Tours and Tickets

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

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

Brothels, Bites and Booze: A Culinary Tour of San Diego's Questionable Past
4.5
Book in advance
from
$75.00
per adult
Reserve now & pay later: Save your spot free of charge with flexible booking.
Free cancellation
Not sure? You can cancel this reservation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
Tour snapshot
Includes food and drink tastings
Duration:
2h 30m
Group size:
15
Service animals allowed
Ticket type:
Mobile
Free cancellation
About
Taste a variety of bites from favorite local restaurants in the Gaslamp Quarter on a San Diego walking tour that also explores the district’s seedy origins. Expect to stroll at a leisurely pace, passing historical landmarks and making stops at four eateries for food and drink tastings. As you sample delicious foods, your guide shares stories about the neighborhood’s colorful history and its lively restaurant and bar scene.
Know before you go
  • Duration: 2h 30m
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
English
Highlights
  • Walking tour suitable for most adults
  • Combine a food tour with an overview of the district's history
  • See Victorian architecture in this historical San Diego neighborhood
What to expect
Know before you go
  • Duration: 2h 30m
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Available languages
English
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Highlights
  • Walking tour suitable for most adults
  • Combine a food tour with an overview of the district's history
  • See Victorian architecture in this historical San Diego neighborhood
What to expect
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 5356BBB
Important information
Inclusions
  • Food tasting
  • Drink samples
Exclusions
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop off
Duration
2h 30m
Departure details
  • 209 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101, USA We meet guests under the Gaslamp Quarter Sign on the Hard Rock Hotel side of the street (209 5th Avenue)
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum age is 18 years
  • There is a minimum of 4 passengers to operate. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there is not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
Inclusions
  • Food tasting
  • Drink samples
Exclusions
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop off
Departure details
  • 209 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101, USA We meet guests under the Gaslamp Quarter Sign on the Hard Rock Hotel side of the street (209 5th Avenue)
Duration
2h 30m
Return details
  • Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego, CA 92101, USA The tour will end at the last stop somewhere in the Gaslamp Quarter neighborhood.
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum age is 18 years
  • There is a minimum of 4 passengers to operate. There is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation if there is not enough passengers to meet requirements. In the event of this occurring, you will be offered an alternative or full refund
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    209 Fifth Ave
    209 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
    We meet guests under the Gaslamp Quarter Sign on the Hard Rock Hotel side of the street (209 5th Avenue)
    See address & details
  • 1
    Gaslamp Quarter
    Stop: 90 minutes
    Often called the Historic Heart of San Diego, the Gaslamp Quarter is the main dining and entertainment district of the city. With more than 150 bars and restaurants and 94 registered historic buildings, this nightlife playground has a lot to see and do, as well as a fascinating past. The Brothels, Bites and Booze tour will introduce you to the beginnings of San Diego as a port town – learn why it became one of the more notorious red light districts of its time, and find out how this once-undesired neighborhood became a fun and vibrant nightlife destination for both locals and visitors. After meeting your guide, you’ll embark on a journey of scandalous tales, unique cocktails and local cuisine. On the tour, you’ll make new friends, hear interesting stories, sing karaoke and explore new tastes at local restaurants*.
    Read more
  • You'll end at
    Gaslamp Quarter
    Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
    The tour will end at the last stop somewhere in the Gaslamp Quarter neighborhood.
    See address & details
+
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
182 reviews
Excellent
119
Very good
38
Average
13
Poor
5
Terrible
7

John S
1 contribution
This tour is amazing and a must go if you visit San Diego. This is my third time in San Diego and I was finally able to experience the different types of food San Diego now has.

Our guide Stephon was INCREDIBLE!!!! He was so much fun and had my wife and I and our group laughed the entire time. He knew all about San Diego not only the history but some awesome restaurants "off the beaten path" He made our group feel like a community and a bunch of friends going to restaurants and having fun while exploring San Diego like I have never seen it before.

