Normal Heights is a popular up-and-coming mid-city neighborhood adjacent to University Heights and Kensington and about eight miles northeast of downtown San Diego. It’s known for its plethora of eclectic, multi-cultural restaurants, shops, and street fairs.
If you’re looking for a diverse, lively, out-of-the-ordinary neighborhood, don’t let the name fool you - there are so many reasons Normal Heights may be a great spot for you to call home!
1. Adams Avenue
The Adams Avenue corridor runs through Kensington, Normal Heights, and University Heights and is the lifeblood of all three communities. In Normal Heights, the street is lined with bars, restaurants, coffee shops, funky used clothing and book stores, and the dozens of antique and vintage shops of Antique Row.
2. Live Music
Normal Heights offers several intimate music venues, as well as an annual music festival. Lestat’s Coffee House offers live music every night of the week and features both local musicians and well-known singer-songwriters. The Soda Bar has an unpretentious dive bar atmosphere and is known for featuring rock and hip-hop artists who later go on to big things. In April, you can catch folk, jazz, blues, country, and international artists over six stages at the Annual San Diego Adams Avenue Roots Festival.
3. Out-of-the-norm eateries
If you like chain restaurants, Normal Heights is not for you! The neighborhood features an array of unique, locally owned restaurants. Blind Lady Ale House is one of the neighborhood’s most popular spots, featuring a hefty array of local craft beers and incredible thin-crust pizzas made from local, organic ingredients. Jyoti Bihanga offers affordable vegetarian comfort food and a zen-like atmosphere. If you’re looking for dessert, Mariposa Ice Cream Shop and Viva Pops are both local favorites and offer unique flavors of frozen treats like pumpkin ice cream and lavender lemonade popsicles.
Normal Heights is also unique in terms of its housing options. Normal Heights is dominated by small (studio, one, or two bedroom) apartments/condos in larger apartment/condo complexes, with classic single-family residences mixed in on the north side of Adams Avenue. Housing costs in the neighborhood can also be lower than in other areas of San Diego. So if you want to escape the downtown high-rise prices but still be surrounded by the lively city vibe, Normal Heights may be the neighborhood for you
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