Located in central San Diego, University Heights is an urban neighborhood home to many restaurants, quirky coffee shops, boutiques, and art studios. Many locals associate University Heights as a college town due to its location neighboring the University of San Diego. A more spacious suburban version of San Diego’s North Park, this area is wide awake after sunset offering live music at various venues as well as late-night cafes and what many San Diego locals recognize as the best bars in the city. Another highlight of this area is its close proximity to neighborhoods like Normal Heights and Hillcrest, which offer a bounty of things to do and restaurants to explore.
History of University Heights
University Heights was founded in 1888, with the intention of developing a branch of the University of Southern California. While the plans ultimately ended up falling through, the area did see dramatic growth in 1915 due to the Panama-California Exposition. University Heights was known for its extensive streetcar system, a fixture of the area until 1939. In 1995, many local artists submitted entries to be the design of the University Heights sign. Kevin Whaley’s concept was selected for its use of historical and present aspects. The sign was revealed on April 3rd, 1997 and has become a staple of University Heights.
Restaurants in University Heights
Like many of the other foodie neighborhoods in San Diego, University Heights welcomes an eclectic mix of worldly cuisine with everything from Italian and Mexican to vegetarian Thai and Ethiopian. Stop by Polite Provisions for a handcrafted cocktail in an elegant retro setting. Those looking to dine after can pre-order from Soda & Swine next door and have their food hand-delivered to your seat at Polite Provisions. Other notable eateries include Madison for brunch lovers, El Zarape for Mexican food, and Tajima to satisfy your ramen fix.
Other Things to Do in University Heights
Young families will love this neighborhood’s kid-friendly parks, including Trolley Barn Park on Adams Avenue located east of Park Boulevard. Trolley Barn Park is known for its free summer concerts hosted every Friday evening as well as its sidewalk design which mimic the local street plan. University Heights Point is another great outdoor spot for picnickers and dog walkers. This park also offers beautiful panoramic views of the city below.
University Heights Demographics
Population in 2016 (via City-Data): 13,172
Estimated Median Sales Price in 2018 (via Trulia): $477,250
Median Gross Rent in 2016 (via City-Data): $1,156
Median Household Income in 2016 (via City-Data): $64,222
University Heights Real Estate
University Heights is diverse in its housing options from condos and apartments to cottages and even homes priced + $1 million. Preserved homes can also be found in the area’s historic district, Shirley Ann Place, which features Spanish Colonial Revival style bungalows dating back to the 1920s. Unlike Hillcrest, University Heights carries more breathing room between its homes with quieter surroundings, even from the area’s main strip, Park Avenue. University Heights is located within minutes of Downtown, Balboa Park, San Diego Airport, Mission Valley, and SDSU, making this neighborhood a sought-after spot for real estate.