Need a night off from diaper duty or just a moment with another grown-up? We’ve found 10 great wine bars where you can toast some much deserved downtime. Speed dial your favorite sitter or take your kids to play at one of our fave childcare drop-off spots. Then grab your bestie or love and go unwind with some wine (without the whining!). Scroll down to find out where to raise your glass at a wine bar near you.
Oak & Elixir
Wine, beer and appetizers foodies love, you'll enjoy an evening out at this local wine bar in Carlsbad Village. From baked Brie and pulled pork sliders to wine flights and craft beer, there's something for everyone at this cozy spot. Even more, the wine is from California estate small batch wineries. Save room for the vanilla ice cream cookie or velvet cake desserts.
2917 State St.
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Splash Wine Lounge & Bistro
A casual North Park neighborhood wine lounge, Splash offers over 100 wines from around the world. Seventy-two wines are available “by the splash” – a one-ounce pour dispensed by the latest Italian technology at self-service stations. Wine selections change on a regular basis, keeping things interesting for wine palettes both novice and experienced. Splash also offers appetizers, small plates, flatbread pizzas and a happy hour menu. Sign-up for their newsletter for info on Sunday Fun Day, Happy Hour, Movie Night and Wine Sundays!
Insider’s Tip: Like to share nibbles with your besties? Try the Goat Cheese Boat and the Brie Apple Stack. You can thank us later.
3043 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92104
Solterra Winery & Kitchen
Wine and tapas, plus bigger plates too! First off, try a flight from the North or the South (of California). Then, add in our faves: patatas bravas or the staple cheese plate. Next, sit back and enjoy a meal. Also, if the babysitter fails to show, it's okay to bring half-pints too. Even more, if you hit the right night, they have musicians play (while you eat and drink) in the barrel room.
934 N. Coast Hwy. 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
The Wine Pub
Located in lovely Point Loma, this classy yet casual little place is perfect for a chill night out with the girls. This boutique wine bar offers 30 domestic and new world vinos by the glass and artisan style small plates and entrees. The expansive patio is perfect for a night’s worth of girl talk and listening to live music by the fire pit. Don’t leave the wolf pack behind: the patio is dog-friendly! Fido will even get his own menu.
Insider’s Tip: If you’re looking for a gal pal getaway, check out the pub’s Valle De trips across the border. This ultimate wine tasting experience offers a two-night stay in Valla de Guadalupe, Baja.
2907 Shelter Island Dr. #108
San Diego, CA 92106
The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar at UTC
What more could you ask for with friends, food, fireplace and a nice glass of wine? From truffle fries and pork belly lollipops to great Cabernet and craft beer too, this is a local hot spot. So have your pals meet up and soak up the casual indoor-outdoor vibe at UTC and take a break from mommy madness.
4301 La Jolla Village Dr., Ste 2045
San Diego, CA 92122
The Barrel Room
A North County mainstay, The Barrel Room is known for its world-class wine selections and casual dining. Sink into a comfy sofa or request a table. Either way, you and your girls will get the royal treatment: The Barrel Room has been recognized for its attentive customer service, warm ambiance, and killer wines. Share the meat and cheese board or the smoked ahi empanadas. Tucked away at the corners of The Plaza, you’ll find easy parking and a very short walk (read: wear your heels!).
16765 Bernardo Center Dr.
San Diego, CA 92128
San Elijo Vine & Tap
A perfect spot for moms night out! From a shareable cheeseboard to a wide variety of wines, it's a hot spot to sit and catch up. Also, the happy hour wines are $6 and you can order fresh kettle chips and margherita flatbread. Come for a taster, then stay for dinner.
1231 Elfin Forest Rd. West, Ste. 110
San Marcos, CA 92078
Vine Cottage Bistro
If your group’s vibe is quirky and cool, refined but casual, check out Vine Cottage Bistro in the heart of La Mesa. Known for its Mediterranean inspired cuisine and a nice selection of wines, Vine Cottage has a little something for everyone. With locally sourced menu items, you and your buds will feel good about supporting this small business. Vine Cottage offers one of the best happy hours around: Tues.-Sat., 2-6 p.m, Mon. & Sun., All day.
6062 Lake Murray Blvd. Ste. 101A
La Mesa, CA 91942
Romeo & Julieta Wine Cafe
This boutique wine bar in the Talmadge neighborhood offers wines from around the world. Even more, share small plate appetizers from Pierogis and Kasha chicken to homemade Schniezel. Sit in one of the leather chairs and admire the rustic ambiance of the Venetian-style walls and arched brick ways. Hit up happy hour and try a house wine for $6 with pulled pork sliders or chicken wings and fries.
4715 Monroe Ave.
San Diego, CA 92115
Next Door Craft Beer & Wine Bar
You'll feel like you walked next door for a glass of wine (or craft beer!) at this neighborhood wine bar. The cozy bar and tapas menu are sure to satisfy. From a cheese pairing plate to olive tapas or if you're really hungry, Ranchwood BBQ (next door) will deliver right to your table. A good time to stop by is on one of the game nights––with trivia every Wednesday you're in for a fun (relaxing!) evening out.
7235 El Cajon Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92115
featured photo: Kelsey Chance via Unsplash
—Elizabeth Silva and Nikki Walsh