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

San Diego, United States

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2 hours 30 minutes (Approx.)
Mobile ticket


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
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.

Traveler Photos


Viator Traveler's Reviews

89 Reviews
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Sandy H
, Apr 2019

Our guide was fun and shared a lot of interesting information about the city. It was a great way to see the sights on foot.

Julie B
, Mar 2019

Stephon, our guide, was a very interesting and entertaining fellow, who had a great grasp of the history part of this attraction. He was very adept at keeping the party moving from venue to venue. The food choices could have been better. The first "bite" was a Greek tapa and with Greek sangria. It was the best of the evening. After that, it went downhill. The last "bite" was a dive pizza joint with beer served in plastic cups. With the plethora of restaurants and brew pubs in San Diego, there had to be better options. Dessert at a French pastry shop did rescue the evening a bit.

Marsha B
, Dec 2018

Stephan,our guide, was energetic, informative and knowledgeable about the history of San Diego, not just the brothels , but also the early history of San Diego .We took the trolley near our hotel and the tour began and ended pretty close to the station in the Gaslamp district. He made a conscience effort to create an atmosphere of comradery among all the people on the tour. The food and drink at each of the four restaurants we visited gave a good overview of the different types of foods and drinks available in the area. It was a fun way to experience this area of San Diego!

, Dec 2018

Our guide, Stephan. was entertaining, knowledgeable, and friendly. The restaurants and bars we visited were varied and the food and drinks were great. I would definitely recommend this fun tour.

Craig V
, Nov 2018

Everything was very well done. Really enjoyed our guide's knowledge and friendliness. Learned a lot about the San Diego history and food/drink scene.

Gina C
, Oct 2018

This was a great way to pass an evening, get an overview of the neighborhood and sample 4 great eateries. Stephan was an enthusiastic guide and made sure everyone in our group had a great time.

Barbara W
, Aug 2018

This was a fun tour. Our guide Stephen was a lot of fun and was very knowledgeable. As we walked along learning about the history of the brothels we stopped at various restaurants where we enjoyed food samples and drinks. We were with a great group of people and had a really good time. I would suggest this tour to anyone that wants to visit the Gaslamp Quarters and have a fun filled evening.

Kevin M
, Jul 2018

It was a fun walking tour of the Gaslamp district. Edwin was outstanding as our guide and storyteller. He was pleasant and knowledgeable of the area and San Diego as a whole. Each of our stops gave us quality food that is a good indicator of their fare. I would recommend this tour to everyone who visits or lives in San Diego whom would like to sample and learn what the best of the Gaslamp District has to offer.

Cynthia D
, Mar 2018

Great tour our guide was very good and funny

, Mar 2018

The guide Stefan was excellent - really enthusiastic and great presentation. The first food stop Meze was equally as good. Unfortunately, the other food stops weren't that special - I've done similar tours in other cities and wanted to go back to all the restaurants. This was not the case here. Despite this, it was a very enjoyable evening.


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(888) 651-9785
(888) 651-9785
Product code: 5356BBB

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