9 Things to Do in University Heights San Diego

Nestled just above the bustling city of downtown San Diego lies the charming neighborhood of University Heights. This quaint yet vibrant community has a unique mix of culture, arts, and outdoor activities, making it an ideal destination for tourists. Whether you’re a foodie looking to try out new cuisines, a nature lover seeking adventure, or simply looking to immerse yourself in the local culture, University Heights here are the nine best things to do in University Heights, San Diego.

Trolley Barn Park

Tucked away in the heart of University Heights is the picturesque Trolley Barn Park. This hidden gem is a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike, boasting lush greenery, a serene pond, and a historic trolley barn that gives the park its name. Stroll through the park’s winding paths, picnic in one of its many grassy areas, or relax and take in the tranquil atmosphere. The park also hosts various community events throughout the year, so check their calendar for upcoming festivals or concerts.

Diversionary Theater

For all you theater enthusiasts, a visit to the Diversionary Theater is a must. This nationally renowned LGBT+ theater company puts on thought-provoking and entertaining productions that celebrate diversity and inclusivity. From classic plays to new works, the intimate theater space creates an immersive experience for its audience. So, grab a ticket and support this vital part of University Heights’ vibrant art scene.

Park & Rec

Looking for a place to unwind after a day of exploring? Look no further than Park & Rec, a laid-back bar and restaurant that exudes cool. With its retro decor, delicious cocktails, and mouth-watering food (try their famous mac and cheese!), this local hotspot is always buzzing with energy. Grab a seat on the outdoor patio and people-watch as you sip on your drink or challenge your friends to a game of cornhole. You’ll quickly understand why Park & Rec is a favorite hangout spot in University Heights.

Small Bar

With San Diego being the craft beer capital of America, it is only fitting that University Heights has its gem for beer lovers – Small Bar. This cozy Bar boasts a rotating selection of over 30 local and international beers on tap and an impressive bottle list. Not a beer drinker? No problem! Small Bar also has an extensive cocktail menu and a mouth-watering food menu featuring elevated bar bites. So, grab a seat at their outdoor patio and enjoy the perfect combination of drinks, food, and good company.

The Lancers

No visit to University Heights is complete without stopping by The Lancers, a beloved neighborhood bar that has been around for over 50 years. This cozy dive bar is perfect for grabbing a cold beer, playing pool or darts, and conversing with the friendly locals. With its dim lighting and vintage decor, The Lancers transports you back in time and gives you a taste of the old-school charm of University Heights.

El Zarape Mexican Restaurant

Get ready to tantalize your taste buds at El Zarape, a family-owned restaurant serving mouth-watering traditional Mexican dishes. From classic tacos and burritos to their signature carne asada fries, everything on the menu is bursting with flavor and made with love. The colorful decor and warm hospitality make this restaurant the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal with friends and family.


Calling all foodies! Make sure you add Madison to your list of must-visit places in University Heights. This trendy restaurant offers an eclectic menu featuring American dishes with a twist, as well as vegetarian and vegan options. The lively atmosphere, superb cocktails, and impeccable service make Madison a hit with both locals and tourists. Make a reservation, as this popular spot gets busy quickly.

Kairoa Brewing Company

Experience a taste of New Zealand in the heart of University Heights at Kairoa Brewing Company. This unique brewery combines traditional brewing techniques with modern flavors, resulting in some of the most delicious beers in San Diego. Pair your pint with a Kiwi-inspired dish from their menu, and you’ve got a perfect meal. Enjoy the laid-back vibe and friendly staff as you sip your beer at this must-visit spot.

De Nada Kitchen & Market

Last but not least, the De Nada Kitchen & Market is a local gem that offers a delicious fusion of Mexican and Mediterranean cuisines. This cozy restaurant serves homemade dishes using fresh, locally sourced ingredients, making it a hit with foodies and health-conscious individuals. But De Nada is more than just a restaurant; it’s also home to an artisan market featuring unique handmade goods from local artists. So, stop by for a meal and leave with a one-of-a-kind souvenir to remember your trip. With such a diverse and exciting mix of activities, University Heights truly has something for everyone. So, whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or looking for new spots to explore in San Diego, add these top things to do in University Heights to your itinerary.

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