There are loads of brilliant rooftop spaces capitalising on San Diego‘s year-round good weather and shimmering skyline. From Downtown to the beach, from swanky hotels to more casual affairs, there’s a skyscraping bar to suit all tastes and moods. So, if you are looking to live the high life, here are some of the best rooftop bars in San Diego.
1. Upper East Bar, Gaslamp Quarter
If you are looking for a rooftop pool and bar, the Upper East is a super popular spot. Sitting on the 4th floor of the Kimpton Solamar Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter this spacious and stylish roof terrace is an oasis in the city. Soak up the sun on the comfy sofas, get cosy by the fire pits or chill out in private cabanas. There are plenty of spaces to suit your mood. Cool down with a dip in the pool and refreshing signature cocktails. When you get hungry, you can order a bite to eat from the Jsix restaurant on the ground floor.
2. SKA Bar, Normal Heights
SKA Bar is a seriously cool rooftop bar serving Asian-inspired cocktails, snacks and sharing plates, for instance, bao buns and drunken noodles. The rooftop is designed in a way so as not to distract from the extensive views, which are breathtaking especially when the sun is setting. The music is chilled and the crowd is friendly making this rooftop the perfect place to relax and revive and enjoy good views and vibes.
3. The Nolan Rooftop Bar & Lounge, Gaslamp Quarter
Sleek and chic, the Nolan Rooftop Bar and Lounge is a beautiful space with lots of interesting design features and details. With its relaxed vibe, it is a great place to come for a chilled out drink both day and night. No matter where you sit, there are sweeping views of the San Diego skyline from the Coronado Bridge to Point Loma. To pair with those views, there are delicious seasonal food and drink offerings made with local ingredients.
4. Altitude Sky Lounge, Gaslamp Quarter
You’ll find the Altitude Sky Lounge atop the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter hotel. At 22 storeys, this is the highest open-air rooftop bar in the area. As you can imagine, the views from up here are sweeping and stunning and take in Coronado Island, Coronado Bridge, Point Loma, and Petco Park. You might even catch a Padres game. Cosy up by the fire pits and order sips from the great selection of wine, beer and cocktails, which can be paired with mouthwatering appetisers.
5. Cannonball, Mission Beach
Cannonball is the largest oceanfront rooftop in San Diego. The panoramic ocean views are splendid and stretch from Bird Rock to Sunset Cliffs. Apart from the views, the other big draw is the fabulously fresh sushi menu and California cuisine inspired by Pacific Rim influences. With modern, clean decor and a fun, friendly vibe, this is a great rooftop to soak up the sun and the sunny California atmosphere. Be sure to try one, or more, of the refreshing, seasonally inspired beach craft cocktails. We love the sound of the spicy watermelon margarita.
6. Pacific Beach Ale House, Pacific Beach
For the best views and brews in the Pacific Beach area, head to Pacific Beach Ale House. Relax in the cosy rooftop beer garden and order a refreshment from the seasonal variations of craft beers and cocktails. You can pair these with something to eat from the full menu. Delicious dishes are made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The unobstructed ocean view is impressive at any time of the day but particularly at sunset when the sky bursts into a riot of colours.
7. Kettner Exchange, Little Italy
This charming space is Little Italy’s only open-air rooftop lounge. We suggest booking one of the private cabanas which come with self-serve beer taps. Don’t drink beer? No problem. There is an extensive drinks menu that includes boutique wines and craft and classic cocktails. As for the food, menus feature innovated progressive American cuisine. For instance, menu items include hamachi ceviche, foie gras French toast and Grilled quail char sui. Being close to that airport, this is a great place to come to spot planes as they fly overhead.