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Aug 31 2019

San diego shopping ~ Video

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San diego shopping


6 great neighborhood shopping districts

Spring fashion season has arrived, so it’s time, once again, to take a look at San Diego’s unique neighborhood shopping districts.

Last November, we explored one-of-a-kind items and qualities of Encinitas, Solana Beach, Coronado, South Park, La Jolla and La Mesa. Now we check in on some other popular destinations, from the South County to North County to Temecula.

“It feels kind of old-fashioned, kind of traditional, to buy what I need in a neighborhood instead of at a mall,” said avid North County shopper Mitzi Daniels. “I like knowing the shop owners; it makes me feel like I’m part of a community.”

Whether you’re looking for a new spring dress or a great antique clock for your living room, here is our latest look at standout shopping areas:

$: You can find great items between $1 and $25.

$$: Items range from $30 to $75.

$$$: Expect to spend from $75 to $150.

Little Italy

Known for its top-notch restaurants, this area also has some retail standouts.

Where: India Street and Kettner Boulevard from Cedar to Grape streets.

Parking: Most of it is metered, but you can pay with your credit card.

Best for: Interior decorators, foodies, art students.

Price range: $$ to $$$$

Signature piece: Succulents in glass or ceramic planters.

What you’ll find: If you’re there strictly to shop and not eat, head straight to the cottages on West Fir Street. There you’ll find Be Beauty, where you can buy a new dress and get a manicure or facial. Rosamariposa has sustainable jewelry from Bali and India; and Carol Gardyne is locally beloved for her hand-painted silk clothes and accessories. Throughout the neighborhood there are additional art galleries and clothes and shoe shops like the lovely Melero Boutique. Blick Art Materials has notebooks, stickers and fun gifts to go along with all that paint.

Don’t miss: Vitreum, a sophisticated gift shop that carries Japanese and Japanese-inspired items like glass orbs, whimsical salt-and-pepper shakers and jewelry.

What’s for lunch: You’re in Little Italy, so you’ll find some of the city’s best Italian restaurants, like Bencotto Italian Kitchen and its new sister restaurant, Monello; the trendy Underbelly has ramen and sake; local chains like Burger Lounge and Prepkitchen are represented; and Influx Cafe is the spot for coffee and homemade pastries.

Nearby shops: Venture a few blocks away from the main drag to find Mixture, one of the most sophisticated décor shops in town; Bottlecraft Beer Shop and Tasting Room carries hundreds of beers from around the world; and the French Garden Shoppe is a favorite European home furnishings store.

Del Mar Village

One of the county’s most posh shopping districts has a mix of high-end boutiques, affordable gift shops and an amazing seaside view.

Where: Camino Del Mar from 14th Street to L’Auberge Del Mar.

Parking: There are designated pay parking areas — just follow the signs. You can also park at Del Mar Plaza and score free hours with validation. And if you find a spot along the street, you obviously have good parking karma.

Best for: Ladies who lunch, sophisticated beach bums, upscale tourists.

Price range: $$ to $$$$

Signature piece: A cuff bracelet with a touch of ocean-themed whimsy.

What you’ll find: Plan to spend the day walking, shopping, eating and playing in the sea. Some standouts include Pebbles by the Beach, a New York-like boutique where teens pick up $150 Wildfox cutoff denim shorts; Fair Trade Décor, a colorful store that carries 100 percent fair-trade items; Durante’s Menswear for men who appreciate good clothes; and high-end Western wear at The Frustrated Cowboy.

Don’t miss: Urban Girl, a fun and midpriced gift shop that carries one-of-a-kind cards and jewelry and also boasts one of the biggest and best collection of Toms shoes.

What’s for lunch: There’s everything from family-friendly lunch spots like Del Mar Pizza to fancier fare at Sbicca. Local favorites like Bully’s Del Mar, Prepkitchen and Smashburger are also found here.

Nearby shops: Along with the streetside businesses there’s Del Mar Plaza with beloved stores like White House/Black Market.

Downtown Chula Vista

This district has an old-fashioned quality that’s worth exploring.

Where: Third Avenue from G to E streets.

Parking: Though it’s metered, there’s plenty of parking and 50 cents buys you an hour.

Best for: Teens looking for formal dresses, antique jewelry fans, people with specific tastes.

Price range: $ to $$$

Signature piece: A bright, formal gown.

What you’ll find: If we’re being honest, unless you’re planning a quinceañera (traditional Mexican party for girls turning 15), this isn’t a fashion mecca. There are, however, some one-of-a-kind specialty shops. Harper’s Music Store has a varied collection of instruments and sheet music; Urbn Sk8 carries unique skateboard gear; the massive South Bay Bicycles has so many options; those with wide feet can shop at Jon’s Wide Shoes; and there’s plenty of fun to be had at Maria’s Wig Shop.

