This intimate and romantic, yet lively, Spanish restaurant features brick arches, dim lighting and black-lacquered ceilings. House specialties include an ever-popular and classic paella and halibut with salsa and goat cheese. The tapas bar offers more than 40 options, and the back bar is a sophisticated place where you can enjoy a pre- or post-dinner cocktail while being serenaded by local salsa, merengue and Spanish rock bands. Flamenco dinner shows are scheduled on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights ($39.50 to $47.50), and dance lessons for the downstairs club are available. The Gaslamp location is extraordinarily convenient should you like to stop in for a bit during a night out.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Between the Flamenco dance lessons, tapas and Gaslamp location, this is a festive place to experience Spain in San Diego.
Katie's expert tip: Check the schedule as sometimes you'll be able to participate in a dance lesson.
You'll have a rollicking good time at this country western haven in Mission Valley. There's beer to drink and a large dance floor so you can boot scoot along with all your favorite country songs. Free dance lessons are held most evenings, and happy hour specials appeal to the pocketbook. Once in a while, InCahoots books country music headliners for a live performance. There's also Kountry Karaoke. An outdoor deck allows party goers to take advantage of the moderate San Diego weather. Parking is free but you can walk here from a trolley station. Don't forget your boots but note that it's the more casual country option.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Country music the second most popular form of music in San Diego, and this is the second of two places you can dance to it.
Katie's expert tip: Check the website for specials. For example, learn how to dance most days at 6:30 p.m.
Two clubs in one, Onyx Room and Thin occupy two floors of the same space, with Thin at street level and Onyx below. Both are trendy spots that draw the ultra-cool who want to party with inventive cocktails in hand and plenty of eye candy located throughout the room. Different nights feature different music styles, from jazz to hip-hop and old-school. One cover charge gets you into both. As an upscale nightclub, Onyx and Thin a dress code so skip the beachwear. Onyx is more loungey with a wider variety of music. Register online for the guest list which may feature a discounted or no cover charge.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Cover essentially gets you into two popular clubs: Thin at street level and Onyx downstairs.
Katie's expert tip: There's no kitchen so eat before you arrive! Also, this club tends to close a little bit later than the rest.
This Gaslamp bar sets a classy and sophisticated backdrop for the young and beautiful of San Diego to mix and mingle. Set amidst antiques, art and leather couches perched on gleaming hardwoods, this spot sports quite the scene. Dress smartly on the weekends if you hope to be seen covorting with other heavy spending A-listers at one of Tipsy Crow's three expansive bars. The Main Bar has pool tables, lower level a dance floor and the upstairs a VIP lounge so people can hang out where they choose. The bar mixes classic décor, craft beers, quality cocktails and unique bites with years of experience and upscale service.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: With three levels to offer, when you need a total break from dancing, you can head to the lounge level or the bar.
Katie's expert tip: The Tipsy Crow offers a great Happy Hour weekdays until 8 pm, with half off appetizers such as jumbo soft pretzels, blue cheese fondue,and chips and dip, as well as deals on all drinks.
Evoking an Asian street market feel, Bang Bang features three separate concepts in one space - one part asian fusion restaurant, one part sushi bar and one part "theatre" which hosts live music, DJs, movies, and is home to the largest disco ball (5.5 feet wide) west of the Mississippi. Guests are transported through Bang Bang via a tunneled staircase entrance reminiscent of a Tokyo subway, complete with Tokyo subway sounds streaming through hidden speakers. Backed by nightlife impresario, Johnny Shockey and LED, Bang Bang offers unparalleled entertainment with some of the hottest up and coming DJs, inviting guests to come for dinner and stay the rest of the night. A full list of upcoming DJs can be found on their website.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Go for the innovative Asian menu and mod decor and stay for the dancing.
Katie's expert tip: Try the Bangwich, which is an ice cream sandwich with bacon cookies. They get major props for the Ryan Gosling ladies bathroom stall.
