The heart of San Diego is the historic Gaslamp Quarter — a 16-square-block area known for its Victorian architecture and actual gaslamps that’s filled with bars, restaurants, music venues and shops. Hotel Indigo San Diego-Gaslamp Quarter will put you in the midst of this happening cultural district. Here’s a guide to some highlights, in and around the neighborhood :
Food & Drink
The American comfort food and craft cocktail menu rivals the view from Rustic Root, the only rooftop restaurant in the Gaslamp. For more cocktails and thick grilled cheese and other rib-sticking sandwiches — with some indoor bocce to boot — check out Rare Form restaurant and delicatessen. Those in-the-know head to the back of Rare Form to access Fairweather, a tropical-themed rooftop bar with views of Petco Park, home of Major League Baseball’s Padres.
Just outside the Gaslamp Quarter — and close by Hotel Indigo — is Cafe Chloe. Perfect for brunch or a glass of wine, this French corner cafe is also known for its cheese plate, steak frites and other bistro classics.
To enter 1920s-style speakeasy Prohibition Lounge, look for an unassuming law office door and head downstairs to a hip spot featuring craft cocktails, danceable jazz and a Gatbsy-like vibe.
Both national and local acts grace the stage at San Diego’s outpost of House of Blues. You will find a lively crowd there every night of the week, but just make sure to show up early, since fans line up long before shows start. The Sunday gospel brunch combines soaring local voices with a hearty all-you-can-eat brunch buffet. Barleymash, a craft beer bar-club with live music and nightly DJs, is another crowd-pleaser.
Check out the Museum of Contemporary Art‘s downtown San Diego location, where you can peruse over 4,000 works of contemporary art — painting, sculpture, photography, and video — produced since 1950.
For fans of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, a visit to the gallery started by one of their most prolific creators, Chuck Jones, is a must. The Chuck Jones Gallery showcases the work of its founder, as well as other well-known animation artists.
Sparks Gallery, a local event space and gallery housed within the historic Sterling Hardware Building in the Gaslamp Quarter, represents contemporary works by artists living in San Diego and Southern California.
The landmark Spreckels Theater features a restored marquee and signs on the outside and a grand lobby with marble walls and columns on the inside. The programming ranges from Broadway musicals and comedy shows to the ballet and symphony performances.
Just outside the Gaslamp District in Little Italy is Klassik Mid-Century Modern, a warehouse full of vintage furniture, home decor and accents and lighting that can help you create Instagram-worthy rooms in your own home.
Nearby is Architectural Salvage of San Diego, which offers a trove of period pieces for home and garden. Here, you’ll find flea market finds without the flea market footwork.