San Diego’s Best 9 Cigar Lounges in 2018

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This blog was written by Scott Taylor, a licensed mortgage loan originator, real estate agent, and full time investor in San Diego.

If I was in need of such servics in his area I would drop him a line.  Nothing like a bit of business over a cigar ;)


Dear Reader,

Cigar lounges are big in the area and can even be enjoyed if you aren’t someone that is a smoker.

Many locations offer much more than just high quality cigars, such as top shelf cocktails, craft brews, and all types of wines.

Others even serve coffees, desserts, or food, so you can have a complete night out on the town.

Of course, since the focus is cigars, you are able to get some of the best cigars in the world, and some locations even have workers hand rolling in-house cigars, in case you want to try something that you literally can’t get anywhere else.

You should also be able to purchase cutters, lighters, and anything else you may need to smoke at these places, in case it is your first time enjoying a stogie.

The atmosphere is also quite important when you’re visiting a cigar lounge, since you want it to be friendly and the staff to know exactly what they’re doing.

You also want a place where you can sit back and enjoy your drink and smoke, and not have to worry about being bothered or inconvenienced.

Most places have large lounges, inside and outside, so you are able to choose where you want to chill out.

They also have long hours, so you can visit day or night.

Here are the top cigar lounges in San Diego, all of which have staff that can help you make a purchase, offer you support and ideas, and will be able to teach you some things without making you feel bad about it.

They are presented in alphabetical order, so if you want a ranked list, you’ll have to do that on your own.

Talk about it with your friends and see which ones they like on the list, so you’ll know where you want to visit first.

Cesar’s Cigar and Spirits Lounge – 503 5th Ave – (619) 255-7974

San Diego’s Best 9 Cigar Lounges in 2017

This place has a knowledgeable staff, which is one of the main reasons that people love this place.

While you’re there, you can grab many different types of cigars, some of which can be considered vintage.

Besides that, there are top shelf spirits, wine, and craft beers you can partake of, so you can just relax and have a drink while you enjoy your smoke.

Those that visit this place also say that it is a great place to get an espresso, and that the ambiance can’t be beat.

It operates just like an upscale bar, especially since you can sit inside and enjoy some of your favorite sports games on their HD televisions.

Besides that, they have hookahs that you can smoke out of and even have specialty drinks which you can try out when you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience.

You don’t have to worry that you won’t be able to find something you want in this place, especially if you love scotch and the best cigars you can find.

Some people thought that the selection wasn’t as great as other places, but when the staff knows exactly what they are doing, you can always compromise a little bit.

The parking can also be a nightmare in this part of town, so plan ahead if you want to visit this lounge.

Churchill Cigar Lounge – 2415 San Diego Ave – (619) 546-7758

San Diego’s Best 9 Cigar Lounges in 2017

This is the type of cigar lounge you want to go to if you don’t want to deal with a stuffy vibe.

It is extremely casual and everyone is treated well when they visit.

This is especially important if you aren’t familiar with this type of establishment or you just don’t know one cigar type from another.

They have a humidor that is over 60 feet, so there are plenty of cigars to choose from, and if you are a frequent smoker, they likely have brands that you really like.

On the flip side, if you are a wine lover, this is also a place where you might want to hang out.

They have all types of wines, and know how to pair them with the cigars rather well.

Whether you enjoy white, red, or port, they have you covered, or you can choose one of the beers that they have on tap.

There is a large patio outside where you can smoke, and it is even heated when the weather is cold.

They also have televisions outside, so you can really relax and have a nice night out.

The only thing you need to look out for is that it may be crowded sometimes.

However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be treated like the most important customer because as some customers report, even on Saturday nights, the staff will take the time to help you figure out exactly what you want to drink and smoke.

Cuban Cigar Factory – 551 5th Ave – (619) 238-2496

San Diego’s Best 9 Cigar Lounges in 2017

What makes this place a little bit different than the average cigar lounge is the fact that they also have hand rolled cigars for sale.

These cigars are rolled on site with the best tobacco that they can find by people that know what they are doing and are from the area where the tobacco is actually grown.

