The hillside community of Bay Park is a great find. It overlooks beautiful Mission Bay and offering a bird’s eye view of of both Mission Bay and the Pacific Ocean from the high vistas of its hilltop. While virtually everyone has seen Bay Park as they speed by on the I-5 freeway, few people know much about it. Those who know it, say that it’s a San Diego treasure because it possesses all of the amenities city dwellers crave to enjoy including great restaurants and essential shopping destinations.
With easy freeway access and the fact that a coaster stop is scheduled to be built in the not too distant future, it’s worth your while to get to know all that it has to offer now than later. Plus. Amtrak chugs through Bay Park several times a day as well. And the San Diego Trolley has a trolley stop at the southernmost entrance to Bay Park. So all coastal freeways pass by Bay Park. Yes, there is a lot to see and do in Bay Park.
Also interesting is that both of Bay Park’s main streets have virtually the same name, which is a bit confusing at first. And both Morena Boulevard and West Morena Boulevard travel in a north south direction. Along these main streets expect to find many restaurants, lively bars and on the side streets are two world-class micro-breweries with beer tasting lounges..
As for Bay Park’s ambience, it’s as local as local can be. And many of the businesses are owned by people who live here. So the mood and tone of Bay Park has a local welcoming feeling and the businesses beam with a pride of ownership.
As for Bay Park’s restaurant row, it’s a source of great interest as more and more people discover Bay Park. These restaurant rows can be found all along both West Morena Boulevard and Morena Boulevard.And until rather recently they have been well under virtually everyone’s radar for being an eclectic place to enjoy lively bars, cocktail lounges, and lots of great restaurants. Now many in the know, opt to come here than battle the terrible parking conditions and the crowds in Little Italy, Mission Valley and Pacific Beach.
Also interesting is that Bay Park is one of four communities overlooking Mission Bay Park San Diego’s 4,600 acre aquatic wonderland. So it’s a popular place for locals to either drive to the enchanting grassy park that borders Mission Bay for a walk, bike ride, a swim or a picnic along the seashore.
The other three communities surrounding Mission Bay are South and North Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. Mission Bay is best known as the home to SeaWorld. Yet, Mission Bay is also an aquatic wonderland for water sports galore including swimming, sailing, jet skiing, bike riding, jogging and picnics.
Also calling Bay Park home are a slew of essential, yet eclectic businesses such as wholesale florist and a direct to the customer whole sale fish market, as well as low price factory outlets for appliances such a huge Sears outlet store and Pacific Sales focusing on high quality appliances and televisions for less. So browsing around the off streets can bring you great bargains.
GETTING TO BAY PARK IS EASY
Getting to Bay Park is accessible from south IT south end via the I-8 Freeway exiting at Morena Boulevard and traveling north along West Morena Boulevard witch splits as you cross the San Diego River and if you veer to the right you will be heading up the hill past the University of San Diego and eventually end up in Linda Vista. So veer to the left and stay on Morena Boulevard. At the second signal where Napa Street bisects Morena Boulevard is a hub of dining and shopping alternatives See map.
At this stop light you’ll have several interesting alternatives. One is to stop for a bite to eat at the most popular Mexican Restaurant in Bay Park. It’s Teo Leo’s, a local standout for over 20 years with live music in the evenings.
Head to the left at the signal from Morena Boulevard and you’ll be traveling on Sherman Street that turns into Anna Street. Here you’ll find two huge appliance stores. One is Pacific Sales and the other is a Sears Factory Outlet Store. Further done Sherman is the San Diego Humane Society, which is always a fun place to adopt a pet.
Just as you come to The Humane Society take a right on Lovelock Street, which is where you will find the largest wholesale fish market open to the public in San Diego. It’s the freshest whole sales fish market open to the public. So why not purchase your fresh fish here?
A great place to buy fresh fish at wholesale prices is Catalina Offshore Products, which is located at 5302 Lovelock St. It’s just off of Sherman Street (619-279-7979). With the philosophy of dock to dish you’ll be getting the freshest fish at wholesale prices. And if you are a sushi lover this the place to get it fresh. An added plus is that you can also buy it online and they will send it to you via Fed Ex with next day delivery.
WEST MORENA BOULEVARD
Back on West Morena Boulevard a block further up the street you’ll come to a fork in the road with West Morena Boulevard veering off the the left and Morena Boulevard veering off to the right. Both streets are filled with unique and interesting places to shop and dine.
Assuming you veered to the right you’ll be totally delighted to discover several mainstays for outstanding cuisine and a Valero gas Station offering the cheapest prices in Bay Park. So fill up here. Across the street is popular, no frills Mexican Restaurant offering sit down plastic booths or food to go. It Nico’s Mexican Restaurant at 5151 Morena Place.
On the next corner is a local favorite your should definitely not mess. It’s Sardina’s Italian Restaurant at 1129 Morena Blvd. (619-276-8393). The owners built this restaurant from the ground up and in the process it has become one our city’s most recommended places t eat for great tasting Sicilian/Italian cuisine. Ask for owners Tom and Sal, and tell them Barry recommended that you eat there. The atmosphere is warm and friendly and many of the servers are members of this family owned restaurant. Plus their full service cocktail lounge is always bustling with happy people. You’ll undoubtedly like the family atmosphere of this local place.
