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Discovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it “San Diego”

As if being 75 degrees and sunny 800 days a year wasn’t enough, San Diegans also enjoy the best fish tacos this side of the ocean’s surface and a thriving drink culture. Whether it’s a cerveza to wash down said tacos, a cocktail by the beach, or three fingers of Glenlivet with a little bit of pepper and some cheese that you’re craving, Sara Norris has got you covered. She writes nightlife, travel, adventure, and food stories for numerous outlets. Join us as we share a nightcap with Sara Norris.

NightOwl: What’s special about the nightlife scene in San Diego? How does it differ from most other places?

saraknorrisSara: The bar and restaurant scene in San Diego has evolved so much since I started writing for Thrillist a few years ago. My favorite thing is that each neighborhood has its own unique personality. You can party like you’re twenty-one at the beach bars of Pacific Beach, sample craft beers at one of the 100+ breweries, sip on craft cocktails in Little Italy, or get dressed up and dance all night at a club in the Gaslamp. There is something for everyone.  

NightOwl: If your gal pals were coming to visit San Diego for the first time, where would you take them?

Sara: Most people visit San Diego to be near the beach, so I’d take them to get tacos on the rooftop at Sandbar in Mission Beach then grab a beer on the boardwalk at Draft. If we wanted to dress up for a night out, you can’t beat the vibe at Kettner Exchange in Little Italy or the views of downtown from the rooftop at The Nolen. If we were looking for a casual spot to hang out, the tequila, guacamole and street tacos at Cantina Mayahuel are a MUST. Then maybe we’d walk over to Polite Provisions for a cocktail or a nightcap at Sycamore Den up the street.

NightOwl: What’s your favorite city and where do you go for a drink when you’re there?

Sara: It is so difficult for me to choose one favorite. In San Diego, I go to Thrusters. It was the first bar I ever went to in San Diego, and it’s still my go-to spot. It may not have the fanciest cocktails but it’s by the beach, the beer is cold, and the people are always  fun. New York City is also one of my favorites. I always make sure to stop by Egg Shop for a Smoke Show and one of their famous B.E.C.s.

NightOwl: It’s 5 o’clock on Friday – where will we find you?

Sara: Now that I’m living in Nashville, you’ll find me at Salt & Vine.

NightOwl: What’s the most interesting experience that’s happened to you on your travels?

Sara: Wow – that’s a tough question! A few years ago I road tripped solo for about eight months couchsurfing with random locals and camping along the way. When I got to San Diego, I couchsurfed with a guy who lived in Pacific Beach. He and I would meet up at the same bar to have a beer every day when he got off work. Almost instantly I became best friends with the bartender Becca. After a week of hanging out in San Diego, I was having so much fun that I didn’t want to leave yet. Becca asked me to move in with her and I did. Thanks to her I met a guy at a party who got me a job at Thrillist, and almost four years later I was still living in San Diego. You never know who you’re going to meet or how they can change your life!

Discover your night when you download NightOwl. Follow Sara Norris for her favorite spots in San Diego with the best vibe, where to find a good pint and beach-side bars.


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NightOwlDiscovered by the Germans in 1904, they named it “San Diego”

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