Welcome to Kensington
Small-town charm and vintage style in a historic California neighborhood
As one of San Diego’s most established neighborhoods, Kensington boasts a rich history. The town began with two sisters, so it is no surprise that Kensington is now known for its family-centric feel and strong community ties. Abby Hitchcock and Mary Gleason owned the first land and filed the first official map of the area, and since those early days, Kensington has preserved the peaceful streets and close-knit feel. The town was designed with children in mind, and the layout is one large cul-de-sac, engineered specifically so kids could enjoy carefree playtime sans the noise and threat of traffic.
Today, Kensington’s eclectic, colorful streets allow residents the freedom to express themselves. Candy-colored houses dot the pretty residential streets, and a vibrant, bohemian current runs through the outstanding culinary scene. Kensington is a dog-friendly town, and pups are invited to most cafes and bistros — in fact, every Kensington restaurant features alfresco dining. Homes here are famous for Richard Requa designs and Spanish Revival styles, and estates from the early 1900s have been impeccably restored to their former glory.
What to Love
- Close-knit, neighborly atmosphere
- Thriving restaurant scene
- Historical significance
- Distinctive architecture
- The family-centric vibe and excellent schools
Kensington is known not only as one of the best places to live in San Diego but, in fact, as the one true neighborhood within the vibrant city. This sweet spot is geared toward families and provides adorable parks, well-maintained playgrounds, and a bevy of activities. Walkability is high, thanks to the inventive and pedestrian-focused layout.
The culinary scene in Kensington is a bastion of global flavors, stylish dining rooms, and chef-driven fare. Kensington residents can find everything they need within the neighborhood, but nearby attractions, like the San Diego Zoo, are just minutes away.
Dining, Shopping & Entertainment
With a perfect blend of upscale elegance and colorful, retro style Madi
is a breezy spot for brunch. Fresh, vibrant flavors complement the classic coastal recipes, and guests enjoy everything from pineapple kale mimosas to eggs benedict topped with ripe avocado. Nearby Et Voila! French Bistro
provides modern French cuisine and a charming dining room, while the Kensington Cafe
captures the town’s laid-back nature and chic vintage style. The dimly lit space at Bleu Boheme
creates an intimate atmosphere perfect for a cozy dinner. The menu includes classic Parisian fare, like moules frites, French onion soup, escargot, and incredible charcuterie boards.
Things to Do
Kensington provides residents with a lovely backyard setting and whimsical sights. Kensington Park
is a delightful spot for afternoon playdates or a morning stroll. This is where you will find the iconic neon pink Kensington Sign
stretched out over Adams Avenue. One of only two San Diego neon signs to remain from the 1950s, the Kensington sign represents this charming spot's bright retro style and colorful community.
Kensington provides several stellar educational opportunities for students through the public schools in the San Diego Unified School District
and private academies, including: