Updated at: 13-10-2023 - By: John Lau

San Diego is known for its vibrant nightlife scene, and one of the most beloved aspects of that scene is the city’s dive bars.

While craft cocktails and upscale bars have their place, dive bars offer a unique experience that can’t be found anywhere else.

These unpretentious bars are often characterized by their stiff drinks, colorful clientele, and jukeboxes blaring through dark rooms. They are democratic spaces that don’t depend on design but are valued by the community.

In this article, we will explore the best dive bars in San Diego, from North County to the South Bay, that are worth a shot or five. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, these bars are sure to provide a memorable night out.

Top 15 Best Dive Bars In San Diego

Aero Club Bar

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The Aero Club Bar is a popular bar located in San Diego, California.

– The bar is known for its extensive whiskey selection. It has a pool table and pinball machines.

– The bar has knowledgeable bartenders and good prices for high-end cocktails and whiskey.

– The bar has over 800 different whiskeys.

– The bar has been serving whiskey aficionados since 1947. The bar is a popular dive bar with reasonably-priced drinks.

– The bar is located at 3365 India St, San Diego, CA 92103.

– The bar is open from 2 pm to 2 am every day. The bar has a health score.

If you are in San Diego and like whiskey, the Aero Club Bar is a great place to visit.

The Silver Fox

The Silver Fox is a lounge located in San Diego, California. It is a cash-only establishment with vintage decor and free pool on weekdays.

The lounge is known for its happy hour which starts at 6 AM. The Silver Fox has a phone number listed on Yelp and has received positive reviews on TripAdvisor.

High Dive Bar and Grill

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The High Dive Bar and Grill is a popular sports bar located in San Diego, California.

–  The High Dive Bar and Grill is located at 1801 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110.

– The bar has a sports-bar vibe and features pinball games, plenty of TVs, and a menu of local beer.

– The menu at the High Dive Bar and Grill features elevated pub bites and “damn good grub”. They offer a full menu, which can be found on their website.

–  The High Dive Bar and Grill hosts game watch parties for various sports, including college football and baseball.

–  The establishment has received positive reviews on Yelp, with an overall rating of 4 stars out of 5 based on 776 reviews.

Star Bar

Star Bar is a dive bar located in the Gaslamp District of San Diego, California. It has been in operation since 1974.

The bar is known for its relaxed atmosphere, budget pours, and pool tables. It is also pet-friendly.

The opening hours are from 1 PM to 1:30 AM on weekdays and from 10 AM to 1:30 AM on weekends. The bar only accepts cash payments.

Customers have praised the bar for its cheap drinks, pool table, darts, and friendly bartenders.

The Waterfront Bar and Grill

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The Waterfront Bar & Grill is a renowned restaurant and tavern located in the heart of Little Italy, San Diego. It was opened in 1933, the year prohibition was repealed, and has been a popular spot ever since.

The bar and grill serves pub grub and has a happy hour that draws crowds. The Waterfront is San Diego’s oldest tavern and has been a place where everyone is welcome since its opening.

It was originally opened to serve the booming tuna industry and provide relaxation and fun for the hardworking men and women. The bar and grill has a menu that includes items such as chipotle fries and a half-pounder burger.

The Waterfront is open from 8:00 am to 2:00 am every day of the week. Visitors can sit outside at the tables and enjoy their meals while watching people and their dogs go by on a beautiful San Diego morning.

The bar and grill has received positive reviews on TripAdvisor, with many customers praising the food and atmosphere.

The Kraken

The Kraken is a bar located in Cardiff By the Sea, California. It has been serving cold beer and rock & roll since 1976.

The bar is known for its live music events. It is a dive bar that serves cold beer and has a rock and roll atmosphere. The Kraken is located near Tower 13.

 Instant Replay

Based on the search results, it seems that “Instant Replay” is a dive bar located in Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, California. It is known for its authentic dive bar atmosphere, with Metallica and Dio on the jukebox and PBR beer for $4.25.

The bar also hosts live prize trivia events. Unfortunately, there is not enough information to determine if Instant Replay has any specific connection to instant replay technology used in sports or other fields.

Booty Bassment

Booty Bassment is a hip hop dance party that takes place in San Diego. It is hosted by DJs Dimitri and Rob Moran and is San Diego’s longest-running hip hop dance party.

