Best Neighborhoods in San Diego for Singles & Young Professionals

Are you thinking about moving to San Diego? With incredible weather year-round, beautiful sandy beaches, an energetic nightlife, and mouthwatering cuisine you won’t find anywhere else, it’s no surprise that San Diego is a dream home for single and young professionals! Want to know which area is the perfect fit for your lifestyle? Check out this list of the best San Diego neighborhoods for singles and young professionals!

Gaslamp Quarter

Home Price: $189,600 median purchase price; $1,030 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 54% of the cities in California

Located in Downtown San Diego is the vibrant Gaslamp Quarter. This 16-block entertainment district is home to all things food and fun, as well as amazing places to live! Whether you’re moving in with some friends or making a solo adventure, this San Diego neighborhood has cool condos, townhomes, and apartments to rent or purchase at an affordable price. The area also has over 200 restaurants, nightclubs, galleries, and shops to explore, making Gaslamp Quarter one of the best places to live in San Diego!

Eat

Travel to Trailer Park After Dark and try the famous Kitchen Sink Tots. Nosh on the Duck Fat Fries while you sip on the official cocktail of Gaslamp Quarter—the Peter Rabbit—at Searsucker. Grab a Triple Threat Burger at American pub Werewolf. Or taste a little bit of everything from salsa flights and octopus tacos to Downtown San Diego’s largest tequila selection at Volcano Rabbit.

Drink

Searching for one of the best nightclubs in Gaslamp Quarter? Look no further than FLUXX! This weekend hot spot will guarantee you have an exciting night with bottle service, music performances by famous artists, and laser light shows. Local singles love Parq for their fist-pumping music played by a different DJ every weekend! If you’re in the mood to have a more casual evening with some friends, check out the extensive craft beer menu at The Tipsy Crow. Or try Prohibition, a speakeasy bar with 1920s flair.

Explore

If you have an appreciation for the arts, take in a live show at the historic Balboa Theatre, or travel to Sparks Gallery to see contemporary artwork made by local artists. Petco Park is less than a ten-minute walk from Gaslamp Quarter, so you and some friends can catch a San Diego Padres game. And don’t forget to put your costume together when Comic-Con International comes to the San Diego Convention Center!

Hillcrest

Home Price: $462,358 median purchase price; $1,384 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 91% of the cities in California

Known for its friendly atmosphere and walkabilityHillcrest is one of the best places to live in San Diego for singles and young professionals. Not only is this area home to an array of eccentric restaurants and bars, but it’s also considered to be the central hub for the LGBTQ community in San Diego. Hillcrest offers everything from townhomes to apartments and has easy access to Downtown San Diego with the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, making it a great spot for commuting professionals.

Eat

There’s something for everyone to enjoy in this San Diego neighborhood! If you’re craving Mediterranean, try insideOUT and indulge in dishes like Moroccan Spiced Chicken Tagine. Looking for authentic Mexican cuisine? You’ll find it when you dine at La Vecindad. Or head over to TRUST, where you’ll discover a delicious menu of rustic-styled American cuisine made with locally-sourced ingredients. Need to satisfy that sweet tooth? Chocolat will grant all of your sugary wishes with gelato and dessert crepes.

Drink

No night is complete without hitting up one of Hillcrest’s unique bars and nightclubs! Rich’s is considered the best dance club in Hillcrest, as well as San Diego’s top gay nightclub! They offer everything from bottle service to fun weekly events like drag performances and holiday-themed parties! If you’re looking for live music and great happy hour specials, visit The Merrow, one of Hillcrest’s best-kept secrets. Planning a ladies’ night out? Gossip Grill has a full patio bar, fire pits, and an energetic dance floor!

Explore

Located inside Balboa Park and less than three miles away, the famous San Diego Zoo has more than 3,700 animals to discover. Watch as capybaras swim around with black spur-winged geese, or gaze up at sun bear cubs lounging in the branches of trees. The San Diego Natural History Museum is just south of the zoo and is free on the first Tuesday of every month. Residents rave about the weekly Hillcrest Farmers Market for their wide selection of locally-grown organic produce. But the real attraction in this area is San Diego Pride, one of the largest pride parades and festivals in the United States!

North Park

Home Price: $440,667 median purchase price; $1,222 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 91% of the cities in California

Northeast of Balboa Park, you’ll find not only the best beer neighborhood in the nation, but also one of the best neighborhoods in San Diego. North Park is a hub for all things craft beer, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and local art! Its location near Interstate 805 means a quick commute to and from work, as well as convenient access to other parts of the San Diego area. You’ll also find a variety of places to live that will fit any type of lifestyle, such as four-bedroom condos, cozy studio apartments, and more!

Eat

For an authentic European dining experience, make a reservation at The Smoking Goat and try the PEI Mussels with a glass of wine. Shank & Bone does a modern twist on classic Vietnamese dishes like Roasted Bone Marrow and Beef Carpaccio. If you’re looking for your new go-to breakfast spot, then you have to try Working Class! Pizza enthusiasts will love the blend of fresh mozzarella, wood-roasted onions, tomato and many more ingredients at Tribute Pizza.

