Shop local: San Diego’s favorite small businesses

Dec 20, 2022 - Bree Burris

Spending your money in your community can have a big positive impact on your neighborhood—luckily, it’s easy to find small businesses in San Diego to support. Invest in your community (and cross off wish lists) by supporting the local entrepreneurs who make San Diego the vibrant, multi-cultural place it is. 

Here are just a few of our favorite small businesses in San Diego County:

North County

A haven for families and foodies, San Diego’s North County is full of new and established hot spots. Take the family for Carmel Mountain’s Mostra Coffee and Sesame Donuts, or bring home sweet treats from Carlsbad’s GelatoLove, Escondido’s Cute Cakes, or San Marcos’ Maya’s Cookies.

For the adults in your life, pick up local libations from Escondido’s SIP Wine & Beer and Altipiano Vineyard, or help save the bees with Oceanside’s Golden Coast Mead.

Central San Diego

For foodie friends and family, consider a gift card or a trip to a local restaurant: Try Cafeina Cafe and Barrio Donas for Mexican-inspired coffee and treats, or Havana Grill for its lechon and steak combos. Picky about pastry? Snag the best croissants in the country at East Village’s IZOLA (seriously, they were ranked #1 by Yelp users in 2022)—and a gift card to share the goodness. 

And for bookworms: Spend your dollars at a San Diego indie bookshop, like Point Loma’s Mysterious Galaxy for romance (where you at, Colleen Hoover?!), young adult, sci-fi, and mystery selections, or Verbatim Books for a rich variety of second-hand picks in the heart of the always-trendy North Park.

For the furry friends and dog parents in your life, give the gift that keeps on giving with Barrio Logan’s Real Dog Box subscription. 

South County

Give yourself the gift of health and fitness by securing a membership at Eastlake’s Revbody Fit—the Black and Latino-owned gym offers individual and group class passes, as well as personalized strength training. Looking for something that packs a bigger punch? Join a boxing class at Chula Vista’s Title Boxing Club.

For the beer and kombucha lovers in your life, visit Novo Brazil Brewing to snag a six-pack of the best kombucha you’ll ever taste. Hans and Harry’s Bakery in neighboring Bonita offers delicious cakes, cookies, and its world famous fresh-fruit strudel perfect for any celebration.

East County

Get out of the city and treat your family to a staycation at the historic Julian Hotel in rural San Diego. You can get your hands dirty by going apple picking, or stay clean but hydrated with a visit to veteran-owned Julian Hard Cider for apples in different form.

On your way out, be sure to make a morning stop at Caffe Adesso, a small walk-up coffee shop owned by the family of San Diego Padres star pitcher Joe Musgrove, who was born and raised right in East County San Diego.  

Not just Small Business Saturday

While online shopping is easier than ever before, shopping local supports jobs and economic growth in your very own neighborhood. Love living in San Diego? In 2023, commit to supporting small businesses in our backyard—we all win.

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