The event takes place at the Whistle Stop Bar, which is a local bar with a laid-back house party vibe. The bar is located at 2236 Fern St, San Diego, California.

Booty Bassment takes place on the second, fourth, and fifth Saturdays of every month. The party has been around since 2002. Tickets for the event cost $15.

Cherry Bomb

Cherry Bomb is a dive bar located at 2237 1st Ave in San Diego, California. It is known for its stiff drinks and punk theme.

The bar is located in the Banker’s Hill neighborhood and offers bike parking. It is a popular spot for happy hour.

Brewski’s Bar & Arcade

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Brewski’s Bar & Arcade is a gathering place for beer, sports, and standard pub grub, located at 8670 Miramar Rd, San Diego, CA 92126.

It is an unadorned bar with a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on Google Maps, with a total of 1161 ratings.

The bar has an amazing collection of arcade games, including Street Fighter 2, Area 51/Max Force, Daytona USA, CarnEvil, Big Buck Hunter, Galaga, Ms. Pacman, Pacman Royal 4 player, air hockey, pool tables, Darts, TMNT, and beer pong.

They also have an amazing selection of pinball machines, such as Attack from Mars, Monster Bash, Godzilla, Deadpool, Foo Fighters, James Bond, Deadpool, and The Big Lebowski.

The bar shows all UFC PPV events and all major sporting events on their big screen TVs. Brewski’s Bar & Arcade is a 21+ establishment with no exceptions. They have 29 beers on tap and full liquor.

Haunted Head Saloon

The Haunted Head Saloon is located at 207 N Tremont St, Oceanside, CA 92054. It is open 7 days a week from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. .

The saloon is known for its haunted history and is rumored to be visited by ghosts. It is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, with a health score of “Yes”.

The saloon has a menu, and customers can book a table by calling the phone number provided. The saloon has an Instagram account with 1260 followers.

Captain Keno’s

Captain Keno’s is a restaurant located in Encinitas, California. It is known for serving generous plates of traditional American fare and cocktails at an affordable price.

The restaurant has a bar and TV room where customers can relax and enjoy their meals. Captain Keno’s is considered to be Encinitas’s oldest surviving restaurant, still owned by the concept’s founder.

The building was originally built in the 1920s and has been a restaurant since the 1940s. In September 2022, the restaurant welcomed the return of its newly refurbished sign after waiting for more than 18 months.

Tower Bar

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The Tower Bar is a dive bar located in the iconic City Heights building in San Diego since 1932. It offers a full bar, live shows, and a jukebox.

The bar has a happy hour from 4 pm to 7 pm daily, with $1 off all drafts and wells. The Tower Bar is rated 4.6 out of 5 with a total of 336 ratings on Google Maps.

It is a small space that can get crowded, but the crowd is fun and friendly. The bar hosts punk rock bands and music videos. The Tower Bar can host live music any night of the week.

The bar’s contact information is 4757 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92105, (619) 284-0158, and [email protected]. The Tower Bar has an Instagram account with 13K followers, 2129 following, and 1176 posts.

The Hole In The Wall

The Hole in the Wall is a dive bar located in San Diego’s Liberty Station. It is known for being one of the city’s first openly gay bars and continues to draw crowds with large cocktails and a patio.

The bar has been around since 1924 and is known for being the friendliest dive bar in San Diego. They offer daily food and dining service on their outdoor patio and have happy hour on Mondays.

The bar offers karaoke, beer pong, pitchers, and more. The Hole in the Wall is a popular spot among locals and has received positive reviews on Yelp

. It has also been mentioned on Reddit as one of the best hole-in-the-wall places in San Diego. The bar’s Instagram page features pictures of their drinks and specials.

The Turquoise

The Turquoise bar in San Diego is actually The Turquoise Café-Bar Europa, which is a tapas bar that serves dishes inspired by southern Europe.

It is located in Pacific Beach, San Diego, and has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 on Google Maps with a total of 235 ratings. The bar also has a page on TripAdvisor with 54 reviews and a rating of 4 out of 5.

The Turquoise Café-Bar Europa is known for its nightly jazz and folk music in a dim, bohemian setting.