This charming neighborhood which was once home to San Diego’s most affluent citizens sits just north of downtown and offers residents the perfect combination of city and suburb. Sometimes known as Park West due to its relation to neighboring Balboa Park, this area has many historic homes built in the late 19th and early 20th century.
South of Brookes and West of Reynard, this area straddles San Diego’s most dynamic neighborhoods including Mission Hills, Hillcrest and Downtown. The picturesque Balboa Park is a short walk or bike ride to the east and the 5 freeway undercuts it’s southern side. Bankers Hill is known for its up close views of landing aircraft and its central location to some of San Diego’s best destinations for dining and entertainment.
Bankers Hill Homes For Sale
2604 5th Avenue 904, DOWNTOWN, CA - $4,499,000
2855 5th Avenue 1003, SAN DIEGO, CA - $3,339,500
2665 5th Avenue 703, HILLCREST, CA - $2,159,990
2665 5th Avenue 702, HILLCREST, CA - $1,999,990
2604 5th Avnue 701, DOWNTOWN, CA - $1,999,000
2524-26 Horton Avenue, MIDDLETOWN, CA - $1,700,000
The Annual Historic Home Tour
Every March, the Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO) hosts this annual event which showcases the historic homes of Bankers Hill. Walking tours and lectures are offered on the self-driven home and garden tour.
Spruce Street Suspension Bridge - Spruce and First
Floating 70 feet above Kate Sessions canyon, this 100 year old footbridge is one of Bankers Hill’s best kept secrets. Built in 1912 by a former city engineer and San Diego mayor, this 375 foot long bridge is a remarkable feat of engineering, designed to hold up to 164 tons! Offering spectacular views of downtown, this bridge was originally built to link Bankers Hill residents to the trolley that once ran along fourth. Access the bridge from either end at Front and Spruce or Brant and Spruce. Closed from 10pm to 6am.
Marston House Museum - 3525 7th Ave
An exemplar of California’s Arts and Crafts movement, this 1905 home was built for local civic leader and conservationist George Marston. The 8500 square foot home became a museum in 1987 when it was donated to the city by the Marston family. The estate has 5 acres of rolling lawns and gardens that make a terrific destination for a leisurely picnic and afternoon in the sun. The furnished museum is open for docent tours from 10-3 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Self Realization Fellowship - 3068 1st Ave
A peaceful meditation center dedicated to the teachings of spiritual leader Paramahansa Yoganand. Their lovely gardens offer canyon views and make for an ideal place to sit still and reflect. SRF’s larger coastal meditation gardens can be found about 20 miles north in Encinitas.
Planet Rooth Design Haus - 3334 5th Ave
The creative studio of swedish renaissance man Gustaf Anders Rooth, this shop is best known for his distinctive product line Barrelly Made It, known for its custom furniture made from repurposed wine and bourbon barrels. Chairs, Ottomans, benches, and stools like you’ve never seen them. A perfect gift for your favorite pinot or whiskey drinker.
The White Flower Bridal Boutique - 2525 5th Ave
An appointment-only bridal shop famous for pairing brides-to-be with their ideal wedding dress. The White Flower provides a very private and welcoming shopping experience with advice from it’s savvy and experienced owner Courtney Cole.
Bankers Hill Bar and Restaurant - 2202 4th Ave | (619) 231-0222
Chef and Restauranteur Carl Schroeder, a graduate of Culinary Institute of America’s Hyde Park, and Terryl Gavre, a former food editor, joined forces in 2010 to launch this hip urban eatery, one of the shining stars of Bankers Hill’s dining scene. The industrial meets rustic interior was designed by the brilliant team at Basile Studio who have produced award-winning spaces. We love the low lighting and living wall on the patio, this is a great place to impress a date!
Cucina Urbana - 505 Laurel | (619) 239-2222
The rustic farmhouse interior of this California-inspired Italian kitchen will keep your eye entertained with whimsical bohemian accents. Affordability plays an important role here where no one item tops $20 and the retail wine shop inside allows you to pick out your own bottle. Highly recommended, there is no bad seat in this gorgeous restaurant across the street from Balboa Park.
