San Diego Neighborhood Guide: La Mesa
Thanks to a new slate of restaurants, bars, and cafes, this East County pocket is turning trendy on us
Sheldon’s Service Station
La Mesa This Month:
Holiday in the Village, December 9–10
La Mesa Craft Corner, second and fourth Sundays
If you didn’t get the message from the rustic farm truck or agricultural memorabilia that double as decor, this restaurant aims for farm-to-table commitment. Meats are a standout, from bison tartare to wood-fire roasted chicken.farmerstablesd
This bright café draws a hipster crowd for craft coffee, sandwiches, house-made pastries, and “not coffee” drinks like kombucha. For something different, try the black sesame latte. On Tuesdays, they host open mic nights. publicsquarecoffee
A chic spot for brunch, happy hour, or dinner, the French-style bistro has an outdoor patio that’s family-friendly, too. And those famous BO-beau Brussels sprouts with pancetta? Yes and yes.
Meals at this Indian-Nepalese restaurant start with a complimentary lentil soup before you choose from entrées like chicken tikka masala, biryanis, and traditional Himalayan momo dumplings.
Beginning at the intersection of Windsor Drive and Canterbury Drive, you can climb 245 steps to the top of Summit Drive, one of La Mesa’s highest knolls at 830 feet. From there, you can scale nearly 300 more steps.
There’s a reason this used bookstore ranks on national best-of lists. Vernon Wahrenbrock ran the Gaslamp Quarter’s Wahrenbrock’s Book House for nearly 75 years, and his grandson opened this shop, known for its rare academic texts. maxwellshouseofbooks
It’s all breakfast, lunch, and outdoor seating at this busy, family-friendly spot that serves avocado toast, panini, coffee, and more. The name pays tribute to the building’s original purpose as La Mesa’s first full-service gas station. sheldonsservicestation