The Book Lovers Guide to San Diego

I’ve been surprised recently at how frequently I’ve seen people on my instagram and blog feed making trips to San Diego! I’ve been here for a year or so now and started to explore the bookstore scene. I wanted to share that with you, but while I’m at it, I thought I’d just give you all of my favorite places — so here we are THE BOOK LOVERS GUIDE TO SAN DIEGO!




First things first – you want to check out the local bookstore scene. You are in luck! We have plenty- including new, used, Amazon Books, and a common stop on many authors’ book tours!

The Book Catapult

Neighborhood: South Park
Description: A light and airy neighborhood bookstore! Amazing new releases and very friendly staff.
Special Events: Every third Sunday of the month is Coffee with the Catapult and any book mentioned is 20% off!

Bay Books Coronado

Neighborhood: Coronado
Description: This independent bookstore has been open for 25 years! This bookshop has more of a traditional dark oak feel – not dissimilar to the architecture of its neighboring Hotel Del.


Neighborhood: La Jolla
Description: Probably the most infamous of all the San Diego bookstores, this bookstore is a common favorite of locals as well as authors on tour!
Special Events: Check out their events calendar because there is always a good event on – this summer there have been so many amazing authors including David Sedaris, Fredrik Backman, Kimmery Martin, and Gail Honeyman!

Amazon Books

Neighborhood: UTC (for non San Diegans that means – in the mall very close to La Jolla)
Description: I haven’t been here, but I was so excited to hear to San Diego had an Amazon books! The look and feel of a bookstore, with the advantage of discounted books!

Verbatim Books

Neighborhood: North Park
Description: I’m not historically a used book person but this store is wonderfully curated with a huge selection. Plus, they buy books for a good price.


Once you’ve purchased your book, you’re probably on the hunt for a place to enjoy it, right? I bring you my favorite coffee shops. (Note there are more great places, but I wanted to keep this list reasonable!)

Holsem Coffee

Neighborhood: North Park
Description: Definitely my favorite coffee shop in San Diego! The decor is adorable and the drinks are so creative without just being sweet.
What to Get: Any of their signature creations! My personal favorites are the Banana Bread Cold Brew and the Mint Matcha Latte

Heartwork Coffee Bar

Neighborhood: Mission Hills
Description: A small independent coffee shop in the adorable Mission Hills neighborhood.
What to Get: Their chai tea latte (and dirty chai tea lattes) are made with a housemade mix, which is delightful. I also love their nostrum sodas made with syrup from a local company. Pineapple tumeric ginger is my flavor of choice!

Communal Coffee

Neighborhood: North Park and South Park
Description: An open air patio with excellent coffee, decor, neighborhood feel and bonus: a flower store.
What to Get: I’ve only been to the South Park location where the menu is limited but delicious, but the North Park location is known for their sweet and savory toast options!

Achilles Coffee Roasters

Neighborhood: Downtown
Description: A high end outdoor coffee outpost offering craft coffee, as well as food for breakfast and lunch.
What to Get: I’m not a pour-over person (mostly due to lack of experience), but I love their cold brew creations. My favorite is the “dealers choice,” which comes with cold brew, cream, vanilla, and cinnamon.


My favorite kind of shops are kind of eclectic giftshop places. Candles, homewares, fun books, plants, etc – and luckily there are several of these in the San Diego area!


Neighborhood: North Park
Highlight: So many plants – including an area to arrange your own succulents, constantly changing selection and arrangement, great card selection!

Seaside Papery

Neighborhood: Coronado
Highlight: Great prints and California/National Park themed gifts! Lots of stationary too!

Gold Leaf

Neighborhood: South Park
Highlight: Great kids section, amazing smelling candles, so much decor inspiration!

Grafitti Beach

Neighborhood: South Park
Highlight: Laid back and natural vibes – bohemian clothing and a new natural beauty line

Casual/Al Fresco Dining

And finally – no trip to San Diego would be complete without good food, good beer, and abundant sunshine. Here are some of my favorite spots!

Crack Shack

Neighborhood: Little Italy
Description: Fried chicken sandwiches and local craft beer in a beer garden setting. What more could you ask for?
What to Get: The firecracker sandwich is amazing if you like the heat!

Panama 66

Neighborhood: Little Italy
Description: Modern american fare and local craft beer in a beer garden setting. Bonus: a fenced in grass area which is great if you have kids who want to run, or adults looking to drink good beer on the grass.
What to Get: Honestly, it’s all amazing! I’ve enjoyed several of their soups and sandwiches so far.

Mitch’s Seafood

Neighborhood: Point Loma
Description: Fresh seafood options in the heart of the marina village! + 32 oz local craft beer while sitting on a dock over the water, watching fishing boats come in and leave and the sea lions that tend to travel with them.
What to Get: The swordfish sandwich is my absolute favorite thing on the menu. It’s fresh and local too! I don’t recommend the tacos or the octopus.

Pizza Port Ocean Beach

Neighborhood: Ocean Beach
Description: Delicious pizza at one of San Diego’s favorite breweries. Warning: NOT NEW YORK PIZZA.
What to Get: I have strong feelings on this. Half Lahaina (no canadian bacon, add bacon), Half Monterrey. Also the wings are good and super cheap on Wednesdays.


Neighborhood: Del Mar
Description: A modern and airy brewery with firepits on each table and a focus on good food!
What to Get: Highly recomend the Naan Mi. And the charred broccoli.

South Park Brewing

Neighborhood: South Park
Description: A local favorite for us! Great rotating beer list of consistently good beer. Board games, sunlight, and a taco stand.
What to Get: IDK. They used to have the best food and recently got rid of their kitchen and I’m still upset. I’ve heard the taco restaurant is good and you can still order food from the bar next door, so idk go for the beer, games, and sunlight and eat there if you want or change to any of the great neighboring restaurants after you’ve had a couple brewskis!


So there you have it! Let me know if you have any spots I should check out or if you’re planning a trip to San Diego soon ❤


7 thoughts on “The Book Lovers Guide to San Diego

  1. Whoa! That’s a lot of book places!! I have never been to San Diego, but one of my friends just moved there so I’m hoping to procure an invitation and visit one of these days 🙂 I’ll keep this list handy.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The time has come!! I’m going to SD to visit aforementioned friend in March and I’m keeping your list handy! She’s new to SD too so she hadn’t heard of a few of these bookstores… I’m going to have to drag her along 🙂 Thanks again!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So I visited SD but it was only a short trip… only made it to Warwick’s off this list 🙂 But it was lovely and I enjoyed it so much!


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