With the many places and activities in San Diego, it can be hard to make plans; to ease the process, PACIFIC planned a day in one of its cultural enclaves.
Barrio Logan is dense with culture, history and community. The predominately Latino neighborhood adjacent to downtown ingrains culture into its art and food. Barrio Logan residents are strong proponents of supporting local businesses, making it a tight-knit collaborative community.
San Diego is considered one of the best places for Mexican food. Las Cuatro Milpas goes beyond the surf and turf burritos and carne asada fries many have come to associate with Mexican food. Here, it’s like stepping into the home of an abuelita. Expect a wait, this place has a line as soon as it opens. But, as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait: handmade tortillas, juicy carnitas and smooth refried beans are some of the items on the menu. If you’re not one to carry cash, do so before getting in line since La Cuatro Milpas is a cash-only restaurant.
1875 Logan Ave., 619.234.4460, facebook.com/Las-Cuatro-Milpas
Coffee with a side of art
Donning a Chicano aesthetic and rotating artwork, Por Vida serves up coffee with a side of culture. The owners and staff create drinks inspired by the flavors they grew up with. Try a spicy limonada (watermelon, mango, jamaica, pineapple or strawberry) rimmed with tamarindo and tajin, or get caffeinated with a horchata, mazapan or canela y brown sugar latte.
2146 Logan Ave., 619.564.8568, porvidacollective.com
A walk in the park
A landmark with its history painted on the pillars holding up the Coronado Bridge, Chicano Park is a central location for residents and visitors. The park features murals, a skate park, playgrounds for children, basketball courts and more. It’s common to see people gather for meetings, events and celebrations.
National Avenue and S. Evans Street, chicano-park.com
Chicano comfort food
Barrio Dogg takes hot dogs to another level, combining different flavors and serving them out of a lowrider. El Virgen is a classic beef dog with a choice of ketchup, mustard or mayo. To play around with flavor, try El Pueblito, a beef dog with roasted poblano peppers, grilled onion, cotija cream sauce, queso manchego, crunchy fried onions, fresh pomegranate and smoked paprika sesame seeds.
2236 Logan Ave., 619.546.7889, barriodogg.com
Art in the heart
Art is all throughout the neighborhood, La Bodega Gallery is one of the venues dedicated to showcasing artists and educating the community on the importance of art. The space hosts art shows, kids paint classes, spoken word, music nights and more.
2196 Logan Ave., 619.255.7036, labodegagallery.com
Craft beer is a San Diego lifestyle and Barrio Logan is no exception. Border X Brewing brews craft beer with classic Mexican flavors such as horchata, jamaica and Abuelita’s Chocolate. Similar to other establishments in Barrio Logan, Border X adorns the bar with classic Chicano art, images and symbols.
2181 Logan Ave., 619.501.0503, borderxbrewing.com
Late night snack
For those who seem to get the muchies after a few beers, La Fachada is somewhere to go for cheap, savory bites. This hole-in-the-wall kind of place has complimentary chips and beans for diners as they wait for their tacos, gorditas, mulitas or Mexican-style corn.
20 25th St., 619.236.8566, facebook.com/La-Fachada-Restaurant
Need a place to crash?
Barrio Logan is not teeming with hotels, so staying somewhere downtown would be the next best thing. Nest on Fifth offers apartment-style lodging in the heart of downtown. Choose between a studio or a one-bedroom apartment.
552 Fifth Ave., downtown, 619.232.3100, nestonfifth.com
If a pet is coming along for the trip, check out Hotel Indigo. Along with being pet-friendly, there’s 24-hour room service and a rooftop bar.
509 Nineth Ave., East Village, 619.727.4000, hotelinsd.com