Let’s talk trips to SoCal. I recently went on a trip to San Diego in search for the best food. Yep… exactly why I went.
First Gem of them all: The Nolen. A chic rooftop bar overlooking the downtown Gaslamp district.
Call me crazy, but I’m alwayyyyys skeptical of venues with views because often- the food quality sucks.
Not the case with The Nolen. 😉
The venue is lined with windows and open balconies, bringing in soft light -perfect for photos- especially during happy hour ;-). There are knick knacks and artifacts scattered on the shelves. It’s a cool place.
The Nolen uses local spirits when they can and make damn good cocktails. This is the perfect place for happy hour with your coworkers.
I’m an egg white queen when it comes to cocktails, and I was reallllly in the mood for a Pisco Sour. The bartenders are great and recommended the Bee’s Knees with an egg white. They didn’t even give me the annoyed look bartenders give when you ask for frothy drinks. (They were supppper nice!)
By far, their best cocktail is the Fire in the Rye. This mezcal and whiskey cocktail is perfectly balanced. You’d think that such harsh flavors would clash, but no- it’s balanced AF.
The happy hour food is also great. You can make a meal out of it. (We did- hehe.)
The Tuna Poke was beautifully plated and not too oily. A lot of people really enjoy the Carnitas Flatbread, but it was a bit salty for me.
The Chili Glazed Meatballs with sweet chili sauce was the most unique dish. You know when restaurants advertise things as spicy & they’re not? Well their meatballs were refreshingly spicy- I loved it!
The prices are very reasonable- especially during happy hour. I wish I had a chance to check the venue out during brunch- they’re supposed to have a BOMB menu.
The Verdict: The Nolen is a great spot for an after work happy hour – or even for a date. I would go here allll the time if I lived in the area.
We were talking with the people at the bar & they were like “there’s a competitor rooftop bar in the area, but the other place sucks.” (LOL). Let us know if you have any other happy hour recommendations in San Diego. Otherwise,if you like foodie adventures (and sometimes bike repairs), follow along on my Instastory.