California, San Diego, Shopping, USA

18 Best Malls in San Diego! (Our Ultimate List for Shopping in San Diego)

October 13, 2022

Looking for the best malls in San Diego? If you fancy some retail therapy, this list is going to tell you exactly where to go!

If you’re looking for the best malls in San Diego, then this list has you covered!

From outlet malls, to local community malls, this list is full of plenty of fantastic malls in San Diego that you’ll love checking out.

Whether you want to do some window shopping, or a full-blown splurge, our list of malls in San Diego will have something for you!

So, let’s get into our list of the best malls in San Diego!


Our favorite malls in San Diego!


Westfield Mission Valley Mall

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The first spot on our list of malls in San Diego that you’ll want to check out is Westfield Mission Valley Mall!

This spot boasts over 100 stores and is located on Camino Del Rio North.

Believe it or not, this shopper’s paradise has been around since 1961 and has been impressing visitors with department stores, health and beauty parlors, and fitness complexes ever since.

You’ll find classic stores like Claire’s, Van’s, and Kay Jewelers through this huge mall in San Diego, but you’ll also be able to grab a bite at the food court if you work up an appetite.

Panda Express? Chipoltle? Cava? You name it, this is one of the malls in San Diego that’s got it.

This is among the malls in San Diego that also has free Wi-Fi and Amazon Lockers.

So, if you’re a local who’s looking for a spot of convenience, this place has got you covered.


Malls in San Diego: Seaport Village

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Next on our list of incredible malls in San Diego, we have Seaport Village – and this one’s a doozy!

This is probably one of the most aesthetic malls in San Diego, as it’s right on West Harbor Drive and offers views of the bay from almost all angles.

It’s currently home to over 50 unique stores, 4 fine dining restaurants, and 13 amazing quick-stop eateries that’ll have you ready to take on the shops in no time.

Unlike other malls in San Diego, Seaport Village boasts cobblestone walkways and stunning gardens that make you want to stick around.

Although you’ll want to bop in and out of shops like Crazy Shirts and Windsong while you chow down on Ben & Jerry’s, you should take time to take in the gorgeous views before heading home.


Fashion Valley Mall

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Our next pick for the best malls in San Diego? It’s the world-famous Fashion Valley Mall!

This is one of the largest malls in San Diego (if not the largest at 1,720,533 square feet!), making it the perfect spot for last-minute Christmas shopping or a busy afternoon with friends.

This mall first opened its doors in 1967, but it’s come on leaps and bounds since its early days.

These days, it features a range of designer stores like Cartier, Celine, and Hugo Boss, alongside affordable brands like Bath & Body Works and GAP.

Whether you’re here for high-end pieces or simply want to catch a movie at the 18-screen movie theater, this is one of the malls in San Diego that takes a full day to explore!

Read more about San Diego: 24 things to do in Old Town, San Diego


Carlsbad Premium Outlets

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Next on our list of the best malls in San Diego is Carlsbad Premium Outlets, which is among the best places to visit for incredible bargains on luxury goods.

It’s proudly perched on Paseo Del Norte in Carlsbad and is home to over 85 stores that most shoppers will love. Which is why it makes our list of malls in San Diego.

Sports fans will appreciate Adidas and Asics, while fashion-conscious folks who adore name brands will love shops like Calvin Klein and Michael Kors.

When you’re all shopped out, you can pick up a satisfying bite to eat at popular chains like Ruby’s Diner or Mot’to Japanese Grill!

With so much to do and bargains to be had, it’s unsurprising that Carlsbad Premium Outlets is one of the top 15 malls in San Diego!


Westfield North County

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Another one of the fabulous Westfield malls in San Diego is Westfield North County, and it’s in the charming suburb of Escondido.

You can easily get here by hopping on I-15 and coming off on Via Rancho Parkway. Seriously, you’ll be on this mall’s doorstep in minutes!

This large mall boasts several unique stores, popular chain restaurants like Black Angus and California Pizza Kitchen, and even sets up meet and greets with your kids’ favorite superheroes and princesses!

