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Where to eat, play, and stay in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter

Where to eat, play, and stay in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter

In Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham, Sam (I am) laments, “I would not like them, Here or there. I would not like them, Anywhere.” We think if he had tried green eggs and ham for brunch at Searsucker in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter, he probably would have come around a lot quicker. Although, it would have made for a shorter story, and been much more difficult to rhyme.

This year, San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter is celebrating its 150th anniversary. The area hasn’t always been a place you would go for a quirky and nostalgic brunch order. Until its renewal in the 1980s, the Gaslamp was more along the lines of Sin City than Whoville (okay, we’ll cool it on the Dr. Seuss references).

Today, however, this 16 ½ block area is a modern and hip neighborhood in a carefully preserved historic setting. The Gaslamp Quarter has more than 90 Victorian-era buildings, and is listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a perfect blend of new and old.

Sandy Wilhoit, from the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation at the Davis-Horton House Museum, tells us more about the history of the area.

Where to eat and drink

The Gaslamp has a number of truly fantastic restaurants. We’ve already mentioned Searsucker, which serves classic American fare with creative twists. There’s also La Puerta, which has the best tacos around, and its accompanying tequila bar is aimed at “Improving people's lives one tequila shot at a time!” We’re not sure how sound the research behind this life improvement strategy is, but hey, it’s certainly worth a shot. 

If you’re in the mood for a burger and some local craft beer, The Neighborhood won’t disappoint. Want something a little stronger? A fake door in the back of the restaurant disguised as several stacked beer kegs gives access to a hidden speakeasy-style bar called the Noble Experiment. The bartenders here will create a cocktail that’s designed and mixed specifically for you, based on your alcohol preferences. Unfortunately, though, you’re probably not going to be able to walk straight in. Reservations are only accepted by text, one week before your booking.

In the meantime, you can entertain yourself (and others) by trying to gain access to Vin De Syrah. This spirit and wine parlor is found at the bottom of two flights of stairs underneath a fondue restaurant. Gaining access requires fumbling around some foliage and cursing at an unmovable metal door until you figure out the trick to getting in, while people inside watch your struggle on large-screen TVs.

What to do

The Gaslamp Quarter hosts a number of great events throughout the year, including Mardi Gras, Comic-con, and a number of festivals. Check out Gaslamp’s events page to find out what’s going on while you’re in town. 

If it’s not the right time of year to wear your Wonder Woman outfit around town (who are we kidding, it's always the right time) the Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House is open to explore year-round. The Davis–Horton House is the oldest standing structure in the Gaslamp Quarter, and the museum provides information about the colorful history of the area and the house itself. For just $8 you can snag a 2-for-1 pass for the Gaslamp Museum and the nearby San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.

Located on the southern boarder of the Gaslamp is Petco Park, another must see. During baseball season you can catch a San Diego Padres game, or attend a behind-the-scenes tour during the off-season. 

Where to stay

With us, of course! Staypineapple’s Hotel Z is in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, we have the comfiest duvets you’ve ever seen, and you can explore the city using our local shuttle service, or our custom yellow pushbikes. Plus, we put out cupcakes and coffee every afternoon!

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