Kensington is named for a borough in London, England, and its pioneering subdivision dates back to 1910. Developers designed this unique neighborhood based on its geography and the non-standard layout due to its location on a narrow peninsula isolated on three sides by steep slopes, much of which is dedicated open space. Kensington offers a miniature "Main Street" along Adams Avenue, replete with coffee shops, restaurants, a branch library and the regionally famous Ken Theatre, Kensington Café and Kensington Video. With its stone gateways, ornamental lighting, and curving streets, the neighborhood is a strong candidate for designation as a historical district.

This upscale enclave on the southeast rim of Mission Valley is picturesque, with attractive (and pricey) Spanish-styled homes for upwardly mobile yuppies. It's a peaceful pocket amid the hubbub of the inner city. There's a tiny business district along the single main artery, Adams Avenue.

Kensington's History

Known for its distinct California Spanish-style single family homes, Kensington was developed by real estate developers in 1926.

The subdivision consists of 115 acres overlooking Mission Valley. The Davis Baker Company of Pasadena developed much of the original homes. Famous local architect Richard Requa, who was associated with Davis Baker, brought his distinctive California architectural theme, which had Mediterranean influences.

What Makes It So Special

The original homes and the quiet, winding streets. The Spanish tiled cottage style homes and their immaculate lawns also make the neighborhood stand out.

What Defines Kensington?

Kensington is one of the three mid-city urban neighborhoods that whose main thoroughfare is Adams Avenue. It is at the eastern end of the strip that begins with University Heights at the western end, with Normal Heights in-between. Of the older urban neighborhoods in San Diego, it is one of the most desirable to live in. Like its fellow 'hoods, it is distinguished by the classic neon "Kensington" sign that spans Adams Avenue.

Things to Do in Kensington

Like the other appealing neighborhoods in town, Kensington is a great, compact walking neighborhood. Just stroll through the winding roads north of Adams Avenue and admire the homes that exude character. Take in the 3-block business district along Adams of local businesses and eateries.

Best Bets for Eats in Kensington

You must go to Ponce's for Mexican food. It's been around forever (actually since 1969) at the corner of Terrace Drive and Adams Avenue, serving up no-frills Mexican food at good prices. Local favorite the Kensington Grill offers a hip and stylish setting, and the Blue Boheme, a rustic vibed French bistro. Romeo & Julieta on the southeast borders of Kensington & Talmadge features inimate upscale cultured eats and great wine pairings.

Best Bets for Drinks and Entertainment

The Kensington Club is the place for drinks in Kensington. This venerable, old-school neighborhood haunt is one of San Diego's favorite dive bars. By day, it's a dark and mellow place to chill. At night, it livens up the quiet 'hood with live bands and DJs spinning music. For unique entertainment, there's the art house Ken Cinema, one of the last single-screen movie venues in the county. It's an excellent place to see classic, short and foreign flicks.

How to Get to Kensington

From I-8, take SR-15 south and take the Adams Avenue exit. Go east on Adams and Kensington begins just after the SR-15 overpass.

It's hard to miss the big Kensington sign.

The neighborhood's eastern boundary is generally considered Van Dyke Avenue. Meade Avenue is considered the south boundary, where there is more of a mixture of bungalow homes and apartment complexes. The core Kensington, though, is acknowledged as from Adams Avenue north.

