City Heights Real Estate


Our City Heights, San Diego real estate spotlight showcases a large community with ethnic diversity.


City Heights Location


The main streets in City Heights include Fairmont Avenue, University Avenue, and El Cajon Boulevard. In fact, “Downtown” City Heights only includes the Fairmont and University Avenues area.

These streets house large Southeast Asian, South Asian, Hispanic, Near Eastern, and Northeast African communities. They also provide diverse ethnic businesses including a variety of ethnic cuisines. Thus, City Heights is San Diego’s largest ethnic diverse community.


City Heights History


In the 1880s businessmen, Samuel Steiner and Abraham Klauber bought 240 acres near Balboa Park. They developed the area and called it “City Heights”.

In 1912, voters allowed the incorporation of City Heights originally called “East San Diego”.

By 1923, The City of San Diego annexed East San Diego and changed its name back to “City Heights”.


City Heights Neighborhoods


Outside of the downtown City Heights area, sixteen sub-neighborhoods exist. They consist of:

  • Azalea Park a vibrant arts community;
  • Bayridge;
  • Castle;
  • Cherokee Point;
  • Chollas Creek;
  • Colina Park;
  • Corridor;
  • Fairmont Park;
  • Fairmont Village;
  • Fox Canyon;
  • Hollywood Park;
  • Islenair (its historic district);
  • Ridgeview;
  • Swan Canyon;
  • Teralta East; and
  • Teralta West.


City Heights Demographics


According to Wikipedia:

  • The City Heights population stood at 102,590 in 2018;
  • Median age of 30 years old; and
  • Median household income of $39,650.

According to the City of San Diego government site, City Heights contains a population density of nearly 18,000 people per square mile. Almost 41% are foreign-born residents with 19% either unable to speak English or not very well.  

More than 30 dialects and languages spoken in City Heights according to its local community organization.

In contrast, San Diego only has a population density of 4,300 people per square mile with 27% foreign residents and only 8% don’t speak English or not very well.


City Heights Real Estate Market


In 2015, the San Diego Magazine reported a “Renaissance” of new developments in City Heights. These included:

The Niche,com site provides the following City Heights real estate market trends for 2019:

  • The Median Home Value = $255,920;
  • Median Rent = $1,096;
  • Median Household Income = $37,720;
  • Home Renters = 78%; and
  • Home Owners = 22%.


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Things to Do


According to the site, City Heights offers diverse arts and culture in the heart of San Diego. Residents enjoy plenty of gardens and farmers markets and green spaces.  

AjA Project Gallery on Fairmont Avenue provides a 4,000 square foot education center for the community’s youth and gallery showcasing photographs taken by immigrant residents. 

Azalea Community Park influenced by many local artists includes the Water Conservation Garden featuring a collection of creative sculptures, murals, and unique plants. Provides children’s play areas, outdoor basketball courts, BBQ grills, picnic tables, and a community building for classes and meetings.

Colina Del Sol Park rated 4.5 Stars by Yelp. A family-friendly park with children’s playground and plenty of lawns. 

Manzanita Canyon for great hiking trails amongst trees and streams.

Olivia Canyon (also called “47th Street Canyon”). It’s part of the City Heights Canyons Loop Trail system.

New Roots Community Farm where 85 families maintain growing spaces. Most were farmers in their home countries. Members also operate the Downtown El Cajon Farmer’s Market and help manage the City Heights Farmers Market. Great place to shop for ethnic foods.

San Diego Peace Garden another community garden managed by Second Chance for their youth program.

Park de la Cruz with a large skateboard area opened in 2018. Covers over 19,000 square feet with night lighting.

Little Saigon a Vietnamese Cultural and Commercial District situated in a six-block area of El Cajon Boulevard. They celebrate their traditional Lunar New Year Festival since 2006 at the Mira Mesa Community Park. 

International Village Celebration held annually in late spring or early summer highlights the neighborhood’s ethnic diversity. Features ethnic foods, music, and dance.




The vast cultural diversity in City Heights provides a wide variety of cuisine. These include:

  • Chinese;
  • Ethiopian;
  • Mexican;
  • Somali; and
  • Vietnamese. 


The best City Heights restaurants include:


Lotus Garden Seafood and Noodles for Chinese especially for their Chicken Chow Fun at the corner of Euclid and University.

777 Noodle House recommended by the San Diego Reader for Thai food and Chinese noodles located on University Avenue.

Fatuma’s Restaurant for Somali foods like their spicy teas and traditional sambusas.

Asmara for good Eritrean and Ethiopian foods on University Avenue.

Bleu Bohème for French cuisine providing a warm ambiance with friendly staff and traditional French bohemian décor. Reviewers like their Steak Paillards with Scrambled Eggs.

Chiquita’s Mexican Restaurant considered the best Mexican restaurant in City Heights. Family-owned since 1967 offering delicious margaritas and certified Black Angus beef.

Flavors of East Africa whose owner from Kenya offers authentic East-Africa cuisine. 

Red Sea as the oldest authentic Ethiopian restaurant rated the 2nd best in City Heights. Serves great Ethiopian coffee claiming Ethiopia as the birthplace of coffee.

Maxim’s Seafood Restaurant serves Vietnamese cuisine in an old school décor setting.

Que Huong Restaurant on University Avenue serves quality Vietnamese foods. Reviewers especially like their marinated deer meat and the Hanoi style Grilled Snapper.

Not a restaurant, Pancho Villa Farmers Market is the best grocery store for Mexican foods.




A member of the San Diego Unified School District.

City Heights contains 12 public elementary schools, three charter schools, three public middle schools, and two public high schools.

The site rates these schools as the best in City Heights:


Other City Heights High Schools


City Heights, San Diego Real Estate Spotlight Conclusion


As you just read, our City Heights, San Diego real estate spotlight features a large ethnic community. Asians, Hispanics, Near East, and Africans live together offering diverse cultures and foods.

In 2018, over 102,000 residents with a median age of 30. Over 40% are foreign-born residents speaking more than 30 languages and dialects.

In 2019, the Median Home Value is $255,920.

Plenty of ways to enjoy the diverse arts and culture in City Heights. Also, four nearby canyons to hike and explore.

Lots of great ethnic foods restaurants to enjoy for all tastes.

Five highly ranked schools to choose from in this community.

Contact one of our Realtors to find out about available homes in this culturally rich community.

Steven Rich, MBA – Guest Blogger


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