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San Diego Neighborhood Guide: Gaslamp Quarter

This historic downtown neighborhood celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, and with it a slate of new and revamped spots


Published:

Horton Plaza Park

Gaslamp Quarter This Month:

San Diego International Film Festival at Balboa Theatre, October 4–8 

Monster Bash block party, October 28

The Smoking Gun/Spill the Beans

The dual-concept space leads with The Smoking Gun, a retro-themed eatery with foosball, shuffleboard, and a menu that leans Southern—think brisket, fried catfish, and veggie sides. Next door is Spill the Beans, a bright café with “California” bagels (nontraditional flavors like habanero and pear) and drinks by Dark Horse Coffee Roasters.thesmokinggunsd

 

Dolcetti

All things pink, floral, and metallic come together at this women’s boutique, known for its party dresses, accessories, and giftables. Brands include BB Dakota and Rifle Paper Co.dolcettiboutique

 

Queensborough

Queensborough

Vets from Searsucker, Holsem Coffee, and Bang Bang have launched this bilevel lounge that nods to 1920s New York City cocktail culture (look for original subway tokens embedded in the floor). Tipples are classic with a twist, like the Matcha Julep made with a green tea syrup. The menu spans gourmet popcorn, surf-and-turf sliders, and a feta faro salad with pistachios.queensboroughsd

 

Horton Plaza Park

The urban plaza wrapped up an $18-million facelift last year and with it, beyond much-needed green space, came a large-scale mural, interactive fountains, patio seating, and an ice cream stand. hortonplazapark

 

Blo Blow Dry Bar

Blo Blow Dry Bar

Get primped at this salon, which includes mani-pedi stations and à la carte blow dry sessions. Options range from fishtail braids and beachy waves to the “High Society” topknot.bloheartsyou

 

Nason’s Beer Hall

Sports bars aren’t typically this chic, but leave it to the Pendry Hotel to make a beer bar with style. There are classic arcade games (Ms. Pac-Man), Jenga, and weekly bingo, plus TVs, beer, cocktails, and an upscale bar menu. Don’t pass up the buttery soft pretzel paired with violet mustard.nasonsbeerhall

 

Sparks Gallery

Sparks Gallery

Located in a former hardware building, this industrial-style gallery highlights contemporary pieces by Southern Californian artists. Gallery Selections is showing works picked by Sparks staff through October 29, including Alexander Arshansky’s Cubist-inspired pieces.sparksgallery

 

The Nolen

The 14th-floor lounge is a chic option with 180-degree views. Cocktails range from classics to their own riffs, like the Uncle Bobby’s Lemonade with vodka, strawberry shrub, and limoncello. Chili glazed meatballs are a part of the shared plates menu, and they also serve Sunday brunch. thenolenrooftop

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