Karaoke is about as ubiquitous as, well, there are bars. Maybe that's because any night of the week, there's a lounge nearby offering up the umpteenth rendition of "I Will Survive." And to single out the top places in San Diego to sing karaoke is a subjective task, at best, and I'm bound to tick off some karaoke rat. But there are several places around town acknowledged as "karaoke palaces" and I'll try and point out some of them here. Call locations for karaoke nights and times.
Charcoal HouseAcknowledged by karaoke junkies as one of the meccas of karaoke in San Diego, the Charcoal House is a chop house restaurant in the shadow of Mt. Helix. But it's the karaoke shows that attracts some of the area's most accomplished and hardcore singers. 9566 Murray Dr., La Mesa, 91942, 619-465-7050.
Carriage HouseThe unassuming old school bar in the car dealer district of Kearny Mesa is a favorite of the K-set, with karaoke on Wed-Sat, and Monday. 7945 Balboa Ave. San Diego, 92111, 858-278-2597.
The LamplighterThe Lamplighter is the quintessential karaoke bar: an aged neighborhood haunt that comes alive when the karaoke starts. If you make the rounds for karaoke, this is a must stop, attracting a diverse clientele of singers - or near-singers. 817 W Washington, San Diego, 92103, 619-298-3624.
Bourbon StreetThis gay friendly bar in the heart of University Heights shows its diva side on karaoke nights, with a lot of flamboyance thrown in for good measure. 4612 Park Blvd., San Diego, 619-291-0173.
Dock's Cocktail LoungeThis old school neighborhood bar in downtown Chula Vista has a reputation for a friendly staff and a friendly clientele who love their karaoke. 317 Third Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91910, 619-422-1566.
Camel's Breath InnAnother neighborhood bar that time forgot (why is it that the best karaoke is at old school bars?), Camel's Breath Inn is tucked away in a strip mall in Grantlville (is that actually a neighborhood?), near Mission Gorge, is your quintessential "Cheers" joint, with lively karaoke of course. 10330 Friars Rd, San Diego, CA 92120, 619-281-1722.
Wong's Golden Palace Dragon LoungeThis kitschy Chinese restaurant and lounge on the border of La Mesa has been around forever, and attracts a mix of younger and older barflys. Head here if you want your karaoke boistrous in a Suzy Wong-type of atmosphere. 7126 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92115, 619-464-9772.