Neighborhood Spotlight: Hillcrest, San Diego

By Ian Zerve


© User:rabbot / Flickr / CC-BY-2.0
© User:rabbot / Flickr / CC-BY-2.0



If you’re visiting San Diego and want to branch out from popular tourist areas like the Gaslamp, head up to Hillcrest, which abuts Balboa Park on the northwest. It’s a delightfully walkable neighborhood packed with cafés, shops and cute Craftsman cottages.

Our picks:

  • The Wiggly Bridge. Not afraid of heights? Brave the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge, a wobbly span over a lovely canyon. A fun secret, and one of the best photo ops in San Diego!
  • Urban Mo’s Bar & Grill. Since Hillcrest is the most tolerant and inclusive San Diego neighborhood, you can’t overlook this LGBT-friendly bar. People of any orientation will enjoy the colorful decor, open-air seating and bottomless mimosas for brunch.
  • Bronx Pizza. Even visiting NYCers praise this joint’s authentic slices and great deals.
  • Hillcrest Food Walking Tour. Stroll in the sunshine, sample the local eats and learn all about the neighborhood from a friendly guide.
  • Filter. With an eclectic hodgepodge of furniture (and clientele to match), the atmosphere takes center stage at this coffeehouse.
  • Hillcrest Brewing Company. They’ve squeezed as much innuendo into their menu as possible, and the flavor of the beer measures up to the sassy attitude. Fill up a growler and take it home!



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