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Bird Rock

Surf's up in this San Diego neighborhood

Come for the waves, stay for the incredible food and craft coffee scene in this hidden San Diego neighborhood gem. 

A few minutes’ drive is all that separates it from La Jolla Village, but Bird Rock is a micro-neighborhood unto itself. An easily walkable four-block stretch of La Jolla Boulevard, it has a feel all its own, even boasting one of the most exclusive cups of Java around. By day, discerning coffee drinkers, pastry lovers, and surfers flock to Bird Rock. By noon and night, restaurants and wine bars fill up with gourmands. At any time, take a quick side trip over to the beach, or up to one of San Diego’s dreamiest lookout points.

An Award-Winning Cup of Coffee

Even living in the Golden Age of craft coffee, homegrown purveyor Bird Rock Coffee Roasters has scooped up major awards like it was harvesting beans for a new roast. Alongside quality, this roastery is known for ethics, paying fair wages to its global network of sustainable-bean suppliers. It isn’t just the roasting that’s done locally, either. Bird Rock recently unveiled the first California-grown Geisha coffee, a varietal farmed by singer Jason Mraz just up the coast in Oceanside. There’s exactly one place to get a cup: Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.   

A Customized Charcuterie Board

Pick your pairings from Wheat and Water’s charcuterie and cheese options: meats and cheeses plated on a wooden board alongside accents of pickled vegetables, fruit, crostini, and honey. From morning coffee through dessert, there are reasons to stick around any time of day and order wood-fired pizza and craft beer ranging from fruity sours to San Diego-style pale ales. 

A View of San Diego Surfers

Mention Bird Rock to a surfer and the first image in their head won’t be of the funky seaside community. It will be of the jade-green waves at the surf break by the same name. To catch the wave-riding action, head to the bluff-top Calumet Park, just a couple of blocks off the neighborhood’s main drag. Surfers come here to check the waves before heading out along this stretch, as it’s a prime spot to view the swells while sipping coffee.

An Authentic San Diego Surf Shop

A good surf shop is a cornerstone of any town whose mood soars with incoming swells. It’s a place to chat about the surf forecast, run your fingers over a variety of wave-riding crafts, and pick up necessities like wax and sunscreen. Bird Rock Surf Shop supplies all of that, plus rental surfboards for everyone from beginners to rippers, stand-up paddleboards, and beach cruiser bikes.

A San Diego-Inspired Pastry

Any lover of baked goods will find the incredible confections and creations at Wayfarer Bread & Pastry simply delightful. Next to mainstays like almond croissants, chocolate cherry scones and rustic loaves, sandwiches are available for breakfast and lunch, as are salads topped with fresh touches like pomegranate and mandarin slices.

A Truly San Diego View

A 10-minute drive from Bird Rock brings you to one of the most breathtaking views in all of San Diego: the summit of Mount Soledad. Standing at over 800 feet, the summit—a national veterans memorial honoring soldiers from the Revolutionary War to the present—grants a sweeping view of La Jolla and the coast stretching to the north.

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