The 10 Best San Diego, CA Neighborhoods To Live In For 2019


We used science and data to determine which neighborhoods in San Diego are the best of the best.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best neighborhoods to live in San Diego.
Best Neighborhoods In San Diego

Do you like your neighborhood?

Is it friendly, and where everyone knows their neighbors?

No matter if you live in the sticks or in an apartment building in downtown San Diego, you have a little pocket that you can call home. And each neighborhood is different.

Smaller neighborhoods usually have obvious benefits — less crime, a slower pace of life, and a lower cost of living. But not all San Diego neighborhoods are created equal. Some are better than others. But which ones?

Instead of relying on public opinion and speculation, we wanted to get the facts straight and find out which neighborhoods in San Diego are the best. If you’re in one of the places we’re about to highlight, odds are you know you’ve got it made.

Here are the best neighborhoods in San Diego for 2019:

  1. Del Mar Heights (Homes)
  2. North City (Homes)
  3. La Jolla (Homes)
  4. Carmel Mountain (Homes)
  5. Carmel Valley (Homes)
  6. Scripps Ranch (Homes)
  7. Wooded Area (Homes)
  8. Sabre Springs (Homes)
  9. Rancho Penasquitos (Homes)
  10. Rancho Bernadino (Homes)

So what’s the best neighborhood to live in San Diego for 2019? According to the most recent census data, Del Mar Heights looks to be the best San Diego neighborhood to live in.

Read on to see how we determined the places around San Diego that deserve a little bragging rights or maybe you’re interested in the worst neighborhoods in San Diego.

Once you’re done, you can look at the bottom of the story for a complete chart of every neighborhood we looked at from best to worst.

For more California reading, check out:

How we determined the best San Diego hoods in 2019

In order to rank the best neighborhoods in San Diego, we had to determine what criteria defines a “best”.

Using crime, census, and extrapolated BLS data, we arrived at the following set of criteria:

  • High incomes
  • Low unemployment rates
  • Low crime
  • High home prices
  • High population densities (A proxy for things to do)

We then ranked each neighborhood with scores from 1 to 85 in each category, where 1 was the best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each neighborhood to create a best neighborhood index.

And finally, we crowned the neighborhood with the lowest best neighborhood index the “Best City Neighborhood In San Diego.” We’re lookin’ at you, Del Mar Heights.

Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the best places San Diego, California has to offer. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the neighborhoods in the city from best to worst.

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 6,860
Rank Last Year: 23 (Up 22)
Median Home Value: $1,102,320 (3rd best)
Median Income: $125,086 (3rd best)
More on Del Mar Heights: Homes For Sale | Data

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 12,743
Rank Last Year: 38 (Up 36)
Median Home Value: $1,111,200 (2nd best)
Median Income: $146,445 (1st best)
More on North City: Homes For Sale | Data

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 29,356
Rank Last Year: 21 (Up 18)
Median Home Value: $1,326,057 (1st best)
Median Income: $124,573 (4th best)
More on La Jolla: Homes For Sale | Data

Carmel Mountain San Diego, CA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 9,581
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $548,400 (19th best)
Median Income: $109,735 (8th best)
More on Carmel Mountain: Homes For Sale | Data

Carmel Mountain Ranch, sometimes shortened to simply Carmel Mountain, such as on maps, or abbreviated to CMR by local residents and organizations, is a community of San Diego, California, United States, in the northeastern part of the city. Despite its name, Carmel Mountain Ranch is actually in the shadow of Black Mountain. Carmel Mountain proper is about 10 miles west of the Carmel Mountain Ranch neighborhood.

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 39,559
Rank Last Year: 32 (Up 28)
Median Home Value: $800,133 (5th best)
Median Income: $146,086 (2nd best)
More on Carmel Valley: Homes For Sale | Data

Scripps Ranch San Diego, CA

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 36,364
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $619,742 (9th best)
Median Income: $115,865 (6th best)
More on Scripps Ranch: Homes For Sale | Data

Scripps Ranch is an affluent community of San Diego, California in the northeastern part of that city. Its ZIP code is 92131. It is located east of Interstate 15, north of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, and south of Poway.

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 7,369
Rank Last Year: 34 (Up 27)
Median Home Value: $751,067 (6th best)
Median Income: $109,591 (9th best)
More on Wooded Area: Homes For Sale | Data

Sabre Springs San Diego, CA

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 14,559
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $551,371 (17th best)
Median Income: $112,046 (7th best)
More on Sabre Springs: Homes For Sale | Data

Sabre Springs is an affluent community in San Diego, California, located in the northeastern part of the city. It is bounded by the city limits of Poway on the east, Ted Williams Parkway on the north, Interstate 15 on the west, and the community of Miramar Ranch North to the south. Sabre Springs is bisected north-south by Poway Road.

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 63,341
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $602,482 (12th best)
Median Income: $119,880 (5th best)
More on Rancho Penasquitos: Homes For Sale | Data

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 44,185
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $553,456 (16th best)
Median Income: $95,093 (14th best)
More on Rancho Bernadino: Homes For Sale | Data

Putting A Bow On Our Analysis Of The Best Neighborhoods In San Diego

If you’re measuring the neighborhoods in San Diego where crime is low and everyone wants to live, this is an accurate list.

