The Best Happy Hours in San Diego County, CA

San Diego County is a great place to enjoy a night out without breaking the bank. With plenty of happy hour specials and longer days, you can find the perfect spot to relax and have a good time. From Italian restaurants in Harborview to rooftop patios in Carlsbad Village, here are some of the best happy hours in San Diego County.


is one of my favorite Italian restaurants in Harborview.

Located just a few blocks north of the USS Midway, at the intersection of West Fir Street and Kettner Boulevard, Monello serves contemporary Italian food in a bright and welcoming environment. Recently renovated and with a new executive chef, Elias González (Eddie V's), the surf and lawn-style restaurant has a fresh menu that includes yellow chili ceviche, cioppino with saffron, and lamb chops seasoned with jerky, along with cocktails like Calypso, which contains blueberries, rum and cachaça.

The Bar By The Red Door

is another great spot for happy hour. This sophisticated but unpretentious bar and restaurant is located in the center of the city's Gaslamp District, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Market Street. With dim lighting, a wooden bar, and shelves full of whiskey bottles from around the world, it's a fun, modern restaurant that's perfect for drinks and dinner.

Rustic Root

is another great option for happy hour.

This modern, casual bar and restaurant has a locally famous rooftop patio and a reputation for good times. The sprawling 8,000-square-foot restaurant and sports bar in Carlsbad Village is known for its barbecue, but chef Quinnton “Q” Austin recently opened a complementary venue focused on seafood in the space. On the food menu, you'll find dishes such as octopus ceviche, lamb meatballs, filet slider, tacos and oysters from the Côte d'Azur grilled and prepared with pernod cream sauce, wilted arugula, garlic, lemon, feta cheese and breadcrumbs with herbs. If you're looking for something closer to the coast, Zinque is worth checking out. Located just a few blocks inland from the San Diego Coast Guard Air Station on Kettner Boulevard between West Ivy Street and West Hawthorn Street, Zinque serves fresh, contemporary seafood, salads, and sandwiches in an open, friendly environment. Finally, Bootlegger is one of the most popular venues in San Diego.

Located on 5th Avenue near Market Street just down the road from the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, Bootlegger has a relaxed atmosphere during the day but picks up quite a bit at night with local DJs and much more. No matter what kind of atmosphere you're looking for or what type of food you're craving, there's sure to be something for everyone at these great happy hours in San Diego County.

Kathie Defalco
Kathie Defalco

Proud introvert. Total pop culture specialist. Wannabe coffee junkie. Amateur twitter maven. Passionate pop culture enthusiast.