San Diego's Secret Speakeasies (and Where to Find Them)

Seeker Editors

Step into the secret world of San Diego's speakeasies, where the ambiance is as tempting as the hidden entrances. These hidden gems invite you to indulge in a journey back to the Prohibition era with dimly-lit rooms, romantic decor, smooth tunes, and perfectly-crafted classic cocktails. But the real allure lies in the thrill of the hunt as you seek out the elusive entrances that are tucked away behind false bookshelves, through a wall of kegs, inside refrigerator doors, and other unexpected disguises....

Tags: Craft cocktails, Happy Hour, Speakeasy

  • Convoy Music Bar in San Diego, United States

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      The hidden entrance to Convoy Music Bar can be found in an alleyway behind a strip mall, tucked behind Convoy's The Taco Stand, and leads to an intimate and elegant space inspired by Tokyo-style listening bars. The bar focuses on high-quality sound and classic cocktails, with a custom-built sound system and vinyl record collection curated by Showa's Yuichiro Edamatsu. The 40-seat space offers a high-end yet vibey cocktail experience.

  • Realm Of The 52 Remedies in San Diego, United States

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      The Realm of 52 Remedies, located inside of Common Theory, showcases a super stunning modern apothecary as its front entrance, complete with Chinese herbs and tonics. The food menu is full of delectable dishes, like duck dumplings, pork wontons, and five-spice grilled ribeye, while the cocktail list is inspired by Asian ingredients and films like Parasite and 13 Assassins. Don't miss the Emperor's Bar, which offers exclusive access to premium spirits in this opulent and dramatic drinking den.

  • Prohibition Lounge in San Diego, United States

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      Step way, way back in time to the 1920s with the Prohibition Lounge, a secret underground location in the Gaslamp Quarter styled as a vintage law office. Sip on expertly crafted cocktails and enjoy live music while immersing yourself in the film noir ambiance. Cocktails are divided into categories by liquor base, with specials like the Rhubarbara Streisand and the Holiday in Cambodia. Look for Eddie O'Hare's law office on Fifth Avenue to find the clandestine entrance.

  • Raised by Wolves in San Diego, United States

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      Located in the Westfield UTC Mall in San Diego, Raised by Wolves is a hidden speakeasy hidden behind the guise of a high-end liquor store, featuring an intimate gathering space with velvet chairs, a white marble fountain, and an emerald-colored glass dome. To enter, you must be vetted by the host, and check out the rare spirits available for purchase. Once inside (hint: look for the fireplace), you can look forward to a complex and sophisticated cocktail menu inspired by the ambiance of the entrance, including standouts like the Cosmic Dance and Tiramisu 'Tini.

  • MOTHERSHIP in San Diego, United States

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      Step aboard Mothership: a retro-futurist cocktail lounge with a heavy focus on tropical drinks like the Mindkiller, made with different rums, pineapple, tangerine, and Tang, and the Heliotropic, a Mai Tai twist with kumquats and curry. The vegan "Earth Food" menu is the perfect accompaniment to the out-of-this-world drinks. Mothership is a permanent iteration of the popular tropical pop-up, Permanent Vacation, run by the team at Kindred, a goth-chic vegan restaurant in San Diego.

  • Young Blood in San Diego, United States

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      Youngblood, a speakeasy-within-a-speakeasy, offers an exclusive personalized cocktail experience for guests. With only 16 seats available, each visit is unique, and three hand-crafted cocktails are tailored to the guest's likes and preferences. Enter through a faux refrigerator door inside of Neighborhood and discover the warmly-lit, high-ceilinged space. Individual entry is $65 ticket, with additional bonus drinks available to add on. Reservations via OpenTable are highly recommended.

  • Oculto 477 in San Diego, United States

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      Welcome to Tahona's Oculto 477: a cozy San Diego speakeasy inspired by the neighboring El Campo Santo Cemetery. Here, indulge in the Prohibition-style cocktail list, including the unique Manzatini and the CBD-focused Gin & Chronic, or try your luck with the dice for a surprising concoction. The entrance is hidden within Tahona, and finding it is all a part of the fun. Don't forget to dress appropriately (check their website for more details) , and take advantage of the dedicated mezcal tasting room.

  • False Idol in San Diego, United States

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      Get your tiki fix at False Idol, a secretive speakeasy hidden behind a walk-in refrigerator in the back of Craft & Commerce Restaurant in Little Italy. Featuring over 200 varieties of rum, a flaming volcano, and immersive details like a grotto and wood carvings, False Idol offers unique rum-based tropical pours, cocktails to share, and flavors like taro and ube. Pro tip: Order the “Alkala the Fierce” cocktail to potentially see the volcano erupt.

  • Vin de Syrah in San Diego, United States

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      Fall down the rabbit hole at "Alice in Wonderland"-inspired Vin de Syrah, a subterranean drinking den nestled in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. The bar carries an impressive wine list of over 100 bottles, alongside a seasonal cocktail menu, cheese platters, charcuterie boards, and other bar bites. Don't miss the twelve-foot tasting table and weekend wine tastings. Finding the entrance is tricky. Descend a flight of stairs to find a door with an owl painted on it, but don't be fooled - that's not the entrance. Instead, look for a grass-covered wall with a brass handle to your left (the actual door). Once inside, be prepared for a laugh, as the bar has a monitor where you can watch new arrivals try to get in.

  • Room 56 in San Diego, United States

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      Escape to the top-secret tavern of Room 56, hidden within the Moxy San Diego hotel in the Gaslamp district. To get in, you must have to find the closely-guarded password, which can be found hidden on the bar's website. After entering through a secret bookcase, you'll be greeted with an intimate cocktail den named after the country's founding fathers and the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. Enjoy timeless and classic libations made with gin, vodka, coconut, blackberries, and other ingredients, including the Martha Mary Mercy sour featuring St. George All-Purpose Vodka, vanilla orgeat, blackberry, and lemon.

  • Noble Experiment in San Diego, United States

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      Noble Experiement is one of San Diego's longest-running and exclusive cocktail clubs located within the Neighborhood eatery in East Village. To enter this dark and mysterious speakeasy, you must find the hidden entrance behind a wall of empty kegs near the restrooms. With no menu in sight, the skilled bartenders craft unique libations based on your preferences, making a reservation in advance a must for securing a seat in this intimate San Diego speakeasy.

  • The Grass Skirt in San Diego, United States

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      Upon entering through a refrigerator door, guests are transported through a misty lava rock tunnel and into a spacious tropical bar complete with booths, fire pit tables, and even swings. And during the holiday season, the Grass Skirt Speakeasy in San Diego participates in the beloved Sippin' Santa event, offering tiki-inspired holiday cocktails served in custom glassware to add to the festive atmosphere.