6 San Diego Nightlife Destinations

From dance clubs to concert halls to chic lounges, the city comes alive after dark.

Oxford Social Club

Located below the boutique hotel Pendry San Diego, the Oxford Social Club is an elevated nightlife experience. The intimate underground venue presents high-end entertainment and top-notch service in a sophisticated setting that’s both refined and relaxed—complete with plush couches, Persian rugs, hardwood floors and a stunning chandelier. Inspired by the “social gathering places of bygone eras,” the glam nightclub features an extensive craft cocktail program—from classic to contemporary creations—and a rotating lineup of national and local DJs to keep the dance floor going all night long; since its grand opening in February 2017, Mix Master Mike, Saint Clair and Tinashe have performed there. Surprise celebrity guests and impromptu pop-up performances lend an additional element of mystery and intrigue for an unforgettable night out. 435 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.738.7040

Belly Up Tavern

Built in a converted Quonset hut, this intimate club has offered some of the best live music in the county since 1974. The diverse lineup runs the gamut from local and indie bands to well-known names in folk, world, rock, country and so on. It’s a short haul from downtown San Diego, and well worth it. Be sure to check out rock poster art by Scrojo, the Belly Up’s resident artist. 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach, 858.481.8140


This theatrical nightspot gets its name from the continually changing atmosphere. But it’s not only the chameleon-like décor that attracts S.D.’s trendiest clubgoers to the 11,000-square-foot nightclub’s central sunken dance floor: Fluxx’s sophisticated lighting and sound systems along with its barely clad bartenders make for unforgettable nights. 500 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.232.8100


The multimillion-dollar, multilevel venue by the Hakkasan Group boasts both indoor and outdoor spaces—including a large terrace with views of the Gaslamp Quarter—interactive features and state-of-the-art technology guaranteed to deliver an unforgettable night out. The innovative club has hosted a superstar lineup of DJs and electronic artists, including Calvin Harris, Carnage, Krewella, Tiësto, Armin van Buuren and Afrojack. 454 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.544.9500


Housed in the former On Broadway space, this posh restaurant and nightclub delivers an unparalleled nightlife experience. Indulge in innovative cuisine, such as smoked octopus and beef brisket toast. Then dance it off inside the 20,000-square-foot club, accessed via a stone tunnel. 615 Broadway, downtown, 619.727.6789

Top of the Hyatt

Boasting some of the most spectacular and dramatic ocean and city views in all of San Diego, this iconic bar and lounge has undergone a multimillion-dollar renovation. Perched 40 stories above the Pacific, the space features floor-to-ceiling windows and sleek yet warm decor. Try one of 12 signature libations from the cocktail menu, a glass of wine or beer; and snack on light bar fare such as the crab stack served in a Mason jar. 1 Market Place, downtown, 619.358.6731

Article by Sarah Daoust, adapted from WHERE San Diego magazine for SoCalPulse. Reprinted with permission.