Downtown has transformed over the recent years from slightly seedy, to hip, new, and ready to party with the completion of Petco Park. There is no doubt that it gentrified the area like a magic wand and a flick of the wrist.
The Gaslamp is the traditional late night stumble with bars like Dick's Last Resort, where the waiters are purposely rude (Like throwing napkins at you, cursing, making silly hats out of your place-mat for yours truely etc.), and home to the debauchery that otherwise is confined to SDSU in this suburban city. There are countless bars, nightclubs and lounges in the Gaslamp itself. Joining the Gaslamp, Little Italy has become a hotspot in recent years along with pretty much anywhere on the waterfront that has a tap.
Outside of downtown there's not much going on at night besides your assorted local pubs and breweries, but for a unique take on partying, San Diego has plenty of places to try something new. Go Padres!
454 Sixth Ave
Between Island Ave and J St, Gaslamp Quarter
845 6th Avenue
3036 El Cajon Blvd
At 30th St, North Park
1337 India St
Between A and Ash Sts, downtown
2501 Kettner Blvd
At Laurel St, near the airport
1055 Fifth Ave
Downtown (between Broadway and C St, steps away from the Fifth Ave trolley stop)
550 Park Boulevard
2241 Shelter Island Drive