An affordable restaurant for our community.
Serving up delicious cultural dishes at approachable prices, The Neighborhood Café highlights the rich diversity City Heights. Our espresso drinks, teas, sandwiches and pastries are also tasty grab-and-go items. As part of our café, we provide catering across San Diego County.
Monday to Friday: 8am–6pm
Now offering indoor dining!
Gift cards are available for purchase at the NEC.
Meet The Neighborhood Café.
Through our cooking, we celebrate our City Heights’ vibrant diversity and showcase cultural fare from our local community. We feature dishes like Chicken Adobo, a sweet-and-savory recipe from the Philippines, Soor Iyo Maraq, a traditional Somali Stew with Halal beef and vegetables, and Kanaw, a Karen dish of fish and noodles in a lemongrass garlic sauce.
Our diverse youth, their families, and fellow community members taught our Chef to craft authentic recipes that inspired the Neighborhood Café menu. Together, they connect, share and create a bridge in our community.
You can even rent our state-of-the-art kitchen.
Since 2018, local youth have gained employment and practical job skills as they run The Neighborhood Café at the NEC (Neighborhood Enterprise Center). All café sales go toward supporting their employment.
We are a social enterprise of UPAC (Union of Pan Asian Communities), a non-profit that serves San Diego County.
Meet our Head Chef.
Drawing on 25+ years of restaurant-industry experience, Chef Eddie has led The Neighborhood Café since 2019. Born and raised in San Diego, he started his career at a local mom-and-pop café in Chula Vista. From there, Chef Eddie worked his way up to Sous Chef/Kitchen Manager at the Paradise Point Hotel, overseeing large-scale banquets and 30+ staff members.
Chef Eddie’s drive to give back to the community inspired him to leave the corporate world and join The Neighborhood Café. Growing up “in the system” provides him with a unique perspective when mentoring and cooking with our program’s youth.
Uniting various cultures’ culinary traditions, Chef Eddie enjoys both creating menu fusions that produce new flavor profiles and also honoring traditional dishes. But working with the kids is his favorite part of his job. Seeing their skills grow – progressing from novices to cooking menu items on their own and serving at our catering events – makes coming to work easy!
Catering with heart.
With an array of cultural dishes in our repertoire, The Neighborhood Café helps you design a fresh, delectable and affordable catering spread that satisfies your family or event attendees. Our talented team creates appealing meals for small and large crowds alike.
Ask us about catering your next office lunch or holiday meal. We can cater to almost any menu, so let us know what you have in mind.
Just send us a message to get started.
Request our catering services:
Youth Impact Stories
SUPPORT THE NEC
Equip local youth with skills for today—and greater success tomorrow.
Meaningful employment. Deeper connection with their community. Practical skills for the future. As our local youth collaborate and learn together at the NEC, your donation or purchase ensures this space – and opportunity to learn – is here for them.