San Diego, CA 92108
$789,000
1742
sqft
3.5
Baths
3
Beds
Appealing Townhome in Parklike, Gated Community. Virtually detached end unit with Large Bedrooms on split levels. Kitchen remodelled into a Light & Bright Open floor plan. Kraft Maid cabinets w/Pantry & Work Station. Distinctive Glass & S/S Range Hood over electric Convection Oven (gas available). Newer dbl. glazed Windows and Patio & Balcony Deck Doors. Primary Bedroom has a Walk-in Closet w/shelving, and a newly rebuilt and resurfaced private deck. All new Decora outlets, switches and GFIC's. Central A/C with gas Heat and Fireplace. Two vehicle attached garage with built-in cabinets and laundry sink. Sunny patio and nice size Backyard. All new siding was installed and painted in 2018. See Supplement for more...
San Diego, CA 92116
$1,095,000
1266
sqft
3.5
Baths
3
Beds
Classic single level Spanish in Kensington with every upgrade you can imagine and featuring a detached guest home with alley access perfect for guests or in-laws! You'll love the private open space in the backyard where your dog can run free and your imagination can run wild with the endless possibilities. No expense was spared during the recent owner-occupied renovation from the foundation to kitchen, baths, upgraded plumbing & electrical and so much more. One of Kensington's best buys this year!
San Diego, CA 92116
$2,850,000
4035
sqft
4
Baths
6
Beds
Historic Kensington! Significant potential for designation and Mills Act. A part of Kensington's Historic past this Spanish Colonial Revival was once in the hands of former Mexican President General Pasqual Ortiz Rubio. Its colorful past is matched with the incredible artwork of renowned Mexican artist and set designer Ignacio Martinez Rendon in the front enclosed loggia. The layout of this home is grand with a sizable front entry on the other side of the elaborate and unique front door. Upon entering, the family room is off the entry to the right with its corner fireplace, original lighting fixtures and elaborate hand painted ceiling. Ahead through the beveled glass doors is a magnificent step down living room with beamed ceiling, majestic fireplace and ample room to create a few seating areas. Formal dining will hold a table for 12 or more with dual chandeliers. The kitchen with vintage appliances will please any chef and the adjacent nook is extremely charming and inviting. Upstairs, three bedrooms await as well as a hall vintage bath. Up just a few more steps is the grand main bedroom with enough square footage to have a seating area. The vintage bath is off in a separate alcove and again very spacious. The fixtures and tile work all original are amazing! Two bedrooms on the level below the first floor are versatile in their use and a three quarter bath separates them. Nine hundred square feet of patio on the main level all in Spanish pavers and the central fountain sets the stage. Plenty of room to have several tables and chairs, all overlooking the verdant canyon.
San Diego, CA 92116
$1,550,000
2218
sqft
3
Baths
4
Beds
Perched on a hillside, this amazing single-story home is situated in the heart of Kensington and includes over $200,000 in upgrades. Offering 3 bedrooms with an optional 4th and 3 baths. This one-of-a-kind property features a fully open concept with a kitchen island perfect for entertaining. Finishes include quartz counters, stainless steel appliances, Viking stove and an endless amount of cabinets. The master suite is complete with a walk-in closet, additional seating nook, dual shower & sinks. The wrap around Timbertech deck compliments any needs for outdoor living and entertaining. Fully owned solar and no HOA's.
San Diego, CA 92116
$818,000
819
sqft
1
Baths
2
Beds
Charming Spanish style stucco home on a large corner lot with detached garage. Adorable original built-ins in the living room and hallway, Original tile fireplace (gas). Original Hardwood flooring throughout the main living area and bedrooms. Original touches include; picture hanging molding, curved archways, original glass door knobs and hardware. Large and open updated kitchen with granite countertops, stainless appliances, gas range and tile flooring. The Bathroom has been updated too with marble shower and flooring, cute vanity with stone top with lots of storage. Dual pane windows throughout, tankless water heater, laundry is in the garage and is set up for gas or electric. Fenced private backyard and cute back patio with old growth fruit trees. Two bedrooms, one bathroom, 819 square feet of charm. Nestled just 3 blocks from Adams Avenue and everything the Kensington neighborhood has to offer including locally owned restaurants and shopping. Offer by Jordan Clark Horn BRE#01877981
San Diego, CA 92116
$1,795,000
2332
sqft
3
Baths
4
Beds
Historic Kensington! Spacious Spanish of over 2300 square feet on a flat useable 15,000 square foot lot! Room for a pool and/or an ADU. This is a rare LARGE flat lot on a canyon. Four bedrooms three baths, formal living and dining rooms and an eat in kitchen. A large laundry room off the kitchen allows for several kitchen upgrade options. Two bedrooms down (one has an ensuite bath which could function as a main bedroom). Sitting room leads to the upper floor with a very generous main bedroom and bath as well as an office or nursery room and a fourth bedroom. Upper balcony overlooks the canyon to the west. Back to the lower level there is a covered patio large enough for great entertaining, all overlooking the flat yard with spa and room to create your Kensington "paradise". Two car detached garage and a long driveway for additional off street parking. Great street, great square footage and a great lot!
San Diego, CA 92108
$724,900
1750
sqft
3.5
Baths
3
Beds
Kensington Park is the best kept secret in SD, featuring resort like amenities; gated entry, exquisite landscaping, 2 pools, streams and koi pond. This home has been recently updated and features extra large bedrooms, 2 decks and a large private patio, new paint & appliances, formal entry and attached 2 car garage. The 3 bedroom/2.5 bath floor plan is wonderfully designed including polished travertine floors, stainless steel countertops, abundant natural light and attic access for extra storage. At the top of Kensington Park Villas is a walking path leading directly to a private gate allowing KPV's residents exclusive access to the village of Kensington and all of the uber cute shops, cafes & restaurants. KPV is city life at its best! Great location, wonderful community and minutes from wherever you want to be.
San Diego, CA 92116
$1,499,000
1636
sqft
3
Baths
3
Beds
Kensington Classic Spanish! Significant Historic Designation/Mills Act potential with this Louise Severin designed single story hacienda with three bedrooms three baths and a family room/office. A great floor plan with a remodeled kitchen, updated main bath and so many uses for the central office/family room. The kitchen and breakfast nook open up to the awning covered patio and the pool and spa (solar heated)! Central forced heating and air conditioning too. Detached single car garage with additional off street parking. Large approx 6500 sf corner lot. You will want to see this one!
San Diego, CA 92116
$1,595,000
1630
sqft
3
Baths
3
Beds
MILLS ACT Tudor Revival in the heart of Kensington that has every upgrade you can imagine! Walking through the front door you see a grand living room w/ a Batchelder fireplace, 10' ceilings and an impressive window that soaks the room with sunlight. The formal dining room opens to the modern kitchen ideal for entertaining friends and family. Enjoy a detached guest home that's 300 SF with a full bath and has a separate entrance and has made $25,000/year on airbnb. 5 minute walk to everything in Kensington!
  • Log in
  • ×