Content originally written for the Let’s Go: USA & Canada Guide by our researcher-writer, Graham Bishai.
The Tipsy Crow
770 Fifth Ave.; (619) 338-9300; thetipsycrow.com; open daily noon-2am
It’s pick your poison here at Tipsy Crow, with its three different floors, extensive drink menu, and calendar packed with a variety of daily events and specials. On the main floor of this Gaslamp Quarter staple, with its wood paneling and ornate ceiling, experience taproom elegance at the price of a speakeasy and with the informal atmosphere of a dive bar. Amp up the classiness upstairs in “the Lounge,” where leather couches, ceiling murals, and a pool table make you feel like an important aristocrat of an era past. During happy hour, each day from opening until 8, drinks are on a “stock exchange,” meaning screens display live prices depending on demand. All of this, plus they have fantastic food. Downstairs—dubbed the Underground—you’ll find a club. With DJs and dancing from 9pm on Thursday through Sunday, it’s a great spot to break it down on the dance floor. Tipsy Crow has your weekend night out—or afternoon happy hour—covered.
Cover $5 after 9 F-Sa; beers from $6; BGLTQ+ friendly; limited wheelchair accessibility; 21+ from 9pm Th-Su
762 Fifth Ave.; (619) 940-7202; http://atomicgaslamp.com/; open M-F 11am-2am, Sa-Su 8pm-2am
Taco joint by day, live music club by night, this flashy Gaslamp Quarter spot is a great spot to grab a drink, and maybe a taco or two, while hearing live DJs or bands. Lit up in electric neon, the club possesses the electricity of SoHo, but with a SoCal chill. Hang out with the DJ on the main level, or break it down in the Graffiti Bar, a more grungy downstairs dancefloor. Drinks are affordably priced, and its in-house taco joint, Michos, serves up delicious fare weekdays from 11am-9pm. If you’re looking for a place with an electric sexiness any night of the week, hit up Atomic.
Cover varies; drinks from $4
Graham left behind the stressed-out chaos of Cambridge for the laid back life on the West Coast. A refreshing change of pace, he assumed, until the line for coffee on his first morning took 2 mins longer than he’s used to, and the Northeast nasty jumped out. Starting in Vancouver, Graham meandered south, toning his calves being a pedestrian on San Francisco’s hills and by navigating the monstrosity that is Los Angeles using just his feet and public transit (only resorting to Uber twice!) Graham’s love for the West Coast life only increased as he sat by the Puget Sound in Seattle, sipped kombucha in the crunchy cafes of Portland, climbed into a waterfall in Yosemite and stayed in an abandoned opera house in Death Valley. By the time he hit upper 80s sun of San Diego, buff calves and sun tanned, the words “West Coast, Best Coast,” almost slipped out of his mouth. Identity crisis looming, he figured it was time to go home.