In the next block is a true legend for the best Cuban cuisine this side of Miami, dine at Andre’s Cuban and Puerto Rican Restaurant (15) at 1235 Morena Blvd. (619-275-4114). Andrés has been a favorite for 33 years for their savory Cuban and Puerto Rican dishes served in an atmosphere of tropical plants, romantic background music and attentive service. And if you are looking for a place for a wedding reception or a family reunion hall, look no farther than Andres’s Banquet Hall. A testimonial as to the popularity and authenticity of the cuisine, they cater to the Puerto Rican baseball players by providing meals to the players locker room after the games at Petco Park Baseball Stadium in Downtown San Diego. Andre’s also has a small grocery store filled with hard to find Cuban and Puerto Rican items.
At the turn in the Road next to the Shell Gas Station is the Side Car Bar and a local meeting place with micro beers on tap and pool tables. Across the street in another similar bar.
KNOXVILLE STREET IS HOME TO CITY LIGHTS COLLECTIBLES AND CORONADO BREWING
However, your next destination is undoubtedly one of the ten wonders of the world. It’s a unique Christmas store called City Lights Collectibles (14) at 1212 Knoxville St. (619-275-1006). It will mesmerize you with glittering ornaments, holiday decor and jolly Santas. Use their coupon to receive a free ornament with purchases over $15. Don’t miss this major San Diego city attraction celebrating 27 years in business. And seeing 40,000 sq. ft. of Christmas lights and collectables including California’s largest collection of Department 56 scenes is an incredible sight to see. Seeing is believing!
And across the street is the Coronado Brewing Company (14) at 1205 Knoxville St. (619-275-2215), which is a 22,000 square foot facility with a nice comfortable beer tasting room that’s open daily at 11 a.m. till 9 p.m. during the week and till 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday featuring their world famous beer. By now you are probably thinking that you have died and went to heaven, because your wife can be buying Christmas decorations and you can be a sipping a micro brewed beer at a blue ribbon micro brewery. It’s also dog friendly. So bring your pooch.
At one time the southern end of Bay Park was know as the Morena Furniture District and it is still home to several of the most recommended places to purchase furniture and home decor and accessories in San Diego. Two notable destinations are House of Houser that offers the finest rattan furniture in San Diego with its well appointed showroom that’s second to none.
The other super store is Jerome’s Furniture store in the Morena Plaza Shopping Center at 1190 West Morena Blvd.(858-924-1871). This mega furnitures store is 10,000 sq. ft. in size and has furniture and mattresses galore. It’s open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Jerome’s has 8 locations to serve you in San Diego County
Here too in the Morena Plaza Shopping Center is Cole’s Carpets, a true legend in our city with multi locations to serve you.Their claim to fame just as is the case for Jerome’s is that over the past 40 years then have carpeted and furnished the home of tens of thousands of San Diego residents. So these are two stores to add to your shopping list when you are looking to beautify your home.
Also calling Morena Plaza Shopping Center home is an Armstrong Nursery, A Toys For Us kids store and a popular Petco pet animal departments store.
So as you might have guesses this area of Morena Boulevard and West Morena Boulevard are easily accessible by lots of small side streets, which are easily accessible by car or by foot, which is what most shoppers do. So if you’re up to it, park and walk.
If you’re a barbecue lover, then you’ve got to sample the cuisine featured at Bull’s Smokin BBQ at 1127 West Morena Blvd. (619-276-2855)[bullssmokinbbq.com]. Happy Hour 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. Daily. Bullls offers indoor and outdoor seating and it’s dog friendly too.
Proceeding further up Morena Boulevard (see map) past the next signal you will come the High Dive Bar (16) featuring dozens of microbrews on tap and savory food while you hang with the locals. It’s at 1801 West Morena Blvd. (619-275-0460). Plus, they have the friendliest bartenders in town. See Restaurants. home to the High Dive Bar (16) , which is one of many one-of-a kind treasures for both food and a love of serving outstanding locally brewed microbrews on tap and savory food while you hang with the locals. It’s at 1801 West Morena Blvd. (619-275-0460). And if you think you’ve had the best tasting hamburger in town, think again and order their delicious Gargonzola burger smothered in carmelized onions with a TON of French fries. Plus, they have the friendliest bartenders and patrons in town. It’s extremely difficult to sit at the bar and not make a new friend. See Restaurants.
Your next town discoveries are family owned treasures with one catering to the young and the other to the young at heart.
If your favorite libation is a cocktail, then you’re looking for Luce Bar & Kitchen (17) at 1959 West Morena Blvd. (619-275-0321), which is in the same building as a mainstay in the community for serving fine Italian gourmet cuisine, Baci Ristorante Italiano (17) is at 1955 Morena Blvd. (619-275-094). Both restaurants are located in the same building and both use the same kitchen.
