873 Turquoise St • 858 488 4200
Reminiscent of the bars of Bohemian Europe, this Pacific Beach café exudes tradition in a high-speed world. You can even philosophize over a glass of absinthe. Tapas are the featured fare in the restaurant, and live entertainment is scheduled most nights.
La Valencia Hotel, La Jolla
Sitting in the hotel’s lobby lounge amid Spanish mosaics, hand-painted ceilings and murals, red-tiled floors, and huge palms is like being in a Spanish palace. Order a drink and gaze out at the ocean; a pianist plays in the evening. On sunny days, take advantage of the outside tables.
3111 Hancock St • 619 692 0696
Buy a cigar from the huge stock in the walk-in humidor, then light up in a rustic setting with big, comfortable furniture or on the patio. There are also craft beers, espresso, tapas, and panini. Bands play on weekends.
1068 K St • 503 358 8554
Baristas make your coffee from the finest beans at this East Village neighborhood café, small in size but big on quality. Service is friendly, beverages are diligently prepared, and the proprietors firmly believe in direct trade.
3343 Adams Ave • 619 282 0437
Named after the character in Anne Rice’s vampire novels, this café in a hip spot serves coffee and pastries 24 hours a day. Local bands entertain in the evening. There’s free Wi-Fi, too.
544 5th Ave • 619 232 9840
Literally imported from Ireland, the wood walls, flooring, decorations, and assorted curios were shipped over and reassembled. Even the bartenders and waitresses are the real thing, not to mention the Guinness. Grab a sidewalk seat on Fifth Avenue or try for a window seat upstairs. The pub food is also great.
4590 Park Blvd • 619 296 0616
Enjoy a latte and a snack in this fun café. It’s packed all day with locals. On the second and fourth Mondays of each month, you’ll find poetry readings being held here.
Window seats at this bar in the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel are at a premium at sunset, offering breathtaking views of the bay, Coronado, Point Loma, and the jets over Lindbergh Field. Dark woods exude a sedate, plush atmosphere, with drink prices to match.
1927 4th Ave • 619 255 2856
Chef/owner Christian Gomez serves bold dishes in an intimate, eclectic space with tropical plants, against a soundtrack of sultry rhythms. Carefully selected wines are available by the glass or bottle.
2044 Kettner Blvd • 619 232 9656
San Diego’s oldest tavern opened shortly after Prohibition ended. Customers at this basic watering hole ranged from laborers to lawyers, and the present clientele is still diverse. Business is brisk, the bar is fully stocked, and burgers and light fare are on the menu.
Enjoy the freshly-baked cinnamon rolls and Belgian waffles here.
222 Island Ave • 619 236 9902 • $
Try Café 222’s pumpkin waffles and French toast.
Start the morning here with crêpes, omelets, or a “tower of bagel”.
Hotel del Coronado
The room is legendary, and the Sunday feast amazing.
3628 5th Ave • 619 298 4646 • $
Locals vote this hip, award-winning café the best breakfast spot in town.
2271 1st Ave • 619 239 8176 • $
Enjoy waffles, omelets, and pancakes.
1851 Garnet Ave • 858 270 0045 • $
Choose from 30 varieties of omelets.
704 Garnet Ave • 858 483 1669 • No credit cards • $
Join the line for banana pancakes and breakfast burritos.
520 Front St • 619 231 7777 • $
More than 100 items are offered here.
3795 Mission Blvd • 858 488 9060 • $
Breakfast is served until 3pm in this funky “Chino-Latino” café.