Moonshine Flats is a ton of country fun in the Gaslamp Quarter. It's one of two places in San Diego to dance to country. The 10,000 square-foot venue features multiple levels, dozens of interactive elements, five bars throughout, including the longest bar on the west coast spanning 80 feet, San Diego's largest dance floor, two raised platforms for dance exhibitionists, a 6' x 6' raised "dance pod" and a moveable DJ booth, a large stage that hosts house bands in front of a floor-to-ceiling LED screen. Drink from old school barber "shot" chairs (drink and spin!) or play pool and arcade games like Buck Hunter and a Boxing. You'll love it, even if country music isn't your thing.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Moonshine Flats is the hot country bar in the Gaslamp Quarter with live music versus a DJ, at times.
Katie's expert tip: Alcohol slushie machines and classic cocktails have an emphasis on whiskey, bourbon and moonshine.
Bar Dynamite's interesting history includes a former life as Club Nagasaki which catered mostly to San Diego's thriving aerospace industry. It became Bar Dynamite and in the 80s and 90s it was pretty much a dive bar for people who liked an early tipple and local bands. In 1999, a radical shift to underground DJs and cutting-edge technology overhauled the vibe into what it is today, 7 days a week. Music varies between funk, soul, hip hop, reggae and electronic club music. Entertainment starts at 9:00 p.m. There's no food for sale, but guests are welcome to bring it in from nearby venues. There's even free WiFi. Note that Bar Dynamite isn't a huge space but it is available for private events.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Bar Dynamite has a reputation for pioneering the local underground DJ movement.
Katie's expert tip: Happy hour from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. is outstanding value with $3 off wells and half-off other drinks.
Conceptualized around the elements of opulent, classic design and modern technology, OMNIA San Diego is a stimulating nightlife experience by global hospitality company, Hakkasan Group. The multi-level destination encompasses a high energy main club and balcony level as well as an outdoor terrace showcasing beautiful views of the scenic Gaslamp Quarter. The nightclub features a variety of musical talent, including some of the world's most in-demand talent, spanning diverse genres for an all-inclusive nightlife experience. Filled with interactive features and luxurious finishes at every turn, OMNIA San Diego sets the stage for patrons who enter our world to discover the unexpected.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: This OMNIA is affiliated with the OMNIA in Las Vegas, really bringing Vegas-style nightlife to San Diego.
Katie's expert tip: You may even order food from sister restaurant Searsucker as an add-on.
Parq Nightclub's intent is to draw on experience of leaders in the restaurant and nightclub industries to bring guests an unparalleled nightlife experience with top-notch service and sound to maximize the sensory impact of the club. Parq Nightclub is open on Friday and Saturday nights only. It is a stadium-like venue with centrally-located VIP tables for Vegas style bottle service. The sleek contemporary decor with high-energy lighting is designed to take guests on a walk through space with surprising little details revealing themselves along the way. Eat before dancing at the critically-acclaimed restaurant which was designed to evoke the feeling of eating in Central Park.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: This is definitely one of San Diego's most unique clubs, well-lit , and known for its awesome sound system.
Katie's expert tip: Between the club and restaurant, you could spend an entire night here.
FLUXX is one of downtown San Diego's high-end dance club. Just as its name implies, FLUXX nightclub's mood and motif will be kept in a constant state of change, designed to create a unique experience with every visit. The venue incorporates organic decor amidst bright, bold colors and playful design elements including a large-scale adult tree house, circular dance floor, a 15-ft custom rope chandelier and eye-catching art. FLUXX offers a Vegas-style VIP bottle service and centrally located VIP tables. Or, reserve the tree house which also has a private bar. It's the most unique nightlife experience in town, created by top professionals in the nightlife business.
Recommended for Dance Clubs because: Every couple of months, the night club's theme and decor changes pretty much from top to bott.
Katie's expert tip: When A-list celebrities visit San Diego, this is where they go. Have a look at the website prior to going to see if you can get on the list in advance or reserve a table.