Of course, there is also a full selection of other types of other types of cigars, as well as many different craft beers and wines, so there is something for everyone.

There is a walk in humidor, so you don’t have to be worried that the selection won’t be large enough for you.

You can go in after work to take advantage of their happy hour specials, or visit them on the weekend when you are looking for something relaxing to do.

If you need a venue for a party, they have a VIP room that you can rent out, which would be a classy way to celebrate a special occasion, especially if many of your friends are smokers or enjoy fine cigars.

Men and women alike are treated well here, so even if you have no idea what you want, or are a complete novice, you will not be treated any differently than someone who knows all there is to know about cigars.

Furthermore, the lounge around is large enough for everyone to enjoy and there are sports being broadcast, to give it a vibe that really works.

Excalibur Cigar & Scotch Lounge – 8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd – (858) 277-1148

San Diego’s Best 9 Cigar Lounges in 2017

This cigar lounge looks exactly how you would expect it to.

It has a walk-in humidor, which is the size of a store by itself, but there is also a large area for you to enjoy your cigar and drink, complete with small tables and comfy chairs.

As far as drinks go, they have virtually anything you want to drink, including a very large collection of different types of scotch.

You can also take advantage of happy hour and they often have live entertainment, such as belly dancers, which gives the place a unique atmosphere.

This is the only Montecristo lounge in the area and they also make a special blend hand rolled cigar, which has many coming back for more.

From time to time, they have deals on cigars and really cool promotions, as well as special guests throughout the year.

Whether you want to come in to purchase cigars, or sit inside and take a few minutes to enjoy something special, you will feel at home, since there are many regulars.

The staff is also helpful and inviting, even if you have never been there before.

They even have all the accessories that you need to enjoy your cigars, like cutters and lighters, so you can use this location to begin your journey as a cigar lover and aficionado.

It is also important to note that it is ventilated, so you won’t choke from just walking in the door.

Gran Havana Cigar and Hookah Lounge – 745 Fourth Ave – (619) 234-2826

San Diego’s Best 9 Cigar Lounges in 2017

This is not just a cigar lounge; it is also a boutique.

You have the option to purchase all of their high quality cigars by the box, or one by one, so you can enjoy them inside the store, or buy them and smoke them at your home.

They have hand rolled cigars being made inside the store at most times, so you can watch the cigars being completed, which is something that you won’t often see, and can be pretty cool if you’ve never seen it before.

They do not serve alcohol at this place, but you can get pretty much any type of tea or coffee that you want.

That means if you are looking for a cocktail to go with your cigar, this isn’t the place you want to go.

They also have a large selection of gelatos and other desserts, including cakes, waffles, and more.

If hookahs are more your thing, they have those for you to use as well, so there are lots of choices at Gran Havana.

When you can’t make it into the lounge, you can still purchase your favorite cigar from them online through their website.

The place itself has a modern feel, with lots of room, so you can sit and relax with your dessert and cigar, or whatever you choose.

Since there are so many options, you don’t even have to feel bad of visiting the establishment with no intention of smoking.

Habanaos Café & Cigar Lounge – 3111 Hancock St – (619) 692-0696

San Diego’s Best 9 Cigar Lounges in 2017

This isn’t your average cigar lounge, especially since they serve lots of different types of food, due to the fact that they have a full tapas kitchen.

You can get different types of Panini, plates of food, and salads, so you won’t go hungry while you’re here.

Of course, they have all the popular types of cigars you may want to relax and smoke, and they have a full selection of wine and craft beers on tap.

They have a large humidor, which features an impressive collection of cigars, so you won’t be disappointed.

They also have a full espresso bar, which means you’ll be able to get whatever coffee drink you want.

There are two large lounges to enjoy your food, drink, and cigar, where you can chill out and spend the day.

These lounges have televisions and are ventilated, since they are outside.

They are covered, however, so you won’t notice that you are on a covered patio, since the accommodations are so nice and inviting.

There is even live entertainment sometimes, so you can be in for a treat when you drop in.

The entire place is low-key, making it a great place to visit solo, or bring a special someone along to join in on the fun.

