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Restaurants & Nightlife

A diverse mix of American and international restaurants makes it easy to find a restaurant that will satisfy your taste, no matter what that may be. Family owned and operated, Mi Tierra Super Taco makes you feel like you're getting a home-cooked meal in Mexico. If you're hungry, try the super rolled tacos, packed with guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, cheese and tomatoes. All the tacos are made with freshly rolled tortillas, and considering the amount of food you get, the prices can't be beat.

For an authentic Chinese dinner, head over to the Royal Mandarin Restaurant. The dinner special holds the title of main attraction, but be sure to add the fried shrimp. If you feel like staying in with friends, try one of the party trays, perfect for any sized gathering.

To the southwest, Mangia Italiano on Third provides a festive and friendly atmosphere along with the area's best Italian food, buffet-style. The restaurant serves as a terrific venue for banquets and special events in addition to catering.

In terms of nightlife, National City caters to those who want to have a few beers at the local bar, but those who want to dance and party also won't be disappointed. Stop by McDini's for a lively atmosphere that includes live music, sports and dancing. Get there during happy hour for a McDini's Sampler, which includes hot wings, chicken strips, and onion rings. The biggest crowds show up on weekends, so you can check it out then if you want to party, or visit during the week for a more relaxed environment.

History & Culture

As the second oldest city in the county, National City has a rich history that includes thousands of years spent as the territory of the Kumeyaay people, a Native American tribe. Frank, Warren and Levi Kimball purchased the territory and began construction on it in 1868, and it was incorporated in 1887.

The history of the area is reflected in its historical sites. Drive down Brick Row on Heritage Square to view the 10 houses designed for Santa Fe Railroad executives. Created to make an impression, each house boasts an artistic brick exterior. If you're interested in learning more about the history of railroads in this area, visit the Sante Fe Rail Depot, which serves as a railroad museum and a testament to the transcontinental railroad.
 

Shopping

Indoor and outdoor shopping centers populate the area, drawing in both locals buying the essentials and tourists looking for a one of a kind item.

Catch a movie at AMC Theatres, shop for wardrobe essentials at Macy's and finish up with a dinner at Applebees, all without leaving the Westfield Plaza Bonita Shopping Mall. This modern mall features free WiFi for all shoppers and a helpful phone application, alerting you to the latest sales and mall events. You won't have to look for a directory anymore, as the application provides a map and even has a feature to help you find your car.

If you're looking for something unique, go to Vida Mia Boutique, conveniently located on National City Boulevard. A friendly vibe and custom-made, vintage clothing make this shop a hidden gem. You can even get alterations done here. For affordable clothing, head over to Toda Moda, which sells clothes for people of all ages and sizes. The small-shop atmosphere adds to this boutique's charm.

You can stock up on groceries easily, since the area has options like Food4Less, Walmart, Smart & Final and a Vallarta Supermarket for Mexican foods. If you stick to fresh, natural foods, make sure to visit the National City Farmers Market, held Wednesday afternoons on A Avenue. Featuring plenty of organic items at low prices, the market also includes hot food stands and even arts and crafts products.

Parks

Designed with the community in mind, the neighborhood houses recreation centers, sports facilities, a senior center and a dog park.

Butterfly Park lives up to its name with butterfly motifs and plants set up throughout the park to attract butterflies. It even includes a performance area shaped like butterfly wings. Designed by volunteers from the community, the park holds a special place in the hearts of residents.

The El Toyon Recreation Center, Park & Multi-Use Sports Facility lies on East Fourth Street. The calm park area sits around a sloping hill and provides the perfect area to relax after a long day. If you have a dog, bring him to the dog park, which includes an area for both smaller and larger dogs. Classes are offered for both kids and adults, giving any age group the opportunity to stay active while having fun. The after school program makes it the perfect choice for kids who need a place to hang out before their parents get off work.