer, wine and food. You’ll find 29 taps pouring up house beers as well as special guest beers. Taste one of the stronger barrel aged options, or something super unique like the Cocoa Belgian Blonde. They also offer the non-beer drinkers glasses of wine, and the brewery shares space with the delicious kitchen of Sublime North Park, so you can nosh on tasty bar bites as you wash it down with your fresh pour.
With so many restaurant and bar options in the trendy North Park community, you can certainly find a destination to whet your palate or simply get loose and have a good dance session. You may have a tough time deciding where to go, so a safe bet would be to start at 30th and University and see where the day or night takes you. Have fun, drink responsibly, and if you find that you want an expert guide, call on So Diego Tours to plan the perfect food and/or cocktail/brewery tour for you!0