Mixologists, Frankie Thaheld and Irving Gonzalez of Snake Oil Cocktail Company Spill Their Go-to Spots in San Diego

These Cocktail Experts Shake Up Their Routines With the SD Foodie Scene

Photographed By: Manny Mendez Best San Diego Bars
Illustrations By: Vicente Martí Solar

Names: Frankie Thaheld; Irving Gonzalez
Job Title: Director of Mixology; Mixologist
Residents of: Pine Valley; Tijuana
Local Living: 26 years; 4 years


Thanks a Brunch Best San Diego Bars

Nate’s Garden Grill is my favorite laidback, out-of-the-way brunch spot,” says Thaheld. “The biscuits and gravy will send you over the moon. There’s live folk music often, and it’s adjacent to a plant nursery with lots of animals for the young ones to check out. It’s out of the way in City Heights and very unsuspecting.”


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When it comes to finding the best locally sourced ingredients for Snake Oil Cocktail Company, Gonzalez recommends Specialty Produce. “They have everything you might need and great quality,” he says. “The quality is always on point, and the staff is awesome. Get there around 10 a.m. to noon before the craziness happens.”


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“I am always intrigued by the road less traveled,” Thaheld says of Grand Ole BBQ. “Although it has gotten quite popular, it still feels transportive to go to this roadside destination for the stellar barbecue and live honky-tonk music on the weekends. Get there early and get a seat out back, so you can enjoy the live jams. Don’t forget to try the Lady Bird’s Texas Red Chile.”


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Gonzalez’s favorite place to grab a drink is El Dorado Cocktail Lounge. He says, “The atmosphere there is really chill, the staff is super friendly and they put good quality and effort on cocktails.” But when it comes to brunch, it’s hard to beat the Westgate Hotel (and their flavored bellinis). “Ask for bartender Alex—he makes the best bloody Mary around!”


Near and Dear

When it comes to the food and drink scene, it’s always important to support sustainable efforts. “KINDRED puts a lot of soul in their dishes and tries to be eco-friendly but always focuses on flavor,” notes Gonzalez. “It has a really cozy bar, the atmosphere is casual, there’s great music—it’s perfect for hanging out with some friends. Order the Rice Above; it’s a great choice!”


Snake Oil Cocktail Company at Julep Venue
1735 Hancock St, Ste D
San Diego, CA 92101

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