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San Diego Neighborhood Guide: Imperial Beach

Where to eat, drink, and play in this laid-back beach town


Photos by Sydney Prather

Imperial Beach This Month

June 13:
IB Sea & Sun Festival

Every Friday:
Imperial Beach Farmers’ Market

Mike Hess Brewing

The tasting room and beer garden is the newest spot in town to grab a cold one, whether it’s one of the 18 beers on tap, kombucha, or wine. City Tacos also shares the space, so you can load up on carnitas and chile relleno tacos before enjoying live music in the garden. Construction is underway this summer to add shade sails over the patio, as well as an elevated deck that will overlook Seacoast Drive. mikehessbrewing citytacossd

City Tacos



You can’t beat the ocean views from this coffee, ice cream, and shave ice shop right on the iconic Imperial Beach Pier. Grab a waffle cone, a sundae, or a fresh cup of espresso and chase the sunset along the sand.


Tijuana River Estuary

Just a few miles north of the US-Mexico border, the estuary is one of the few remaining salt marshes in California and is home to nearly 400 species of birds. It’s a National Wildlife Refuge, packed with easy-to-traverse trails for enjoying the scenery. Start at the visitor’s center and grab a map; they’ll even let you borrow binoculars if you don’t have a pair. tijuanaestuary


Breakwater Town Center

The new shopping center on Palm Avenue brought a much-needed grocery store to the neighborhood, along with new eateries such as Guahan Grill, a fusion restaurant serving cuisine from the island of Guam—think lumpia, fried rice, chicken simmered in garlic and coconut milk.guahangrill


Brigantine Seafood & Oyster Bar

Brigantine Seafood & Oyster Bar

Brigantine’s eighth outpost is in a prime spot on Seacoast Drive. There’s no separate bar and dining room menus—sit wherever you want and order everything from oysters on the half shell to large plates of fried fish. brigantineseafood


Coronado Brewing

Coronado Brewing

Sip the popular Islander IPA or Orange Avenue Wit at the brewery’s third location. There’s also a full lunch and dinner menu of pastas, burgers, and salads, and breakfast on the weekends. coronadobrewing


Hampton Inn & Suites

When it opens in early 2020, the 100-room Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton at Breakwater Town Center will be another option for a stay in IB.

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