How to spend a great day in North City

How to spend a great day in North City

North City is here to entertain you! Here’s our recommendations for a fun, entertaining, and above all flavorful family day out in the greatest little city in San Diego County.

For a kick to start the day: Copa Vida

Come for the cold brew coffee, stay for the ambiance – cozy up in the corner  or enjoy the patio, it’s your choice. Copa Vida has locals, students and workers popping in and out for a caffeine fix, and if breakfast is required there are breakies, burritos and tasty pastries. There’s even WiFi if you need to check your emails, but get it out of the way quick – there’s lots to do in North City today.

Copa Vida is at 250 North City Drive, Suite 1. 


For climbing and community: Mesa Rim

Start the day strong by getting your climbing shoes on at Mesa Rim, where the climbing walls soar as high as 50 feet tall. Mesa Rim welcomes kids as young as four to come along for an age-appropriate climbing lesson. If yoga’s more your jam there’s lots of options for that too, ranging from power yoga to restorative classes – either way you’re bound to find your zen.

Mesa Rim is at 285 Industrial Street.

Umami Japanese, the freshest sushi platters, rolls, ramen and poke bowls. 

For lunch – opt for fresh, authentic Japanese food: Umami

Make your way to Umami and tuck into rows of colorful rolls, and beautifully presented fresh sushi. Those flowers decorating your plate are edible of course – Umami really puts on a feast for the eyes. There’s lots of vegetarian options too, as well as bao buns, ramen and tempura so delicate you’ll think you’re actually in Japan. Umami is also the inventor of the sushi muffin, a concoction where sashimi is draped over a ball of rice, topped with sauces – it’s a beautiful flavor bomb that’s definitely worth the hype. 

Umami Japanese Restaurant is at 251 North City Drive, Suite 122.


For a cool, sweet scoop: Wynston’s Ice Cream Co.

The flavors really pop at Wynston’s Ice Cream Co.– they have all the classics (including an award-winning chocolate), but there’s always something new to try. It’s often pretty quirky too, such as Earl Grey tea flavor, or a salted caramel coconut Oreo scoop – now isn’t that the very definition of sugar and spice and all things nice.

Wynston's Ice Cream Co is at 250 North City Drive, Suite 7.

Draft Republic has heaps of games and entertainment including bowling, golf and an arcade.

For a game of bowling and a brewski: Draft Republic 

Is it time to start winding down into a busy evening of relaxation yet? We thought so. Head over to Draft Republic and knock down some pins, while plenty of space for the kids to run around and make new friends. Draft Republic has an arcade with everything from old school games to virtual reality, and there’s a corn hole and shuffle board too – everyone in the family will find something to love here.  The outdoor beer garden often has live music, making Draft Republic a place that’s hard to leave.

Draft Republic is at 255 Redel Road.

Buona Forchetta, Neapolitan-style pizza and Northern Italian classics for the whole family.

For award-winning pizza: Buona Forchetta

Of course the pizzas are Neapolitan in style, baked in an authentic wood-fired Italian oven. If that’s not enough to convince you that this is tonight’s dinner, you can build your own pasta with their homemade varieties and every sauce imaginable. Locals favorite is the pesto gnocchi with crumbled Italian sausage or shrimp - hard to go wrong! Buona Forchetta really knows how to take care of you. This is a family-friendly restaurant where everyone finds comfort and delicious bites paired with wine.

Buona Forchetta is at 250 North City Drive, Suite 3.


Make sure to keep an eye out for regular events happening in North City. Every Tuesday afternoon people flock to the farmers market, and there are regular family movie nights and lots of live music – check out our Events page for the latest updates.