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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!

 

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Walk to the Waterfront

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

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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.

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San Diego Farmers Markets

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

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Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 29, 2024

February remains the perfect month to discover (or re-discover) the story of San Diego during Museum Month with 50% off admission to more than 60 San Diego County museums, historic sites, gardens, zoo/aquariums and more.

Join us every day in February as we explore a rich world of cultural experiences, including virtual activities, behind-the-scenes tours, and other special museum moments you can only find in San Diego. #SDMuseumMonth

 

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Chauffeured Vineyards Adventures - All year round!

Feb 15 - ongoing

You've heard of the Famous San Diego Winery Train Tour? Well, we have you covered with an even better adventure!

We've been running the Chauffeured Vineyard Adventure since 2010!

We take care of EVERYTHING. Just be ready at your door (hotel/home) and we'll whisk you away to gorgeous San Diego Wine Country!

You deserve the very best! Book your VIP, elevated experience NOW!

 

TASTE and SEE the best of San Diego’s wine, food and sights for one low price!

Winery Getaways - Wed. thru Sundays, year round!

 

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Valentines Romantic Chauffeured Winery Adventure

Feb 12 - Feb 29, 2024

Book your tour in February, or buy a gift certificate for future. It's the perfect Valentine celebration.  Enjoy door-to-door transportation, award-winning wines, a full meal and romantic vineyard views.

This luxurious chauffeured tour will take you through San Diego's scenic countryside, where you'll have the opportunity to taste the finest wines in the region. You'll also get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the winemaking process, as well as learn about the history and culture of San Diego.

Relax and unwind as you soak up the sun and take in the stunning views of the vineyards. Our expert guide will ensure that you have a fantastic time and that your needs are taken care of.

This Valentine, celebrate love with a delightful day of wine and tasty treats!

Book your elevated experience NOW!

 

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Little Italy Mercato (Every Saturday)

May 19, 2023 - ongoing

Join us at the Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and every Wednesday from 9:30am to 1:30pm, year-round, rain or shine. The Saturday market is San Diego County's largest, filling six city blocks on West Date Street from west of Kettner Blvd to Front Street. Shop for farm fresh produce, pastured eggs, poultry, meat, nuts and honey from California farmers; fish, olive oil, bread, sauces and much more from local foodmakers. Find selected local artisans and gifts at each end of the market. Farmers markets keep farmers farming. 

Mangia Bene. Eat well. Be well. 

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Walk to the Waterfront

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Ciao! Little Italy

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San Diego Farmers Markets

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What's On

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Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 29, 2024
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Chauffeured Vineyards Adventures - All year round!

Feb 15 - ongoing
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Valentines Romantic Chauffeured Winery Adventure

Feb 12 - Feb 29, 2024
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Little Italy Mercato (Every Saturday)

May 19, 2023 - ongoing
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Little Italy on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Activities

For a Great Time this Memorial Day- Just Add Wine!

San Diego Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours
Valid: Feb 21 - ongoing

BOOK YOUR CHAUFFEURED VINEYARD ADVENTURE this month and receive a FREE souvenier tote bag when you mention this ad.  Sun & sip your way through ample tastings and large pours of local...

Tours & Sightseeing

Save 20% on an Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Amazing Scavenger Hunts by Urban Adventure Quest
Valid: Feb 2, 2024 - 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...

Team Building

Best Wine Tour Save $5-California Wine Month!

San Diego Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours
Valid: Feb 22 - ongoing

We heard it through the grapevine that it’s once again California Wine Month.   That’s exactly why we’d like to propose a toast to our favorite month of the year,...

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