The Gaslamp Quarter, Historic San Diego
San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter is where
history, fine dining, shopping and
entertainment come together in sights,
sounds and tastes. In fact, the 16-block
area between Fourth and Sixth avenues,
Broadway and the waterfront has been
designated a National Historic District.
Here you will find many beautifully reconstructed
buildings from a bygone era.
These buildings now house fashionable
restaurants, popular nightclubs, galleries,
shops, stylish apartments, lofts and
Architecturally, the Gaslamp Quarter
contains many of the best Victorian-style
commercial buildings constructed in San
Diego. San Diego's New Town had its
beginning when businessman Alonzo Horton, founder of downtown San Diego, first
built his wharf at the foot of Fifth Avenue.
Today, there is a new appreciation for
the grand old buildings. This change has
come about as a result of the efforts of
the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation
and Council, the City Planning
Department, as well as numerous local
The Gaslamp's renaissance is seen in
more than 200 restaurants, shops, galleries
and nightclubs that now fill the area.
The mixture contributes to the Gaslamp's
two personalities. By day it's a shopper's
paradise with such destinations as Lucky
Brand Jeans, GOGA by Gordana boutique,
Jacques LeLong Boutique and Urban
By night the mood changes, and the
area comes alive with the laughter and
energy of people out on the town for a
night of dancing, dining or just to see the
amazing sights. Cars cruise Fifth Avenue,
both to see and be seen. The Gaslamp
becomes alive and electric. Some of the
best nightclub entertainment in San Diego
County is in the Gaslamp Quarter. It
includes everything from salsa music to
rhythm and blues to flamenco dancing!
An excellent place to park is at Ace
Parking's 6th and K Parkade (25) (619-233-3994). See map. This 1,000-
space public parking structure is located
at Sixth Avenue and K Street adjacent to
the Gaslamp Quarter, PETCO Park, and
the Omni and Marriott hotels. The welllit,
seven-story structure offers daily
parking rates of ($1) per hour from 3
a.m.-6 p.m., ($3) flat rate Sun.-Thurs.
after 6 p.m. and ($8) maximum flat rate
Fri.-Sat. on nonevent nights. For San
Diego Padres games a flat rate of ($12)
is the lowest you'll find. There's even a
pedestrian bridge crossing from the
garage directly into the park! Rates for
other events may vary. Cash or checks
Fun is always on tap when you dine at Rock Bottom Brewery in the Gaslamp. Rock Bottom Brewery is a lively and casual dining experience featuring fresh, handcrafted beers brewed on premise and an innovative menu. Rock Bottom Brewery, which is a giant in the microbrewing industry has an excellent location in nearby La Jolla. You’ll discover that this location of Rock Bottom Brewery and restaurant is a perfect venue for great-tasting food and delicious local handcrafted award-winning beer. Rock Bottom Brewery is also an ideal gathering spot for friends and family.
Another alternative for parking is the
centrally located Westfield Shoppingtown Horton Plaza (26) parking
structure. The cost is ($8) per hour for
non-shoppers and ($2) for every additional
15 minutes. You can self-validate
your ticket at one of their six marked validation
stations in the mall for three free
hours of parking. Many restaurants also
offer valet parking, so parking isn't a big
problem at night.
Serving home-style food since 1979, the Broken Yolk Café 355 6th Ave. (619-338-9655) is a favorite among local San Diegans and hungry visitors alike. With a strong dedication to good food and equally good service, the Broken Yolk has built a reputation for its large menu, ample portions and freshly-made flavor. With over twenty different omelets plus a large variety of breakfast favorites including pancakes, waffles and French toast, Broken Yolk satisfies even the heartiest of diners - all in a clean, comfortable and casual atmoshpere.
For great dining, make your way to the fifth floor. Here you’ll find an excellent award-winning Chinese restaurant called Panda Inn (22) (619-233-7800). Their honey walnut shrimp is a great choice. They also offer four hours of free parking when you dine here. Save 10% off your total bill with their coupon.
