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

star-4.5242 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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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

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • 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
242 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 242 reviews
star-3
Not worth the price, nor align with title
charles_c
, Sep 2021
Nice tour guide. But there was just not enough substance (history, education, story telling) to align with the promotional description of this tour. Food, though nice, did not relate to subject matter either. Tour would have been better with entrance to a couple of these historical places.
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star-5
Amazing!
Deborah
, Sep 2021
Stephan was amazing! This was a super fabulous experience and I highly recommend it! Food and history super cool !
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star-4
Fun and Educational
Susan_K
, Sep 2021
Our tour guide Stefan was awesome but you need to change up or bring on more restaurants. Knotty brewing and Meze were good but the street tacos and the ice cream were not what we consider a good choice for stops. It is brothels, bites and Booze so every stop should have booze to taste.
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star-4
Good way to see parts of gas lamp that you would not normally see.
Stacy_M
, Aug 2021
Stephan was very knowledgeable about the area. He had a great sense of humor and always had a smile on his face. He made it fun.
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star-5
Great time had by all!
Tammara_K
, Aug 2021
Stephen is the best tour guide. He is knowledgeable and fun! I would recommend him every time! The food and drinks were good local food.
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star-5
Very Cool
Darissg9
, Aug 2021
The tour was so much fun, I learned a lot about the city of San Diego, and the food and drinks were amazing. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to do something fun and different.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-1
Signed up for a trip that didn’t exist
Phyllis_D
, Aug 2021
We drove a total of 164 miles, paid $35 to park, lost one day of our vacation only to find out that VIATOR had booked us and 14 other people on a tour that didn’t exist. So much for them saying they vet every tour. Actually they don’t even check to see if the are happening. I would definitely hesitate to book another tour with Viator.
HelpfulHelpful2 travelers found this review helpful
star-5
A good time
Kent_C
, Feb 2020
Ben did an awesome job educating and entertaining our group. The fun and drink choices were excellent.
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star-2
Below average
TanH
, Feb 2020
We were looking for unique experience and our guide made efforts to entertain us, but food was below average and far away from unique San Diego signature food. Just wasting of money.
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
Hi there. I'm sorry you didn't find this tour up to par with your expectations. The idea of the tour is to introduce you to the history of the Gaslamp Quarter while sampling food at a few of the local venues. San Diego is a melting pot of foods from around the world, and while we do have stories for every dish we serve, they might not be specific to the area. I'm sorry there was that misunderstanding.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Fun and interesting
Tom
, Feb 2020
What a fun afternoon- a little history, great bites, and some fun beverages! Dana was a great leader with interesting stories.
icon Response from Host , Feb 2020
So happy you had a great time with Dana! Thanks for the review. -Bianca
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