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1. La Puerta

If you're looking for Mexican food in the Gaslamp, La Puerta is your place. La Puerta is famous for street tacos that can only be made better by pairing them with a freshly-squeezed margarita (no mixes here). Happy hour runs daily from 3:00pm-7:00pm (3:00pm to close on Mondays) and again late night from 10:00pm to close, usually with 1/2 drinks and appetizers like the carne asada fries. After 3:00pm you must be 21 years and older to enter. The kitchen is open until 1:00am so stop by for late-night eats. Brunch is also an option with $3 mimosas!

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2. Starlites

A sophisticated, midcentury-modern interior design awaits beyond the hexagonal doorway of this Midtown lounge boasting fine craft cocktails (especially the signature mules) and late-night dining from a slow food–style menu. Reservations are recommended at this always-popular spot, though it's more moody than loud and crowded, as patrons tend to act their classiest. P.S. There's also a sweet outdoor patio..

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3. Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant

“Creative” American cuisine and cocktails match up with a “fun”, “trendy” atmosphere at this Bankers Hill “reasonably priced” gastropub from Carl Schroeder (of MARKET Restaurant + Bar); the “cool”, “industrial” interior can get “noisy”, but patio seating offers some relief; P.S. don't miss the “great happy hour.”

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4. Casa Guadalajara

Old Town is among San Diego's top tourist stops, and all those visitors need to eat somewhere. Mexican restaurants are obviously popular, and Casa Guadalajara in Bazaar del Mundo ranks near the top of the list. Tortillas made in-house, fab margaritas and live mariachi bands give it an edge over much of the competition, but the food is quite well-prepared and fresh, with all the expected choices plus a few non-standard ones. Try the chimichangas or enchiladas. Be prepared to wait on weekend evenings. Choose to dine indoors or on the patio amid the fountains. People also love the folk art and overall ambience.

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5. West Coast Tavern

Former movie theater is now a slick, casual spot for American fare, cocktails, happy hours & events..

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6. Altitude Sky Lounge

Swanky outdoor club high atop the Gaslamp Marriott with views of Petco Park, plus DJs & fire pits

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7. The Patio Lamont Street

“Inventive” seasonal Californian cuisine, “lots of small plates” and “great craft cocktails” await at these “super-cute”, partially “open-air” spots in Mission Hills and Pacific Beach; “accommodating” staffers and moderate bills earn kudos at both locations, but “gorgeous plant-covered topiary walls” and a glass-enclosed cheese cave give the Mission Hills outpost an edge when it comes to design.

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8. Crazee Burger

“Feel like a true caveman” at these affordable Old Town and North Park burger joints, where “wild beasts” like boar, kangaroo and antelope are made into “delicious patties”, topped with gourmet fixings and served with “outstanding” fries; decor is “hole-in-the-wall” and there's “no service to speak of” since patrons order at the counter, but the “exotic” eats keep 'em coming nonetheless..

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9. Jimmy's Famous American Tavern

Casual tavern with comfy booths features sandwiches, burgers & a varied beer selection. .

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10. Bice San Diego

Truly “elegant”, this “premium priced” Italian in the Gaslamp Quarter features “fantastic” Northern Italian fare – plus a dedicated cheese and salumi bar – in a sleek setting tended by a “gracious” staff; while some save it for a “special occasion”, the happy-hour menu with deals on small plates and drinks is a “steal” any day of the week.

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