Now the food: Excellent and we got a chance to see all the different types of restaurants in San Diego. The perfect "upscale" brewery that we got to sample some of the beer cities magnificent beer and snack on some of the best cauliflower you will EVER eat. My wife doesn't even eat cauliflower but this was something different and exceptional and it paired perfectly with the beer given. Next, was a Greek fusion restaurant that was so good we ended up making reservations while we were there. Next a typical San Diego Taco Shop to try one of the best tacos San Diego is known for and finally a killer dessert to end the evening.

This is a walking tour and we did some walking so wear comfortable shoes but was perfect to burn off some of that food and drinks. If you are in San Diego and have a night free I would highly recommend this food tour. Try to do it the first or second day you arrive because Stephon will give you all of the places and neighborhoods you should visit around San Diego.
Written October 12, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Bianca B
Thank you for joining us on the BBB tour! We are loving our new partners, and I couldn't agree more about the cauliflower...I could easily order that as my main course!
Written October 19, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tyson B
1 contribution
Couples
Wonderful tour and experience. Food and drinks at every stop. It was a 4 course drink/meal. Stefan was a great tour guide, he could amplify his voice (to a groups of 13 on the street) and was very animated, making the entire tour a blast. Make sure to read the description as it is a “walking tour”, you gotta be able to keep up. Thank you Stefan!
Written February 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Bianca B
Thank you "Tank5005" for coming along on tour. I'm happy you enjoyed yourselves, and mentioned that Stefan was animated and amplified. He is definitely known around the Downtown area as THE "So Diego" guide because of his big personality. ;)
Written February 7, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Teresa C
2 contributions
Kirk was our tour guide and he was absolutely great! I was (and always am) the slow walker of the group. He purposely walked at my pace without me feeling like I was slowing down the group. All of the food was really good. I especially loved the sauce, and bought some, at the Greek fusion restaurant. My first time having fish tacos and boy were they delicious. Kirk was very knowledgeable about San Diego and the Gaslamp quarter and shared many insider/local tips and secrets. What interesting history! The tour was very laid back and I never felt rushed or hurried. Highly recommend!
Written February 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Bianca B
This was your first time having a fish taco?! I'm shocked, but also proud that your first experience was with us! I'm happy you enjoyed yourself with Kirk. He's a great guy, and loves connecting with our guests. Hope to see you on tour again, soon!
Written February 17, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

NK
1 contribution
I've done a couple of food tours in other cities in the US and outside the US and really enjoyed them, which is why I wanted to continue the experience in other cities.

The tour guide was very pleasant, knowledgeable, flexible and engaging with the group. The booking process was also quite easy. While the drinks on the tour were good, I was quite disappointed with the food itself which is what I was looking forward to. With so many eclectic and delectable restaurants in the city, the options chosen for the tour were average and I didn't think it was worth the money. If you're going to try new food in the city, I wouldn't recommend this tour.
Written May 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Bianca B
Thank you for your honest review. We are constantly working on the food offerings for our tours, and will make sure to revisit the route you were on to ensure that the food is unique, local, and tasty. Happy you had a good time with the guide!
Written May 31, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

1111jesj
76 contributions
My husband and I have attended many food tours across the United States and this one was only OK. The tour guide seemed to try a bit too hard, there was a lot of waisted time roaming around without any talking, insight, or real rhyme or reason. The tour ran over 60 minutes long (we had no waits at any of the restaurants so I'm not sure why it ran over) and there are only 2 "booze" offerings at the first 2 stops. The food from 3 of the places was good but the one place was terrible and no one in our entire group enjoyed the food. I believe it was because it was a last minute change in the menu but it was still disappointing. We also left the tour hungry, which has never happened (we usually leave so full we can't stand ourselves) and had to buy a pizza on our way back to the hotel. All in all, it was an OK food tour but nothing to write home about.
Written August 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
bmj10
Hi there! I'm sorry for the late response. We are working with an extremely limited staff these days, and are working really hard to try to get the tours back up and running the way they were before COVID. The tour you took was the first week we did the tours. We hadn't been notified that the tours had been selling, and worked to get things set up for our guests. I admit that the tour wasn't where we needed it to be, and I'm terribly sorry for that. We have been working tirelessly to get restaurants onboard, since they too have been understaffed.
Written September 8, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

