What Local Hispanics Love Most about San Diego

Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. We thought we asked the locals what they love about this city.


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“The proximity to so many places—beaches, mountains, Los Angeles,” says 36-year-old Hector Gastelum from Eastlake. That, and being so close to Mexico, although we agree we need a shorter border wait. That doesn’t stop Tony Barragan, 44, from Chula Vista from enjoying the best of both worlds in one day: “On a typical Saturday, I end my day having a glass of wine in Valle de Guadalupe with a fantastic view.” Thirty-seven-year-old Alex Montoya from Paradise Hills says he doesn’t need to drive 80 miles to feel like he is in Mexico: “Las Cuatro Milpas has the most authentic food in Barrio Logan.” It’s impossible not to run into the richness of multiple cultures. “On a Saturday morning you can go to Aquí es Texcoco for the best birria,” says 39-year-old Nora Vargas from Chula Vista, but if you could start your day with the taste from the two countries, 25-year-old Melyna Martinez from Mission Valley would be a happy gal: “The one thing we need in San Diego is a traditional panaderia next to every Starbucks!” As for music, “I wish we had a Mariachi music venue in the Gaslamp” says 49-year-old Lidia S. Martinez from San Diego. If you could have a cafe de la olla at 3 a.m., even better. “We need an area where restaurants and coffee shops stay open all night long,” says Maria Villalobos, 51, from Coronado.

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