Between the fancy chairs and comfy sofas, it may become a place that you want to visit rather frequently.

Liberty Tobacco – 7341 Clairemont Mesa Blvd – (858) 292-1772

San Diego’s Best 9 Cigar Lounges in 2017

This tobacco lounge is known for its staff, which can help you make a purchase that you will be happy with.

They know what they are talking about and they will be able to answer any and all questions you have.

This spot even has free Wi-Fi in the store, so unlike other spots, you can actually sit in there and get some work done or catch up on some emails.

They sell cigars and different loose tobacco, so if you are a pipe smoker, you can still enjoy the place.

They also have everything else you need to smoke, including lighters and other tools, so you can purchase any of those things alongside your favorite smoke when you shop here.

That means this is a great place to start your cigar collection, especially since they have reasonable prices.

It doesn’t look like much from outside, but there is a large humidor, an indoor lounge, and an outdoor lounge, so you will be able to find a place to enjoy yourself too.

They have specials quite frequently and special events from time to time as well.

What they don’t have are drinks or alcoholic beverages, so if that is a big deal for you, you may want to grab your smoke to go.

Racine & Laramie Tobacconist – 2737 San Diego Ave – (619) 291-7833

San Diego’s Best 9 Cigar Lounges in 2017

This cute store is located in Old Town San Diego State Park, which makes it a place that is a lot different than your run of the mill cigar lounge.

The entire place reminds you of a general store from the Wild West, which is a charming setting for you to purchase your favorite tobacco product in.

They have many cigars available in their humidor, and they also have loose tobacco, which is available in many different flavors, so even if you are against cigars, there are plenty of products for your pipe.

Some visitors report that they have products that are hard to find elsewhere.

You can even purchase pipes there, so you can see for yourself what the fuss is about.

They also have a full selection of cigarettes, and you can look at many different historical cigarette brands, to see the differences in the packaging, although the older versions are not available for purchase.

Another cool thing about this place is that there are many different souvenirs available to acquire as well, like marbles and other items that no one needs but everyone wants.

Visit this place when you are in the area, since it offers things that no other cigar lounge can.

There isn’t a special lounge inside the place, but there is plenty of room outside to enjoy what you bought.

Sanctuary Lounge – 12090 Scripps Summit Rd – (858) 530-3039

San Diego’s Best 9 Cigar Lounges in 2017

This is an all inclusive lounge, which offers much more than high quality cigars.

It operates more like a bar or club, which happens to sell cigars.

That means you can get a variety of cocktails, beers, and wines while you’re here.

The staff is personable and knows how to help you select a purchase, so you won’t have to be self-conscious, even if you don’t know how to begin.

You can also relax outside on the patio to enjoy the impressive view, or you can sit down inside on one of the many plush seats available.

The interior is modern and sleek, which is probably why the place is so popular.

What’s even better is that they have concerts, comedy events, and even special parties all the time, so you can visit this place any day of the week, or for a special occasion.

They have DJs on certain nights, sports to watch, humidor lockers that you can rent, Wi-Fi, and you can even reserve a seat or table to plan a special outing.

However, the place isn’t so big that you won’t feel important when you step in the door.

If you want to plan a party here, you can do that too, so if you haven’t visited this place, you may want to check it out.

Many people love it, and you can get anything you want to enjoy your night out.

Now, let me turn it over to you -

...what's your favorite Cigar Lounge in San Diego and why?

Let me know in the comments section below.

Your Cigar Smoking Insider,



About Scott Taylor


Scott Taylor is a licensed mortgage loan originator, real estate agent, and full time investor in San Diego.

He specializes in creative financing, locating undervalued real estate for buyers, and getting sellers more money for their homes in less time with less stress and hassle. 

He bought his first investment property at the age of 21, became licensed at 22, and a broker at 24. 

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I live in San Diego and they all suck. You are not allowed to sell liquor in a cigar bar or lounge. You can only drink so much beer with a cigar. When I’m in the mood though, I go to Churchill’s. He’s my good friend and neighbor.

