1. Donut Bar
These small-batch artisanal doughnuts sell out daily, sometimes as early as noon. It’s no surprise—rotating flavors include crème brulée, bourbon maple, chocolate bacon, and blueberry Meyer lemon. Jump in line in the morning for a decadent breakfast treat, and grab a few extra to score some points with friends and coworkers.
631 B Street
Meaning "area of expertise," Bailiwick’s focus is a short menu of quality offerings. Sip Champagne and cocktails, and try select dishes (including oysters and charcuteries) at this charming Gaslamp space set with marble, white-painted wood, exposed brick, farmhouse tables, and opulent chandeliers. Or enjoy your drinks in the daylight with brunch.
756 Fifth Avenue
Bartender Bek Allen’s cocktails and personality were perfectly good reasons to become a regular at Saltbox. Now she’s at Chaplos, and has created a new cocktail list based on her own recipes and those of her favorite bartenders in town.
925 B Street
4. Blind Burro
One of the newest spots by Good Time Design (responsible for Block No. 16, Knotty Barrel, The Tipsy Crow, Bub’s, and many other Gaslamp giants), this contemporary Mexican restaurant serves Baja-inspired fare, Mexican craft beer, and margaritas, as well as weekend brunch and dim sum-style bites on Wednesdays. Try the street corn if you can handle spice.
639 J Street
5. Sparks Gallery
Sonya Sparks is turning the historic Sterling Hardware Building into a gallery for established and emerging artists. And judging by the pre-renovations show for the San Diego Art Prize, the city’s art scene is taking notice.
530 Sixth Avenue
6. The New Central Library
The $185 million beacon of downtown revitalization opens in September with a charter high school, art gallery, and sculpture garden.
330 Park Boulevard