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
Welcome to

Little Italy

Where top chefs and brewers have set up shop

Photo By Paul Body

Once home to San Diego's flourishing tuna fishing industry and generations of Italian families who made their living on the sea, Little Italy is now a lively neighborhood with cozy patio cafés, international restaurants, craft brew stops, urban wineries, art galleries, sophisticated shops, boutique hotels, and the festive Piazza della Famiglia.

San Diego's Dynamic Culinary Hot Spot

Today, San Diego's most dynamic food and drink scene is centered in Little Italy. It's a place where the past meets the present, where Top Chef alums have set up shop next to old-school eateries that remain treasured landmarks.

A slew of luminary chefs have gravitated to Kettner Boulevard, giving it the moniker of "Top Chef Alley" with distinctive eateries including Juniper & Ivy, Cloak & Petal, Born and Raised, The Crack Shack, Herb & Wood and Kettner Exchange. India Street is lined with restaurants featuring cuisines of both Southern and Northern Italy, including the classic Filippi's Pizza Grotto, featuring an old-fashioned Italian dining experience.

No Little Italy neighborhood would be complete without a true Italian market and Mona Lisa Italian Foods fits the bill. The deli offers a selection of foods, wine and delicious deli sandwiches.

Since 1934, the Waterfront Bar & Grill has been a favorite local watering hole serving locally brewed ales and burgers. And the British-owned and -operated Princess Pub and Grille serves British and Irish beers, along with traditional pub fare such as fish and chips for patrons watching soccer and rugby via satellite TV.

Craft Beer is also in the spotlight here with establishments such as Ballast Point Brewing and Bottlecraft  Beer Shop & Tasting Room. And for wine lovers, Carruth Cellars Wine Garden and Pali Wine Co. are perfect places for local wine tasting.

The Heart of Little Italy

The central gathering point in Little Italy is a European-style piazza known at Piazza della Famiglia. The 10,000-square-foot plaza connects India and Columbia streets and features a dramatic tiled fountain. Enjoy an afternoon stroll across the cobblestone street while relaxing before dinner. The piazza, in the "heart" of Little Italy, is dedicated to the past, present, and future families of the Little Italy neighborhood.

Just steps from the plaza, savor the flavors of Italy in the Little Italy Food Hall. This new social dining concept offers six locally-driven food stations and a full bar with local beers and craft cocktails.

Shopping and Farmers Markets

Little Italy also features some great local boutiques including Rosamariposa, Vocabulary Boutique, and Stroll where you can find fun women’s fashions and handmade local items, and the NoLi Art & Design District which encompasses a group of retail shops, design stores and art galleries. Klassic and Architectural Salvage are both worth a visit for home goods and unusual finds.

Each Saturday from 8:00 AM until 2:00 PM, several blocks of Little Italy are shut down for the weekly Little Italy Mercato—a dynamic farmers market where locals shop for fresh produce along with gourmet goods, flowers, crafts and ready-made foods.

Events

Little Italy San Diego is also known for several fun festivals including the Mission Federal Artwalk each Spring.

Find a place to stay

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

Getting to Little Italy

The aroma of fresh baked bread and Italian seasonings should be enough to get you close to Little Italy. But on a more practical sense, Little Italy is nestled between the downtown core and San Diego's glistening waterfront. If you're arriving from the North, exit on Front Street, and immediately turn right on Cedar. Welcome to the neighborhood! From the airport, take Harbor Drive to Grape Street (turn left) - you're in the center of Italian cuisine bliss. You could walk from downtown, or grab a pedi-cab for a romantic ride to your favorite Italian spot, but however you get there, save room for cannolis. Mangia!

 

Discover Little Italy

What's Hot|
What's On|

Walk to the Waterfront

Little Italy is just a short walk from San Diego's big bay and the activities along the embarcadero. 

Discover

Ciao! Little Italy

Little Italy is a place where the past meets the present, where Top Chef alums have set up shop and old-school eateries remain as treasured landmarks.

Discover

San Diego Farmers Markets

Don't miss Saturday mornings at the Little Italy Mercato farmer's market. 

Discover

San Diego International Film Festival

Oct 19 - Oct 23, 2022

The 21st Annual San Diego International Film Festival is really 'Putting the Fest Back in Festival!' This year includes the return of the Opening Night Film Premiere & Reception, the Night of the Stars Tribute, Culinary Cinema, plus more in-person parties, panels and networking events.

Discover

San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 25 - Oct 2, 2022

San Diego Restaurant Week, hosted by the California Restaurant Association, returns with over 100 restaurants across 30+ neighborhoods for eight days of dining.

Discover

Little Italy Mercato (Every Wednesday)

May 13 - ongoing

vSimilar to the treasured Little Italy Mercato on Saturday, the year-round Little Italy Wednesday Mercato will offer a selection of farm fresh produce, pastured eggs, poultry, meat, fish, baked goods, dips and spreads, yogurt and select local arts and crafts brought to the neighborhood by California farmers, fisherman and artisan foodmakers. The Little Italy Wednesday Mercato occupies three blocks on W. Date St. between Kettner Blvd. and State Street including the Piazza della Famiglia. Shop twice as fresh, on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Little Italy farmers markets. 

Discover

Pizza, Pasta and Piazzas - Little Italy Food Tour

Jul 14, 2022 - ongoing

-  A walking tour of the exciting history of Little Italy
-  Taste a combination of Italian flavors and unique bites from 4 restaurants that represent the area
-  Learn about the early fishing industry of San Diego
-  Meet some of the local Italians who’ve been a part of the revitalization of the area
-  Wine, sangria or local beer tasters

The Pizza, Pasta and Piazza tour is the perfect way to get to know the city’s best neighborhood for food and fun!  San Diego’s Italian quarter has grown in popularity for not just Italian fare, but also for the rich array of local restaurant hot-spots that have opened up in the last 10 years, or so.  In addition to the traditional pasta and pizza dishes, Little Italy offers up top chef cuisine, vegan breakfasts, juicy burgers, and lounges for dancing and fine cocktails.  Join our guides for tasty fun!

Discover

What's Hot

View All

Walk to the Waterfront

Discover

Ciao! Little Italy

Discover

San Diego Farmers Markets

Discover

What's On

View More Events

San Diego International Film Festival

Oct 19 - Oct 23, 2022
Discover

San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 25 - Oct 2, 2022
Discover

Little Italy Mercato (Every Wednesday)

May 13 - ongoing
Discover

Pizza, Pasta and Piazzas - Little Italy Food Tour

Jul 14, 2022 - ongoing
Discover

Little Italy on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Team Building

MRDRinSD - 10% Discount from Murder n' Mayhem

Murder n Mayhem
Valid: Jun 24, 2022 - ongoing

Use discount code: MRDRINSD for 10% off tickets for all Tours & Experiences with Murder n' Mayhem. Redeem online at murdernmayhem.com or via phone 619-781-8013 with Discount...

Tours & Sightseeing

Save 20% on an Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Amazing Scavenger Hunts by Urban Adventure Quest
Valid: Jan 3 - ongoing

Turn San Diego's Old Town or Balboa Park into a giant game board with this fun Scavenger Hunt Adventure. Combine the excitement of the Amazing Race with a three-hour city tour. Guided from any smart...

Activity

Del Mar Village Dollars

Del Mar Village Association
Valid: Mar 7, 2022 - ongoing

Purchase a digital Del Mar Village Dollars eGift card for yourself or a friend. Enjoy and spend your Del Mar Village Dollars while supporting participating Del Mar Village restaurants and retailers....

Related Articles and Features

Explore theNeighborhood

Areas of Interest

Where to Stay

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

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