You should expect the usual Westfield experience, but this is one of the malls in San Diego that frequently runs special events.

So, keep an eye out on their handy events list to make sure you don’t miss a thing! 

Whether that’s mid-season sales or the popular Soundcheck Series, you’ll be able to get down in a jiffy.


Bazaar del Mundo Shops

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Next on our list of the best malls in San Diego, it’s the Bazaar del Mundo Shops.

Bazaar del Mundo Shops is located on Taylor Street in the center of town, and it’s a colorful outdoor shopping mall with lots of different shops.

You’ll find home decor, jewelry, local art, souvenirs, and so much more. It’s a great little find!


Malls in San Diego: Coronado Ferry Center

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Next on our list of the best malls in San Diego, it’s the Coronado Ferry Center. This place is a little more touristy than some other malls in San Diego, but it’s a great choice for visiting.

The Coronado Ferry Center is fun, lively and full of lots of shops to enjoy!

There’s great views here, lots of fantastic shopping, and food choices too! Including family favorites such as The Cold Stone Creamery and the Crown Town Deli.

Read more about San Diego: 26 fun things to do alone in San Diego


Del Mar Highlands Town Center

If you’re on the hunt for the best malls in San Diego, then you’ll need to swing by Del Mar Highlands Town Center before leaving the city.

This spot can be found on El Camino Real and it’s around 30 minutes from downtown San Diego.

It’s not one of the largest malls in San Diego, but this two-story shopping complex packs a punch when it comes to stores, restaurants, and classes.

Oh, and did we mention the movie theater and live performance events that happen here regularly?

Throw in the wonderful play areas and water fountain area (with umbrellas and lounge chairs!), and you’ll quickly see why this is one of the most popular malls in San Diego for families with young kiddos.


Fenton Marketplace

Fenton Marketplace is next on our list of the best malls in San Diego.

This place is a modern pedestrian mall, with plenty of shopping choices and restaurants and dining choices too!

This mall is pretty laid back and relaxed, and the opening hours are 1am – 10pm – so plenty of shopping time. This is another great pick for the best malls in San Diego.


Hazard Center

Our next pick for the top malls in San Diego is Hazard Center.

Now, don’t let the name deceive you. There’s nothing hazardous about this fashion lover’s paradise. It just gets its name from being located on Hazard Center Drive – phew!

This is among our favorite outdoor malls in San Diego as it perfectly balances classic retail stores with services like the Timeless Age-Defying Laser Clinic that’s ideal for touch-ups and next-level skincare.

Feel like getting your nails done? Simply pop along to Lavish Nails for the ultimate manicure or pedicure. Need to work up a sweat? There’s an Orangetheory Fitness right on site. Which makes it a great pick for the best malls in San Diego.


La Plaza La Jolla

Image credit: https://www.laplazalajolla.com/

Oh man, we can’t get enough of La Plaza La Jolla. So, of course we had to include it on our list of the best malls in San Diego!

You’ll find this place on Girard Avenue and you can spend an hour or so trawling through the 10 onsite stores.

But honestly, it’s the services and restaurants that make this one of the top malls in San Diego.

Whether you feel like checking out Pure Barre, Browboss Brow & Beauty, or Blushtan for a killer spray tan, you’re bound to agree that LA Plaza La Jolla deserves a spot on any list of malls in San Diego to check out!


Flower Hill Promenade

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If you happen to be zooming along the I-5, you might want to take a detour to visit one of the best malls in San Diego – otherwise known as Flower Hill Promenade!

It’s a fully outdoor mall and is home to stores like Whole Foods Market, Sweetpea (an incredible children’s clothing shop!), and Katherine Cosmetics.

Unlike a few of the other malls in San Diego, Flower Hill Promenade is uber-popular as it boasts unique shops that you may not find in other retail areas.

So, if you’re on the hunt for one-of-a-kind gifts or simply need to stock up on healthy foods, this is the mall in San Diego that you’ll want to check out!


The Shoppes at Carlsbad

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The Shoppes at Carlsbad is located just off the I-5 freeway on El Camino Real, making it one of the easiest malls in San Diego to reach by car or public transport!