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8 hours ago, AbuAmelia said:

When I’m in the mood though, I go to Churchill’s.

I agree--I like Churchills the best. Kind of a wine bar atmosphere.and a nice patio area. Good place to take your significant other and smoke. And you can walk a few blocks to Racine & Laramie which has perhaps the best stock in SD and you get the Old West experience.

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Just a note habanos cafe is closing, lost its lease and I hear is moving to Bonita to become a bbq,cigars and spirits. Again just a rumor at this point and the new location has been many things and never been successful so we will see what the future holds. There is also another location in old town 1/2 block from racine and laramie called Maduros, just opened byob comfortable but still growing its amenities. I also agree with the earlier post about the selection at racine very nice,  illusione, tatuaje, padron, la aurora, just wish  the staff was more knowledgeable.

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A few other thoughts on lounging with a cigar in San Diego. Hoffers in la mesa, fair selection of cigars, good beer, wine list nice area in back to have a smoke, read a book have a chat or watch a game. They don't mind you smoking your own stock. I usually start with one of theirs and move on from there. 7 grand one the largest whiskey bars in town has a smoking area and a small selection of cigars.they are surrounded by lots of food and drink options in the 30th and university area. Toronados and Obriens have good beer list, food and patio areas to have a smoke. I have met some great friends at Obriens while having a smoke. Love a local pub. I have been to many of the listed lounges and for the most part enjoyed my time. I do like the option of smoking my own and most do not like that. Parking downtown is sometimes tough or expensive so i dont head that way often. Hopefully i will find a conversation with one of you someday. Great job on the lounge review by the way. I wish i could find this kind of info when im traveling.

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I’m originally from San Diego but now live in the swamp that is Washington DC. :)
Bought my first cigar at Liberty when I was in high school so I’m partial to them. I still stop by when I go home for the Holidays. They also have a pretty good pipe selection there. Bought an awesome Ferndown for a great price some years back.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I live in San Diego and I've been to most of these locations aside from Sanctuary.

Caesars is a whiskey bar and has really good stock and makes a hell of an old fashioned. You can sit at the bar inside or you can sit on the patio with full service. I have two qualms with this location; one of which is the prices. It's downtown in the heart of gaslamp district so it gets away with its prices by having a lot of people stopping by with no knowledge of cigars, and for its ease of access if you're out and about or bar hopping and want to smoke. My second qualm is that its house cigars are all made by Rocky Patel. Might just be preferential, but I personally don't like RP cigars much at all. Last time I was in there they had Padron 5000 selling for $29/cigar and you can get a box for ~$150-180 depending on where you're looking if that puts their prices into perspective.

Racine and Laramie for sure has an awesome atmosphere, the staff is very nice and knowledgeable, and like noted above, they've got some really rare and really aged stock. They keep a "secret," stash behind the bar and If you ask the right questions or mention the right cigars they might let you know about something they've had for years that is in tune with your cigar preferences.

My favorite location however, is Liberty Tobacco, and that's by a long shot. It's a cozy little spot with lots of comfortable chairs, a poker table, a bench inside and a few TV's to watch whatever you'd like. The humidor is huge and outside the humidor they have a bunch of extra built-in wall humidors for the flagship brands (Padron, Fuente, etc.). The staff there is awesome, especially Mike, they're all funny and love to bullshit for hours on end. They also host events all the time and are usually based on brands. IE; They'll have a "Fuente," weekend, where you go in and get 25% off Fuente cigars if you buy 4 or more. Also, for every 4 cigars you buy you get a raffle ticket and can win one of several prizes from that same brand. They have a lot of people from the industry in there as well to give seminars or represent the brands they're sponsoring for that weekend. On top of all of that, they're super cool about BYOB as long as you drink it in a red cup and keep quiet and don't cause a scene.

That's my take on the local lounges. The others that I didn't mention aren't because they're bad, they just never stood out to me.


Cheers my friends!

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7 hours ago, MoeFOH said:

Timely piece, as I’m heading to SD soon, too. Churchill’s seems to have the good oil going for it.

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They always have a great selection of wine and craft beers!

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