arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter tiktok youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Hillcrest

Welcoming, vibrant, artistic and cultured

This urban San Diego mainstay is home to Balboa Park, a vibrant arts scene, LGBTQ+ history and some of the best restaurants in town. 

Among the city’s older neighborhoods, Hillcrest’s location alongside Balboa Park made it a natural haven for the arts. Long a hub of LGBTQ+ culture, rainbow flags wave proudly in this neighborhood. Each July, it hosts San Diego’s Pride Parade, one of the largest such celebrations in the United States. The rest of the year, its eclectic nature is found everywhere from its cafes, bakeries, and brunch bonanzas, to its art galleries, fashion boutiques and museums.

An Eclectic Bite from the Sunday Farmer’s Market

Perusing the stalls of 175 artisans and growers at the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market (Sundays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Normal Street and University Avenue) has a way of working up the appetite. Refuel with fresh Mexican eats from La Casita de Vero that incorporate produce from the market, as in their Vegetarian Jackfruit Burrito. 

An Artisan Loaf of Bread

From seedy sourdough to ciabatta, every artisan loaf at Bread & Cie is handmade in the European tradition. Pick up black olive or caramelized onion to munch on the go, or pull up a seat at their centrally located café to wash it down with an espresso drink or breakfast pizza, grilled panini or salad. 

A One-of-a-Kind Find at Flashbacks

Sometimes you need a pair of knee-high giraffe-print boots. Or a suede jacket with tassels. Or just the right piece for a legendary Halloween costume. Serendipity awaits on the racks at Flashbacks, where timeless vintage clothing dating from the 40s to contemporary styles will brighten up your wardrobe, whether you’re looking to be the life of an 80s party or nail that Elizabeth-Taylor-with-a-dash-of-Janis-Joplin-on-the-weekend look.

A Work of LGBTQ+ Art

The sculptures, fashion, photography, and paintings of emerging contemporary artists finds a platform at The Studio Door. Part gallery, part incubator, it’s the place to see the works of today’s cutting-edge artists and discover the voices of tomorrow before the masses. 

A Supersized Breakfast

Who would even dream up Snickers-stuffed-pancakes? The same people at Hash House A Go Go who would serve them up the size of vinyl records, also in flavors like red velvet and butterscotch almond (and yes, make them available for dinner). The same people with a knack for 3D presentations of dishes built around free-range sage fried chicken, stacked high over waffles with smoked bacon or atop eggs benedict.

A Classy Cocktail at Trust

Smoke and dry heat are staple ingredients in the wood-fired dishes produced in this hit restaurant’s open kitchen. Those elements beget balanced cocktails, and the bar delivers with a cocktail menu of 10 feats of incredible balance, like Trust Cocktail #2, with its jalapeno tequila, grapefruit, agave, and firewater bitters.  

A Piece of History at the Timken

Hillcrest borders Balboa Park, making it the perfect place to launch any venture to the endless museum exhibits, botanical wonders, and cultural treasures of San Diego’s famed park. Gems await inside the “jewel box of fine art,” the always-free Timkin Museum of Art, a midcentury, marble-and-bronze building housing masterpieces of European and American artists. 

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Accommodation

Simple Pleasures Package

Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
Valid: Nov 13, 2023 - ongoing

LOVE IS IN THE BAY BREEZES OF SAN DIEGO'S HAWAIIAN ISLE! You and that special someone will be treated like royalty when you reserve this pleasurable package. Delight in one of our well-appointed...

Accommodation

Dana Brew Hop Package

The Dana on Mission Bay
Valid: Nov 13, 2023 - ongoing

Our Dana Brew Hop package rewards you for touring the local beer scene. Wrap up your day at Firefly Eatery & Bar and enjoy some amazing sips at sunset!   Dana Brew Hop Package...

Accommodation

AAA & CAA Member Rate

Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina
Valid: Mar 4 - ongoing

AAA and CAA Members can save up to 8% off of our Flexible Rate. Valid membership card required at check-in.  

Events to check out

Event

Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom!

Jul 4, 2024

The Port of San Diego Big Bay Boom July 4th Fireworks Show is back, promising another spectacular display over San Diego Bay. Fireworks will be discharged simultaneously from barges placed...

Event

La Jolla Half Marathon & Shores 5K

May 18, 2024

The La Jolla Half Marathon is one of America's most picturesque and beautiful point-to-point races. Starting at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, the course follows a scenic coastal route before reaching the...

Event

Annual Over The Line Tournament

Jul 13 - Jul 21, 2024

The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) is calling all players, beach-goers, and sports enthusiasts to the biggest summer event in San Diego!

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China
Germany
Great Britain
Japan
Mexico
Korea
Switzerland
Brazil
France
Australia
Canada
USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans
Albanian
Arabic
Belarusian
Bulgarian
Croatian
Danish
Deutsch
Español
Estonian
Filipino
Finnish
Francais
Georgian
Greek
Haitian-Creole
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Indonesian
Irish
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Latvian
Lithuanian
Macedonian
Malay
Maltese
Nederlands
Norwegian
Persian
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Russian
Serbian
Slovak
Slovenian
Swahili
Swedish
Telugu
Thai
Turkish
Ukranian
Vietnamese
Yiddish