Hane Sushi - 2760 5th Ave | (619) 260-1411
The sister restaurant of the wildly popular Sushi Ota in Pacific Beach, Hane offers the same impeccable food and service with an even sexier atmosphere. Prices here can run pretty steep so we highly recommend coming in for their weekday lunch specials which top out at $15. Their minimalist decor allows the dishes to truly shine.
Royal Food Mart - 3401 1st Ave | (619) 295-7666
This neighborhood market sells an excellent selection of wine and gourmet food products. Their deli serves up terrific sandwiches and soups and the neighboring cafe, The Royal, makes a great cup of joe made with beans from local coffee roaster, Bird Rock Coffee. Another reason to visit is the very friendly and hospitable service.
Mister A’s - 2550 5th Ave, 12th Floor | (619) 239-1377
This is the apex of fine dining with a view. French owner Bertrand Hug is a kind of local celebrity, his Mille Fleurs in Rancho Santa Fe being named one of the top 25 restaurants in America by Food and Wine Magazine. His metropolitan brainchild Mister A’s sits on the rooftop of the 12 story Fifth Avenue Financial Center building with incredible views of downtown, the bay, and incoming planes descending toward the runway. You’ve never seen a sunset like this!
Extraordinary Desserts - 2929 5th Ave | (619) 294-2132
A San Diego original, this sweet shop was spawned by Karen Krasne, a San Diego native and french pastry expert. She brings elegance and artistry to every tart, cake and confection she touches. Her Dulce de Leche cake was even featured on the Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate”(link:http://www.extraordinarydesserts.com/press.htm). A fine endorsement.
Barrio Star - 2706 5th Ave | (619) 501-7827
Not your typical mexican restaurant, Barrio Star has a funky decor that embraces kitch and color. They call their unique style of cooking “Mexican Soul Food”. They serve fantastic margaritas with no mixers, just the perfect ratio of lime juice and salt and a variety of interesting additions like Serrano chile, blackberries, and blood orange. Taco Tuesday is a must!
Evolution Fast Food - 2965 5th Ave | (619) 550-1818
The only drive-thru vegetarian and vegan restaurant in San Diego that serves “Feel Good Fast Food.” A consistent winner of Best Vegan Restaurants by local publications. Worth checking out just to get a glimpse of its unique menu.
Cafe Bassam - 3088 5th Ave | (619) 557-0173
Crowded with vintage objects and antiques and oozing with old world charm, Cafe Bassam is a refreshing alternative to the commercialized coffee shop. The owner has intentionally opted out of wi-fi because he feels it detracts from the calming atmosphere he’s trying to preserve. So keep your smart phone in your coat pocket, sit back, enjoy the knick-knacks and Gershwin tunes, and delight in the quality beverage in front of you. A great selection of loose leaf tea an outdoor patio are a plus. Open til midnight. You must try the Chai!
Nightlife and Entertainment:
The Caliph - 3100 5th Ave
A sleepy, dark piano lounge with Moroccan decor that serves up fresh popcorn and friendly service. The small back patio is a treat. Karaoke 3 nights a week make it a draw for the locals, be prepared to sing along.
The Tin Can Alehouse - 1863 5th Ave
Hear independent live music at this small dive bar owned and operated by local musicians. Their kitchen goes by the name of Doods Foods where their flying cheeseburger has a loyal following.
The Imperial House Lounge - 505 Kalmia
This dimly lit piano bar with upholstered red leather armchairs from another era features dancing and entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. Imperial House is also the home of The Mystery Cafe, San Diego’s longest running dinner theatre which includes a 4 course meal and your chance to play detective in a 2.5 hour spectacle.
Pros: Close to a lot of natural beauty such as parks and canyons while still offering plenty of city luxuries, terrific views of descending aircraft.
Cons: To some, the booming sound of landing planes outweighs their charm.
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Listing information last updated on May 25th, 2017 at 8:31pm PDT.