What is up in North Park
JAMIE EDDY | FEATURE EDITOR | THE USD VISTA
North Park is an inland neighborhood of San Diego boasting an eclectic, entertaining, and diverse demographic of people and places to visit. This particular neighborhood resembles parts of the Mission District in San Francisco, offering a variety of restaurants, eateries, record stores, live music joints, brunch spots, family friendly parks, community centers, and a wide variety of shopping.
Brunch is a sacred morning ritual for many North Parkers, especially when the weekend rolls around. Although there are countless breakfast cafés and diners in the area, many locals swear by Urban Solace, located between 30th street and University Avenue.
This particular restaurant is open the majority of the day and includes vegetarian, gluten free, and vegan options, appealing to a wide-ranging customer base. In addition, they have a great happy hour throughout the week and into the weekend, including their famous bottomless mimosas.
One of the great characteristics of North Park that is not as commonly found in other parts of San Diego is the abundance of vinyl havens, second-hand, thrift, and vintage consignment stores.
A few of the top rated shops and vinyl record stores according to Yelp, include Frock You, Hunt & Gather, Bad Madge Boutique, Red Brontosaurus Records, United Records and Sounds, and Off The Record. Each of these stores presents an assorted array of unique, one-of-a-kind records, CDs, clothing, accessories, and shoes. Part of the thrill comes from searching and shuffling through often large quantities of items. Unlike department and large electronic stores, items are not as carefully sorted. This forces shoppers to dig for the good stuff.
North Park does a great job of opening up restaurants and bars, which cater to specific eating or drinking preferences. For instance, for students that are 21+, there are various wine bistros. Splash Wine Lounge and Bistro is one of the best wine caterers in the neighborhood, with over 100 wines available by the bottle or simply for tasting.
Similarly to wine, beer and breweries are often associated with North Park. Some of the top rated breweries for 21+ in the area include: Mike Hess Brewing, Thorn St. Brewery, Modern Times Tasting Room, The Homebrewer, and Belching Beaver North Park. Each of these places gives people a rare beer tasting experience unlike any other. Although they are all places to drink and enjoy craft beer, the taste, feel, and aesthetic of each venue differs.
One of the perks of living inland in San Diego, is the plentiful number of parks and community centers in the area, compared to more coastal competitors. North Park is attractive to many families because of the quality of schools and availability of open space for kids and pets.
Some of the parks and recreational facilities include: Bird Park, North Park Community Center, Morley Field Sports Complex, Morley Field dog park, Palm Canyon, and the famous Balboa Park. There are countless others and each brings a sense of solidarity, safety, and collectiveness to the area.
North Park is just a quick 15-minute drive from USD. The neighborhood is a great place to hang out with friends, find a solid babysitting gig, listen to music, try out different breweries and eateries, and get some studying done in a cool coffee shop. No matter what, it is always important to try out new neighborhoods in San Diego, especially since many USD students may only live in the area during their college careers.
Best of North Park Music
Arguably the most prominent and attractive aspect of North Park is the music scene. The Observatory at North Park, located at the corner of University Avenue and 29th Street, is a famous live music venue that has brought in both high profile musicians and new vocalists. The building has been around since the late 1930s and used to be an old theatre. Although it has been slightly refurbished, the 30s and 40s vibe is still very present.
The month of November is packed with musical performances and must see shows, hosting a variety of beats and musical genres. The most noted upcoming performances include:
1. The Underachievers 5. Dom Kennedy
2. X Ambassadors 6. RAC & Big Data
3. Jackie Greene 7. Tokimonsta
4. Atmosphere 8. Billy Wayne Davies