Are you having a hard time choosing the best neighborhood in San Diego to move to? The McT Real Estate Group is ready to help you with your home search. We will find out what things you like best when considering a neighborhood to live in. Our favorite neighborhood happens to be North Park. Why? We initially bought our first house in North Park because it was an up-and-coming neighborhood at the time. Since then, it has become one of the most hipster Urban neighborhoods in San Diego, with so many things to do. Living in North Park is fun and never boring. There are many neighborhoods in San Diego to choose from, but here are a few reasons to consider buying a house in North Park.
North Park, San Diego, is one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods. From its diverse food options to its unique shops, the neighborhood is popular with locals looking for an urban, walkable community.
What is North Park known for?
North Park is known for being one of the best neighborhoods in the country for craft beer seekers. It’s also known for its impressive live music scene and some of the city’s most popular annual festivals.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes living in North Park, San Diego, not only a good time but so desirable for many San Diegans.
North Park Has Beautiful Real Estate To Live In And Invest In
The commercial heart of North Park is at the intersection of 30th Street and University Avenue, but the neighborhood looked much different when it was just starting out.
The land that encompasses North Park today was purchased in 1893 by local real estate and insurance agent James Monroe Hartley. He wanted to turn the land into a lemon grove but changed his mind when he found the necessary irrigation too challenging for proper lemons. The neighborhood, then known as “Hartley’s North Park,” became one of the city’s first commercial districts instead. It took just 10 years for North Park, the new and improved shortened version of Hartley’s original name, to become a shopping hub for locals.
The architecture reflects North Park’s eccentric beginnings. You’ll find Craftsman bungalows, former commercial buildings converted into single-family homes and apartment buildings, and special historic districts like the North Park Dryden Historic District. Many of the Craftsman and Spanish Colonial Revival homes in this area were built by important architect David Owen Dryden.
North Park today is one of San Diego’s liveliest neighborhoods and is often nationally recognized for its hipster status and unique vibe compared to the rest of the city.
Things to Do in North Park, San Diego
Many of the best things to do in the North Park, San Diego, neighborhood are about taking advantage of the food and craft beer scene here. While parking can be challenging around special events and weekends, North Park is highly walkable. Enjoy these activities on your feet, especially if you’re taking part in the neighborhood’s best craft breweries.
Go on a brewery crawl.
There are more than a dozen breweries and tasting rooms in North Park for craft beer seekers. Belching Beaver is almost as well-known for its beer as the San Diego postcard-style mural on its exterior facade. The vast North Park Beer Company is popular for large groups and after-work happy hours. Fall Brewing Company feels a little quirkier thanks to the Humpty Dumpty plush at the front door.
The best part is you can walk to and from one brewery to the next while in North Park, although you’ll likely see (and hear) a pedal pub tour or two if you’re here on the weekends.
Attend a local event.
North Park has no shortage of special events that bring people in from well outside the neighborhood. Start with the North Park Thursday Market, a weekly farmers market with fresh fruits and veggies, artisanal products, and live music.
The two-day North Park Music Fest is an annual springtime event with three different stages of live music across genres. Expect some of the city’s best food trucks in attendance. If you really want a taste of the best of the neighborhood, plan to attend the Taste of North Park. The annual event is a self-guided tour of the best of North Park’s food and drink scene. Wristbands for patrons 21 and over make this one a family-friendly event, too.
See a show at The Observatory North Park.
While this historic music hall is now under new ownership after a buyout from Live Nation, that acquisition has allowed North Park to continue to thrive as a destination for live music in the city. See some of the most in-demand touring acts in a venue that has been in the neighborhood since 1939.
The West Coast Tavern next door to the landmark venue is a popular spot for a pre-show drink or a nosh. The kitchen is open until midnight for snacks after, while the bar stays open even later.
North Park Best Restaurants
Whether you are a foodie or a fussy eater, North Park living is full of excitement and fun exploring the best restaurants North Park offers with a wide variety of food options at any budget. Sit down at Tamarindo Latin Kitchen & Bar for some Latin Flavor, or head over to Dunedin New Zealand Eats for some delicious New Zealand food. If you are Vegan, no worries, there is an amazing plant-based restaurant in town, and it is a big hit. The SD Village. This place is on El Cajon blvd, has plenty of parking, and is fantastic for those who love Japanese and Mexican food.
Here are a few other local eateries you shouldn’t miss if hunger strikes while in North Park:
- Alexander’s on 30th: This Italian eatery competes with anything you’ll find in downtown San Diego’s Little Italy. Enjoy specialty pizzas and fresh plates of pink penne pasta, lobster ravioli, and the most indulgent walnut and gorgonzola linguine. Reservations are recommended as this one is a popular date night spot.
- Cantina Mayahuel: This mezcaleria and tequileria is known for exactly that. You’ll find over 200 varieties of the spirits when you visit. Daily food specials are what keep locals coming back. Arrive on a Saturday for their Yucatan seafood stew or slow-cooked beef chili on Thursdays. Expect discounted taco plates on Taco Tuesdays.
