Credit: Mujeres Brew House

10 Festive Ways to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in San Diego

Immerse Yourself in the Latino Community During this Cultural Pride Celebration

From mid-September to mid-October each year, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated across the country to recognize and honor the contributions, culture and history of Hispanic and Latino Americans. During the month-long period, people enjoy various events, festivals and cultural exhibitions. It’s an opportunity for people from all walks of life to learn more about the rich, diverse heritage of these communities and appreciate their achievements in American society. San Diego has a large and vibrant Hispanic and Latino community that contributes greatly to the city’s culture. And like every year, there are many ways to celebrate! Here are 10 local experiences that commemorate this special month.

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DINE

Javier’s

Hispanic Heritage Month San Diego
Credit: Bhadri Kubendran

If you’re looking for an elevated Mexican dining experience, Javier’s at Westfield UTC in La Jolla is the place to go. This restaurant is all about ambiance. When you walk in, you’ll see patterned stone floors, lit candles, lush plants, flowing water fountains and a decorative rope ceiling fixture. Not to mention, the food is incredible—think dishes like aguachile, ceviche, fajitas and enchiladas—it’s a fine-dining focus on Mexican cuisine made with the freshest ingredients. Get in the spirit of celebration with a Granada Margarita, shaken with smooth Corralejo Silver Tequila, pomegranate liqueur and orange juice.

Location: La Jolla

 

Karina’s Cantina

Hispanic Heritage Month San Diego
Credit: Kambria Fischer

For your next Hispanic Heritage Month meal, head to Karina’s Cantina in the Gaslamp Quarter. Inspired by Mexican art and culture, the design of this restaurant incorporates elements from the works of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo—we’re talking gorgeous custom murals, lots of plants and colorful lighting. There’s a DJ on the second floor, so it’s a great place to go if you’re looking for a night on the town. They serve a chile mango margarita made with Corralejo Silver Tequila that’s the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. For added flair, it comes in a Mexican clay cup with a chili stick and tajin rim. Come for a delicious meal, and stay for the drinks and dancing!

Local Insight: Made with 100% handpicked Blue Weber agave, Corralejo Tequila is double distilled, then bottled fresh in-house at Hacienda Corralejo.

Location: Gaslamp Quarter

11/13

 

Prado

Nestled on the beautiful grounds of historic Balboa Park, Prado is another restaurant worth checking out. This gem is a national landmark—located in an old building with rich cultural history. Built in 1915, the House of Hospitality once celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal. The building features brilliant Spanish architecture, flowing tiled fountains, and Spanish and Mexican design details throughout. Sitting on the patio, you will feel like you’re in Spain, dining under a vine-covered trellis with views of the park. They serve up incredible Spanish food (try the paella, of course), and their refreshing hibiscus margarita is worth the visit alone. It’s made with Corralejo Silver Tequila, triple sec, housemade hibiscus syrup, lime and agave.

11.28

 

Piña

If you’re up in North County, Piña in Encinitas is the place to go. All of their ingredients are sourced locally, so everything is super fresh. The free chips and salsa are among the stars of the show, but try not to fill up too much. The menu is unique and creative, including chicharrones on the side for a fun twist. They’re known for the Drunken Piña, a hollowed out pineapple filled with cilantro lime rice, filet mignon, shrimp, bacon, caramelized pineapple and habanero jack cheese. We also love their Candy Margarita, made with watermelon, tamarindo, lime juice, agave and triple sec. For a balance of sweet and spicy, ask them to make it with Corralejo Extra Añejo—an aged tequila with notes of oak, smoke, citrus and hints of caramel and agave sugar. 

 

DO

Explore the Murals at Chicano Park

Hispanic Heritage Month San Diego
Credit: Paul Wasneski / Flickr

In the late 1960s, the Chicano Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, advocating for equal rights, improved living conditions and cultural recognition for Mexican-Americans (also known as Chicanos). The Barrio Logan community wanted a park for kids to play in, but they were faced with the threat of having a California Highway Patrol substation built on the land under the Coronado Bridge. In April 1970, they began a peaceful protest, blocking construction and ultimately leading to victory, creating a community park instead of the substation. Chicano artists, muralists and community members soon began transforming the park into a vibrant outdoor art gallery. These days, you can spend hours strolling through gorgeous murals, each with their own story to tell. 

