arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

Hot Neighborhood: Little Italy

A haven for foodies and art lovers

With more than 70 eateries, cocktail lounges and fine dining options, this San Diego locale is known for its sterling culinary scene. But Little Italy is more than just a place for foodies — this hotspot is filled with tons of options for entertainment, culture and more. 

Making a strong case for being San Diego hottest foodie neighborhood, Little Italy is home to a number of celebrity chefs, including Brian Malarkey and Richard Blais, as well as rising stars equally deserving of recognition for both classic and inventive dishes. Once home to legions of Italian tuna fishermen, this historical neighborhood walks the line perfectly between honoring its history and basking in change. If you’re looking for handmade pasta or other delicacies of authentic Italian heritage, look no further. But if you’re looking for creative suds from a Danish brewer, ultra-hip coffee shops, fashion boutiques, and ice cream that’s developed a cult following, well, you’ve also come to the right place.

Piazza della Famiglia

Where: West Date Street, between India and Columbia
The 10,000-square-foot European-style piazza is the new centerpiece of Little Italy. A beautiful fountain and tables and chairs provide a relaxing break from a day of strolling and shopping along this cobblestone street, and the rest of Little Italy. Stop by Amici Park with your four-legged friends, where you can enjoy performers who often entertain at the built-in Amphitheatre, and watch, or better yet, join in a game of bocce ball.

Born and Raised

Where: 1909 India St
The decadence of this steakhouse would make the Great Gatsby blush. There’s more to this place than its grand wooden ceiling, white tuxedo-clad waiters, and gold flourishes, though. Cocktails (prepared tableside on wheeled carts), luxurious cuts of grass fed beef, bone marrow, foie gras, and steak tartare are all to the nines.

Juniper and Ivy

Where: 2228 Kettner Blvd
Those looking for exquisite molecular gastronomy will find it at this renowned “left-coast cookery” with an ever-changing menu of seasonal ingredients. Powered by all-star chefs, the kitchen turns out dish after dish that prove how this restaurant has continued to stay relevant and rack up awards for years on end.

The Space

Where: 2355 India St
Known as “the Space,” this airy indoor mini-mall houses James Coffee Co., a menswear boutique, eyeglass shop, a barbershop, and other retail shops. It’s a one-stop-shop for an oat milk chai latte, trying on shades, getting clipped, and getting hip.

Love and Aesthetics

Where: 621 W Fir St
Jewelry, gifts, and fragrances of the fun, cheeky, and sometimes profane variety abound inside a cute Craftsman house. You’ll find coffee mugs and houseware with inspirational or just plain funny curse-laden expressions, as well as edgy and stylish home accents for sharp-eyed and sharp-tongued shoppers.

Monello

Where: 750 W Fir St
Enjoy handcrafted organic fresh pasta, Milanese-style, for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. Order a cheese wheel pasta dish to watch as the dish is prepared inside a huge cheese wheel, tableside. Monello is among the restaurants that allow a fast-changing Little Italy to retain its status as an Italian cuisine destination.

Mikkeller Brewing

Where: 2021 India St
Danish brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergsø brews up a rotating selection of up to 18 craft beers like the Resting Brew Face New England IPA, rum barrel-aged imperial stout, and Belgian strong golden ale. Murals adorning the walls resemble children’s book art.

Carruth Cellars Wine Garden

Where: 2215 Kettner Blvd
This local winery sources grapes from Northern California and Oregon, then does every other aspect of production in San Diego. The spacious, garden patio is a relaxing spot to sample their white, red, rose, and blends by the glass, bottle, and flight. Pair that with an ample selection of cheeses that can be made into gorgeous custom cheese boards.

Salt and Straw

Where: 1670 India St
Save some room—and some time for the out-the-door-line—for this craft ice cream joint that has amassed a cult following. Flavors like honey lavender, wild-foraged berry slab pie, and smoked sea salt and chocolate crack have converted devotees up and down the West Coast.

Nolita Hall

Where: 2305 India St
Inspired by drinking emporiums in Europe, enjoy craft cocktails and gourmet pizza inside a spacious, inviting location bathed in sunshine from floor-to-ceiling windows. Watch sports on flat screens or try your hand on the massive shuffleboard court.

Herb and Eatery

Where: 2210 Kettner Blvd
Adjacent to the more upscale Herb & Wood is this fast-casual, two-floor café where you can breakfast and lunch casually at group tables or couches. Pastries and bagels join the menu beside turkey sandwiches, salads, and pizza. Likewise, smoothies and coffee are right at home next to beer and wine.

Crack Shack

Where: 2266 Kettner Blvd
The “crack” in the name refers to the menu of reinvented chicken-and-egg classics. It's only local, free range birds here—but also to a secret spice blend. But it accurately describes the devastatingly addictive nature of sandwiches and more based around chicken fried to a crisp, ground into patties, and grilled and smoked to succulent perfection.

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Boating & Sailing

$5 off Whale Watching Cruises

Hornblower Cruises & Events
Valid: Jun 13, 2019 - ongoing

$5 off Whale & Dolphin Watching with Hornblower Cruises. Hornblower offers large comfortable Whale Watching boats with live narration from San Diego Natural History Museum's trained naturalists...

Accommodation

Stay Cool in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter!

San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter
Valid: Mar 12 - ongoing

Stay Cool in the heart of the city, surrounded by restaurants, nightlife & shopping. We’re 90 steps from PETCO Park, home of the San Diego Padres. And don’t miss ALTITUDE Sky Lounge...

Tours & Sightseeing

10% OFF Any San Diego Segway Tour!

Another Side Of San Diego Tours
Valid: Nov 20, 2019 - ongoing

Our Segway Tours are top ranked in San Diego according to TripAdvisor.com! Segway Tours are an ideal way to see San Diego because we cover so many areas of our city in less time and without...

Events to check out

Event

Comic-Con International: San Diego

Jul 23 - Jul 26, 2020

Comic-Con International is the largest comics and pop culture event in the United States, attracting thousands of artists, celebrities and fans of comic books, movie memorabilia and all things related...

Event

Supergirl Surf Pro

Aug 14 - Aug 16, 2020

The world’s top professional female surfers are back in Oceanside, CA for the 13th Supergirl Surf Pro, a 3-day event August 14-16, 2020. The weekend will be jam-packed with world-class...

Event

2020 Annual Over The Line Tournament

Jul 11 - Jul 19, 2020

The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC) is calling all players, beach-goers, and sports enthusiasts to the biggest summer event in San Diego!

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish