Castle Park has more people with Mexican ancestry living in it than in any other part of the U.S., and this ancestry spills over to its local cuisine and way of life too.
To get a taste of authentic Mexican food, drop in at the popular Tacos El Gordo De Tijuana BC. Located on H street in Chula Vista, this family-owned restaurant serves excellent tacos on this side of the border. Touted as one of the best Mexican restaurants in San Diego, this place stays packed irrespective of when you come. As you enter, the aromatic smell of fresh tacos welcomes you. The service is quick too, so you don't have to wait long to enjoy your meal. Choose from a range of tacos such as carne asada, suadero, cabeza, tripa, lengua, sesos, sopes and tostadas to get your fill of authentic Mexican food.
If you thought Castle Park is all about Mexican food, a visit to Tuktan Thai Food on Broadway St. might change your mind. With great food and friendly service, this restaurant attracts locals in a big way. Whether you want to stop by for a quick takeout or want to dine here with family and friends, the fresh food blows away your taste buds. Some of the specialty dishes include Crab Rangoon, panang seafood, goog haw, kao-soy noodles, tiger cry steak, tuktan wrap, beef salad and crab avocado roll.
To savor good Italian food, visit Italianissimo Trattoria on 3rd Avenue. This authentic Italian restaurant serves simple and authentic Italian food, such as risotto pescadore, spaghetti carbonera, stinco d'agnello, farfalle pesto, sorbetto tricolore and more. With excellent décor and friendly staff, this place makes for a fine dining experience.
For a vibrant nightlife experience in Castle Park, head to Diamond Jim's Night Club on 3rd Avenue. A fun DJ, large dancing floors, live band and great drinks make this bar a popular hangout for locals. A different music is played each night with reggae on Wednesdays and 80s on Friday nights.
Another good place to hangout is Dock's, one of the oldest dive bars in the Chula Vista region. This place features karaoke fun combined with great music and drinks. Friendly bartenders and happy crowds make this bar another popular place to chill out with your friends on any day of the week.
History of this region began almost 3,000 years ago when Yuman speaking people began to live here. Later, the Americans of the Kumeyaay tribe called this place their home, and many Americans living today can trace back their ancestry to this tribe. Its modern history began in 1875 when Spanish explorers called this place Rancho de Rey. It was taken over by the son-in-law of the then Mexican governor. Forster then sold this land to Kimball brothers, and they developed this city into a thriving center of trade and commerce.
This rich history is best seen through pictures at the Chula Vista Heritage Museum on 3rd Avenue. To get a feel of the local arts, drive a few miles to Riverside's AMC Tyler Galleria 16. Festivals and annual events abound here with some of the popular ones being Mission Federal ArtWalk, Celebrando El Mariachi and Annual Winter Choral.
Public transportation options abound here thanks to the Metro Transit System that connects Castle Park with other parts of Chula Vista and San Diego metro. The Chula Vista Transit system provides last-mile connectivity too, so you don't have to walk long distances. Alternately, take your car to get around the neighborhood or zip through Interstate 5 to cover the 12-mile distance to San Diego within minutes. Availability of free and paid public parking spots means no more parking hassles for you. Safe neighborhoods and good weather make biking and walking other options to get to nearby places.
Beautiful landscapes and friendly neighborhoods come at a price, so Castle Park sits at about 47 percent higher than the average national cost of living. This translates to higher-than-average cost for amenities as a single bedroom apartment rents for $875.24, while a pint of beer at the local pub costs $4.95. Castle Park features gas prices 6.5 percent higher than the national average.
Shop till you drop at Otay Ranch
Town Center and Chula Vista Center. Located on Birch Road, Otay Ranch Town Center is dog-friendly, which means shoppers and their canine friends are encouraged to roam the shops. There's also a weekly farmer's market with food stalls and local fares between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. Located on Broadway, Chula Vista Center has a children's play area for your kids. It also houses
several eateries such as Buffalo Wild Wings, BJ's restaurant and brewhouse, and other smaller places where you can grab a quick bite.
For smaller boutiques, check out East Side Sequel on Palomar Street. This upscale retail boutique has a great selection of women's clothing at reasonable prices. The best part, aside from the deals, proceeds from this store benefit domestic violence programs at South Bay Community Services.
Get your grocery essentials at Trader's Joe, Ralph's and Fresh and Easy. Third Avenue Village Farmers’ Market and Otay Ranch Town Center Farmer's Market sells fresh fruits, flowers, vegetables and high-quality Mexican snack foods.
Take your kids to All Season's Park on Magdalena Ave as it has two playgrounds for different ages, lots of open grassy areas, picnic tables, a basketball court, walking trails and a soccer field. Mountain Hawk Park abounds with walking and running trails, kids play area, dog area, basketball court and ample parking spaces, making it the favorite for the locals.