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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 Bracero, 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 98 Bottles, Ballast Point and BottleCraft Beer Shop & Tasting Room.

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!

 

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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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San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 24 - Oct 1, 2017

The 13th Annual San Diego Restaurant Week returns Sunday, September 24th through Sunday, October 1st with a FEAST for the senses at over 180 participating restaurants. Dine deliciously at restaurants offering prix-fixe menu options throughout San Diego County. This foodie-favorited week is the perfect time to take a culinary tour throughout the diverse and thriving food culture of San Diego.

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Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village

Dec 2, 2017

Celebrate the season during Little Italy's Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and see our unique Christmas Tree - a 25-foot tower of 1,000+ gorgeous Poinsettias.

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San Diego International Film Festival

Oct 4 - Oct 8, 2017

The San Diego International Film Festival (Oct 4-8) is the region’s premier film event and one of the leading stops on the independent festival circuit. SDIFF offers a totally unique film experience; including world premieres, never before seen studio releases, the best in independent filmmaking and a full schedule of glamorous parties and intimate events with filmmakers. Join us Downtown at the Balboa Theater for opening night, Regal Cinema and the ArcLight UTC for screenings and featuring the beautiful Pendry San Diego as our Festival Headquarters. 

Just Announced

VARIETY Night of the Stars Honorees:

Sir Patrick Stewart - Gregory Peck Award of Excellence in Cinema'

Kumail Nanjiani - Auteur Award

More honorees will be announced soon!

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Chauffeured Distillery Tour

Oct 20, 2016 - ongoing

Taste San Diego's sensational spirits, crafted from grain to glass.Taste locally made whiskey, rum, vodka, gin, brandy; lunch; pint of beer, behind-the-scenes guided tours. Pick up & drop off included in Chauffeured Distillery Tour.

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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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San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 24 - Oct 1, 2017
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Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village

Dec 2, 2017
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San Diego International Film Festival

Oct 4 - Oct 8, 2017
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Chauffeured Distillery Tour

Oct 20, 2016 - ongoing
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