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Shopping Blocks Not To Miss

Shop along these boutique-lined streets of San Diego

Whether you're visiting San Diego or reside here, this dynamic city has many neighborhood shopping blocks that you don't want to miss.

By: Sandra Veum, Personal Shopper

Top Shopping Streets and Neighborhoods

Shopping blocks are a great place to find local artisans' clothing & accessories, artwork, crafts and household furnishings. They're also a great place to grab a bite to eat and mix and mingle with the locals. 

Gaslamp Quarter

Downtown San Diego's thriving and well-known historic district, Gaslamp Quarter, is home to many uber-popular restaurants, bars, galleries, theatres and coffeehouses, but it also features unique boutique shopping. Whether your shopping list is uptown-chic or downtown-cool, the 5th Avenue block has a variety of opportunities.

For women's fashions and accessories, make sure your itinerary includes: Bubbles Boutique, Heavenly Couture (great for teens), Eden Boutique and Dolcetti Boutique. For men's fashions check out Blends, 5&A Dime and Dolcetti Boutique. For more mainstream but still wonderful shopping opportunities try Quicksilver, Lucky Brand and Urban Outfitters.

Little Italy

Another bona fide shopping area is the electric neighborhood of Little Italy. Great blocks include Fir & India Street, the 400 block of West Cedar Street and the 2000 block of Kettner Boulevard. This area is a treasure trove of shopping including women's, men's and children's fashions, jewelry, accessories, antiques, art, interiors, furniture and home goods. For home shopping, explore Love and Aesthetics, Vitreum, Boomerang For Modern and India Street Antiques. If your desire is fashion, check out Rosa Mariposa, Azzurra Capri, Little Apple, Stroll and Vocabulary Boutique. Little Italy also has many restaurants, wine bars, cafes and gastro pubs to help you re-fuel after shopping.

Mission Hills

The charming area of Mission Hills offers many local boutiques, salons, cafes, wine bars and dog-friendly restaurants. The 1600 block of West Lewis Street and the 900 block of Fort Stockton Drive are must shop areas. Here you'll find a host of great boutiques including With Love, Le Bel Age, Chateau Bel Age, Kettle & Stone, Hillside Artisans Children's Boutique and Maison en Provence. For one-of-a-kind jewelry be sure to stop by Taboo Studio and for gourmet specialty foods and products try The Front Porch and Venissimo Cheese.

North Park & South Park

For the hip and happening local scene, the places to be are the North Park and South Park neighborhoods along 30th Street and University, as well as 30th Street and Fern. Both areas offer a diversified variety of restaurants, coffee houses, dessert bars, bars, beer pubs, vintage stores and colorful boutiques. For fashion, gifts, vintage or home goods, visit Mimi & Red, Love & Aesthetics (for men), Simply Local (55 local vendors under one roof), Aloha Sunday Supply Co., Hunt & Gather (vintage), Mythology Eco-Boutique (Eco-friendly), Junc.Life, Bad Madge & Company (vintage) and Graffiti Beach Boutique. Home and gift stores to check out include Pigment and Make Good.

La Jolla

La Jolla, known as San Diego's jewel by the sea, is one of the best up-scale shopping areas in San Diego. It is also home to great oceanview restaurants, cafes and art galleries. A couple of noteworthy shopping blocks you will not want to miss are Prospect Street then on to Girard Avenue. Here you'll find fashion and great shopping for the whole family. For women, be sure to make time for Robina Boutique, Lolo, Swoon (great for teens), Simple Lifestyle for Men & Women, Pomegranate, Amore, Alpaca Collections, Blended Industries, Sauvage Boutique, Sigi's, Eva Varro International, La Donna, Laura Gambucci and Rica Boutique (also for teens). For men, there's the Ascot Shop, Tommy Bahama, Y-3, Simple Lifestyle for Men & Women, Polo Ralph Lauren and Lucky Brand. For children, there's Geppetto's Toys. While for our beloved pets (we did say the “whole” family), stop by Muttropolis.

For contemporary home furnishings try MOS (My Own Space) and finally, don't miss Warwick's Book Store, one of the best independent book stores around.

Cedros Design District

Cedros Design District is a shopper's mecca when it comes to a variety of interests, specializing in interior design. This quaint dog-friendly area contains blocks of restaurants, cafes, galleries, garden stores, fashion boutiques, art and custom-designed furniture studios to speak to the true artistic visitor. Great boutiques include HIS Men's & Kid's Store, Gerhard, Tucci Boutique, Pink Lagoon, Cedros Soles, Mabel's & Baby Mabel's, SOLO, Cut Loose, Weeds Clothing Boutique, La Femme Chic (designer re-sale), Camellia Boutique and Adventure 16 Outfitters Inc. (camping store). The Leaping Lotus features over 120 shops under one roof including clothes, jewelry and furniture. While Bon Bon Home & Garden, NATIVA Interiors and Bixby & Ball are must stops for home furnishings.

Encinitas

Drive just five miles north from Cedros Design District, along the gorgeous Highway 101 coastline, to the cozy surf area of Encinitas. Home to Nixon watches & accessories, this Zen beach community extends casual restaurants, sidewalk cafes and yoga studios, intermingled with quaint boutiques. The shopping block on the main road, South Highway 101, offers The Lumberyard Shopping Center and a collection of family-friendly boutiques including Magical Child, deepFLING Jewelry and Grounded (furniture/home goods). A few other must-shop boutiques close by are Ecotopia for men's and women's clothing and accessories, Flashbacks (vintage/retro) and a little further southeast is Swirl Boutique for women. Other unique furniture and home good shops are Bliss 101 carrying just about everything from furniture, art, clothing and jewelry to Earth's Elements and Bamboo 2 U & Beach House Too (beach-chic furniture).

Whatever your interests and tastes, be sure to carve out some quality time for these San Diego shopping blocks—you won't be disappointed.


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