As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in San Diego aren’t all good. San Ysidro takes the title of the worst neighborhood to live in San Diego.

We ranked the neighborhoods from best to worst in the chart below.

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Neighborhoods To Live In San Diego For 2019

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Value Median Income
1 Del Mar Heights 6,860 $1,102,320 $125,086
2 North City 12,743 $1,111,200 $146,445
3 La Jolla 29,356 $1,326,057 $124,573
4 Carmel Mountain 9,581 $548,400 $109,735
5 Carmel Valley 39,559 $800,133 $146,086
6 Scripps Ranch 36,364 $619,742 $115,865
7 Wooded Area 7,369 $751,067 $109,591
8 Sabre Springs 14,559 $551,371 $112,046
9 Rancho Penasquitos 63,341 $602,482 $119,880
10 Rancho Bernadino 44,185 $553,456 $95,093
11 La Jolla Village 6,108 $385,857 $68,178
12 San Carlos 14,460 $542,578 $98,573
13 Roseville 6,705 $737,410 $97,826
14 University City 50,132 $496,437 $79,076
15 Lake Murray 20,476 $448,128 $78,711
16 South Park 4,717 $513,357 $70,529
17 Bay Park 16,187 $561,693 $72,934
18 Pacific Beach 31,770 $612,228 $84,251
19 Clairemont Mesa 38,765 $447,570 $70,301
20 Marina 4,435 $527,383 $81,068
21 Tierrasanta 20,893 $420,812 $92,814
22 Del Cerro 6,238 $576,086 $90,103
23 Sorrento Valley 9,484 $424,675 $101,333
24 Ocean Beach 11,549 $671,220 $80,033
25 Bay Terrace 22,838 $310,253 $73,018
26 Loma Portal 22,946 $537,748 $70,881
27 Alta Vista 9,210 $339,814 $80,027
28 Mira Mesa 71,228 $401,867 $92,480
29 Torrey Pines 2,072 $869,850 $107,456
30 North Clairemont 15,282 $472,486 $67,023
31 Little Italy 3,171 $429,400 $68,278
32 Bay Ho 12,154 $542,400 $76,991
33 Old Town 11,380 $513,255 $82,190
34 West University Heights 9,608 $469,970 $66,574
35 Park West 5,168 $604,117 $48,800
36 Columbia 1,641 $440,800 $82,797
37 Darnall 9,347 $312,383 $61,064
38 Gateway 2,657 $345,800 $66,000
39 Kensington 6,412 $551,271 $82,283
40 North Hills 43,221 $440,667 $63,468
41 Linda Vista 24,344 $384,435 $58,325
42 Paradise Hills 23,426 $284,980 $61,827
43 Serra Mesa 29,095 $358,640 $71,467
44 Midtown 19,847 $462,358 $69,895
45 Talmadge 9,733 $371,944 $55,951
46 Allied Gardens 8,906 $294,836 $72,258
47 College Area 21,712 $432,218 $58,577
48 Chollas View 9,025 $257,280 $43,595
49 Jomacha-Lomita 8,868 $304,180 $63,285
50 Moreno Mission 9,691 $362,560 $58,425
51 Grant Hill 12,403 $309,392 $35,511
52 Bird Land 5,136 $358,240 $72,367
53 Sky Line 10,572 $301,957 $58,462
54 Balboa Park 11,904 $382,159 $63,344
55 Rolando 8,526 $400,450 $48,682
56 Webster 10,383 $309,071 $57,071
57 Core 3,770 $96,950 $33,240
58 Grantville 14,104 $304,923 $67,889
59 Egger Highlands 9,877 $264,320 $47,002
60 El Cerritos 6,157 $313,775 $54,388
61 Normal Heights 15,186 $353,318 $52,797
62 Encanto 15,111 $329,310 $61,759
63 Cortez Hill 2,825 $205,400 $33,282
64 Tijuana River Valley 3,380 $584,700 $60,506
65 Mission Bay 62,292 $383,500 $65,071
66 City Heights West 31,588 $256,556 $36,560
67 Bario Logan 10,422 $194,600 $30,625
68 Southcrest 9,681 $256,967 $39,730
69 Emerald Hills 7,735 $321,520 $53,032
70 Valencia Park 6,293 $303,550 $53,292
71 Gaslamp Quarter 1,083 $189,600 $46,313
72 Lincoln Park 5,717 $325,633 $31,797
73 Nestor 16,126 $181,400 $57,292
74 City Heights East 38,743 $156,600 $32,300
75 Horton Plaza 659 $442,800 $40,484
76 Mountain View 12,582 $198,900 $30,582
77 Kearny Mesa 3,664 $328,900 $79,000
78 East Village 13,053 $370,033 $59,134
79 Mission Valley 7,490 $279,720 $74,473
80 Midtown District 10,962 $274,430 $53,556
81 Oak Park 9,873 $244,475 $50,064
82 Mount Hope 8,997 $288,200 $37,060
83 Memorial 14,637 $299,864 $30,176
84 Palm City 7,132 $216,300 $56,621
85 San Ysidro 28,456 $252,665 $46,562

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.