- SukhoThai Extraordinaire: This Thai eatery is known for leaning pescaterian. Their signature dish is crispy fried catfish fillet in a Thai red curry sauce. That said, there are plenty of options on the menu no matter how your diet leans. Try their marinated BBQ pork or beef curries for entrees you don’t always see at Thai restaurants.
- Tribute Pizza: The “tributes” at this North Park pizzeria come from pizzas the owners have been inspired by or pop culture references they love. The Kevin McCallister, for example, is a nod to the Home Alone character’s favorite: “a lovely cheese pizza just for me.” For some added fun, the eatery operates out of an old post office.
- URBN. They have coal-fired flat and New Haven-Style pizzas, a favorite to many in the neighborhood, and draught beer and craft cocktails. This loft-style restaurant is loud, so it is a great place if you have a group you are hanging out with. There are so many different places to choose from. If you decide to live in North Park, you will never have to leave the neighborhood to experience different types of cuisines.
If you would like to skip the restaurants altogether, you can head out for some coffee and snacks at Communal Coffee. There are different flavored coffee, drinks, books, and several trinkets you can pick up during your visit. Then there is the coffee-infused cocktail during happy hour at Caffe Calambra, along with pizza, desserts, and paninis.
North Park Breweries
Whether you are a beer aficionado or you enjoy a nice beer occasionally, North Park is the place for you. It has become a hotspot for local craft breweries to flock to. Some of North Park’s local breweries include Mike Hess Brewing Company, Thorn Street Brewery, The North Park Beer Company, Belching Beaver Brewery, and Pariah Brewing Company, to name a few. There are so many choices that you will never be bored with the same ole beer again.
North Park Local Shopping
North Park has many locally-owned shops for people to buy gifts, knickknacks, bookstores, and all types of home decorations. Some local favorites include Simply Local. Here you will find homemade gifts, jewelry, and souvenirs such as shirts, soaps, pictures, honey, and oils created by amazing local artists. Pigment is another favorite for home decorations and gifts, and it is just a few blocks away. Nearby is Mimi & Red Boutique, a lovely gem in North Park where you can find designer clothing pieces, jewelry, and other great accessories.
Balboa Park Nearby
The acclaimed Balboa Park is located West of North Park, where visitors get to hike through miles of trails, visit 17 museums, walk through the beautiful gardens and sit by the gorgeous fountain to people-watch. Feel like playing a game of golf? Sure, why not. Balboa Park Golf is the oldest public golf course in San Diego and one of the favorites. So many different types of events occur year-round at Balboa Park. By living in North Park, you will always have something new to see every single day if you choose to.
North Park Is San Diego’s Most Dog-Friendly Neighborhood
You will notice in North Park that there are lots of people out and about with their dogs. North Park is one of San Diego’s most dog-friendly neighborhoods. Many of the restaurants and coffee shops are set up so you can bring your dog with you while you have a bite to eat. Many even provide treats for them. There are several pet stores in the neighborhood, but one of my favorites is The Original Paw Pleasers. You can spoil your babies by ordering homemade doggie ice cream,fresh-baked Grain-Free cakes, and more for your pet. The dog park at Morley Field is one of our favorites. Here you get to meet many of your neighbors, and their pups get to make lots of friends.
North Park Is Perfect For All Age Groups
North Park is perfect for all age groups because of its walkability. Its ample amount of shopping, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and things to do around town make it desirable for people of all ages. Younger and older aged people like not having to drive for everyday conveniences. Younger people, such as Millennials, love North Park because there are so many things to do, and a great place to meet new people.
North Park & Beyond
North Park is a great spot for any newcomer who’d like to be in the middle of some of the best neighborhoods of San Diego. Here are a few reasons you may want to leave North Park, even if it’s just for a few hours:
- South Park: This idyllic neighborhood south of North Park is hyper-local and a hub for San Diego’s best boutique shopping. Easy access to Balboa Park and the city’s best dog parks make the neighborhood a popular destination for dog owners.
- Kensington: The close-knit community of Kensington is a short trip north of North Park and worth a visit for local staples like Ponce’s Mexican Restaurant. Outside of the small commercial district, the vibe here is much more residential.
- Hillcrest: One of the city’s most bustling neighborhoods is just west of North Park. Visit for a weekend brunch if you don’t mind crowds. Hash House a Go Go is a go-to for their large portions. While there are more locations today, the original is here in San Diego.
North Park is ideal for anyone who wants a walkable community with so much at their fingertips. If you’re already interested in North Park properties, the McT Real Estate Group can help you make North Park your new home.
Move To North Park
If you are thinking of moving to North Park or already living here but are currently renting and want to buy a house or condo, reach out to the McT Real Estate Group today at 619-736-7003. We moved to North Park in 2001 from N.Y.C. and have never looked back. Together, we will figure out the best strategy for you to buy a home in the North Park area.
If you own a home in North Park and would like to stay on top of the current market value each and every month, check out this instant home value tool here.