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barleymash, the energizing, fun, and friendly staple in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, won the Best Ambiance peoples choice award for the 24th Annual Taste of Gaslamp. barleymash is a fun, high-energy downtown restaurant and bar that celebrates the richness of American culture through its appetizing and progressive bar fare. Both the restaurant philosophy and menu offerings draw heavily from two barroom staples: beer and bourbon. The name, in fact, refers to the typical grain mixture used in the brewing and distillation process of both beer and bourbon. What results from this pairing is a uniquely American dining experience and aesthetic that remind all patrons of two simple ideas: life is meant to be sipped and savored, and good times should always be shared.

barleymash is the downtown place-to-be for locals and tourists alike. Set amidst reclaimed wood from the original foundation and a warm modernist design, the restaurant and bar support San Diego’s best micro- and nano-breweries. (The bar is also fully stocked to suit any other distinguishing palate.) The garage-door style windows open the interior space to the Gaslamp’s sunny disposition. And, rooted in the idea that we are indeed a community, three large communal tables foster a sense of gathering where deliciously innovative food, conversation and drink can be shared amongst friends and neighbors. Best of all, though the evening may get started in barleymash, this top-notch eatery also encourages patrons to visit ginger’s, located downstairs. ginger’s is a sophisticated, yet laid-back lounge where vodka takes center stage. For martinis, mixing and mingling, this ultra-hip lounge is where it’s at.

With entertainment slotted seven nights a week for everything from bands to DJs, as well as various special events like beer tastings and food pairings, San Diegans can now consider their social calendar full of memorable moments.

Sherry and I enjoyed lunch at the distinguished eatery as well as presented them with their, “Best Ambiance” award.

What We Enjoyed:

  • First, Sherry and I were presented with the seasonal “special” appetizer called the Fire and Ice Ceviche. The fresh Yellowtail with cucumber salsa fresca was on one side of the plate while a fresh Salmon with mango and habanero was on the other side that can be scooped onto crispy corn tortillas!
  • Sherry enjoyed the Spicy Shrimp Skillet – A dish of succulent shrimp sautéed in garlic-chili butter, with a tequila, wasabi cream sauce. This could all be dipped and enjoyed with toasted herb focaccia bread squares on the side.
  • I gobbled up the “Sando combo of the day!”  Each day of the week lunch goers can choose from a special menu that has a different sandwich and side. On this day I enjoyed the Heirloom tomato BLT, served with house made fries and homemade ketchup for dipping. I also tried the blue cheese and basil dipping sauce! Delicious!

Insider Tips:

  • Catch up on all the games!! They’ll be open for brunch at 9am on Saturdays and Sundays through football season. There isn’t a spot in the restaurant where you can’t catch any different sporting event!
  • Downstairs at Gingers you can participate in Karaoke on Tuesday evenings, live music Wednesdays and Thursdays, and the last Thursday of the month is a free comedy show!
  • Monday – Friday 3pm – 6pm – Half off all beer, wine, spirits and select appetizers. (Subject to change during holidays and special events.)
  • Make sure to check out and click on the specials tab for a list of DJs/ live music playing
  • Make their home yours! You can book your private parties in the main dining room or gingers.  A perfect place to celebrate!



  • Monday – Friday: 11:30AM – 2:00AM
  • Saturday & Sunday: 10:00AM – 2:00AM

Location: 600 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

barleymash - 600 Fifth