Shopping in Old Town San Diego

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4010 Twiggs St, San Diego, CA 92110
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Open:
10am - 9pm Daily
San Diego’s Old Town has boutique stores & goods you won’t find anywhere else, plus interesting culture & history. Use our guide to plan your next shopping trip!
Jess Tucker
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means if you make purchases through them, I may be compensated at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
Shopping in Old Town
Shopping Opportunities
What to Expect
Explore & Save
Best Restaurants
Fun Family Shopping
How to Get There & Park
Helpful Tips
Stay Nearby

Highlights

Shopping
Restaurants
Parking
Tips
Shopping
Restaurants
Parking
Tips

Overview of Shopping in Old Town San Diego

Night Time at the Old Town Shopping MarketPlaza De Las Armas in Old Town San Diego

From its historic park to its Dia de Los Muertos celebrations, Old Town seamlessly blends the old world of San Diego’s early days with the multifaceted culture of its modern residents. One fun way to experience this culture for yourself is by going shopping!

Dia De Los Muertos Face Painting in Old Town
Dia De Los Muertos Face Painting in Old Town

Souvenir stores, specialty shops, candy shop and gift shop boutiques, and vendor stalls selling handcrafted wares are all over Old Town.

In terms of shopping opportunities in San Diego, this along with the shops in Downtown La Jolla are two of my favorites. Don’t be mistaken, I love a good mall and San Diego has some incredible malls.

But for me, spending a bit more time outside in San Diego’s incredible weather plus the historical feel and uniqueness of the goods, makes shopping in Old Town San Diego a winner to me!

Use our guide to find the best places to shop, eat, and explore.

Entrance to Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town
Entrance to Fiesta de Reyes in Old Town

See the Best of Old Town

The Old Town neighborhood is one of San Diego’s most diverse, both in terms of its population, with Latin cultural influences evident in both its food and architecture, and the types of activities for visitors.

Can’t see it all in one day? Stay nearby at the Cosmopolitan Hotel, a historic, and possibly haunted, hotel in an old adobe building.

Local Tips
Plan Ahead for your Shopping Trip
Before you start your shopping spree in Old Town San Diego, take a research the area first to get a feel for the shops and their offerings. Also, don't forget to check out the local artisan stalls for authentic handmade goods and souvenirs that capture the spirit of the region.

What to Expect while Shopping

People Walking next to the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town San Diego
People Walking next to the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town San Diego

Old Town is teeming with shops selling a variety of goods, many of which are handmade or locally sourced by small business store owners. If you’re hoping to shop small, Old Town is the perfect place to do so!

Here are just a few of the stores and shopping centers in the neighborhood.

Open Air Shops in Old Town San Diego
Open Air Shops in Old Town San Diego

Old Town Market

The most notable shopping destination in Old Town San Diego is Old Town Market. Open from 10 am to 9 pm each day, you’ll often find not just stores and eateries but also live entertainment, especially on the weekends.

The Old Town market includes 40 shops housed across three historic buildings - Carriage house, the Convent, and Casa de Aguirre. While you shop, take a moment to admire the architecture, which calls back to the mid-1800s Spanish colonial style.

Bazaar Del Mundo

The longstanding Bazaar Del Mundo draws countless visitors each year to peruse the selection of decor and artwork inside. The store sells Latin American and Mexican-inspired works, many of which are vibrantly colored and sure to draw attention in any home.

Statue of the Mormon Battalion in Presidio Park in Old Town
Statue of the Mormon Battalion in Presidio Park in Old Town

Presidio Plaza

The Presidio Plaza is an outdoor shopping mall nestled between the State Historic Park and Presidio Hills Golf Course. It’s an excellent place to walk around and browse the stores during one of San Diego’s typical sunny days.

The Lively Old Town Mexican Cafe in Old Town San Diego
The Lively Old Town Mexican Cafe in Old Town San Diego

Street Market

Old Town hosts the Harney Street Market every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. Right at home with San Diego’s best farmer’s markets, vendors offer an array of locally-made goods, food, artwork, and more.

Trolly Ride with Go Pass!
2-Day Hop-on Hop-off San Diego
Hop-on Hop-off San Diego Trolley
Using your Go Pass, grab a 2 day Hop-on Hop-off San Diego Trolley. The trolley tour takes you through all the most popular areas of San Diego. It's a great way to start your trip and you'll learn where everything around the city is located.
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Local Tips
How much can you save by using the Go City San Diego pass?

The Go City San Diego pass is the perfect way to explore more attractions and activities that the area has to offer, all while being cost-efficient.

With the Go City San Diego pass, you can save up to 55% off admission fees at some of the area’s most popular attractions.

Want to save more? Use our exclusive discount code GVSD5OFF to save an extra 5%!

Where to Eat at Restaurants Plus Additional Dining Options

Once you’ve worked up an appetite shopping, swing by one of Old Town’s restaurants to fuel up and refresh yourself.