Location: Barrio Logan

 

Shop at Artelexia

Credit: Artelexia

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by supporting Latinx-owned business Artelexia, an eclectic boutique in North Park. This colorful shop is known for its collection of Mexican gifts, including folk art, home decor, clothing and other accessories. When you walk in, you’ll see a huge mural of Frida Kahlo, lots of hanging piñatas and bright clothing throughout the store. It’s a great place to shop for unique and fun gifts like glass prayer candles with celebrity faces on them. There’s also an extensive selection of pottery, traditional textiles and handcrafted jewelry. In addition to being a retail space, Artelexia hosts workshops and events that provide opportunities for customers to learn about Mexican culture, art and traditions.

Location: North Park

10/21

 

Hispanic Heritage Celebration

Credit: sydney Rae

On Saturday, Sept. 9, the Otay Ranch Town Center in Chula Vista will be hosting its annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration. From noon-3 p.m., you can enjoy fun for the whole family! Explore educational booths, watch live art demos and witness cultural musical performances. For the kiddos, they’ll have face painting, a photo booth and kids’ crafts (on theme, of course) to make and take home. This year, the event will host Las Jefas Market with a Hispanic Heritage flair, bringing in more than 40 booths offering delicious food, handmade items and art for sale. Support local businesses and artisans—all in the spirit of cultural inclusivity and pride. It doesn’t get much better than this!

Location: Chula Vista

 

Hispanic Heritage Weekend at Petco Park

From Sept. 22 to 24, Blue Shield of California will present Hispanic Heritage Weekend at Petco Park while the San Diego Padres play the St. Louis Cardinals. On Friday night, you can head to Gallagher Square before the game for $5 drinks and Latin music. Then on Saturday night, there will be a post-game fireworks show set to popular Latino artists like Bad Bunny and J Balvin. On Sunday, with the purchase of the Theme Game package, you can head to a post-game concert by Los Tucanes de Tijuana, a norteño band from Baja. All weekend long, you can gather together with friends, family and fellow fans to cheer on the Padres and celebrate the month with a whole lot of fun.

Location: East Village

 

Latine Pride Celebration

Credit: Vito Di Stefano

On Saturday, Sept. 16, the LGBTQ+ Latine Coalition will host their 3rd annual Latine Pride Celebration at Mujeres Brew House in Barrio Logan. It’s a free community event for people of all ages and backgrounds, featuring food, live music, vendors, performances and community resources. To go along with all that, it’s a great place to connect and meet new people! Members of the San Diego LGBTQ+ Latine Coalition pride themselves on creating inclusive events for people to celebrate joy and embrace community. It’ll be popping from 1-7 p.m., so feel free to stop by, have a beer and enjoy the festivities. If you know you’re coming, RSVP here to let them know to expect you!

Location: Barrio Logan

 

Barrio Logan Art Crawl

Credit: Roman Eugeniusz / Wikimedia

Every second Saturday of the month in Barrio Logan, you can enjoy the Barrio Logan Art Crawl. It’s a self-guided experience throughout the Barrio Arts District, where you’ll stroll through unique art exhibits that highlight Chicano art and culture. It includes Chicano Park, known for having the largest collection of outdoor murals in the country, as well as many other local galleries and open studios. Many local shops open their doors to join the celebration, and food vendors and breweries serve up bites and bevvies for visitors. It’s a lively event for the community—a great place to meet new people and appreciate Chicano art and culture.

Location: Barrio Logan

 

 

Sara grew up in San Diego and recently moved back after living on the Central Coast and traveling around Latin America for a while. Passionate about wellness both personally and professionally, she's worked for brands like Mindbody, Classpass, and Headspace and is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher (come take her class at YogaSix North Carlsbad!). Through it all, she's always had a passion for writing and loves contributing to Locale Magazine.

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