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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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HOME OF THE FAMOUS WINERY TRAIN TOUR OF SAN DIEGO

Feb 20 - ongoing

The deluxe Chauffeured Winery Tour has been delighting tens of thousands of guests since 2010! It's our most popular tour because we take you to the actual vineyards so you get the whole experience seeing the grapes being grown and learning about how the wine is made. It's also very relaxing and VIP in that we pick you up at your home/hotel. You don't have all the walking and logistics of the getting to the train station and buying the train ticket. It's our most elevated, deluxe experience. Guaranteed, you'll love it! 

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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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Little Italy Mercato (Every Wednesday)

May 19, 2023 - ongoing

Similar 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. 

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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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HOME OF THE FAMOUS WINERY TRAIN TOUR OF SAN DIEGO

Feb 20 - ongoing
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Chauffeured Vineyards Adventures - All year round!

Feb 15 - ongoing
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Little Italy Mercato (Every Wednesday)

May 19, 2023 - ongoing
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Little Italy on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Breweries

Gift Certificates Make Great Stocking Stuffers!

San Diego Beer, Wine & Spirits Tours
Valid: Feb 16 - ongoing

Delight your loved ones with the gift of unforgettable experiences in San Diego! Our exclusive gift certificates are now available with a fantastic 15% discount. Why Choose Us? Unforgettable...

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...

Printing Services

Show Your Badge and Save At The UPS Store #7602

The UPS Store
Valid: Dec 6, 2023 - ongoing

You can save 10% off all print and shipping at The UPS Store in Little Italy, CA. Our address is 2020 Columbia St. Please note, this discount is only available at this location. 

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