Horton Plaza Mall |
San Diego Symphony |
Padres at PETCO Park
The SAN DIEGAN walking tour can
begin anywhere along the tour route.
Simply find your location on the Gaslamp
map and follow the numbered sequence,
which will enable you to see all of the recommended
Since many people come to the
Gaslamp Quarter from the San Diego Convention
Center, our tour begins just
across the street from the convention
center at the foot of Fifth Avenue at
Harbor Drive (see map). In total, you can
see eight blocks of nightclubs, restaurants
and shops on both sides of the avenue.
Along the way you will see many fascinating
stores, shops and restaurants.
Near the foot of Harbor Drive and Fifth
Avenue is the one and only Hard Rock
Hotel San Diego (1) at 207 Fifth Ave.
(619-702-3000). On the fourth floor is their
ultra chic outdoor lounge called Float. By
day Float is an amazing place to soak up
the rays by the pool, and at night it is
transformed into a swanky and vibrant
nightclub under the stars. It also offers
a bird's eye view of the Gaslamp Quarter.
Across the street is a fabulous seafood
restaurant called Lou & Mickey's (2) at 224 Fifth Ave. (619-237-4900). Walk into
Lou & Mickey's and you know you're
enter ing a popular seafood restaurant.
The first thing you'll see is a raw bar in
the foyer offering build-your-own seafood
selections, which is overflowing with fresh
oysters, lobster, scallops and more. Sit at
the nickel-top bar and enjoy a glass of
wine from their 200-plus item wine list.
The patio is also a popular spot for people
Next door to Lou & Mickey's at 226
Fifth Ave. is a shopping destination called Bubbles Boutique (2) (866-236-9003).
It's bursting with eye-catching costume
jewelry and accessories for women.
A favorite family dining destination is The Old Spaghetti Factory (3) at 275
Fifth Ave. (619-233-4323). It features
casual Italian food for the entire family.
This large restaurant consists of four
levels. Two are for dining and on the top
floor is a family-friendly lounge complete
with a fireplace and six pool tables!
The hottest night club and restaurant
in the Gaslamp just got a lot hotter. It's
the new location of the famous Cafe
Sevilla (4) at 353 Fifth Ave. (619-233-
5979). Their three floors of dining and live
entertainment have it all including flamenco
dancing and the liveliest nightclub
in the Gaslamp Quarter. Plus, they have
a sensational restaurant featuring delicious
tapas and authentic Spanish cuisine.
Cafe Sevilla opens every day at 11 a.m.
with the bar staying open till midnight for
delicious Spanish cuisine, authentic tapas
and dancing in their nightclub.
On the street level is their popular tapas
bar, which is always lively and fun and
usually has a guitarist playing Spanish
music while you are enjoying your tapas.
It gets rave reviews for the food and the
fun. They offer more than 40 fantastic hot
and cold tapas, which are best served with
a pitcher of sangria.
A great place to enjoy all of the action
and have a great meal as well, is on the
mezzanine level which overlooks the
tapas bar. This beautiful second story
dining room with fine linen table cloths
serves 15 delicious traditional Spanish
entrées along with their fantastic tapas.
Everybody loves their seafood paella as
well as the roasted pork tenderloin served
in a red wine honey sauce. Plus, they have
popular and hard-to-find Spanish wines to
If you love to dance, look no further
than their hot downstairs night club. And
their flamenco show is super hot! After
dinner, stay and dance and party all night
long. Plus, their Sunday Brunch from 10
a.m.-2 p.m. is where you can enjoy live
rumba music and a fantastic buffet.
You can access the restaurant through
the main entrance, and the nightclub from
inside the restaurant or through its own
street level entrance. Either way you are
in store for an awesome experience with
live bands, strobe lights gigantic chandeliers,
a beautifully appointed dining room
and a downstairs where you can rumba
the night away. Cafe Sevilla is also the
ideal venue for banquets, birthdays and
other special events.
On the other side of the street is Dick's
Last Resort (5) at 345 Fifth Ave. (619-
231-9100). Dick's prides itself in being the
most outrageous adults only joint in town.
It's an unsophisticated restaurant and bar
that's lots of fun.
