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Brothels, Bites and Booze: A Culinary Tour of San Diego's Questionable Past

star-4.5256 Reviews
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San Diego, United States
Brothels, Bites and Booze: A Culinary Tour of San Diego's Questionable Past

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1 Adult2 Adults3 Adults4 Adults5 Adults6 Adults7 Adults8 Adults9 Adults
Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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icon2 hours 30 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English

Overview

Explore the best eats in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego on a walking tour with an expert guide who shares the inside scoop on the district's hopping restaurant and bar scene. Sample delicious dishes at several eateries, sip drinks, and learn about the history of the district as you discover its latest incarnation as a top nightlife destination. Colorful stories shared by your guide make the history of San Diego come to life on this 2.5-hour tour.
  • 2.5-hour food and walking tour of the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego
  • Discover the seedy history of the Gaslamp Quarter
  • Enjoy food samples at four restaurants
  • Sample drinks at three stops
  • See where the early 'women of the night' worked
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Food tasting
Drink samples
Gratuities
Hotel pickup and drop off

Departure Point

209 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101, USA

We meet guests under the Gaslamp Quarter Sign on the Hard Rock Hotel side of the street (209 5th Avenue)

Return Details

Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego, CA 92101, USA

The tour will end at the last stop somewhere in the Gaslamp Quarter neighborhood.

After meeting your guide in the Gaslamp Quarter, set out on your food and walking tour of this vibrant nightlife district, which covers 16 square blocks in the the historic heart of San Diego.

Your guide outlines the scope of the impressive local restaurant and bar scene, and takes you into top eateries to taste their delicious fare. As you stroll at a leisurely pace, pass some of the 150 bars and restaurant, and 94 registered historic buildings in the Gaslamp Quarter. Hear about the origins of this neighborhood, including its notoriety for its red light district when San Diego started out, and illegal booze-running during Prohibition. The area has undergone significant renewal in the past two decades after falling into disrepair in the mid-1900s.

Expect to walk at an easy pace, stopping frequently to try various dishes at up to five eateries with enough samples to make up a full meal. Some of the places that you might visit include: Tin Fish, Meze Café and Grill, Bolillo Tortas, Rock Bottom, Heavenly Cupcake, El Pulpo, Cremolose, Bare Back Bar and Grill, and the Melting Pot.

Please note: restaurants may change and are subject to availability.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Gaslamp Quarter
Often called the Historic Heart of San Diego, the Gaslamp Quarter is the main dining and entertainment district of the city. With more than 150 bars and restaurants and 94 registered historic buildings, this nightlife playground has a lot to see and do, as well as a fascinating past. The Brothels, Bites and Booze tour will introduce you to the beginnings of San Diego as a port town – learn why it became one of the more notorious red light districts of its time, and find out how this once-undesired neighborhood became a fun and vibrant nightlife destination for both locals and visitors. After meeting your guide, you’ll embark on a journey of scandalous tales, unique cocktails and local cuisine. On the tour, you’ll make new friends, hear interesting stories, sing karaoke and explore new tastes at local restaurants*. *Restaurants are not guaranteed and are subject to availability. Tours may include stops at Meze Greek Fusion, Patron's Corner, Ciro's Pizzeria, The Field, El Pulpo, Le Parfait and CrunchTime
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum age is 18 years
  • There is a minimum of 4 passengers to operate. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there is not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
  • OPERATED BY So Diego Tours
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.


