Downtown: A Neighborhood Guide

Thinking of moving to San Diego? Live in SD already and thinking of relocating? A case for moving downtown. We’ll be offering guides to other San Diego and county locales in the future.

Downtown’s distinct neighborhoods have a lot to offer a new graduate, singles, couples, families with children and empty-nesters. One of the best parts of living downtown is the ability to walk everywhere, most importantly the BC Alumni bar, Beer Co., for BC game watches. My husband, also a BC graduate, and I live downtown with our nearly 2-year-old daughter, so here are a few of our haunts and personal favorites, maybe we will see you around!

Little Italy on India Street has numerous restaurants, bars, and coffee shops all situated just a few blocks from the waterfront (with a new revitalization project coming in the next few years). On Saturday mornings, the Farmer’s Market is the place to be seen, so get there early. Little Italy also boasts a quaint Catholic Church, Our Lady of the Rosary, and several festivals each year, including the FESTA in September. A short walk from Little Italy near the Broadway Pier is the ferry to Coronado, which is well worth the day trip (and another neighborhood guide).

Influx: A modern coffee shop with indoor, patio and sidewalk seating
Davanti Enoteca: Small plates, fabulous oasis of a back patio, Sunday brunch, build-your-own Bloody Mary bar
Assenti’s Pasta: Fresh pasta shop
Mona Lisa’s Market: A true Italian deli where sandwiches are made to order and most of the food is imported straight from Italy
Landini’s Pizzeria: A New York-style pie in San Diego

East Village, known primarily for it’s proximity to Petco Park, has undergone quite a revitalization with several modern condominium buildings and, coming in September, the new Central San Diego Library will open.

Phil’s at the Ballpark

Petco Park: A truly affordable ballpark boasting fish and chips from Anthony’s, Phil’s BBQ, Hodad’s and many local brews on tap. The park is open year-round and on non-game days, so children can play on the jungle gym and visitors can stroll around, have picnics or walk their dog.
Knotty Barrel: Quiz night every Thursday, shuffleboard and a huge beer list
Cafe Chloe: Every Francophile’s dream with a sidewalk patio and Sunday brunch
Village 631 Coffee Shop and Wine Bar: A spacious dog-friendly coffee shop with a wine bar in back and sidewalk seating that hosts a Reggae brunch on SundaysThe Gaslamp is well known for several streets of restaurants and bars. Perfect for a bar crawl, or a fancy night at a restaurant with friends from out of town. From the Gaslamp it is just a short walk to Seaport Village. Along the way don’t forget to grab a drink at either Brickyard Coffee and Tea or, for something a little later in the day for dinner and drinks, The Lion’s Share. Looking beyond the tourist trap restaurants and vendors is a spectacular view of the bay and a great place to let the kids run loose and watch the kites.

Cortez Hill is just up 9th street, a quite neighborhood full of condominiums and apartments, a small playground and Sole Luna, an Italian restaurant with a sidewalk cafe and back patio at the base of the famous El Cortez building.

Downtown is also just steps from Balboa Park, where the entertainment is endless. If you haven’t explored downtown in a while, park your car and take a walk.