Kensington

Remove yourself from the hustle and bustle to visit Kensington’s local sidewalk cafes, breweries, and pleasant parks. Ride a bike through the exquisite Balboa Park and stop at the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Convenience and enjoyment are just a few steps away; Bring the whole family to this unforgettable location!
Kensington
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Kensington
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Scenic Parks & Famous Attractions in Kensington

Sidewalk Cafe Dining in KensingtonBeautiful Homes in Kensington

Cities are great when it comes to the variety of things to do and the diversity of the population living there. However, many people prefer the emotional connection of small-town living, where neighbors know and genuinely care about each other. This care even extends the local businesses, which have a real investment in the happiness and well-being of their clientele.

The neighborhood of Kensington, San Diego combines these two elements for a unique environment that is perfect for travelers in search of a low-key, laid back vacation. Thanks to the always lovely San Diego weather, most establishments in this neighborhood feature outdoor seating of some form or another. This lends to the city's small-town, community feel, which is a far cry for bustling urban centers and their traffic congestion and breakneck pace.

In fact, one of the greatest aspects of this neighborhood is its design; Kensington exists along an extended cul-de-sac, which shields it from the hectic lifestyle one would typically find in other urban environments like what is found just south in the neighborhood of City Heights. Many of the establishments and attractions are within walking distance of hotels and other lodgings, which makes the area supremely enjoyable for pedestrians.

While quaint in its demeanor, there is no shortage of things to do and see in this neighborhood. There's a charming little movie house, perfect for afternoon matinees, along with many diverse eateries, lively bars, happening nightclubs, thrift shops, playgrounds, wellness centers; all of these businesses come together to make this part of San Diego seem like a throwback to a simpler time.

You can look forward to an accepting, inclusive community filled with people who actually care and want visitors to get the most out of their beloved neighborhood. Locals are always willing to point a traveler to the right destination or make a recommendation when it comes to where to eat or which bars to check out.

Kensington
Why you'll love Kensington
Visit Kensington’s local breweries and sidewalk cafes. Then, walk to the beautiful parks, take a bike ride, or visit the nearby, world-famous San Diego Zoo.

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USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum
USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum
Explore the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum with your All-Inclusive Go Pass! Check out the hangar deck and flight deck, plus over 60 exhibits, displays and interactive experiences. Enjoy an authentic tour narrated by Midway sailors!
Buy Now
Local Tips
What attractions are included with a Go Pass?

Attractions that you can visit with a Go San Diego Pass include:

The San Diego Zoo, Birch Aquarium, SeaWorld, Safari Park, LEGOLAND, Harbor Cruise, USS Midway Museum, the NAT Museum, Whaley House, PETCO Park Tour, iFLY San Diego and many, many more!

Things to Do

Biking
Biking
San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo

Major Landmarks

Although Kensington is less than 9 miles from downtown San Diego there are a few landmarks within Kensington that make it unique and are worth a visit.

Stehly Farms Organics

Located in close proximity to Balboa Park, Stehly Farms Market features an abundance of fresh, organic produce, all of which is sourced from the 300-acre Stehly Farms Organics. Many items in the market are organic, and you'll also be able to find crafts and prepared foods made with the freshest ingredients available.

The market also contains a natural grocery store, which stocks plenty of good, wholesome items perfect for eating healthy during your trip. This market, which is located on Adams Avenue, is open every day from 7 am to 8:30 pm.

Kensington Brewing Company

With an inauspicious start in 2012 in a Kensington garage, Kensington Brewing Company is now a staple among beer-loving locals, as well as visitors to the city looking for a homegrown brew. Kick back in the family-friendly atmosphere and choose from more than 20 handcrafted brews, all of which are named for streets within the Kensington neighborhood.

Choose from pale ales, IPAs, sour beers, red ales, Belgians, and stouts. Stop by their tasting room or check their calendar of events during your trip. You can also visit their happy hour, which offers $1 off all pints every weekday from 3 pm to 6 pm.

Dining Establishments

There's a little something for every palate when it comes to local fare in Kensington. Restaurants here run the gamut of international cuisines: choose from Latin American, Italian, New American, Japanese, Mexican, and many others. You can also choose from casual dining establishments, trendy gastropubs, and upscale restaurants with an ambiance to match their exquisite menus. Here are a few highlights of the Kensington dining scene:

Cucina Sorella

Part of a larger group of San Diego restaurants specializing in California-influenced Italian fare, Cucina Sorella features dishes based on the seasonality of ingredients. Enjoy a delicious deep-dish pizza and other amazing fare at this casual eatery, which exemplifies the laidback nature of Kensington itself.

Local Tips
Visit the lively downtown district of Kensington.
The downtown district of Kensington is the perfect place to spend your afternoon or evening. This 5 block area is full of restaurants, boutique shops and even a small movie theater.

The Rabbit Hole

Don't be fooled by its location of Normal Heights. The Rabbit Hole is anything but ordinary, with an emphasis on locally brewed craft beer and amazing eats you can't find anywhere else. This Adam Avenue staple features weekly trivia, live music, and a happening happy hour every Monday through Friday, from 5 pm to 7 pm. Check them out at brunch for inventive dishes like fried chicken and waffles, Bloody Marys, and cinnamon donut holes.

Bleu Bohéme

For a taste of France as it used to be, you can't beat Bleu Bohéme. This is the spot for assorted French comfort food, including mussels and frites, Escargots, La Charcuterie, house-made soups, and Boeuf Bourguignon. You'll enjoy the quirky little stylings as much as the cuisine, which make diners feel like they're brunching in a Parisian cafe.

