Always-Open Eateries for Those 24-Hour Cravings

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Ever found yourself craving some good food in the middle of the night, or maybe needing a place to crash after the bars close? 24-hour restaurants are the perfect place to go. There’s a comfort in knowing some restaurants are always open whenever we may need them, and San Diego has a great selection of them across town. Keep these places in mind next time you’re up at 2 a.m. craving a milkshake and fries or some fresh donuts.

Brian’s 24 

Coined “the restaurant that never sleeps,” Brian’s 24 is one of iconic Gaslamp Quarter’s residents. It’s a family business started in 2008 by native San Diegans, who still run the restaurant. The full menu is served at all hours, so you can indulge on huge helpings of Brian’s hotcakes or malted waffles, or the simple bacon and eggs. If you find yourself in Gaslamp during the daylight hours, stop in! Brian’s 24 is not only a great place to hangout in the middle of the night but also a sweet spot for an afternoon lunch or quiet dinner.  Along with the enticing menu, TripAdvisor 2016 gave the restaurant its Certificate of Excellence, so you know the food is going to be good.

Buddy’s Diner

Located in Pacific Beach, Buddy’s Diner just opened this past December. The restaurant is decked out in ’50s era memorabilia and serves the classics all day and all night. Enjoy a hot-cooked meal in a bright red leather booth surrounded by the black and white checkered tile. There’s always a seat open for you at Buddy’s Diner and with its convenient location near the heart of PB, you’re sure to find yourself close by whether you spent an evening at the bars or a day at the beach.


Since 1949, Rudford’s has been providing North Park with a retro-diner atmosphere, quality service, and delicious diner food. The options seem endless on Rudford’s extensive menu and the prices are hard to beat. The chrome counter and decoration shine brightly under the house lights at night as well as during warm sunny days. Stop by after a night out or visit on the next night you feel like a little more than just a midnight snack.

Studio Diner

While Studio Diner isn’t open 24 hours seven days a week, it’s open all weekend long from 5:30 a.m. on Thursday until midnight on Sunday. Next time you’re in Kearny Mesa on the weekend, enjoy your favorite comfort food with an upscale vibe and admire the movie memorabilia around the restaurant. The diner gets its name from the lot is resides on; it used to be the lot of Stu Segall Productions, which made movies and TV shows. Even Guy Fieri from “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” has made a stop at Studio Diner, so you should be sure to too.

Lestat’s Coffee House 

If you aren’t craving a full-fledged meal, there is a place open for you 24 hours a day. With locations in Normal Heights, University Heights, and Hillcrest, you can grab a cup of coffee and a sandwich whenever you’re craving. Your pastry options are abundant here, too, so you’ll be able to indulge your sweet tooth.

Drew has lived in San Diego going on two years, and can't imagine living anywhere else. She loves the city's beaches, food, and shows. You can contact her at drew@sdentertainer.com.

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