Welcome to Hillcrest
Hillcrest is a vibrant San Diego neighborhood known for its diverse and accepting atmosphere. Fabulous and friendly, Hillcrest is at the center of San Diego’s LGBT community and a major hub of shopping, dining, and nightlife. Hillcrest is located in Uptown San Diego and is bordered by Mission Hills to the east, Mission Valley to the north, North Park to the west, and Bankers Hill and the sprawling green space of Balboa Park to the south.
Hillcrest is an established neighborhood with a diverse selection of housing options. Hillcrest real estate includes well-preserved 1920s craftsman bungalows, mid-century single-family homes, and modern townhouses. There’s also a variety of apartment and condominium complexes offering stylish living spaces and exceptional amenities.
What to Love
- Vibrant community
- Restaurants and nightlife
- San Diego Pride
- Balboa Park
People & Lifestyle
Hillcrest is an urban village with a small-town feel. This is one of San Diego’s most densely-populated neighborhoods, with bustling streets and an electric sense of excitement day and night. Home to the largest concentration of LGBT-owned businesses, the community is a prominent part of Hillcrest. Diverse and inclusive, the neighborhood is also home to a mix of single professionals, young couples, and retirees.
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
This lively district has many great places to shop, dine, and drink. University Avenue is lined with international restaurants and is particularly well-known for its authentic Himalayan, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine.
This street leads into the historic heart of San Diego’s LGBT community in an area marked with rainbow flags and an iconic neon Hillcrest sign. Fifth Avenue intersects University Avenue and features a mix of vintage clothing stores, specialty retailers, and trendy restaurants. Dining highlights within the Hillcrest area include seasonal New American cuisine and cocktails at Trust, margaritas and Mexican food with lively drag show entertainment at Baja Betty’s, delicious pie and cocktails at Great Maple, authentic Italian home-cooking and sidewalk dining at Arrivederci, and creative twists on classic brunch fare at Snooze.
Dining highlights within the Hillcrest area include seasonal New American cuisine and cocktails at Trust
, margaritas and Mexican food with lively drag show entertainment at Baja Betty’s
, delicious pie and cocktails at Great Maple
, authentic Italian home-cooking and sidewalk dining at Arrivederci,
and creative twists on classic brunch fare at Snooze.
Things to Do
Since the 1970s, Hillcrest has been the starting point for San Diego’s enormous Pride
celebrations. More than 200,000 people attend the festivities each year, which begin with a block party
in Hillcrest and continue through a parade
and two-day festival in Balboa Park.
While Pride is undoubtedly San Diego’s biggest civic celebration, the CityFest Street Fair & Music Festiv
al comes close to matching its scale. More than 250 vendors cover nine city blocks during this festival. Live music performances are held throughout the day, followed by DJs and partying through the night. Other events include Taste of Hillcrest
, where dozens of San Diego’s best restaurants invite you to dine on a selection of outstanding international cuisine. Every Sunday, close to 200 vendors offer locally-grown produce as well as art, clothing, and more at Hillcrest Farmers’ Market
Hillcrest is zoned to the San Diego Unified school district. Highlights include:
- Birney Elementary School, K-5, Public (Magnet)
- Florence Elementary School, K-5, Public
- Grant Elementary School, K-8, Public
- Roosevelt International Middle School, 6-8, Public (Magnet)