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San Diego Neighborhood Guide: Tierrasanta

Where to eat, hike, and explore in this quiet community on the edge of Mission Trails Regional Park
Justin Halbert

By Sarah Sapeda


Tierrasanta has its share of sweets, eats, and coffee. After polling neighborhood residents, chef Javier Ugarte transformed his 25-year-old Italian eatery, Andiamo, into the modern gastropub Fifty9Fifty for upscale American fare, 20 rotating taps, and a heated patio.

Neighborhood Guide Tierrasanta / Fifty9Fifty


Justin Halbert

Just up the road is Tasty Donuts, where the cronut trend is alive and well. The friendly café has been a neighborhood favorite since 1993. Insider tip: The iced coffee at Tasty Donuts won’t get watered down—they use frozen coffee for ice cubes.

Another great morning pick-me-up is Industrial Grind Coffee. This family-owned shop boasts house-roasted beans and chocolate truffles that are almost too pretty to eat… almost.

Neighborhood Guide Tierrasanta / Industrial Grind Coffee

Industrial Grind Coffee

Justin Halbert



In Eurasia, all roads lead to Rome; in Tierrasanta, they lead to Mission Trails Regional Park. Start your 5-Peak Challenge at the eastern terminus of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and knock out both North and South Fortuna on a 7.6-mile trek. The neighborhood has plenty of other recreational points of interest, plus bike lanes connecting it with its neighbors.

Skateboarders and roller skaters can show off their skills at Damato Park. Those who fare better without wheels can sign up for a music, dance, or fitness class at the Tierrasanta Recreation Center.

Nature buffs can bird-watch in West Shepherd Canyon or hike the shady, chaparral-lined trails of East Shepherd Canyon. The canyon’s native plant markers come courtesy of Girl Scout Troop 3278. The troop also created a detailed guidebook to accompany them.


Neighborhood Guide Tierrasanta / Sign

Neighborhood Guide Tierrasanta / Sign

Justin Halbert

About Those Signs…

You may come across signs warning of possible unexploded ordnance from the land’s former life as a military training ground. Tierrasanta and a portion of Mission Trails were formerly known as Camp Elliott, an artillery range used by the Marine Corps during World War II. The military has done several sweeps in the decades since it was decommissioned to remove any leftover explosives, but the risk of one turning up remains. If you come across any suspicious metal object, don’t touch it; leave a marker nearby and remember its location; and call 911.


Nearby Finds

There are also great food, drink, and recreation options just outside Tierrasanta proper. Bud’s Louisiana Café, a longtime neighborhood haunt and favorite for po’boys, jambalaya, and crawfish étouffée, has a setup just across the 15. Poochie’s Hooch in Allied Gardens serves up cider on two dog-friendly patios, and San Diego Brewing Co. has 50 taps to sample from.

Neighborhood Guide Tierrasanta / Poochie’s Hooch

Poochie’s Hooch

Justin Halbert

San Diegans on this side of town needn’t travel far to tee off, either: the Navy-owned Admiral Baker Golf Course is open to the public, offering two 18-hole courses and a short-game area.

Mission Trails Regional Park

Justin Halbert

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