It's late, you're out with your friends, and the conversation goes, "Let's go somewhere!" "Ok where?" "I'm hungry!" "Me too, but where should we go?"
The conundrum of finding an interesting late-night happy hour is not a new one. Boring well drinks, wings and fries menus have plagued the late hours for years. Luckily San Diego bars and restaurants have heard the call for the exciting and are rolling out interesting and inventive late happy hours to treat night owls.
Here are a few not-so-average late-night happy hour locations to add to the lineup.
The Grass Skirt
Taking the prize for best prices and theme, this tiki bar has a late night happy hour menu with dishes offered at an unbeatable $5. Unique selections include okinomiyaki fries topped with bonito, scallion, hoisin and spicy mayo; a Tenderbelly Farms pork belly steam bun topped with sesame, cilantro, gochujang, hoisin, peanut and cucumber, Korean short rib; and crispy shrimp served with rice cracker and curry mayo. Late-night happy hour runs from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. every night.
910 Grand Ave., Pacific Beach, 858.412.5237 or thegrassskirt.com
Grab a date and indulge at Vices & Vino, a themed late-night happy hour sure to get hormones charged. Selections include the "aphrodisiac," a selection of fresh oysters with pink peppercorn, cucumber, and gin and tonic mignonettes; garlic and herb lamb lollipops with mint chimichurri; and the decadent dark chocolate donuts (house-made buttermilk donuts topped with warm dark chocolate glaze and cinnamon sugar). Sip on bottles of wine marked down to half-off for all. Vices & Vino runs from 5:30 p.m. to close every Monday in the downstairs dining room.
535 Fifth Ave., downtown, 619.232.1747 or rusticroot.com
Oceanaire Seafood Room
While a dinner at Oceanaire might be a splurge, there's no buyer's remorse at this coastal-themed happy hour titled Admiral's Hour." For less than an Alexander Hamilton (that's a $10) you can nosh on fresh or grilled oysters, crispy calamari, or select a trio of sliders, with filet mignon or crab cakes. Drinks include $5 beers, $6 wines and $7 or $8 cocktails. From 9 p.m. to close Monday through Thursday, and starting at 8 p.m. Sunday.
400 J St., downtown, 619.858.2277, theoceanaire.com/locations/sandiego
Common Theory Public House
This Kearny Mesa hot spot rolls out has a late-night happy hour menu that runs from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. Among the highlights of discount craft brews and appetizers, the buffalo cauliflower, brussels sprouts or crab pretzel.
4805 Convoy St., Kearny Mesa, 858.384.7974, commontheorysd.com
Late night goodies come out for one special night here, with a Tuesday all-night happy hour. Hot on the list are $6 specialty cocktails with the sorta-healthy, definitely unique Kombucha Mojito or Kombucha Mule. Also available are $5 drinks including any draft beer, Beermosa, Screwdriver, sangria, house wines, Mimosas and half-off all appetizers.
860 W. Washington St., Mission Hills, 619.458.9929 or farmersbottega.com
Fans of marijuana legislation will have a field day here with all of the munchies. From 10pm to midnight only, but on every Friday and Saturday, hungry customers can gorge on pretzel puffs, something called "amazeballs," hummus, tater tots, and... wait for it... fried twinkies. Prices start at $5.
901 Fourth Ave., downtown, 619.696.8888 or thecommonssd.com
Curadero's Arriba Room
Head upstairs for the "Taco Window" and enjoy late night guacamole, tacos and even fresh churros. Exercise those calories off by challenging your mates in foosball and shuffleboard, or go retro with their tabletop arcade games. Look for specials on mezcal, tequila, beer and wine. Runs from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.
1047 Fifth Ave., downtown, 619.515.3003 or curadero.com