Southeast of downtown and bordering Balboa Park, you’ll find the diverse and eclectic uptown neighborhoods of North Park and South Park. Catering to a local crowd, streets here are lined with coffee shops, boutiques, art galleries, diverse restaurants and craft beer pubs.
The epicenter of North Park is the bar-hopping intersection of University Avenue and 30th Street, which holds claim to being "the best beer neighborhood in the nation," thanks to numerous craft-beer establishments such as Toronado, Tiger! Tiger! and Modern Times Flavordome. Craft cocktails are also a mainstay with bars like Bar Pink and Seven Grand offering creative concoctions. The neighborhood pulses with great restaurants, shops, entertainment and art blocks, such as Ray Street, which boasts dozens of galleries, live theater and musical shows. The historic Observatory North Park, in the heart of the business district, offers an impressive year-round line up. Fronting the theater is the lively West Coast Tavern.
South Park is a haven for indie shops, progressive galleries and restaurants that give top priority to seasonal organics and sustainable meats and seafood with cuisine ranging from contemporary and healthy to rustic and downright sinful. Craft beer is also celebrated here at bars like Hamilton’s Tavern, consistently rated “best beer bar” on the West Coast, and the family friendly Station Tavern where burgers and beer are served in an old trolley station. Local art, fashions and one-of-a-kind treasures, that can’t be found at any mall, make shopping in South Park a true treat. Stores like Bad Madge & Company and Graffiti Beach Boutique can be found on Fern Street. And, events like the quarterly Walkabout, with local shops and restaurants open late and offering special deals and bites, highlight the neighborhoods’ diversity and pride in the local arts, crafts and culture.
If we give you directions to North Park and South Park, please promise you'll come back - this neighborhood will leave you wanting more of its craft breweries, culinary hot spots, and boutique shops. From downtown, follow Park Avenue north through Balboa Park, and turn east on University Avenue. Hit 30th Street and you've made it! University Avenue is the primary route into North Park from the west (airport, beaches, and Interstate 5) - and also, from Interstate 805 from the east. To reach South Park, head south on 30th Street to Juniper Street. Park, hop off the bus, or exit your Uber - you're in for a treat as South Park's restaurants and shops begin here.
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