Central Escondido – Escondido, CA

The Spanish word for "hidden," for which Central Escondido was named, aptly describes this neighborhood, tucked away in a valley between the rolling hills of southern California. Central Escondido was once made up of farmland, but today features many breweries, art galleries and shopping opportunities. Just 30 miles north of San Diego, this city is known for having residents from a mix of all income levels.

Schools in Central Escondido

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Restaurants & Nightlife

You find dining options representing many types of cuisine in Central Escondido, and most of the restaurants can be found in the downtown area. For a fine-dining experience, locals frequent Intertwined Bistro and Wine Bar. The restaurant specializes in updated versions of classic American dishes, such as ginger-ale pork chops with apple compote, one of the most popular selections. Finish off the meal with the Nutter Butter pie, a favorite dessert selection. The intimate atmosphere makes for an ideal date location, and people also come here for social dinners to share meat-and-cheese platters as they pass them around the table. An expansive selection of beer and wine also draws in customers. Be sure to call ahead, especially on weekends, because you will likely need reservations. Being close to Mexico, you find many options for Mexican food in the area. While locals may disagree on which place serves the most authentic Mexican food, El Taco Caliente remains a strong contender. The tacos al pastor is one of the favorite dishes, and when you see the cooks shave off slices of meat vertically roasting on a spit, there can be no doubt about the freshness of your food. Although not an authentic Mexican dish, don't forget to try the California burrito, a creation out of San Diego revered across the southern part of the state. This dish consists of a flour tortilla stuffed with meat, French fries and cheese that will satisfy any appetite. With tacos costing under two dollars, you can stop by El Taco Caliente to grab a quick and affordable lunch any day of the week. For another unique dining experience, visit Cuscatlan Comida Salvadoreña, a restaurant that specializes in Salvadorian cuisine. To start off the meal, try the pupusa, a classic Salvadorian dish consisting of a meat-and-cheese filling stuffed into a thick corn tortilla. If you are unfamiliar with this style of food, opt for the sampler platter, which comes with small portions of all of the restaurant's favorite dishes. With covered patio seating, many people visit the restaurant to eat lunch while enjoying the sunny weather and watching the people shopping downtown. With many bars and breweries, you will have no trouble finding nightlife options. To hear live music, many people go to O'Sullivan's Pub and Restaurant, located in downtown. At this Irish pub, you can grab a pint of Guinness and socialize while listening to a line-up of bands that change nightly. People also enjoy the trivia and open mic nights on Wednesdays. The expansive selection of Irish and Scotch whiskeys, the largest in San Diego County, keeps people coming back time after time.

History & Culture

Spanish settlers first explored Escondido in the late 1770s. The Escondido Land and Town Company purchased the land in 1886 and divided it up into parcels for citrus farms. Since then, housing developments have taken over much of the former farm lands, but there are still vineyards around Escondido that supply the many wineries in the area. Check out this history with a visit to the Escondido History Center where you can view artifacts from the days of steam rail and watch blacksmiths perform their trade. If you want an evening activity, head over to the California Center for the Arts, right in the middle of Escondido, to watch a play or hear a band perform. Save some time to browse through the galleries and see the constantly changing exhibits while you are there.


An extensive bus system makes it easy to get around town, and the routes include popular destinations such as downtown and Westfield Mall. The bus will also take you to surrounding cities and many people use the bus for rides to watch the Padres or Chargers play. This allows people to drink at the games without having to worry about getting a ride home. For a day at the beach, hop on the train for a ride to the coastal towns of Carlsbad or Oceanside. The Escondido Transit Center forms the transportation hub of the area and its location in the middle of Escondido makes it easy to access. Uber serves San Diego and the surrounding areas, and many taxi companies operate in Escondido, making it easy to get a cab. It can be tough to find a parking spot in downtown, but many people use the extensive paths throughout Escondido for biking. Many parts of the neighborhood, particularly downtown and surrounding parks, are walkable as well. Interstate 15 runs through Escondido and can be used to easily drive to nearby cities.


Although southern California is renown for its high cost of living, you will find lower living costs in Central Escondido compared to San Diego, particularly in regards to housing. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment hovers around $900, and gas costs about 10 percent higher than the national average. For a pint of beer at a local bar, you can expect to pay around $6. Bus fare from Central Escondido to San Diego on Metropolitan Transit System Route 20 comes to $2.50.


Shopping opportunities abound in Central Escondido, and many can be found downtown along Grand Avenue, including clothing boutiques, antique furniture, home goods, and vintage threads. If you are heading to the beach, stop by Book Mark the Paperback Book Exchange for a good read. The store sells a wide selection of used books at a fraction of the list price, including large science fiction and romance sections. When you finish your book, simply return it for credit to apply to future purchases. For avid readers, this is the best way to tear through titles without spending a lot of money. Most locals shop for groceries at Smart & Final and Vons, the main grocery stores that service the area. A farmers market operates Tuesday nights on Grand Avenue and sells a wide selection of produce, flowers and baked goods.


While much of southern California has succumbed to urban sprawl, many natural areas still exist around Central Escondido. To spend some time outside, head to the center of Central Escondido where you come upon Grape Day Park. People enjoy playing the giant game sets such as dominoes and checkers, which have game pieces more than three feet tall. The 25-yard swimming pool and children's pool attract visitors as well. Children also enjoy playing on Vinehenge, an interactive art project that consists of climbing structures and slides. The park gets its name from the annual Grape Day Festival, which celebrates the harvest of local vineyards. Admission to the park is free, and the park permits leashed dogs. With a short drive, you can reach the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which has hundreds of acres of land on which many wild animals roam. You can take a safari ride through the park and see exotic wildlife such as giraffes, elephants and lions. Shows and performances take place throughout the day and children enjoy the playground and water area. Tickets for a single day cost around $50, but you can get group rates and bundle tickets to visit the San Diego Zoo as well. Kit Carson park encompasses hundreds of acres and draws in a hefty crowd of visitors. The park has a heavy focus on recreational opportunities and contains lighted softball fields, soccer fields and tennis courts. Within the grounds, you will also find the Sports Center, which contains a skate park and multiple hockey arenas. Wildlife enthusiasts also frequent the park to enjoy the three ponds and extensive hiking trails. People also come to enjoy Queen Califa's Magical Park, a huge sculpture garden situated in the middle of a 12-acre arboretum.
Summer Creek Apartments
640 W Lincoln Ave, Escondido, CA 92026
1 / 7
2 wks
$1,450 - 1,650 1-2 Bed Available Now
515 Meander Glen, Escondido, CA 92025
52 min
$1,922 - 2,651 1-3 Bed Available 05/01/17
The Summit
444 E 4th Ave, Escondido, CA 92025
1 hr
$1,435 - 2,115 1-3 Bed Available Now
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1245 Morning View Dr, Escondido, CA 92026
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Plaza Verde Apartments
1375 N Broadway, Escondido, CA 92026
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Call for Rent 1-2 Bed Available Soon
Forest Glen
493 Beaumont Glen, Escondido, CA 92026
2 wks
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