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Imperial Beach Artist Richie Moon’s Perfect South Bay Day

The artist and graphic designer whose collaborations include Daddy Yankee & San Diego FC shares his favorite local haunts
Imperial Beach, San Diego
Photo Credit: Cole Novak

Scenes from the border crossing, lowriders, the Coronado Bridge—many of the motifs featured prominently in artist and designer Richie Moon’s work come from his lifelong roots in South San Diego, particularly Imperial Beach. “I’ve been here since I was in kindergarten,” he says.

His love for South Bay is one he wishes more people shared. “It’s somewhere that’s constantly overlooked,” he says. “But South San Diego is the heart of San Diego.” Because the area offers so much, it was hard for Moon to pin down just a few ways to spend the day in the area—but he somehow managed.

To start a morning off right, Moon heads to Home Coffee in National City. The bright, airy space has plenty of room to work alone or chill with friends, making it a hub for the community that’s easily accessible off the 805 and 54 freeways. Plus, a set of outdoor swings are sure to bring out the kid in anyone. “I prefer it to Starbucks,” Moon laughs, recommending the Tahitian vanilla latte.

Interior of Exclusive Cuts Barber Shop in Imperial Beach, San Diego where  Richie Moon visits regularly
Courtesy of Exclusive Cuts Barber Shop

Moon says he’s had the same barber, Ray Muñoz, since high school. “Initially, he started cutting hair out of his garage then moved into shops,” he recalls. “I got to see his journey, and for him to live his dream is pretty cool.” Moon now visits him at Exclusive Cuts Barber Shop, the spot Muñoz owns in Imperial Beach.

After a fresh trim, Moon hits San Diego Kabob Shack in Chula Vista for a chicken kebab plate or Poke Etc. in National City for spicy mayo ahi tuna. As someone who focuses on eating healthy, Moon says both options hit the spot, especially after a workout.

Interior of South Bay brewery Thre3 Punk Ales in Chula Vista, San Diego featuring beer casks, bar seating, and beer taps
Courtesy of Element Design Build

To unwind, Moon points to Thr3e Punk Ales in Chula Vista. “I don’t drink too much, honestly, but I have a great relationship with the owners,” he says. “If I do ever crave a drink every now and then, I prefer to go there.” Moon says he reaches for lighter beers like Mexican lagers, but pretty much anything coming out of the brewhouse promises to satisfy.

By Beth Demmon

Beth Demmon is an award-winning writer and podcaster whose work regularly appears in national outlets and San Diego Magazine. Her first book, The Beer Lover's Guide to Cider, is now available. Find out more on

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