5 to Try: Martini Bars

If glassware had a beauty contest, the martini glass would win by a landslide. Sleek and sexy, martinis evoke a "Mad Men"-era sophistication. These days, you can't drink 'em at work but we've scoured San Diego's top night spots to recommend five excellent venues for enjoying the gin or vodka-based goodness.

Updated: December 22, 2009

5 to Try

The Fleetwood

639 J St, San Diego, CA 92101

It may get rowdy on weekend nights, but go early for a delicious and relaxing martini hour. The downtown bar specializes in classic, top shelf vodka and gin martinis but also offers sweet alternatives infused with berry and pear flavorings.

Martinis Above Fourth

3940 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

From Thin Mint to Skittles to Grape Kool-Aid, the bartenders at this Hillcrest lounge keep coming up with more playful and tasty martini flavors to add to the list. Pair your drink with live jazz on Friday and Saturday nights.

Lei Lounge

4622 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92116

It may be hard to believe, but the specialty drinks are even more delectable than the servers in tight white pants. The basil and pineapple vodka martini is a standout. All drinks are half price during the 5pm-7pm happy hours, Monday through Saturday.

Pacifica Del Mar

1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014

The coastal restaurant has a sleek bar where martinis are just $5 on Wednesday nights. The crisp drinks go well with baked oysters, ahi sashimi, and other irresistible seafood appetizers on the bistro menu.


901 Fourth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

The chic downtown restaurant/lounge is known for its well-crafted martinis. Offerings include the Grey Goose-based White Orchid Martini and the Three Grape Martini made with Ciroc vodka, muddled grapes, and a splash of white grape juice.