Fa-la-la-libations: Holiday pop-up bars in San Diego

We’ve rounded up fun, festive places to drink and be merry.

SD Over the Top Lounge Hyatt San Diego

Expect festive cocktails with a view at the Over the Top Lounge this season.

Photo via Over the Top Lounge + Top of the Hyatt

Table of Contents

Feeling that holiday cheer? Us too — and we’re not (home) alone. Several San Diego bars will get into the spirit of the season this year, transforming into festive wonderlands with all the trimmings — wall-to-wall decorations, shimmering lights, and cocktails that sleigh.

Let’s raise a glass to local holiday pop-up bars where you can drink and be merry.

SD Miracle at Draft San Diego

The Carol Barrel at Miracle at Draft.

Photo via Melissa Hom

Miracle on 30th Street SD

Editor Monica (middle) with her lifelong friends at a past edition of Miracle on 30th Street.

Photo via Monica Garske


Locations: Draft at Belmont Park + The Bar at Rancho Bernardo Inn
For the past few years, “Miracle” pop-ups have taken over bars in select cities across the world, including San Diego. This year, the holiday-themed event — known for its nostalgic, kitschy décor and festive craft cocktails — has taken over Draft at Belmont Park in Mission Beach Monday, Nov. 20-Sunday, Dec. 31. You can also find the pop-up at Veranda Bar at Rancho Bernardo Inn Friday, Dec. 1-Sunday, Dec. 31.

SD Polite Provisions holiday bar

Polite Provisions in North Park will transform into “A Cocktail Carol” this holiday season.

Photo via Shannon Patrick

A Cocktail Carol

Location: Polite Provisions, North Park
Something new is coming to town at the hip cocktail bar: “A Cocktail Carol” debuts Monday, Nov. 20, described by Polite Provisions as a “cacophony of Christmas décor, blown up in our humble bar, Griswold’s style.” The pop-up promises holiday-themed drinks and a chance to “indulge in a touch of festive mischief.”

SD Sippin' Santa holiday pop-up bar

You’ll find Sippin’ Santa at two locations this year: Lime in the Coconut and The Grass Skirt.

Photo via Sippin’ Santa + Randy Schmidt

Sippin’ Santa

Locations: Lime in the Coconut, Chula Vista + The Grass Skirt, Pacific Beach
This beloved, tiki-themed wonderland will bring holiday drinks, light bites, and “more tinsel than grandma’s Christmas tree” to Lime in the Coconut starting Wednesday, Nov. 22, with 90-minute sessions inside the space. Sippin’ Santa will also return to its longtime holiday home at The Grass Skirt in PB this season from Tuesday, Nov. 21 to Sunday, Dec. 31; reservations start at 5 p.m. daily.

Sippin Santa SD

Sippin’ Santa at The Grass Skirt is lit in every way.

Photo via @jtran_photos

Over the Top Holiday Lounge

Location: Top of the Hyatt, Downtown San Diego
Sitting 40 stories high at the top of the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, this holiday cabin-themed pop-up experience features a cozy fireplace, stockings hung with care, and a menu filled with jolly cocktails and bites. See the Top of the Hyatt’s festive makeover nightly, 3 p.m.-12 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 22-Wednesday, Dec. 27. Pro tip: This year, there’s live entertainment Tuesdays + Fridays, 7-9 p.m.

SD Over the Top Lounge 2022

The Over the Top Holiday Lounge shines bright.

Photo via Monica Garske + SDtoday

Xmas Bar

Location: 401 G St., Gaslamp QuarterNew to San Diego this year, this pop-up located at the former site of Tin Roof features holiday decorations and festive cocktails aplenty. It’s open Wednesday-Sunday, though times vary.

Deck the Halls

Location: Nason’s Beer Hall, Downtown San Diego
Nestled inside the bar at the Pendry San Diego hotel, this pop-up runs Thursday, Nov. 23-Thursday, Jan. 4. Hosted in partnership with Tipsy Elves apparel, the event features lights aplenty, frosty craft brews, specialty cocktails, themed snacks, and Tipsy Trivia Nights on Tuesdays in December. A portion of proceeds from three seasonal cocktails — Tipsy and Toasted, Tipsy and Bright, and Tipsy in Killarney — will benefit the San Diego Food Bank. Nason’s Beer Hall opens at 3 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 10 a.m. on weekends.

Deck the Halls Pendry San Diego SD

Now entering: Deck the Halls.

Santa’s Lair

Location: Lair Nightclub, Downtown San Diego
Debuting Wednesday, Nov. 22, the nightlife spot transforms into St. Nick’s cozy headquarters boasting custom cocktails and lots of holiday cheer.

SD Miracle at Draft San Diego 2023

The Christmas Cricket at Miracle at Draft.

Photo via Melissa Hom

Great Dickens

Location: The Duck Dive, Pacific Beach
Inspired by Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” this holiday pop-up begins Friday, Dec. 1, and runs nightly, 4 p.m. to close. Inside, the vibes are “reminiscent of a Thomas Kinkade village,” and the menu includes themed cocktails like the Bah-Rum-Bug and Fizziwig’s Ball.

SD Great Dickens Holiday Pop-Up Duck Dive San Diego

The Bah-Rum-Bug at Great Dickens.

Photo via Duck Dive

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