If you're looking for an after dinner cigar in a speakeasy type of setting, then head over to Excalibur Cigar and Hookah Lounge. It's tucked away in a cluster of buildings on Fifth Avenue, so you feel like you're sneaking off to do something bad. They have a decent selection of cigars, as well as hookahs, and they even serve beer and wine. Oh, and you can actually smoke in the building. So I guess you are sneaking off to do something bad, yes? 3858 5th Ave, (between Robinson Ave & University Ave), San Diego, CA 92103, (619) 260-8099.
Hillcrest NewsstandIt's not on the level as Paras Newsstand in North Park, but it's a neighborhood newsstand, nonetheless, and that's a good thing. Decent selection of periodicals, and in a prime location in the center of Hillcrest. 529 University Ave. (between 5th Ave & 6th Ave), San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 260-0492.
If you're looking for those punk-flavored Dr. Martens boots you finally need to replace, then Tredair is your place. It's pure rock n' roll footware by way of the U.K. Creepers, jack boots, Docs - this is where you get them. 406 University Avenue Suite A, San Diego, CA 92103, (619) 299-3743.
Urban Outfitters is a clothing and home retail chain for the stylishly hip and it has finally opened a second San Diego store in Hillcrest (the other is in the Gaslamp). Even if the clothing isn't up your alley, it's a cool place to browse. 3946 5th Ave. (between University Ave & Washington St), San Diego, CA 92103, (619) 209-5279.
It might be part of the Ace Hardware network, but Hillcrest Hardware is like your neighborhood mom and pop hardware store. You'll find everything you'll need for your home repairs, but only if you head downstairs to the basement level because you'll realize the store is deceptively larger than you think. Friendly, knowledgeable staff and its gay-friendly vibe makes Hillcrest Hardware especially unique to this neighborhood. 1007 University Ave. (between 10th Ave & Cleveland Ave), San Diego, CA 92103, (619) 291-5988.