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Neighborhood Guide: Hillcrest

With stylish shops and hip restaurants in the heart of San Diego's LGBTQ scene, the intersection of Fifth and University avenues is making a comeback as one of the city's most bustling thoroughfares.

By Dayna Crozier

Neighborhood Guide: Hillcrest

Hillcrest sign

University & Fifth Avenue

  • 1. NEW
    Salt & Cleaver

    House-made sausage and veggie sandwiches pair well with cocktails and beer. 3805 Fifth Avenue

  • 2. NEW
    Blue Ribbon Rustic Kitchen

    Artisan handmade pasta and Italian food are served in a dim, romantic atmosphere. 530 University Avenue

  • 3. NEW
    Commonwealth Ultra Lounge

    This historic, modern building houses an opulent interior, craft cocktails, beer, and bites. 1263 University Avenue

  • 4. NEW
    Project Pie

    Build your own pizza at this new, fast-casual custom pizza joint. 3888 Fourth Avenue

  • 5. NEW
    Harvey Milk’s American Diner

    This new diner donates a percentage of every tab to the Harvey Milk Foundation. 535 University Avenue

  • 6. NEW

    This boutique offers an electic, stylish mix of home décor and hostess gifts. 1029 University Avenue

  • This Month in Hillcrest

    • Sundays:
      Hillcrest Farmers Market

    • Decmeber 10:
      Hillcrest Town Council

    • December 12:
      Taste n’ Tinis

  • 7. Hash House a Go Go
    Classic yet twisted fare loads up giant platters for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 3628 Fifth Avenue

  • 8. Snooze
    Get in line early for unique pancakes, Benedicts, and Bloody Marys. 3940 Fifth Avenue

  • 9. D Bar
    Savor elegant desserts, from soufflés to macarons, as well as brunch, lunch, and dinner. 3930 Fifth Avenue

  • 10. Gossip Grill
    This bar hosting generous happy hours caters primarily to the ladies. 1440 University Avenue

  • 11. Hillcrest Brewing Company and Uptown Tavern
    These spots tap the hops that other gay bars are lacking. HBC: 1458 University Avenue Uptown Tavern: 1236 University Avenue

  • 12. Edith Ernestine
    Shop a variety of styles and eras in this vintage clothing hotspot. 3775 Park Boulevard


13. Before I Die Wall

Grab some chalk and reflect on life at Candy Chang’s famous, interactive public art wall, outside Alibi.

1403 University Avenue

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