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best places to take visitors - san diego

suggestions for places to take a visiting guest? not neccessarily looking for a foodie experience. looking for somewhere with either a view, semi-scene or mellow wine bar. or somewhere with a great happy hour menu!

thoughts at this point are:
c level
hotel solamar rooftop
arterra lounge

would prefer downtown / hillcrest / mission hills area of town.

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  1. If the weather is nice, drinks on the patio at C Level is hard to beat. Great view and pleasant enough surroundings. Food has always been inconsistent to me, but if you have to have food, the apps can be pretty good.

    For a mellow wine bar try either 3rd Corner or The Vine, both in OB

    1. I always love the deck at the Fish Market downtown. It is sort of a hidden gem as you can eat or drink as much as you want and sit back & relax in the comfy chairs.

      Bite SD & Starlight lounge both have good to fantastic food as well as fun scenes.

      1. View: I agree on C Level and Hotel Solamar Rooftop. If you want to step up the food one more notch I suggest Island Prime. And then for another step you could do Mr. A's which has an amazing view (especially at sunset).

        Scene: Maybe Bondi, Basic or The Field. Bondi was pretty fun the one time I went there and they've got solid Australian food and beers. I've only been to Basic late at night so I can't speak to it during more normal hours, but for late night eating and an atmosphere it's good stuff. The Field has pretty damned good authentic Irish food and an great pub atmosphere. The Boxties are excellent.

        Wine Bar: Wine Steals in Hillcrest is my favorite.

        1. And for a view of the city from a different perspective, don't forget to include Coronado in the mix. The view of San Diego from there is spectacular at night!

          1. Everyone has given great suggestions and to add to the mix, I like the Bali Hai..best mai tais and they have some pretty decent food..views are stunning.
            Love C level/Island Prime and the food is getting better.
            Outside on the deck of the Fish Market is always a good time.
            Top of the Hyatt
            Bertrand's at Mister A's
            Any rooftop bar in the Gaslamp..during a Padre game the Marriott Gaslamp has a fun bar..across the street from Petco Park.
            Hotel Del
            Brigantine Shelter Island for the Happy hour
            If you venture North..
            Jake's Del Mar
            George's Modern
            Marine Room
            Crab Catcher on the patio
            La Valencia out on the patio overlooking the Pacific.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Beach Chick

              Jake's Del Mar evokes such pleasant memories of the ocean rolling in as we dined on fresh shrimp and fish tacos.

              Great place for lunch...outdoors on the patio, you'll never want to leave.

            2. I'd check out Hamilton's Tavern in South Park, so your guest can experience some of San Diego's world-class beers. They have a lot of really good stuff on tap and in bottles.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Josh

                I'll second the deck at the Fish Market deck as a great place for out of town guests.

                If they are arriving by plane during the day, there is also Point Loma seafood to go, and then head up to Cabrillo Monument which has one of the best views of San Diego, IMO...

                1. re: Josh

                  Both Hamilton's and O'brien's have an excellent local beer selection.

                  If making the trek up to Alpine isn't a problem you could try out the Liar's Club. The beer selection is on par with Hamilton's but I think the food is slightly better.

                  For a slightly smaller (but still excellent) local beer selection and excellent food you could take your visitors to The Linkery.

                2. I agree that c level has lovely views. We also like to watch the seaworld fireworks from El Agave in old town and I do like the food. I usually take people to celadon too, the foods great, the service is lovely (esp boo) and the people watching is always fun. There is always something funny going on there.

                  1. Prado is in the middle of Balboa Park, which is a great setting for their patio. I know that they have been mentioned on the board before, but I can't recall if it was positive or negative. Sorry about that, but a search for "Prado" or "Balboa Park" should pick it up.

                    Prado At Balboa Park
                    Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101

                    1. There is actually a wine bar in Point Loma (Liberty Station) called MELLOW, a wine bar! They have a great happy hour from 4-7PM weekdays, tasting events on Tuesdays and an awesome deal on tastes for Sat during the day (5 tastes of wine for $10 or 10 tastes for $20). They also have panini's, salads and light apps.