Another place that's made a name for
itself is The Wine Bank (6) at 363 Fifth
Ave. (619-234-7487). They carry more
than 1,000 brands of wine.
Around the corner is Red Pearl
Kitchen at 440 J St. (619-231-1100). If
you're looking for innovative Asian fusion
cuisine that mixes classic spices such as
red curry and Thai chili with exciting flavors,
this is the place.
A daytime excursion you should not
miss is the historical walking tour of
the Gaslamp Quarter conducted by the
Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation
volunteers. You'll be enthralled with stories
of yesteryear. Offered Saturday at 11
a.m., this in-depth tour costs ($10); seniors,
students and military ($8). Also, ask
about their self-guided private tours and
charter tours. The tour begins at the
charming William Heath Davis House (7) at 410 Island Ave. (619-233-4692). This
is the oldest surviving wood frame structure
The William Heath Davis House was
built in 1850 in Portland, Maine, and then
brought around the horn to San Diego.
Today it's also home to the Gaslamp Quarter
Historical Foundation. The house is
open for touring Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4
p.m. April-Oct. and Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-
6 p.m. Nov.-March. It is open every Sun.,
9 a.m.-3 p.m. year-round. Guests have
been known to have caught glimpses of
the resident ghost, said to date back to
when the house served as a hospital.
Back on Fifth Avenue is another
winner. It's Bon Vin (8) at 542 Fifth Ave.
This wine bar and retail wine store is open
daily from 11 a.m. till closing for wine tasting.
They feature more than 600
outstanding wines from throughout the
world. This wine shop is housed in a historic
One block north is the Ghirardelli Ice
Cream and Chocolate Shop (9) at 643
Fifth Ave. (619-234-2449). Look for the
friendly greeters offering free chocolate
samples in the foyer. This is a very popular
place for families and couples who
want to share a hot fudge sundae.
Next door to Ghirardelli is a little
nightlife spot with a big attitude. Look for
the electric lime green entrance and you'll
know you've arrived at Lime Tequila Bar (9) at 653 Fifth Ave. (619-238-5463). With
more than 100 tequilas to choose from,
you're sure to find a favorite. The space
inside is festive and electric with bright
wall murals and a gorgeous backlit bar
displaying their fine collection of tequilas.
At the corner of Fifth Avenue and F
Street is The Tipsy Crow (10) (619-338-
9300) formerly known as The Bitter
End. This is the new spot to be in the
Gaslamp on Fri. and Sat. nights. This
three-level bar and nightclub has an
underground dance club as well as The
Nest, a swanky lounge on the top level.
Across the street is a fabulous boutique
hotel located right in the middle of the
action. The Keating (11) at 432 F St.
(619-814-5700) offers swanky and modern
accommodations in a historic Gaslamp
building. Each of its 35 rooms is unique
and reflects the design aesthetics of Pininfarina,
the same design team that
produce Ferraris! The Keating is also
home to a unique subterranean nightlife
destination called Sway. It's located just
outside the lobby on the corner of F Street
and Fifth Avenue.
A block and a half north is the San
Diego location of the House of Blues (12) at 1055 Fifth Ave. (619-299-2583).
This renowned company's ninth club features
a multi level music hall, where they
host national and local entertainers. The
House of Blues is also home to their
famous Gospel Brunch. Enjoy uplifting
gospel performances while you feast on
a Southern inspired buffet. The brunch
begins at 11 a.m. and is ($40) for adults
and ($18.50) for children under 12.
Next door is an incredible place to stay
and dine. It is the posh 161-room hotel
called The Hotel Palomar, a Kimpton Hotel (12) at 1047
Fifth Ave. (619-515-3000).
Horton Plaza Mall |
Panda Inn Restaurant |
Shops at Horton Plaza
After experiencing the best of the best
on Fifth Avenue, head over to Fourth
Avenue. Here you'll discover a number of
fantastic restaurants, a live theater venue
and great nightlife.
Near the corner of Fourth Avenue and
Broadway is one of the top five most recommended
restaurants in San Diego
County. It's called Rei Do Gado Brazilian
Steak House (13) at 939 Fourth Ave.
