Welcome To


Bungalows and attractive contemporary condominiums.


Welcome to Hillcrest

Progressive and inclusive neighborhood with cool businesses.

Hillcrest is a progressive and inclusive San Diego neighborhood nestled between Mission Valley and the expansive green space of Balboa Park. Packed with trendy bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and boutiques, the community has long been a hub of San Diego’s LGBTQ+ community. This heritage is celebrated with local landmarks such as a huge rainbow flag and a rainbow crosswalk.

Hillcrest is a densely-populated and highly walkable neighborhood. The neighborhood first grew as a streetcar suburb in the early 20th century with housing options that are an attractive mix of old and new. Real estate here includes classic bungalows and attractive contemporary condominiums.

What to Love

  • Progressive and inclusive vibe
  • Excellent restaurants
  • LGBTQ+ culture and businesses
  • Large annual events

People & Lifestyle

Hillcrest first established its reputation as a gay-friendly neighborhood in the 1970s, and the neighborhood has San Diego’s highest concentration of LGBTQ+-owned businesses. This diverse community is also home to many young families and urban professionals. Hillcrest is a happening neighborhood with a wide array of restaurants and nightlife spots. It’s also home to some of San Diego’s largest annual events.


Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Most businesses in the neighborhood are concentrated in the Hillcrest Village area around University Avenue. Since the 1940s, this area has been marked with an iconic lighted Hillcrest sign. insideOUT is a chic Californian-Mediterranean fusion restaurant and craft cocktail lounge with a swimming pool. Parma Cucina Italiana pairs traditional Italian dishes with imported Italian wines. Other dining hotspots include cozy French bistro La Bonne Table, Kous Kous for Moroccan stews and small plates, Pho Fifth Avenue for inventive Vietnamese noodle soups, and The Red Door for upscale American comfort fare. Hillcrest’s fast-casual options include tasty pizza slices at Massachusetts Mike’s Pizzeria, tacos at La Vecindad, and authentic Japanese noodle bowls at HiroNori Craft Ramen. San Diego is renowned for its craft beer scene and Hillcrest Brewing Company is the world’s first gay brewery. The Hub Hillcrest Market is a stylish shopping center on University Avenue with a Ralphs and Trader Joe’s for grocery shopping.

Things to Do

Hillcrest hosted San Diego’s first pride parade in the 1970s. The festivities have grown over the decades into one of the city’s largest annual celebrations. The two-day Pride Festival features a parade that kicks off in front of Hillcrest’s rainbow flag. This happening neighborhood hosts many other events throughout the year. February’s Hillcrest Mardi Gras features a street fair with a party atmosphere along University Avenue. CityFest Art & Music Festival on 5th Avenue in August hosts live music, DJs, and over 250 vendors. The weekly Hillcrest Farmers Market is one of the largest farmers’ markets in San Diego. The market takes place each Sunday with more than 175 vendors selling fresh seasonal produce, specialty foodstuffs, ready-to-eat items, and arts and crafts. Hillcrest is located to the immediate north of the San Diego Zoo, one of many attractions within the sprawling green space of Balboa Park. The park also features many museums, performance venues, and special themed gardens. Highlights include interactive exhibits at Fleet Science Center, folk art collections at Mingei International Museum, photography displays at The Museum of Photographic Arts, and historic aircraft and spacecraft at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.


Hillcrest is served by the San Diego Unified School District.

  • Grant, Public, K-8
  • Museum, Public, Charter, K-8
  • Roosevelt International Middle, Public, Magnet, 6-8

Work With Us

Veteran owned and operated, the Kappel Realty Group is a team of Realtors focused on educating and assisting real estate buyers and sellers in the San Diego region. Nearly all of our agents have advanced degrees and master’s degrees in real estate or finance and half our agents are military veterans.
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