Drink

Check out the first arcade bar in San Diego with over 20 rotating craft beers at Coin-Op Game Room. Listen to live music and sample craft cocktails at U31. Get your hands on a house-brewed Seize the IPA or Luminous Blonde Ale at Second Chance Brewery. Or catch your favorite team on the big screen while grabbing some cheap beers and soft pretzels at California Tap Room.

Explore

As one of the best San Diego neighborhoods for shopping and attractions, you’ll find everything you want and more in North Park! Need some decor to spice up your new apartment? Pigment has tons of cute furniture, glassware, and succulents for you to transform your space! Aloha Beach Club and Mimi & Red are fantastic boutiques for men’s and women’s apparel. Or if you need to pamper your pup, Peticures by Tess is San Diego’s premier dog nail salon. If shopping isn’t much of your thing, you can also catch a show at the iconic Observatory North Park Theatre, learn about aviation history at San Diego Air & Space Museum, or admire local artists at San Diego’s largest and longest art walk.

Ocean Beach

Home Price: $671,220 median purchase price; $1,551 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer than 75% of the cities in California

Ocean Beach is a beachfront San Diego neighborhood known for its bohemian vibe and excellent surfing spots. The streets in this area are lined with amazing restaurants, organic grocery stores, and eclectic shops, making it easy to complete all of your errands no matter where you reside! Home options include chic apartments and one-bedroom duplexes. Rent can be on the pricey side, but with beautiful ocean views and shopping within walking distance, Ocean Beach is one of the best places in San Diego to live!

Eat

Visit Bo-beau and devour the Crispy Brussels Sprouts or Brown Butter Seared Diver Scallops. Little Lion is a fantastic breakfast spot that serves a delicious Tumeric Latte and Smoked Salmon Plate. The California Burrito at Mike’s Taco Club is a must if you’re going to be living in this San Diego neighborhood. And don’t forget to stop at Azucar for the Cuban Patisserie with treats like salted toffee oatmeal cookies, guava pastries, Cuban rum cake, and tiramisu.

Drink

For a fun night out, head to Winstons Beach Club to get your fill of live music, dancing, and tasty draft beers. Or gather a few friends to play pool at The Tilted StickThe Reunion Pub is loved among locals for its laid-back atmosphere and amazing drink specials! And Cheswick’s West is a two-minute walk from the beach, so you can go lie on the beach by day and grab some drinks at night!

Explore

Catch some rays, ride some ocean waves, or let your dogs splash in the ocean at one of the many beaches that borders this neighborhood. The Ocean Beach tide pools are great for spotting different species of aquatic life—just make sure you return them to their home! You can sample an array of treats and eats at Ocean Beach Farmers Market, or immerse yourself in German culture at Oktoberfest on Ocean Beach Pier. If you’re someone who loves to know the history behind their home, you can go on a self-guided history walk through the area.

Pacific Beach

Home Price: $612,228 median purchase price; $1,816 median monthly rent
Crime Rate: Safer then 76% of the cities in California

Nestled between La Jolla and Mission Bay, Pacific Beach is one of the most exciting neighborhoods in San Diego for singles and young professionals! You’ll find everything from cool surf shops and beach bars to unique bungalows and apartments. While the median home price in Pacific Beach is about 50% higher than San Diego, there’s a low unemployment rate, and the median household income is 52% higher than the national average. Not to mention, the views of the area’s beaches are gorgeous!

Eat

Pacific Beach has an endless list of restaurants that range from Japanese-inspired cuisine to delicious Tex-Mex. Try the Grilled Fish Tacos with corn skillet at Pacific Beach Alehouse, or indulge in the English Fry Up when you dine at Waterbar for brunch. Crushed offers mimosa flights all day, as well as a tasty list of flatbread pizzas. Or get your fix of southern barbecue on the West Coast at Iron Pig Alehouse.

Drink

PB Shore Club is the ultimate nightlife hot spot for San Diego singles and young professionals looking to unwind. Everyone raves about the Redbull Vodka Slushy and goldfish races that take place every Wednesday! Gather your friends, dust off your cowboy boots, and shake it up on the dance floor at Moonshine BeachBarrel Republic is the place to be if you love all things craft beer! Purchase a bracelet from the bar and pour your own beer from over 50 different taps. There’s also rooftop bar El Prez, a premiere spot for partying and trying out a variety of tequila and beer.

Explore

There are miles of beaches to explore and events to experience in this bustling neighborhood! Whether you’re a beginner surfer or professional kiteboarder, Tourmaline Surfing Park is a surfing-only beach that’s perfect for riding smooth waves. Rent bikes or rollerblades and cruise along the Pacific Beach Boardwalk while you take in the San Diego sunset. Residents love the annual Pacific Beachfest. It’s full of local food vendors, live music performances, and unique art displays. You can also travel less than seven miles south toward Mission Bay to visit SeaWorld San Diego or Belmont Park.

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Data found from AreaVibes.

Best San Diego Neighborhoods for Singles & Young Professionals