Our Favorite Secret (and Not So Secret) San Diego Speakeasies
Covert entryways, live jazz, and more—get to know three local off-the-radar bars, and one across the border
This month’s Secret San Diego cover story highlights hush-hush spots in the city, including Julian gold mine tunnels, music-making bridges, and giant salt mountains in Chula Vista. We also delve into top-secret places to dine and drink, like The Charles Kenneth, an underground craft cocktail lounge in Carlsbad. Here, three more hidden bars for adventurous imbibers who appreciate a carefully crafted drink, whiskey, and even live jazz music on a weeknight.
This underground bar was made for whiskey lovers. There’s a switch in the back of Seven Grand for visitors to alert servers they want to enter. Inspired by Japanese whisky bars, Bar Three Piece offers a whiskey list of more than 400 marks of rare or hard to find whiskeys.
3054 University Avenue, North Park
Push through what appears to be a stack of old beer kegs near the bathroom of the restaurant Neighborhood to be transported to the Prohibition era. The candlelit room with brass skulls lining the walls and talented mixologists behind the bar holds just 35 people, so make sure to make a reservation a week in advance.
777 G Street, Gaslamp
Prohibition, an underground speakeasy, is hidden under the guise of “The Law Office of Eddie O’Hare Esq.” This small, quiet bar is known for its whiskey sour and live jazz music every Wednesday night. Make sure to dress according to the more formal dress code—or you may not be let in during the busy weekends.
548 Fifth Avenue, Gaslamp
Across the border is Nortico, Tijuana’s first speakeasy. Housed inside the Oryx Capital restaurant, Nortico hopes to do for Tijuana what Noble Experiment did for San Diego: ignite the city’s craft cocktail scene. (Like Noble Experiment, you’ll need to text ahead of time to reserve your seats and, also like Noble Experiment, there will be a few chairs at the bar available for walk-ins.) When you arrive, you’ll get a complimentary housemade milk punch as an amuse bouche.
Boulevard Aguacaliente 10750, Tijuana