The theme for this year's virtual Chicano Park Day is: 'Chicano Park 51: Healing Our Past, Educating the Present, Leading into our Future".
What better way to spend the day than among some of the trendiest hotspots in Southern California? North Park is the go-to spot for delicious food, craft beer, gift stores and more.
Funky, hip, filled with beer. There are so many ways to describe this neighborhood northeast of Balboa Park. But none quite captures its mix of boutiques, art galleries, family-friendly restaurants, hard kombucha bars, modern cuisine, and music venues. Perhaps nothing can do it justice but seeing, living, and tasting all it offers for yourself.
Between the urban neighborhoods of North Park and South Park lies a swath of untouched nature that provides a quiet respite to instantly recharge. Juniper Canyon is undeveloped city parkland traversed by an easy one-mile roundtrip out-and-back hike. Listen for the “kitten meowing” call of the endangered California Gnatcatcher. Bask in the coastal sage habitat populated with scrub oak and yerba santa. Come night, you might hear the call of coyotes who stalk San Diego’s canyons for mice and rabbits.
Bean fiends, take note: Whether you’re looking to power up with a cold brew or try something new (perhaps “The Champ’s” mix of espresso, steamed milk, honey, and cinnamon), Dark Horse Coffee Roasters has the brew for you among its carefully sourced supplies. Save room for some baked goods, too.
Return home with a living piece of San Diego sunshine—a plant raised on local rays, that is. Gift and home décor shop Pigment provides all the tools to assemble your own indoor jungle. There are impossibly cute air plants, tiny succulents, adorable mini cacti, monstera and rubber plants. Make it design-y with minimalist pots and plant-care accoutrements like brass plant misters, pruning shears, and handy volumes such as “How to Raise a Plant.”
At URBN, build your own or choose from thin crust, New Haven-style pies topped with peppered salami, barbecue chicken, mashed potatoes, or vegan delights. Wash it down with local craft beer on tap and signature cocktails.
Settle in for a slam poetry show. Or get your feet moving in a giant group bachata dance class. Or take in female-fronted bands, burlesque shows, and open mics. It’s always buzzing at Queen Bee’s, a venue where local musicians and artists go to connect and build community with local audiences in a variety of formats.
Craft is everything at Original 40, North Park’s new and gorgeous beer bar that rotates dozens of in-house made brews on draft, plus a cask or two. Local creations share tap space with delectable brews from other notable beer regions, near and far. Named after the original 40-acres that make up modern-day North Park, this happening beer spot is home to tantalizing beers, such as the popular Downtown Mike brown ale and Peaches for Free hazy milkshake IPA.
When whatcha want is matcha (the Japanese powdered green tea), pop into Holy Matcha. But before you sip that green, antioxidant rich beverage, or sink your teeth into avocado toast or edible-flower-topped waffle, there’s something you’re going to need to do. Getting these goodies on your ‘Gram is a given when they’re this good looking.
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