Traveler Photos

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
256 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 256 reviews
star-5
Great food ‼️Great booze ‼️Great guide‼️
STEVEF_R
, Oct 2021
Stephan's energetic and enthusiastic, stories, history, and great restaurant tips we're enjoyed and greatly appreciated ‼️
star-5
Brothels, Bites and Booze a must do!
Thomas_D
, Oct 2021
The tour was fun, informative and the food was awesome. We had such a great time, this is a must do in San Diego.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2021
Thank you for coming out on our tour! We are thrilled you enjoyed your time with us!
star-1
Disappointing first night in San Diego
Katie_R
, Oct 2021
I will start this by saying that Angela our guide was very nice, outgoing and friendly, but that is the only positive part of this tour. We started at stop one with a small sample of beer at a brewery and a very sub par fried cauliflower appetizer. Stop 2 was at a green fusion place where we had a tiny sample sangria and a wedge of a Greek quesadilla. Those were really good but left me wanting more. Literally in and out in 10 minutes. 3rd place was the worst taco of my life. How can you be in San Diego and find a bad taco? They did it. And our entire table agreed. Everyone threw them away. Fish was bad and the drink? A small sample of Mic Ultra! I can’t even make this up. 4th stop was a scoop of ice cream. My husband and I do food tours all over the world. We usually start our trip out with one to get a feel of the area. I wish we saved the $150.00 and asked locals where to eat. We could’ve had an excellent meal with that money. And maybe Covid has ruined the scene, but I expected to experience some culinary highlights of San Diego. This left a lot to be desired. I would skip this at all costs.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2021
Hi Katie, This was a really tough review to read. I'm really frustrated that you left our tour with this experience. I have reached out to the taco restaurant and our restaurant coordinator about your issues with the items served. Apparently there was a misunderstanding at the taco place and the beer taster, but I realize that while that was embarrassing, there is no excuse for a fish taco being bad...especially in San Diego! I'll be heading down there tomorrow with my coordinator to taste everything we serve on the tour. We want our guests to enjoy the local flavors and establishments, and I'm so sorry you had a bad experience. I will go ahead and refund your tickets. I hope you enjoyed the rest of your time in San Diego.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Great way to explore the city and learn a little history.
Jerrett_D
, Oct 2021
Stephan was absolutely amazing! Definitely recommend this tour. Food was great. The way Stephan told the history of the city was very charismatic, he definitely made it worth it.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2021
We are so happy that you joined on tour, and glad to hear you had fun with Stefan. We love him and his energetic personality! :)
star-5
Great night
Karyn_Z
, Oct 2021
Great group and Stephan was energetic and fun. He really knows the history of San Diego. And the restaurants!
icon Response from Host , Oct 2021
Thanks for joining us, and thanks for the great review.
star-5
Blast- great night!
CAMILLE_G
, Oct 2021
Amazingly fun! Stephan is the best your guide— and cute, to boot! 🤪🙃😍 His boundless energy, sense of humor, and warm smile help as well…
icon Response from Host , Oct 2021
Thank you for booking the Brothels, Bites and Booze tour! We are thrilled to find you had a great time. :) We hope you enjoyed the rest of your weekend in San Diego!
star-5
Great way to experience Gaslamp!
Joanne_H
, Oct 2021
Great food and drink! Kirk was fun and super knowledgeable! The time flew by..only wish it were even longer!
icon Response from Host , Oct 2021
Hi Joanne! Thanks for joining the BBB tour! I'm happy to find you had a great time with Kirk. He's definitely full of energy and personality, and his experience in travel makes him compassionate to other travelers coming to our home town. Thanks for the great review!
star-1
Not worth it!
Deborah_M
, Sep 2021
Took us to the seediest parts of town except for Meze. It was not what we were expecting - long walks, poor food & beverages. Definitely not worth the money we paid.
icon Response from Host , Oct 2021
Hi Deborah. I’m so sorry you did not like the tour. Unfortunately due to Covid, the downtown area suffered a great deal - forcing many restaurants and shops close down. We do realize that the area is not what is used to be, but the venues we do partner with are tried and true local establishments that all have solid ratings online. May I ask what about the food and beverages you didn’t like, so we can find alternate items that would potentially be better?
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Fun, witty and tasty!
Kether_J
, Sep 2021
Stefan was very knowledgeable, fun, and witty. It was a pleasure getting to know the Gaslamp district while sampling good food and drink. Thank you, Stefan! We even changed our Sunday dinner reservations to a place from the tour.
icon Response from Host , Sep 2021
Thank you for the great feedback! I'm thrilled to hear that you had a great time with Stefan and at our restaurants. We are excited to be back sharing our city with our guests.
star-5
Amazing Food and great history
Rachel_D
, Sep 2021
Learning about how each brothel had its own unique theme was so cool. Our tour guide Angela was awesome. Food was fantastic.
icon Response from Host , Sep 2021
Thank you for joining us, and providing the great feedback! We hope you join us again on another tour soon! -Bianca

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