If you’re a local, you’ll say that the Bay Park Fish & Grill (17) is one of your favorite places for fresh seafood and a perfect gathering place for friends and family to dine together. So pick your spot inside or on the sidewalk patio.
Next door to the Fish market and restaurant is the one of the few independent butcher shops in town. This strong hold in gourmet staples is Siesel’s Old Fashioned Meats (619-275-1234). Especially during the summer holidays it’s filled with Bay Park residents buying aged beef to cook on the barbee. Despite it’s small size it’s crammed with every gourmet item imaginable be it a rare wine or a hard to find spice.
Other notables getting a name for themselves are Santana’s Mexican Restaurant, the Silver Spigot (celebrating 75 years in business as a legendary nightspot that’s open from 10 a.m. till 2 a.m. daily). Then there is the Off Shore Tavern, plus Dan Diego Restaurant & Bar (19) and way, way down West Morena Boulevard near the Costco is Kitchen 4140 (20) at 4140 Morena Blvd. (858-483-4140).
A real show stopper celebrating 51 years in business, with a star-studded list of current and past dining guests including Frank Sinatra, Governor Pete Wilson, Anthony Quinn, Spiro Agnew and even Dr. Seuss is the one and only Old Trieste Restaurant (18) at 2335 Morena Blvd. (619-276-1841) [oldtriesterestaurant.com], With its New York-style atmosphere and attentive service, diners will enjoy comfortable booths, white linen table clothes, excellent entrées like their signature sea bass. See Restaurants.
Other notables getting a name for themselves are Santana’s Mexican Restaurant, the Silver with multiple locations throughout San Diego for great tasking Mexican food. They also have a drive thru for a quick meal on the go.
Two blocks a way is the Silver Spigot, which is celebrating 75 years in business as a legendary nightspot that’s open from 10 a.m. till 2 a.m. daily). In the same block is the Off Shore Tavern, , which is undoubtedly the most popular sports bar restaurant i Bay Park. It’s great for get to getters.
Plus, the newest restaurant and pub is the locally grown Dan Diego Restaurant & Bar (19) . It’s a big local favorite, and it’s a family owned business with the family being raised in Bay Park. Their claim to fame is their bread pudding dessert and a superb selection of imported beers to compliment their authentic tasting Euro Cafe cuisine. It’s also a great place for a wedding rehearsal or a special event. See their review on the Restaurant page of this website.
A few miles further north past Balboa Avenue are a couple more restaurants. The most popular of these is Kitchen 4140 (20) at 4140 Morena Blvd.(858-483-4140). It’s named after it’s address being 4140. It’s a local favorite.
But you won’t find anything more local in Bay Park than the original Costco, which was originally called The Price Club, and named after Sol Price the founder and originator of the Costco concept. And anyone who has ever been to a Costco knows that the best hot dog and soft drink special in the universe costs $1.52 with tax for a foot long hot dog and a soft drink. So lots of local shop and dine here too.
If you’re relocating to San Diego or are tired of the hustle and bustle of where you currently live, then you undoubtedly should drive the streets of Bay Park, which is the area south of Balboa Avenue and east of Morena Boulevard. Then you should call Trisha & Judy, REALTORS, RE/MAX Associates 4747 Morena Blvd., Suite 101 San Diego, CA 92117 (858-848-5757) [SOLD@trishaAndJudy.com][www.TrishaAndJudy.com}.
Why Trisha and Judy? A review of their website or their review by the SAN DIEGAN or online at SanDiegan.com will reveal that they are the resident experts. And their customer satisfaction is through the roof with TONS of happy buyers and sellers raving about their performance.
GREAT SCHOOLS & A GREAT COMMUNITY
A host of excellent schools abound in Bay Park including Longfellow Elementary School that teaches all of its students to speak Spanish. With a far sighted approach to education, you can tell that from elementary school through high school children are well prepared for their future.
And Bay Park Boasts in having excellent churches and superb pastors teaching the word of Got to its extensive congregations in all denominations. And being located on a hill many of the churches in Bay Park offer scenic views.
Bay Park has a lot to offer. It’s got not one but two restaurant rows, and all are filled with top rated place to enjoy a lively sports bar atmosphere, friendly cocktail lounges, and lots of great restaurants. It also has the best independent butcher shop in town offering aged beef and specialty food items. Plus, there are several wholesale businesses, a few of which are open the the public. One of course is Costco offering bulk items for less. Plus, Bay Park has a big fresh fish market and still another sells fresh cut flowers that come directly for the county’s extensive flower fields.
And if you are lucky enough as to live in Bay Park, you’ll undoubted think that it’s a slice of paradise. If not then you’ll undoubtedly opt to come here often perhaps for a walk along picturesque Mission Bay or perhaps you’d like to rent a sailboat at the Hilton Hotel for a day on the bay.
But everybody’s favorite pastime is having a meal at a star studded restaurant on Bay Park’s two Restaurant Rows, be it a family meal or a girls night out,this is the place!. Plus, spending your leisure time in Bay Park rather than battle the traffic and the crowds in overly popular places like Little Italy, Mission Valley or Pacific Beach makes Bay Park a better alternative.