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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


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Sheldon’s Service Station

La Mesa This Month:

Holiday in the Village, December 9–10

La Mesa Craft Corner, second and fourth Sundays

Farmer’s Table

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

 

Public Square Coffee House

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

Public Square Coffee House

 

BO-beau Kitchen + Garden

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. 

 

Himalayan Cuisine

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.

 

Secret Stairs

Secret Stairs

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. 

 

Maxwell’s House of Books

Maxwell’s House of Books

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

 

Sheldon’s Service Station

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

 

New + Coming Soon

Fourpenny House

San Diego’s first Scottish bar

Surf Rider Pizza Cafe & Bakery

An offshoot of the Ocean Beach and Mission Beach eatery that slings East Coast–style pies

Surf Rider Pizza Cafe & Bakery

Curbside

An eatery and “drinkery” from La Mesa’s Antica Trattoria

City Tacos Village Taqueria

City Tacos and Sheldon’s Service Station join forces to sling tacos in the old BLVD Noodles space

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