Visit the Gaslamp Quarter
Celebrate the season in this historic downtown neighborhood
’Tis the season to visit the Gaslamp Quarter, as the streets of the historic 16.5-block district are filled with merriment during the holidays. From food festivals to parades, countless nightlife options and historic attractions, this urban playground is where you want to be to celebrate the season and ring in the new year.
Toast of Gaslamp
Stroll through dozens of restaurants and shops in the Gaslamp Quarter, from 1 to 5 p.m. Purchase tickets to enjoy bites and sips from over 20 restaurants, plus discounts from 10 stores and boutiques in the neighborhood. It’s a relaxed way to pick up gifts for everyone on your list! Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 day of. toastofgaslamp.com
Holiday Pet Parade
Prepare to unleash the holiday cheer in the Gaslamp Quarter with your furry friends! This signature holiday event invites all pet owners and their companions to don their favorite costumes, put their best paw forward, and join the parade. Stop by Hilton Gaslamp Park on Fourth Avenue and K Street from 1 to 5 p.m. for a free pet expo, live entertainment, and a photo booth. The parade kicks off from the park at 3 p.m., winding through the neighborhood and ending under the Gaslamp Quarter archway. Enter your pet at holidaypetparade.com.
New Year’s Eve
Ring in 2017 with a big night out! Many of the restaurants, nightclubs, and hotels in the Gaslamp Quarter have special events planned. Save the date for an exciting evening at the US Grant Hotel—check usgrant.net for details. Omnia, Fluxx, Parq, and Hard Rock Hotel host all-inclusive parties with the hottest DJs. Visit gaslamp.org to stay tuned for news of events: With this much going on all in one neighborhood, there’s no better place to be on New Year’s Eve than the Gaslamp.
Heading to a holiday party after work or want to spend an evening exploring the neighborhood? You can park at the 6th & K Parkade for just $5 Sunday through Thursday, from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. For real-time parking availability, please visit parkitdtsd.com.
289 Sixth Avenue
Call FRED for a Ride
You may have seen open-air shuttle cars driving around the neighborhood, but did you know they’ll give you a lift for free? The new Free Ride Everywhere Downtown, or FRED, will pick you up and drop you off anywhere within downtown, stretching from East Village over to the edge of Little Italy. Hail a ride from the street or request one through the app, and they’ll pick you up in eight minutes or less. All the cars in the FRED fleet are electrically powered and eco-friendly, too!
Just a reminder that parking is no longer allowed on Fifth Avenue from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. every Friday and Saturday. Several blocks on this busy street, from Broadway to Harbor Drive, comprise a three-minute passenger loading zone during these hours. The new parking rules are part of a pilot program developed by city agencies to alleviate traffic and make the street safer for pedestrians. Another bonus of the new plan is that it’s now easier to get dropped off in front of your nightlife destination when you call a taxi or ride-sharing service.
Great Eats in the Gaslamp
Whether you’re seeking authentic Mexican, a posh seafood restaurant, a trendy social scene, or a quick bite, the Gaslamp Quarter has something for every appetite and whim.
The Gaslamp Quarter has:
Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, and Music Venues
Food from Around the World
There’s Spanish tapas, live music, and flamenco dancing at Café Sevilla, traditional Persian cuisine at Bandar, and innovative Thai and Vietnamese comfort foods at Sovereign Kitchen. Rei do Gado Brazilian Steakhouse is a carnivore’s dream with its endless flow of mesquite-grilled meat.
Don Chido dazzles with handcrafted Mexican cuisine, signature salsas, and tasty margaritas, while tacos, tequila, and tunes define La Puerta. Latin American music and cuisine set the vibe at Las Hadas. Rockin’ Baja Lobster transports diners to a coastal paradise with signature buckets of Baja-style seafood, rockin’ music, and pitchers of margaritas. El Pulpo calls for its namesake grilled octopus and ice-cold beers.
“New-style” Japanese cuisine awaits at the Hard Rock Hotel at Nobu San Diego, where famed chef Nobu Matsuhisa displays legendary dishes like miso black cod and yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño. Don’t miss the happy hour at the Sushi Lounge on Market for Japanese fusion and sustainable sushi. Grab a seat at the chef’s counter at Full Moon Sushi and order up a caterpillar roll with crabmeat, eel, and avocado.
Look for fresh fish, local brews on tap, and lunch for under $10 at Spike Africa’s, named for the beloved tall-ship captain. Order up caviar, oysters, and specialty sushi at the modern, chic Osetra The Fishhouse. For Filipino fusion and Pacific Rim flavors, try Ocean Pacific Grille. Fresh seafood is flown in daily from around the world at Oceanaire, while trailblazer Blue Point Coastal Cuisine offers refined seafood dishes, raw bar bites, and classic cocktails.
Order up a Chicago-style slice at Berkeley Pizza or head to Ciro’s for meatballs, subs, strombolis, specialty pizzas, and more than 60 craft beers. The Food Shop, Sovereign’s sister restaurant, serves affordable bánh mì, rice bowls, and pho on the go. The massive Gaslamp Strip Club is an informal “grill your own” experience and antidote to stuffy steak houses. Garage Kitchen & Bar has inventive cocktails, shareable plates, and a convivial Sunday brunch that’s a great place to watch the game.
The legendary Hard Rock Cafe is about burgers, beers, bands, and Flashback Sunday Brunch. Reserve a table on the rooftop at Rustic Root for dynamic American cuisine and timeless cocktails. Brian’s 24 is downtown’s first 24-hour, full-service restaurant, where breakfast is served all day. Think big portions of homestyle comfort grub like hotcakes, burgers, burritos, triple-decker sandwiches, and more.
Exploring the Gaslamp
Gaslamp Museum and Ghost Tours
Built in 1850, the Davis-Horton House is downtown’s oldest structure and home to a museum, gallery exhibits, tours, and the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving the architecture, culture, and history of this nationally recognized historic district. Take a spine-tingling stroll through the haunted history of the Davis-Horton House with local historian and paranormal expert Sandee Wilhoit, as she recounts ghostly happenings past and present.
Did you know?
Wyatt Earp owned four saloons and gambling parlors when he lived in San Diego in the late 1800s. The most famous was his oyster bar housed in the Louis Bank of Commerce Building, which stands today at 835 Fifth Avenue and is known as the “Jewel of the Gaslamp.”
Where to Stay
Whether you’re seeking Victorian architecture, hotels with history, modern luxury, or a thumping nightlife scene, there’s no shortage of choices when checking into the Gaslamp Quarter.
Omni San Diego
The Horton Grand Hotel and Theatre
The Keating Hotel
The Gaslamp Plaza Suites
The Ramada / St. James Hotel
Wyndham Harbour Lights
Hard Rock Hotel
The Sofia Hotel
San Diego Marriott