Don’t miss: My Cup of Tea offers tea service and scones as well as accessories and tea to take home.

What’s for lunch: This is where to head if you’re looking for authentic Mexican food; popular spots include El Comal Antojitos Mexicanos and Don Pedro Taco Shop.

Nearby shops: Chula Vista Center, a more traditional mall, is located a few miles away on Broadway.

Old Town Temecula

The area used to be mainly antique stores and malls, but in the past few years it has become a centerpiece for the city of Temecula by adding boutique shopping, wine tasting, dining and entertainment.

Where: Old Town Front Street from Santiago to Moreno roads

Parking: Parking is free along the street and inside the Old Town Garage, located just off Front Street at Temecula City Hall.

Gifts for: Moms, grandmas, kids and cousins.

Price range: $ to $$$$

What you’ll find: Historic buildings like the one that houses Old Town Antique Faire, which features dozens of antique dealers, and the Palomar Inn Hotel, which is part working hotel and part wine-tasting room. Mixed in among the antique and boutique craft and home décor and gift shops are tasting rooms from some of the Temecula Valley Wine Country vineyards. For entertainment, the growing number of bars have music each evening, and the area is home to the Old Town Temecula Community Theater.

Don’t miss: Temecula Olive Oil Co. and Temecula Valley Cheese Co. Foodies can have a taste before bringing home something a little different for the kitchen.

Did you know: The immediate area started to boom in 1882 when the California Railroad created a stop in Temecula. Many of the buildings from that time period are still in use.

What’s for lunch: The Public House on Main Street is a newer spot, offering pub-style food and a quality wine and beer selection. Mad Madeline’s Grill is always packed with folks looking for a good burger with fries. Right in the heart of the town, Rosa’s Cantina provides quick and tasty Mexican food. Front Street Bar & Grill on the south side of the strip offers a step up in dining, as do The Edge, The Gambling Cowboy and many others. The Swing Inn is Temecula’s unofficial cafe of choice.

Nearby shops: There are side streets along Front Street that feature many more small boutiques and gift shops.

Ocean Beach

It’s not all smoke shops and tattoo parlors along this eclectic area.

Where: Newport Avenue from Sunset Cliffs Boulevard to the ocean.

Parking: If you can find a spot, you get two free hours along Newport.

Price range: $ to $$$

Signature piece: A necklace made out of shells or beads.

Best for: Jewelry makers, hippies at heart, antique collectors.

What you’ll find: There’s a true mix of beachwear boutiques, popular dive bars and antique shops along San Diego’s most notoriously funky beach neighborhood. The most popular shop is The Black, which is a smoke shop but it also has posters, books, tapestries and other counterculture favorites. Blondstone has sophisticated silver jewelry; South Coast Wahines, located next to South Coast Surf Shop, carries surf gear for ladies only; Ocean Gifts & Shells may be touristy, but it’s so fun to browse through sea stars and conch shells.

Don’t miss: Fashionistas go out of their way to shop at the ultra-stylish Dreamgirls, an affordable boutique that carries jeans, shoes, dresses and accessories.

What’s for lunch: This street is home to the original Hodad’s, which many San Diegans argue is the best burger in town. Locals also claim that South Beach Bar & Grille has the best fish tacos. And if you’re in the mood for a cocktail, Pacific Shores continues to serve stiff drinks at low prices.

Nearby shops: If you’re in the mood for more beachfront shopping, head a few miles north to Mission and Pacific Beach.

Carlsbad Village

This North County spot has a diverse selection of shops and restaurants, as well as some small parks and fountains to keep little ones entertained.

Where: Carlsbad Village Drive and Grand Avenue from State to Roosevelt streets.

Parking: The best parking deal in town, three hours free along State Street.

Best for: Modern antique collectors, people who value comfort as well as style, families.

Price range: $$ to $$$

Signature piece: A light, flowy top

What you’ll find: Though it’s long been associated with antiques, Carlsbad Village has a surprising number of clothing and specialty shops. Coolest Shoes in California carries only comfortable shoes, including some with a yoga mat sole; Fairen Del is a fancy travel store that also carries trinkets and accessories; Old Ivy Gifts and Antiques makes seashells and sand dollars look chic; O’Ireland carries all things from the Emerald Isle; and no one with a sweet tooth will be able to resist a treat at the Carlsbad Chocolate Bar.

Don’t miss: The Beat Clothing is a fun, affordable boutique that carries new and trendy pieces.

What’s for lunch: People drive to this neighborhood specifically for the food and beer at Pizza Port. You’ll also find a variety of mom-and-pop spots like the locally popular Grand Deli. But the most fun is Boxd, a waffle stand that also has a patio where kids can run around and lawn chairs where parents can sit and chat.

Nearby shops: Across the train tracks you have the Village Faire shopping center, as well as boutiques along Carlsbad Boulevard.

Jeff Pack contributed to this report.

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