For more shopping, head downhill. Every city's got its over-yuppified neighborhood full of artist lofts at prices no artist could never afford; in San Diego, it's Little Italy. Gentrified, yes, but also home to some pretty sweet boutiques. If you started knitting years before Gwyneth Paltrow popularized it and intend to continue long after the trend dies, hit up Nest, an "all-knitting-all-the-time" yarn barn on Kettner Blvd. Also in the 'hood: midcentury furniture at Mixture, chi-chi threads at Sorella, and supercute kicks at Niche.
You see? It's not all domestic beer and beach volleyball in San Diego. A little scratching below the surface reveals a whole world of Green Party-voting, irony-spewing sophisticates with the same useless liberal arts degree and encyclopedic knowledge of indie rock that you find in your own 'hood.
Not to generalize or anything.
Where to Go in San Diego
Hotel Solamar:Chic downtown boutique hotel with free wine nightly. 435 Sixth Ave., (877) 230-0300.
The Turf Club:Grill your own and perv on the hot bartenders. 1116 25th St., (619) 234-6363.
Pokez:Enormous burritos, vegan- and wallet-friendly. 947 E St., (619) 702-7160.
Roseary Room:Killer sangria in a Nick Cave-inspired bar. 947 E St., (619) 702-7160.
Influx Café:Sip cappuccino in this minimalist, mod café. 1948 Broadway, (619) 255-9470.
The Mission:Healthy breakfasts in the SOMA district. 1250 J St., (619) 232-7662.
Hash House a Go-Go:For a DJ-accompanied hangover brunch. 3628 5th Ave., (619) 298-4646.
Landlord Jim's:Sticky floors and rock star bartenders. 1546 Broadway, (619) 233-9998.
Whistle Stop Bar:Board games, knitting, and Red Stripe. 2236 Fern St., (619) 284-6784.
LiveWire:Scenester central. 2103 El Cajon Blvd., (619) 291-7450.
Imperial House:Because you love the Naugahyde. 505 Kalmia St., (619) 234-3525.
Red Fox Room:Old-school piano bar that's only kind of ironic. 2223 El Cajon Blvd., (619) 297-1313.
TNT at the Museum of Contemporary Art: Art, music, booze, and hipsters. 1001 Kettner Blvd., (619) 234-1001.
Voice 1156:Edgy art downtown. 1156 7th Ave., (619) 235-6922.
Ray at Night art walk:Ray Street between University and North Park Way, North Park, (619) 297-9663.
Casbah: "The only cool place in San Diego." 2501 Kettner Blvd., (619) 232-4355.
House of Blues:Corporate but worthy. 1055 Fifth Ave., (619) 299-BLUE.
M-Theory Records:Where to go if the name of the first band in your iPod starts with punctuation. 3004 Juniper St., (619) 269-2963.
Nest:Because knitting is not just for grandmas. 2084 Kettner Blvd. #15, (619) 379-0885.
Mixture:Furnish your midcentury dream house. 2210 Kettner Blvd., (619) 239-4788.
Sorella: Pricey but styley threads. 619 W. Fir St., (619) 232-9322
Niche:Puma, Marc Jacobs, and more cute kicks. 621 W. Fir St., (619) 615-0782.