Coming from a small town, I don’t like everything about living in San Diego, but there are a few things I love. One thing is the individuality of each pocket, or neighborhood, around San Diego County. I know most cities have their own neighborhoods, but there is such a strong and specific identity to each of the neighborhoods here that I feel is unique to this city. I’d like to highlight some of these neighborhoods on here as we explore them in a series I’ll call “Neighborhood Nods”.
First up, my favorite neighborhood in San Diego and the one I will always consider my home here: North Park! North Park is known as the hipster neighborhood around town, a trendy and youthful area of the city that is abound with delicious (albeit sometimes over-the-top) food, sweet little craftsman houses, and lots of craft beer. I lived in North Park for 3-4 years, and I miss the city vibe and walkability of it. Luckily, I live only a short drive away right now, so my husband and I spend time there often!
The following are some of my recommendations if you’re visiting North Park:
- Food: If you’d like a typical hipster food experience, check out Tiger! Tiger! Their food is often simple but delicious, and they have an extensive rotating beer list. Rancho’s Cocina North Park is dear to my heart for less-than-traditional Mexican food with lots of creative options for vegans and vegetarians. For the best peanut curry lunch special in San Diego, in my opinion, check out Streetside Thai Kitchen. Finally, Il Postino is the sister restaurant of my very favorite Italian restaurant in town, and the food there is the most authentic Italian I’ve found here. These are just a sampling of the places you can whet your palate at in North Park, I could go on and on if I wanted… but ain’t nobody got time for that, amiright?
- Drinks: If you’re looking for cocktails, North Park offers several shmancy drink places. My favorites are West Coast Tavern, attached to an old theatre (and great for brunch), and Seven Grand, a whisky bar where you can find rocking live music on the weekend.
- Beer: Yes, I realize beer is also a drink. But I had to give it its own category because beer in North Park has its own culture. 30th Street runs through several urban neighborhoods of San Diego, including North Park. Home to at least 12 craft breweries and tasting rooms, it’s earned names like “Thirsty 30th”, “Craft Beer Corridor”, and “Beer Boulevard”. If we have a babysitter available, my husband and I like to do walking brewery tours of 30th Street. Safe and delicious! Some of my favorites are The Belching Beaver (BEST peanut butter porter, hands down) and Rip Current (if you like a strong or flavored beer). Here is a sample beer walk itinerary if you’re visiting the area.
- Other: If you’re like me, you might like just strolling through the rows of craftstman houses and along the giant eucalyptuses of Morley Field, taking in the historic feel of the neighborhood. There’s also plenty of small shop shopping to take part in, including Pigment, an amazing spot for gifts and succulent planter fun!
So there you have it, my guide to one of the best neighborhoods in San Diego. If you’re going to visit America’s Finest City, you may know to put beaches, the Zoo, or Balboa Park on your itinerary. But I would encourage you to explore some of our urban neighborhoods as well…they’re my favorite part of this big busy place and contain some of our most unique cultural pockets!