Pacific Beach (or as the locals call it, PB) is a neighborhood in San Diego, California, that is known for its idyllic beaches and easy-going party atmosphere. With an abundance of bars & restaurants (the most per square mile in the county), there is no shortage of places to grab a cocktail or yummy meal. No matter if you’re in the mood for a casual beach bar or a fancy oceanfront meal, you’ll find it here. Here are my recommendations for the best bars & restaurants in Pacific Beach. Cheers!
PB Shore Club
Literally just steps from the sand, PB Shore Club has one of the best beach views on the boardwalk. It’s your quintessential college bar and it’s not fancy, but it sure is loved by both locals and tourists. The music is loud and it can get pretty crowded on weekends, but it’s a must stop if you are visiting. Grab a seat on the open-air rooftop patio and sip on one of their infamous Red Bull vodka slushies while taking in the view. The menu has an emphasis on Mexican food such as surf & turf quesadillas, lobster tacos, California burritos and more. The ceviche was really yummy!
JRDN at Tower23
Located in the Tower23 hotel, JRDN is thee spot on the boardwalk for high-end dining with a stunning ocean view. The sushi is some of the best I’ve had. I highly recommend the Lobster Sushi Roll and the Tuna, Tuna, Tuna Roll. And if you’re craving some comfort food, the Dope Mac & Cheese is just that! I’m not an oyster fan but I overheard several diners raving about them. And with a prime oceanfront location, the views can’t be beat.
The Grass Skirt
Sometimes I find speakeasys to be underwhelming, but the Grass Skirt lived up to the hype! First off, the location is truly hidden and adds to the experience. Let’s just say it involves a poke shop and a freezer door (check out my TikTok for a bts).
Once you’ve managed to find your way inside, you’ll enjoy the dim lighting, cozy seating, and amazing tiki-themed decor. The menu consists of Polynesian food and craft cocktails. For a little added excitement, be sure to order the Lava & Ice, which the bartender lights on fire. All the dishes we tried were yummy, but I’m still dreaming about the Dan Dan Noodles. Do yourself a favor and just order them. You can thank me later =)
Is Sunday brunch your thing? Check out FIREHOUSE. Here you’ll find the DJ spinning and the mimosas flowing! This boho-chic spot has an upstairs open-air patio complete with succulent-covered walls, a disco ball, firepit, private cabanas and a stunning ocean view.
PB Ale House
The rustic-chic PB Ale House is a favorite among locals. The rooftop bar is made for weekend brunching and sunset cocktails, but come by for specials during the week. On Dirty Burger Mondays you can grab a 2lb. burger, fries & house beer for $14.95.
If you’ve searched Pacific Beach on IG, you’ve probably come across El Prez. This trendy Mexican restaurant & bar features a menu of tacos, tortas & handcrafted cocktails.
The bottom floor of the building features cool décor and artwork, perfect for snapping some photos for the gram. The large rooftop patio is perfect for sipping on a margarita or ice cold beer while taking in the amazing ocean view.
With so many options it’s hard to narrow it down, but these are 6 of my favorite bars & restaurants in Pacific Beach. Let me know if you have another fave!
And if you’re looking for another cool spot in San Diego, check out my post on Where to Stay, Eat & Play in Oceanside.