goodkarmaconsulting
West Hollywood, CA3 contributions
The tour started with an enthusiastic tour guide and a fabulous first stop at a Greek fusion restaurant (Meze), where they had a lovely table set for our tour. The amount of food and beverage at the four stops was perfect, but the types of drinks do not reflect the “booze” title, as 2/3 were beer- primarily fruit-flavored varieties that we do not enjoy. The low point was the last stop at a dive walk up taco restaurant where we had a fish taco deep fried in old oil and smothered in creamy toppings that we promptly discarded. The atmosphere, service, food, and mango beer was all perfectly awful. The idea of history and brothels on the tour was somewhat intriguing, but in reality it simply meant standing outside of buildings that no longer fit the story. We exited the tour early and found food elsewhere, sorry to say.
Written May 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Bianca B
This was a bummer to read. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your time with us. Some of the beer that we offer is supposed to get you a little out of your comfort zone, and I see that decision on our part did not sit well with you. Our taco stop is definitely more of a taco "shop", which is known for its casual atmosphere, and looked at as a street food destination. I hope you found some of the stories interesting. We will check in with our guides about the history that is shared, because that's a major part of the tour.
Written May 23, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Marissa Payne
San Diego, CA6 contributions
Solo
On Thursday I attended the Brothels, Bites & Booze tour in downtown San Diego and I had such a great time! Aparna was our tour guide and she was amazing! We walked about a mile and a half around the Gaslamp Quarter, visiting 3 different restaurants and 1 ice cream shop. All of the food was good, but the gyro quesadilla and the sangria at the Greek restaurant were to die for! I’m a San Diego native and I had never been to any of the spots we visited and I will absolutely be back to them! I learned so much on this tour. Again, I’m a native and I was surprised at how much I didn’t know about some of the history in downtown. Aparna was not only very friendly, engaging and entertaining, but she’s also a rockstar with a great story and mission in life! I enjoyed getting to know her at the same time as getting to know my city! I’m so glad I took this tour and I definitely would like to take some of the others that So Diego Tours offers. I 10/10 recommend booking one if you are in San Diego and looking for something to do!
Written June 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Bianca B
What an awesome review! We love that our tours can entertain and enlighten locals as much as they do visitors! We agree that Aparna is an incredible human, and we find her very interesting. We are here for whenever you're ready to check out our other tours!
Written June 5, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