Birria Tosada at Tahona Bar in Old Town San Diego
Birria Tosada at Tahona Bar in Old Town San Diego

Authentic Mexican Food

No trip to Old Town is complete without visiting a taco truck, trying some tequila, and partaking in local culture the best way - through food! Old Town is filled with authentic Mexican restaurants, and the neighborhood’s shopping centers are no exception.

Some of my favorite places to grab lunch are Cafe Coyote, Casa Guadalajara, and Old Town Mexican Cafe. There’s also Casa de Reyes, where you can dine outdoors overlooking the garden, and Old Town Tequila Factory Restaurant & Cantina, which has a selection of specialty drinks that are always refreshing.

Oaxacan Lady Cocktail at Tahona Bar and Mezcaleria in Old Town
Oaxacan Lady Cocktail at Tahona Bar and Mezcaleria in Old Town

Other Favorite Restaurants

If you’re not craving Mexican food, there are plenty of other options for you!

Some restaurants in the area serve up classic American fare, like Hungry’s Kitchen & Tap. Carnita’s Snack Shack is another great choice that’s a bit closer to Embarcadero.

For seafood, check out Rockin’ Baja Lobster, Marion’s Fish & Seafood Restaurant, or Harney Sushi, all of which serve up fresh fish within a few miles of the coast. There’s nothing quite like enjoying seafood within view of the San Diego Bay.

On the move and need to grab something to go? I love Rust Bistro at the Rust General Store inside the State Park.

Finally, satisfy your sweet tooth with a trip to Ghirardelli Chocolate Shops.

How to Have Family Fun while Shopping in Old Town

It’s easy to keep the kids entertained while you’re in Old Town. Whether your focus is on shopping or exploring, these all-ages points of interest are sure to delight.

Candy Shops

Treat the kids to some candy, and pick up a few sweet treats for yourself while you’re at it!

One of my favorite candy stores in Old Town is La Dulceria, which is filled wall-to-wall with Mexican candies. I always get to try something new here.

Another excellent choice is Cousin’s Candy Shops. This store has an old-timey feel, with fill-your-own mixed candy bags and a chocolate counter.

Front of the Whaley House in Old Town San Diego
Front of the Whaley House in Old Town San Diego

Visit a Museum

Shopping is just one part of the best things to do in Old Town.

For those interested in San Diego’s history, I always suggest taking a tour of the Whaley House Museum. With a Go City San Diego pass and our discount code GVSD5OFF, you can save on admission there and at dozens of other family-friendly attractions across the city.

Featured Hotel
Cosmopolitan Hotel
The Cosmopilitan Hotel
Couples
Couples
Historic
Historic
Shopping
Shopping
2 Stars2 Stars
The Cosmopolitan Hotel is a historic landmark located in downtown San Diego. Complete with vintage furniture & timely details, the hotel has a haunting charm.
Prices Starting at $99
Check Availability

How to Get to Old Town Shopping and Where to Park

Free Parking
Free Parking
Lot Parking
Lot Parking

Robinson Rose House Next to Washington Square in Old Town
Robinson Rose House Next to Washington Square in Old Town

Old Town’s shopping areas are about four miles from Downtown San Diego. If you’re staying at a nearby hotel, San Diego’s public transport makes it easy to navigate without having to drive.

The Old Town Transit Center serves both the Green and Blue line trolleys and Amtrak. It also makes for a convenient pick-up and drop-off point for rideshare apps, which are readily available throughout the neighborhood.

Old Town Mexican Cafe Across the Street from the Whaley House
Old Town Mexican Cafe Across the Street from the Whaley House

Parking

If you’re making the drive, there is plenty of street parking, as well as a few free lots. The Old Town Public Parking Lot is less than a block from the Old Town Market, while the Presidio Parking Lot is over by Presidio Park.

A Few Tips Before You Go

Spend more time shopping and less time stressing with these tips.

Old Town Trolley Tour in Old Town
Old Town Trolley Tour in Old Town

What’s the Best Way to See San Diego Old Town

Explore the city while you shop!

There are plenty of walking tours in Old Town, like the Tales, Tacos, and Tequila Walking Tour. Or book a hop-on hop-off Old Town Trolley Tour to learn about historic sites in between your purchases.

The Boardwalk in Front of Seaport Village, a Fun Place to Walk
The Boardwalk in Front of Seaport Village, a Fun Place to Walk

Where Else Can You Shop in San Diego?

Seeking more shopping experiences nearby?

Other popular spots for tourists and San Diegans alike include Seaport Village in Embarcadero and the Las Americas Premium Outlets, one of our picks for the best malls in San Diego.

Looking to Save on Tickets?
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Tours & Adventures
Hop On & Off Narrated Trolley Tour
Hop On & Off Narrated Trolley Tour
$42 per person
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Historic Whaley House Museum
Historic Whaley House Museum
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