Talmadge, San Diego, feels a little more suburban than its neighbors, but residents love the easy access to downtown with a more residential vibe. The neighborhood is perfect for young families seeking well-attended community events and friendly neighbors. Learn more about the Talmadge neighborhood in San Diego, a hidden gem next door to Kensington.
Living in Talmadge, San Diego
Talmadge has a more star-studded past than many other San Diego neighborhoods. It’s named after sisters Norma, Natalie, and Constance Talmadge, a trio of silent film stars who chose this part of town to help fund a real estate development firm in the 1920s.
They weren’t the only big names attached to the project. Most of the capital came from Joe Shenick, then-president of the United Artists Corporation, a digital production company. He was the husband of Norma Talmadge at that time, who planted the seed for development in this part of San Diego. Development in Talmadge began after 1926 when the sisters cut a ribbon announcing the groundbreaking in front of a large crowd. William S. Hart, another silent film star known for his cowboy roles, was in attendance.
The architecture resembles that of its neighbor, Kensington, for a reason. Both are part of the same community planning area. If you’re in the market for original Talmadge homes for sale, you’ll find Spanish Revival-style homes, more modern streamlined buildings, bungalows, and Cape Cod-style cottages all mixed together.
Unfortunately, quite a few of the original single-family homes were torn down between the 1960s and 1980s in favor of larger residences, apartment buildings, and commercial development. Today, you’ll find most of the retail in Talmadge along El Cajon Boulevard.
Things to Do in Talmadge
Living in Talmadge is about embracing the neighborhood for what it is: a more quiet alternative to the hustle and bustle of its neighbors. Here are some of the best things to do in Talmadge, San Diego.
Sample the eats at a Talmadge block party.
Talmadge knows how to throw block parties. Monthly food truck nights throughout the spring and summer months show off the best takeaway eats from around the city and allow neighbors to take a break from cooking. Locations vary and typically include live musical guests, local artisans, family-friendly activities, and raffle prizes. Funds raised by Talmadge Block Party, the event organizers, go to local charities and community causes.
Look for markers of the neighborhood’s historical past.
You already know the neighborhood is named after the Talmadge sisters. Seek out nods to each one by finding the Talmadge streets named after them. Norma, Constance, and Natalie drives all intersect on the west side of the neighborhood.
From there, find the historic Talmadge gates used to show the official entrances of the neighborhood. The original gates have been here since 1926 when the sisters held a ribbon-cutting ceremony announcing the start of development in the area. See the original set of gates at 49th Street and Monroe Avenue. You’ll find additional gates on Highland, Euclid, Estrella, and Madison avenues and on 48th Street.
Get some fresh air at Colina Del Sol Park.
This urban park just south of Talmadge in Colina Del Sol has a recreation center, golf course, and several interconnected trails to get a walk in on a sunny day. Visiting with the pooch? Head to Gopher City Dog Park within the park. In the summer months, the park hosts family-friendly movie nights with game trucks, photo booths, and other activities to keep the little ones entertained.
Best Restaurants in Talmadge
Talmadge boasts a variety of casual eateries along El Cajon Boulevard with an emphasis on ethnic cuisine. Nearby Kensington has even more options if you’re looking for a new spot for date night. Check out the best spots to grab a bit in and around Talmadge, San Diego:
- Su Pan Bakery: This highly-rated Mexican bakery churns out fresh pastries every morning, but they’re also a great spot for a casual meal. If you’re already there for breakfast, try their breakfast burritos. The tortas are perfect for lunch.
- Clem’s Station: This bar and grill replaces Romeo & Julieta, an Eastern European wine bar known for its pierogi. The food menu at this one is more burgers, pizza, and beer, but it’s a welcome addition to a neighborhood that could use more sit-down eateries.
- Eli’s Peruvian Kitchen: Try succulent Peruvian ceviche, fried yuca, and tender rotisserie-style chicken at this South American eatery. This is an easy place to frequent for their chicken alone.
- Á Châu: Talmadge has an impressive Vietnamese food scene in a small radius. The best example of that is at this casual eatery. Come for the Bahn mi sandwiches but stay for the delicious egg rolls. The shop sells them by the dozen!
- Kensington Cafe: This popular eatery is in nearby Kensington, but as it’s the most popular food option in either neighborhood, we had to include it here. Come for breakfast and their cinnamon roll pancakes.
Talmadge & Beyond
Talmadge is an excellent base for some of San Diego’s best neighborhoods, but its closest neighbors are on the quieter side of town. Here are a few places you can visit in just a few minutes from Talmadge:
- Kensington: This charming, close-knit neighborhood is within walking distance from Talmadge. While it may feel just like Talmadge, thanks to joint community planning, you’ll find more options for sit-down restaurants in Kensington.
- El Cerrito: Just east of Talmadge, this neighborhood that means “Little Hill” experienced a development boom around the same time as Talmadge. Visit the eclectic business district and hilltop views.
- Rolando: Residential Rolando is divided into two different sections, Rolando Village and Rolando Park. University Avenue is the dividing line between the two and the main commercial strip.
Interested in getting to know Talmadge, San Diego, a little better? The McT Real Estate Group can help show you around and find a unique Talmadge property to call your own.