foodiesonoma
Santa Rosa, CA93 contributions
I was with my 3 friends and we all were very disappointed. It was in our opinion a total rip-off.
1.we met in front of the Hard Rock Hotel We were told to arrive 10 minutes early and Stephan was 10 minutes late no where to sit and hot afternoon sun was beating down.
2.. First stop was okay a nice Greek restaurant we have stuffed bread with small glass sangria.
3. Second stop communal plates of spiced cauliflower small glass of beer
4. Third stop a very seedy taco shop, not very clean with very average food and again s small glass of beer, it was supposed to be a special beer but the restaurant ran out of that beer
5. Ice cream shop no drink and no seating
No really do you think that was a “food tour”. When I think of booze beer is not the first thing that comes to mind. There were 2 in our party that do not drink beer.
6. Also there was considerable walking that certainly should be disclosed in the description.
My friends and I have taken many food tours all over the world and this was by far the most disappointing.
The only place that was ready for our group was the first one, in the other places he called ahead but there was no set table and drinks came with no food, which came maybe 20 minutes later.
Hopefully you will take my comments seriously as I think you need to revamp your tour to have happy clients
Written May 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Bianca B
Thank you for the feedback. We will use this to work on serving more liquor on the tour, and make sure that our restaurants and guide are more on-point.
Written May 5, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Chelsea B
1 contribution
Couples
There was a good variety of food and drinks at every location and the tour was filled with historical and scandalous facts and tid bits. The best experience by far was made even better by the lovely Madame Linda. Her humor and whit made it possible for 8 strangers to thoroughly enjoy a night like no other. Recommend 10/10.
Written April 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Bianca B
Madame Linda?! This is great! I wouldn't be surprised if she introduced herself this way. She's certainly a fun character, and I'm happy to see that her guests enjoy her vibrant personality.
Written April 6, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Freedom242555
Boise, ID2 contributions
My wife and I have booked similar trips in the past, and this one did not disappoint. Our guide Anna was fun and informative, we learned a lot of interesting tidbits about San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. The restaurant/brewpub stops were great and left me wanting to return to try the whole menu.
Written May 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 182
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: So Diego Tours
sun788
sun788
00
Knowledgable Historian guide and great food portions
We have a lovely time at Little Italy, San Diego. I will recommend it again. we both left with our bellies full of
tigcokie
tigcokie
00
Guide was a no show didn’t contact to cancel left us waiting in front of a busy restaurant staff knew nothing about it
Horrible experience got as a surprise for someone and it was a disaster guide a no show left waiting in busy area r
RyanKalmbach1
RyanKalmbach1
00
Unexpected Surprise with an Italian Twist
This tour honestly was one of the most unexpected surprises on my trip to San Diego. This past week my friend and I
Kimberly S
Kimberly S
00
Amazing Food and Drinks
Our Tour Guide Scott was amazing! He was very knowledgeable about San Diego’s/Old Town San Diego’s history! Good st
karolu645
karolu645
00
We enjoyed taking in the sights, learning about the local history and eating good food!
Our guide did an excellent job. He was friendly and informative. The pace was good for the allotted time.
karen b
karen b
00
Great evening
We loved this tour! The host was amazing, knowledgeable and fun. After tacos, margaritas, street corn, and churros
daniellemA7071SG
daniellemA7071SG
00
Loved this tour!
What’s better than history from a fun, knowledgeable tour guide, and some food and margaritas? NOTHING! Great way t
Anne K
Anne K
00
Little Italy big appetite!
Our tour guide Kirk was lovely and knowledgeable! We has so much food and every stop was staffed with super nice fo
Jemima A
Jemima A
00
Incredible!
This was an amazing tour! There was a great range of cocktails and food picked to show off the variety available in
Emily G
Emily G
00
Scott was great!
Scott was very knowledgeable and sweet. Our tour was very fun and Scott did a great job! The food was great and it
carolinatU924BJ
carolinatU924BJ
00
Full and Happy
The tour guide was excellent! Very knowledgeable about the area and was very open to questions. Very easy to talk t
Adelaide W
Adelaide W
00
Must Do in San Diego
This tour was amazing! Our tour guide, Aparna, was such a great storyteller and had a great sense of humor which ma
paigee643
paigee643
00
Good company made better with tequila
A fun tour - we especially enjoyed the company and getting to know a little history. Note that this isn't really a
MegMah1789
MegMah1789
00
AMAZING, don’t miss out!
10/10 recommend the Vino Vino Little Italy Tour. It was truly our favorite part of our trip to San Diego!! Our tour
vcoll001
vcoll001
00
Good times in Little Italy!
We just loved our Little Italy wine tour! Our tour guide Anthony was great…full of stories to tell us about the his
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Brothels, Bites and Booze: A Culinary Tour of San Diego's Questionable Past price starts from $75.00. Discover and book Brothels, Bites and Booze: A Culinary Tour of San Diego's Questionable Past on Tripadvisor

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Brothels, Bites and Booze: A Culinary Tour of San Diego's Questionable Past is hosted by So Diego Tours. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact So Diego Tours on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Brothels, Bites and Booze: A Culinary Tour of San Diego's Questionable Past on Tripadvisor