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 local brewers have set up shop

Photo By Paul Body

Food, Festivals and Farmers Markets

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 filled with patio cafés, packed restaurants, craft brew stops, urban wineries, art galleries, sophisticated shops, boutique hotels and the beautiful Amici Park. 

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 Born & Raised, Juniper & Ivy, 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 along with a delicatessen and market, which offers everything from prosciutto to mascarpone. 

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 and BottleCraft Beer Shop & Tasting Room.

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 featured 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, a mobile outdoor chef's area featuring demonstrations, and a full bar with local beers and craft cocktails.

No Little Italy would be complete without a true Italian market and Mona Lisa Italian Foods deli fits the bill. The deli offers a selection of foods, wine and delicious deli sandwiches. Little Italy also features some great local boutiques including The Shopaholics Boutique, Rosa Mariposa, Vocabulary Boutique and Melero Boutique & Gallery where you can find unique clothing, jewelry and small craft items, and the Kettner Art & Design District which encompasses a group of retail shops and art galleries. The French Garden Shoppe and Architectural Salvage are both worth a visit for home goods and unusual finds.  And 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.

Little Italy San Diego is also known for several fun festivals including Little Italy Festa! each fall and the Mission Federal Art Walk 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

19th San Diego Asian Film Festival

Nov 8 - Nov 17, 2018

The San Diego Asian Film Festival (SDAFF) is San Diego’s premier film showcase of Asian American and international cinema. Founded in 2000, the festival has grown to become the largest exhibition of Asian cinema in the western United States, and has showcased everything from future classics like Bong Joon-ho’s Memories of Murder (US Premiere) to luminary independent work like Patrick Wang’s award-winning In the Family (North American Premiere). Each year, the festival brings West Coast, North American, and World premieres of films from around the world to San Diego and gives audiences unique opportunities to discover international cinema.

This year, the 19th edition of SDAFF will showcase over 150 films from 20 countries from November 8-17, 2018.

Discover

Lisa Stansfield

Oct 24, 2018

Known for her hit "All Around the World", Lisa Stansfield’s career started when she won Search for a Star, a singing competition. After many number one hits she was nominated for Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best New Artist.

Genre: soul / pop


Ticket Price: $37 advanced / $40 day of show / $126 Indigo Grill + Show for 2 (online only--limited availability).


Lisa Stansfield Meet & Greet Package - $125 (limited availability - sold online only)
Package includes:
- One (1) general admission ticket
- VIP early entry into the venue
- Exclusive meet & greet

Discover

The California Honeydrops

Oct 27, 2018

Roots band California Honeydrops pull together New Orleans second line, funk, Delta blues and Southern soul influences, bringing an unstoppable party vibe in raucous performances that have endeared them to fans worldwide.

Genre: blues / R&B


Ticket Price: $25 advanced & day of show / Indigo Grill dinner for 2 + show package $100 (online only — Limited Availability) 


PARKING: Street parking and paid lot parking available.


TABLE RESERVATION / VIP: vip@musicboxsd.com / (619) 836-1847


STALK US: Twitter + Instagram: @musicboxsd | facebo

Discover

MarchFourth & Vokab Kompany

Oct 31, 2018

Get your FREAK ON Halloween night with MarchFourth and Vokab Komapny presented by Grand Artique. With exceptional musical quality and a visual kaleidoscope of stilt walkers, hoopers and Vaudeville-style dancers, MarchFourth whips audiences into a frenzy.

Genre: funk / rock / world


Ticket Price: $20 advanced / $22 day of show/ Indigo Grill dinner for 2 + show package $90 (online only — Limited Availability) 


PARKING: Street parking and paid lot parking available.


TABLE RESERVATION / VIP: vip@musicboxsd.com / (619) 836-1847


STALK US: Twitter + Inst

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

19th San Diego Asian Film Festival

Nov 8 - Nov 17, 2018
Discover

Lisa Stansfield

Oct 24, 2018
Discover

The California Honeydrops

Oct 27, 2018
Discover

MarchFourth & Vokab Kompany

Oct 31, 2018
Discover

Little Italy on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Accommodation

Extend Your Cruise in San Diego

Homewood Suites San Diego Downtown/Bayside
Valid: Aug 17, 2018 - ongoing

Extend your cruise and spend a day in San Diego.  Book our Park, Stay & Go package and receive overnight accommodations and parking just .6 miles from the San Diego Cruise Ship Terminal....

History & Heritage

15% off Best Day. Ever. for Cruise Ship Passengers

San Diego Urban Adventures
Valid: Aug 24, 2018 - ongoing

#LocalsKnow the best places to visit that get you out of the crowds and experience the Best. Day. Ever. before, during or after your cruise.  Join our local experts on tours of Balboa Park, Old...

Team Building

Save 20% off Private Tours for 4 or more guests

San Diego Urban Adventures
Valid: Aug 9, 2018 - ongoing

Have the Best. Day. Ever with a local guide on a private tour for your group. Whether you want to explore Old Town, Balboa Park or Coronado, these tours are perfect for solo travellers, couples,...

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

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

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