You won’t find many independent boutiques here, but it’s a great mall to visit for classic retail stores like Macy’s, Sears, and JCPenney.

If you need to refresh your look or get a bikini wax done (hey, no judgment!), you can stop by the Beauty Bar for waxing, threading, facials, and more!

Once you’ve had your fill of shopping at Claire’s, Cotton On, and Forever 21, you can stop for a brew at Coast Coffee Co. or a larger meal at Islands Fine Burgers & Drinks.

Whatever you choose to do here, this is one of the malls in San Diego that you’ll be visiting again in no time!

Read more about San Diego: Top 20 places for Mexican food in San Diego


Malls in San Diego: Las Americas Premium Outlets

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Next up on our comprehensive list of malls in San Diego, we have Las Americas Premium Outlet.

And trust us, this is one of the malls in San Diego that offers serious bargains.

This place is right by the Cali/Mexico border, so you’ll often find Mexican tourists milling around and enjoying the discounts.

There’s a decent mix of tween stores and high-end picks, but you’ll also find several casual dining spots that serve seriously impressive Mexican food.

If you need a breather at any point, simply pop outside to where the water fountains and palm trees are.

We promise you’ll soon be ready for retail round 2!


Old Town Esplanade Shopping Center

The Old Town Esplanade Shopping Center is next on our list of the best malls in San Diego. Now, this isn’t a traditional ‘mall’ experience – but it’s unique and we love it.

If you want to wander around and do a little shopping in Old Town, San Diego, then the Old Town Esplanade Shopping Center is a great place to visit.

Sure, it’s not one of the biggest malls on this list, but if you just fancy doing a little shopping and browsing in a lovely location, this is a great choice.

It opens at 9.30am, and closes at 8pm.


Westfield UTC Mall

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You’re probably tired of hearing about malls in San Diego that are owned by Westfield, but UTC Mall was simply too good to leave out!

Tucked away on La Jolla Village Drive, this place is extremely popular with students from the University of California San Diego (as it’s basically around the corner!).

Although this means you’ll have to jostle with a few students to grab the best bargains, Westfield UTC Mall is still one of the most fabulous malls in San Diego.

You can spend some time with the kids in the outdoor fountain area before grabbing a bite to eat at Eureka or catching a film at the AMC movie theater.

If shopping at malls in San Diego wears you out, recoup at Raised By Wolves which is a seriously laidback bar that serves incredible cocktails.


Headquarters at Seaport

Headquarters at Seaport will always deserve a place on our list of malls in San Diego as it’s just so darn gorgeous.

It can be found on West Harbor Drive and it’s flanked by palm trees and boasts some seriously impressive architecture.

And hey – it helps that this is one of the San Diego malls that’s located in quite a bougie part of town!

This open-air mall is home to over 30 incredible stores including Coco Rose and Cali Strong, but you’ll want to stop by Eddie V’s or the Cheesecake Factory when it’s time to refuel.

If you happen to be visiting at the right time (Thursdays!), you’ll also be able to enjoy a bunch of live music in the Courtyard. Talk about malls in San Diego that do it all!


Little Italy

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Okay, so the last place on our list of malls in San Diego isn’t quite like the enormous complexes we’ve mentioned throughout this article.

But Little Italy is charming, packed with wonderful boutiques, and allows you to chow down on some seriously good Italian eats as you shop.

And what could be better than that? This is absolutely one of the best malls in San Diego!

This place is super-festive and is always buzzing with tourists and locals. If you happen to be here during May, you’ll even be able to catch the Sicilian Festival which is a party and a half!

If you’re just here to shop, take your time bopping in and out of the galleries, home décor stores, and antique spots that encapsulate the area’s unique character.

Overall, it’s one of the deconstructed malls in San Diego that’s well worth visiting!


We hope our list of the best malls in San Diego has been helpful to you!

As you can see, there are so many great malls in San Diego to choose from!

So, which of these malls in San Diego will you plan to visit first? Let us know!

Read more about shopping: Top 10 outlet malls in Florida

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