Hillcrest is San Diego's most vibrant neighborhood, and its bustling business district offers up lots of opportunities for shopping. Boutiques, mom and pops, and retail chains make shopping in Hillcrest an all-day excursion. Have a bite to eat in the area and then use these suggestions for where to shop in Hillcrest.
Not only are record stores a dying breed, but often the experience of shopping in a record store is like one of being an unwelcome guest in some hipster's private party. But Record City is different—the staff is helpful if not actually friendly, the selection of used records is good, and the vibe is like being in some sacred space when music was an art and not a commodity.
Address: 3757 6th Avenue (between Evans Place and Robinson Avenue), San Diego, CA 92103
Hats, hats, hats—the name says it all. Pretty much any style you're looking for if it isn't your standard baseball cap.
Address: 3821 4th Avenue (between Robinson Avenue and University Avenue), San Diego, CA 92103
Flashbacks Recycled Fashions
Vintage clothing is one of those things where you either like it or you don't even bother with it. Hillcrest is known for it's "vintage" clothing stores ("used" to most of us), and Flashbacks Recycled Fashions is among the best of the lot.
Flashbacks focus is on fashions of the 60s, 70s, and 80s (check out the store's sign), and it's big on those who never had the pleasure of growing up in those polyester-laden decades.
Address: 3849 5th Avenue, (between Robinson Avenue and University Avenue), San Diego, CA 92103
With the advent of the big box sporting goods store, you don't see a neighborhood tennis shop anymore. Ray's Tennis Shop is the real deal—a mom and pop operation with everything you need. In fact, the place is packed with tennis equipment. And if you need your tennis racket re-strung, this is the place to go. Proprietor Hiroko Ray is a re-stringing expert—and she's a character, to boot!
Address: 1434 University Avenue (between Normal Street and Richmond Street), San Diego, CA 92103
It's not on the level as Paras Newsstand in North Park, but it's a neighborhood newsstand, nonetheless, and that's a good thing. Decent selection of periodicals, and in a prime location in the center of Hillcrest.
Address: 529 University Avenue (between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue), San Diego, CA 92103
It might be part of the Ace Hardware network, but Hillcrest Hardware is like your neighborhood mom and pop hardware store. You'll find everything you'll need for your home repairs, but only if you head downstairs to the basement level because you'll realize the store is deceptively larger than you think.
The friendly, knowledgeable staff and its gay-friendly vibe make Hillcrest Hardware especially unique to this neighborhood.
Address: 1003 University Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103