Kensington Café

Kensington Cafe is a little bit of everything. Need a quick spot to pick up a coffee to go? Planning a hearty brunch with friends and family? Looking for a place to enjoy small plates? Have a hankering for entrees like smothered chicken and baked pork loin? This homey establishment offers all of the above and more to diners.

Ponce's Mexican Restaurant

With five decades of service to Kensington, Ponce's Mexican Restaurant provides tasty Mexican dishes in a friendly, comfortable environment. Along with appetizers and classic Mexican dishes, this beloved establishment also offers specialty items. This includes Milanesa de Res (thinly sliced steak breaded and fried) and Carne con Chile (steak in chipotle sauce served with frijoles bayos).

Village Vino

For a wine selection that can't be beaten, Village Vino is the place. Their carefully-curated wine list is unlike any other thanks to their focus on sourcing from smaller wineries all over the world. When it comes to their Italian cuisine, start your meal off with a small plate, like an oven-baked chevre or charcuterie, before enjoying a hearty artichoke and pancetta flatbread.

Featured Activity

Interact with Dolphins at SeaWorld San Diego
Visit SeaWorld San Diego
The world-famous SeaWorld San Diego is home to animal shows, roller coasters and other rides for the entire family. Enjoy encounters featuring the famed Orcas, dolphins and sea lions, or take a tour through the habitats.
Learn More

Bars, Happy Hour & Nightlife

When it comes to Kensington nightlife, prepare for fun and friendly dives and pseudo-dives, along with gastropubs, tapas bars, and cocktail lounges. Most establishments offer reasonable drink prices and a comfortable ambiance perfect for friends and dates.

Clem's Tap House features 50 beers on tap, a wide selection of bottled brews, and a sizable wine list. Their food menu features fried snacks, appetizers, gourmet pizzas, and paninis. For an authentic dive bar experience, the Kensington Club is a purveyor of live music featuring local bands from San Diego, as well as other fun events. Saddle up to a regular at the bar and order a cold brew.

Hitting up happy hours is a great way to get to know a new area while on vacation. Fortunately, Kensington is home to numerous happy hours at many different bars and restaurants. A few notable happy hour spots include:

Tanuki

If sake is your thing, Tanuki is just the place for you. Part Japanese cafe and part tapas-style eatery, this establishment features more than 100 varieties of sake, as well as sushi, sashimi, small plates, and more. Ask about their plentiful happy hour specials during your visit.

Working Class

Feel free to bring a four-legged friend to the Working Class for their canine-friendly happy hour. This establishment features an attractive outdoor patio and a good selection of craft beers, wines, and even kombucha. There are midday happy hours from 4 pm to 7 pm, along with late-night happy hours running from 10 pm to 12 am, during which there are discounted prices on starters, beer, and wine.

SKA Bar

With a focus on Asian fusion fare, SKA bar combines tasty drinks and plates. Choose from handcrafted cocktails, spirits, small plates, burgers, salads, and delectable desserts. Happy hour runs Monday through Friday, from 3 pm to 6 pm.

Perhaps you're not interested in the bar scene. In that case, Landmark's Ken Cinema is the place for you. This eclectic little theater features something for every cinema lover. Along with the latest new releases, you can also enjoy an array of independent flicks, including foreign and experimental cinema to enrich and entertain. This theater is also home to many special events, so be sure to check out their calendar during your visit. A far cry from the chain movie theater experience, Ken Cinema is a place for people who hold movies in high regard.

Featured Hotel
The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
Swimming pool at The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows
Balboa Park
Balboa Park
Boutique
Boutique
Families
Families
3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
Leave your cares & worries behind when you step back in time with classic comforts at The Lafayette Hotel, located in sunny San Diego.
Prices Starting at $127
Check Availability

Know Before You Go & Tips

Cafes
Cafes
Parks
Parks
Shopping
Shopping
Walkable
Walkable

Rest, Relaxation & Fun

Zen Sanctuary

Vacations are all about unwinding. If you find yourself stressed during your stay in Kensington and are in search of a way to decompress in a lovely and comforting environment, Zen Sanctuary is the place for you.

Start your sessions with a relaxing herbal tea in the naturalistic environment, complete with bamboo and soothing music. From there, choose from a range of treatments and methods aimed at beautifying you inside and out. Services include acupuncture, healing massage, and skincare treatments like facials and peels. At the end of your session, you'll look and feel amazing, and be totally ready to take on the rest of your trip.

Yoga Box

Of course, fitness is also important, no matter where you are in the world. Don't skip a minute of your fitness routine by signing up for a class at Yoga Box during your stay in Kensington.

Classes can be heated and non-heated depending on your preferences, and you'll be privy to trained and experienced instructors. High-tech lighting and sound systems ensure attendees have the best experience possible. Individual programs may focus on sculpting or restoration, and sculpting classes can also be targeted to specific body parts.

Looking for Fun?

If you are looking to explore a bit more of San Diego? There is plenty more to experience while saving money at the same time; take a look at the San Diego Go Pass.

The San Diego Go Pass will give you access to over 55 different activities from visiting one of the many museums in Balboa Park to the San Diego Zoo to gear rentals like surfing or kayaking in La Jolla. You will also save up to 55% off of the regular admission and gear prices.

Kensington
is Famous For:
Breweries
Breweries
Sidewalk Cafés
Sidewalk Cafés
Known For:
Parks
Parks
Walkable
Walkable
This Month's Forecast
62℉ / 76℉
Partly Cloudy in June
Jul
66℉ / 81℉
Sunny in July
Aug
68℉ / 83℉
Sunny in August
Sep
66℉ / 82℉
Sunny in September

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