Best Things to Do in South Park San DiegoPin

Best Things to Do in South Park San Diego

We first checked out the neighborhood of South Park when our friends who used to be our neighbors in North Park moved there. North Park is for the young, while South Park is where you settle down. It’s a great spot to go to hang out with locals and get a glimpse of life in San Diego.

We’re way overdue for a visit, but in the meantime, check out some of our friends favorite spots.

About South Park San Diego Neighborhood

It’s a more family-friendly neighborhood compared to North Park and is a great place to settle down. Some compare it to Portland Oregon. The area is mostly residential, but more restaurants and shops have been popping up.

Things to Do in South Park San Diego

  • Balboa Park – one of the most popular spots in San Diego with tons of attractions and trails to explore
  • South Park Walkabout – they are cancelled for 2021 but may come back for 2022
  • Gold Leaf Boutique – home accessories and gifts
  • Juniper Canyon – another great spots to get outdoors without minus the foot-traffic of Balboa
  • Make Good – shop that specializes in locally made goods from San Diego and Tijuana
  • Native Poppy – local flower shop
  • Thread + Seed (previously Graffiti Beach) – another local shop with accessories and home decor
  • Vinly Junkies Record Shack – shop for records

South Park San Diego Restaurants

Unfortunately, the other spots we’ve tried in South Park are permanently closed. Hamiltons Tavern, Monkey Paw Brewing, and South Park Brewing Company were all great spots you can check out below. Also, be sure to check out our brewery bucket list!


South Park Brewing is the newest restaurant of the three! It’s right next door to Hamilton’s, and they have a delicious menu centered on fish. When I first heard of the place, I imagined pub food like fish and chips, but what they are doing here is so much better! They have fresh fish that mostly comes from the Catalina Offshore, and you can get your fish in a rice bowl, in a sandwich, or even a salad. They have an open dining space with plenty of natural light and a great selection of in-house brews, which makes it a great spot to eat, drink, and hang out.

South Park Brewery San Diego.Pin
South Park Classic Tacos at South Park Brewery San Diego.Pin
South Park Brewery San Diego.Pin
Sashimi Salad at South Park Brewery San Diego.Pin
Seafood Bowl with Seared Ahi and Asian Umami Sauce at South Park Brewing San Diego.Pin

What We Ordered:
Seafood Bowl with Seared Ahi and Asian Umami Sauce
South Park Classic Tacos
Sashimi Salad*

South Park Brewing Company
1517 30th St
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 610-9038


Hamilton’s Tavern is in the heart of historic South Park and gives the perfect neighborhood bar vibe. The address itself of 1521 30th St has been licensed to serve beer and wine for over 75 years, which makes it the oldest beer and wine licensed location in San Diego. They have plenty of seating, pool tables, shuffleboard, and they host really great events throughout the week featuring delicious beers and sometimes free food!

Cassic Grilled Cheese at Hamiltons San Diego.Pin
Hamilton Tavern San Diego.Pin
Hamiltons Tavern San Diego - Bars in South Park.Pin

They have a great selection of beer, bottled and tap, and if you’re hungry, you can visit their food window to get their famous hop sausage! Yup, that’s a sausage made with hops! I don’t exactly love my hops, so it was no surprise that the hop sausage wouldn’t be a favorite of mine (I’m also not a huge fan of IPAs. Don’t hate me, San Diego!). I really enjoyed the hop sausage poutine, though, where the flavor of the hops was much more subtle. Their menu also has wings, grilled cheese sandwiches, and more. They definitely offer tons of options that pair great with a pint of beer.

What We Ordered:
Spicy Hop Sausage Sannich,
Hop Sausage Poutine*
Classic Grilled Cheese

Hamiltons Tavern
1521 30th St
San Diego, CA 92102


Monkey Paw Brewing Company is in East Village, closer to downtown. Similar to Hamilton’s, they offer a great selection of beer with the addition of their own brews as well. It’s a local favorite, and they also collaborate with other breweries to bring special brews only available there. Monkey Paw also offers amazing food to pair with your drinks. They have plenty of options, but their specialties are their Cheesesteaks. Also, don’t forget to get a Piggyback Fries to share with the table!

Monkey Paw Brewing San Diego.Pin
Monkey Paw San Diego.Pin
Monkey Paw San Diego.Pin

What We Ordered:
Naughty Monkey Cheesesteak*
Piggy Back Fries

Monkey Paw Brewing
805 16th Street
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 358-9901

All in all, we enjoyed the beers, food, and vibe at each location. We can see why locals love these spots.

P.S. We starred our favorites dishes.

Do you have a favorite pub food? Out of the three locations, which one would you most likely visit?

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