(619-702-8464). This Brazilian steak
house will give you something to talk
about as well as something to rave about.
Find yourself a cozy booth or comfortable
table and get ready for a meal to remember.
Since you don't pay extra for the best
table, ask for 101. Included in the price
is an all-you-can-eat salad bar extravaganza,
which is a meal in itself. But try
not to over eat, because the main course
is the show stopper. The real excitement
begins when tall, handsome servers pass
through the dining room with three-footlong
skewers of mouthwatering filet
mignon, savory top sirloin, delicious ribs,
sensational chicken, memorable lamb and
lean ham. They offer 16 varieties of meats
and every one is grilled to perfection. Best
of all you can have as much as you want!
When you have had enough, you simply
turn the small barbell on your table from
green to red. They also have tempting
desserts such as a delicious Brazilian-style
pudding. No wonder this restaurant is so
Two other places to see on Fourth
Avenue are Hennessey's Tavern (14) and Hooters (15). They are popular
places to grab a bite to eat.
If it's classic Italian cuisine with attentive
service that you are looking for then
you'll want to dine at the internationally
acclaimed Bice Ristaurante (17) located
at 425 Island Ave. (619-239-2423). The
inviting ambience created by a combination
of vintage photographs and sleek
modern furniture is a fabulous backdrop
for their gourmet Italian cuisine.
One of the hottest tickets in town is
seeing a lively musical at the Lamb's
Players Theatre (18) at the Horton
Grand Theatre at 444 Fourth Ave. They
present a robust lineup of musicals,
dramas and comedies. And the theater is
small enough so that everyone has a perfect
If you're driving your car to the
performance be sure to purchase a discounted
parking voucher from the box
office and park across the street in the
well-lit underground Ace Parking lot.
Tickets can be purchased by phone at
(619-437-6000) or online. They have a second theater in
the heart of the shopping district in
In the next block at the corner of
Fourth Avenue and J Street is a shopping
treasure everyone adores. It's Cost Plus
World Market (19) (619-236-1737). This
warehouse-sized building carries an
incredible selection of imported items
from Asia and around the world. Plus,
they pride themselves on carrying a fine
selection of wines at reasonable prices.
Rei do Gado |
Cafe Sevilla |
Live Dancing at Cafe Sevilla
J Street is the most popular corridor for
foot traffic from the Gaslamp Quarter to
East Village. Here is where you will find
many more popular restaurants and night
For juicy steaks and fresh seafood, look
no further than The Palm Restaurant (20) at 615 J St. (619-702-6500). Open
since 2005, this location continues The
Palm's extraordinary 85-year tradition as
one of the oldest family-owned restaurant
groups in the country.
Around the corner is The Broken Yolk
Restaurant (20) at 355 Sixth Ave. (619-
338-9655). They serve hearty breakfasts
daily from 6 a.m.-3 p.m.
On J Street at Seventh Avenue is The
FleetWood Restaurant Bar & Lounge (21) at 639 J St. (619-702-7700). Featuerd
here is gourmet comfort food in a sleek,
modern setting. At night the restaurant
transforms into a lively nightclub with
music and drinks served till 2 a.m. Visit
their sister location The BeachWood at
4190 Mission Blvd. (858-750-2512) in
Pacific Beach. Their open-air patio offers
unobstructed views of the shimmering
Before, during or after a Padres baseball
game, or even when there is no game, Bub's @ The Ballpark (22) at 715 J
St. (619-546-0815) is where locals come to
mingle. This casual bar, complete with
peanut shells on the floor, features ice
cold drinks, classic bar fare like spicy
chicken wings and tantalizing tater tots,
as well as big-screen TVs to watch your
favorite sports. They even have an indoor
basketball hoop where you and your
friends can HORSE around.
South of J Street at Eighth Avenue is
a pedestrian alley which leads to PETCO
Park. Here you'll find Wine Steals (22) at 793 J Street (619-255-7520). This relaxing
wine bar is a great place to meet for
a glass of wine and a bite to eat before
or after a Padres game.
