Good Whiskey bars have a certain edge to them.
Even the most elegant whiskey bar has a certain something, a je ne sais quoi, that sets them apart from your average watering hole.
Whiskey or Whisky has a long and rich history that continues to grow to this day. The earliest written record of whiskey production comes from all the way back in 1494!
“To Friar John Cor, by order of the King, to make aqua vitae, VIII bolls of malt.”
— Exchequer Rolls of Scotland, 1 June 1494.
Eight bolls of malt would have been enough to make 1,500 bottles of whiskey! King James IV sure was a whiskey fan! San Diego is lucky to have many fantastic whiskey bars to channel your inner James IV, Mark Twain, or better yet, Mariam Profit.
The Aero Club Whiskey Bar is amongst the best whiskey bars in the country! Since its opening in 1947 is has served residents of the Mission Hills area near the airport. Mariam Profit, a local pilot, opened the Aero Club in 1947. She had been looking for a place for employees working at the nearby aircraft factory to gather and enjoy a drink. She only owned the bar for three years, and it bounces from owner to owner, declining in quality. At one point, it was considered too dangerous and seedy. Its newest owner Bill Lutzius turned things around. Now, the Aero Club and Whiskey Bar is a must-see for any whiskey lover or those who appreciate an authentic quality bar. They have 1200+ whiskeys and unique whiskey-based cocktails.
Location: 3365 India St
Seven Grand in North Park is a fantastic spot for true whiskey lovers! They offer live music, pool tables, and just about any whiskey you can think of. At the Seven Grand, you can also sign up for an individual membership for whiskey connoisseurs, Whiskey Society. It’s clear to see why so many whiskey lovers call this home.
Location: 3054 University Ave
Continuing with the 1920s inspired aesthetic is Polite Provisions on 30th and Adams. They specialize in one-of-a-kind whiskey cocktails you won’t forget. You and your inner flapper will have a hoot of a time at Polite Provisions.
Location: 4696 30th St
“Too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” – Mark Twain. If you agree with Mark Twain, then The Whiskey House is the place for you! The Whiskey House has over 3,200 whiskeys, original cocktails, draft beers, a complete wine list, whiskey flights, and so much more! Their food is terrific and will definitely pair up perfectly with a drink from their extensive menu. Whiskey is the backbone of the Whiskey House, so this is another fantastic option to enjoy a glass on the rocks, plain or however, you prefer!
Location: 420 Third Ave
Bar Three Piece is a whiskey playground! You’ll find an excellent whiskey selection and a low-key and friendly atmosphere. They regularly host fantastic tasting events that are a great way to broaden your whiskey knowledge. They have bottle lockers if you’re real fancy! Bar Three Piece is open nightly from 8 pm to 2 am.
Location: 3054 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
Once you enter this beautiful Victorian bar it will feel like you’re stepping back in time. Salt & Whiskey is located inside The Horton Grand Hotel. The bar and restaurant boasts a decadent Victorian vibe. There is delicious food and an inventory of rare, hard-to-find scotch and whiskeys to try. This Gaslamp spot is a fabulous option for a relaxing evening out as you enjoy a rare whiskey while taking in its victorian atmosphere.
Location: 311 Island Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Unlike many of its speakeasy predecessors of the 1920s, Raised By Wolves isn’t exactly hidden but rather hidden in plain sight. When you enter the bar, you won’t find a bar but instead a bougie liquor storefront. To get “in,” you’ll have to sit down in one of the two burgundy velvet chairs in front of the fireplace, and well, this is where things get theatrical! They have a great selection of expensive small batch whiskeys from Ireland, to Japan, to South America and beyond.
8. Whiskey Girl
The Whiskey Girl is all about a fun time! This busy spot is a lively sports bar with comforting American food and a fantastic bourbon selection. There’s almost always live music and in the evening this is a great place to dance the night away. If your looking for an affordable lunch option with an excellent beer and whiskey selection this is a fantastic option.
Location: 702 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
If you’re around Oceanside, we have the place for you! Urge Gastropub and Whiskey Bank serves up food, beer, a great whiskey selection, all with unpretentious and friendly service! They also have a 20s themed speakeasy that is only open on certain days. It has limited seating and a different menu from the restaurant.
Location: 16761 Bernardo Center Dr
Barleymash in the Gaslamp is all about delicious food, beer, and bourbon. Bourbon is like the cool younger brother or sister in the whiskey family. So if you’re up for that type of night, you should visit this high-energy bar and restaurant. This easy-going spot is a great spot to let loose.
Location: 600 Fifth Ave #6916
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