My bachelorette pad (that I kindly share with my bf) technically falls within the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego but straddles the line that crosses over into the Waterfront/Embarcadero/Marina district of downtown San Diego. When I first moved into my place almost six years ago the in-between location was quiet, had an interesting mix of demographics and was definitely devoid of any hip places to eat or drink. Fast forward just five short years and it’s a bustling mecca of great food and drinks, with a strong, like-minded young professional and millennial presence. Next time you’ve got friends in town or are just looking for something to do on a gorgeous afternoon, follow along on my Marina District Cocktail Crawl!
#1. CARNITAS SNACK SHACK AT THE EMBARCADERO
Start things off with drinks and a view at Carnitas Snack Shack along the Embarcadero. In addition to a slew of cocktails featuring local spirits, they make a mean Old Tom Gimlet, one of my favorite classic cocktails. And since I apparently like to kick these things off with fries, you must order CSS’s spicy seasoned ones. Factor in the smoky bacon ketchup and they’re can’t-miss.
#2. PUESTO AT THE HEADQUARTERS
Continue along the waterfront to Puesto at The Headquarters. Their fresh strawberry margarita is my idea of a perfect marg – not too sweet, not too tart – and their off-menu Cali taco is the stuff of dreams. If you’re not in the mood for a margarita, try one of their Mezcal cocktails or a beer from neighboring Tijuana’s burgeoning craft brewery scene.
#3. THE LION’S SHARE
From there you can crawl, literally, across Harbor Drive and less than half a block down Kettner Blvd to The Lion’s Share. Choose one of their exceptional cocktails off the extensive menu or ask for bartender’s choice. I like to request “gin, rocks, savory,” and more often than not I end up with a delicious basil and bell pepper gimlet sort of thing that is out of this world.
#4. ROY’S HAWAIIAN FUSION AT THE WATERFRONT MARRIOT
Head back to the waterfront, through Seaport Village and towards the boats. Although not exactly the first place I think of when I want a craft cocktail, Hawaiian fusion chain restaurant Roy’s‘ waterfront location at the Marriot has a trifecta that’s hard to pass up: enjoying the sunset on their al fresco patio with a Mai Tai, asushi roll and some people watching thrown in for good measure.
#5. THE WHISKEY HOUSE
Take a stroll along the marina and watch the boats come in before crossing over the convention center steps to the Whiskey House for a night cap. In addition to over 1700 (yes, that’s seventeen hundred!) whiskeys to choose from, they have an impressive cocktail menu, twenty taps pouring local beers and a thoughtful wine list. Best of all, whiskey enthusiasts with a sweet tooth can nibble on some Laphroaig ice cream or a Bourbon brownie sundae to finish off the night!
What are your favorite spots in the Marina District? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below!