Also here is Proper Gastro Pub (22) at 795 J St. (619-255-7520). Arrive early on
Padres home game days to get a table on
their popular upstairs patio which overlooks
the diamond at PETCO Park. It's
the next best thing to being at the game!
Back on J Street you will find El
Vitral Restaurant and Tequila Lounge (22) at 815 J St. (619-236-9420). Their
award-winning Mexican cuisine is com -
plemented by an extensive selection of
more than 250 tequilas. They also hold a
tequila tasting and food pairing every
Thursday at 7 p.m.
Located in a converted warehouse on
the corner of J Street and Tenth Avenue
is The Corner Restaurant and Bar (23) at 369 Tenth Ave. (619-531-8804).
This is the place to enjoy a big, juicy
burger made from USDA all-natural
Angus beef which is fresh ground and
never frozen. Wash down your burger
with a cold beer or one of their many specialty
You'll find one of the East Village's best
breakfast spots at the corner of J Street
and Thirteenth Avenue. It's The Mission (24) at 1250 J St. (619-232-7662). This is
where hungry diners come for simple,
healthy, great-tasting food. A popular
breakfast selection is their blueberry cornmeal
pancakes which are decorated with
a tart berry purée, powdered sugar and
fresh fruit. Also delicious are their Latino
breakfast plates, like the pappas loco
which are rosemary potatoes served with
grilled jalapeños, black beans, cheese,
avocado and sour cream. They also have
locations in Mission Beach and North
Park. Use their coupon for 50% off One Entree.
Basic Urban Cafe |
The Mission Cafe |
Downtown has changed dramatically.
For example, in April of 2004 PETCO
Park, which is home to the National
League Padres baseball team, opened its
gates. Bounded by Tony Gwynn Way
(Seventh Avenue) and Tenth Avenue,
Imperial Avenue and J Street, the ballpark
is a state-of-the-art facility. The ballpark's
advent has spawned a building boom.
New residential units, restaurants, shops
and hotels have blossomed, transforming
a once blighted, industrial area into a
thriving urban landscape.
Designed to hold some 42,000 excited
fans, the ballpark features specialty seating
areas along with seven lounges and
restaurants. On game day fans can use
one of the many parking lots and structures
that are within walking distance of
the park. Especially convenient is Sixth
and K Parkade (25), located across the
street on Seventh Avenue. To park here
during Padre games there is a ($12) flat
The Metropolitan Transit System
(MTS) Trolley (27) is another popular
way to get to and from the game. The Blue
and Orange lines take baseball fans right
to PETCO Park. The ballpark and the
Gaslamp are made for each other because
excitement and entertainment is what the
Gaslamp Quarter is all about.
San Diego Trolley |
PETCO Park |
San Diego Padres
For budget-friendly to luxurious multimillion
dollar high-rises with incredible
views, the people to contact are Benjamin and Christine Mason of Stay San Diego (28) at 1465 Market St. (619-696-3280).
They have fully furnished luxury units for
short- or long-term stays, which are available
on a moment's notice. These
properties include exciting condos in the
Gaslamp Quarter. Some actually look
right down on the baseball field at PETCO
Park. And of course almost every condo
has a bay and ocean view. So why stay
anywhere else when you can enjoy the
best for less.
Another excellent recommendation in
the Gaslamp Quarter is the 99-room Ramada Inn & Suites (30) at 830 Sixth
Ave. (from $89) (619-531-8877). This historic
landmark, which was built in 1913,
offers beautifully decorated rooms,
modern conveniences and is just steps
from all the action. For a sensational
downtown skyline view ask for a room on
the 8th, 9th or 10th floors. Their rooftop
terrace offers a spectacular panoramic
view of the city, as well. Also here is
Brian's 24 Restaurant and a 24-hour
business center with free high-speed wireless
You'll love exploring the Gaslamp Quarter.
It's a great place to discover
fashionable restaurants, popular nightclubs
and trendy shops all rolled into one
Bay & Harbor Views |
Unsurpassed Urban Living |
Spacious Downtown Views