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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 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.  

 

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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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Vernon Reid's Band of Gypsys Revisited

Oct 26, 2018

The Vernon Reid Band of Gypsys Revisited Band (VR~BOG~RB) have known each other since 1985, sharing the stage in bands such as the Yohimbe Brothers, Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber and The Black Rock Coalition Orchestra.

Thirty-three years later these four riff-loving Playas are fusing to groove once again.

In the spirit of revisiting, refreshing and further exploring the fun, funk & roll of the “Band of Gypsys Live at The Fillmore East” recording, Vernon Reid, André 'Dré Glo’ Lassalle , James ‘Biscuit’ Rouse and Jared Michael Nickerson as VR~BOG~RB excitedly look forward to bringing this limited edition performance to ….
Vernon Reid founded Living Colour in 1984; 34 years later LC is still rocking with the 2017 release of “Shade” on Megaforce Records.

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The California Honeydrops - An Evening With

Oct 27, 2018

Day/Date: Saturday, October 27, 2018

Title: The California Honeydrops - An Evening With

Bands: The California Honeydrops

Age: 21+

Door: 7:30pm

Show: 9pm

Advance: $25 ($23 + $2fmf)

DOS: $25 ($23 + $2fmf)

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Throwing Shade Live 2018

Nov 1, 2018

Day/Date: Thursday, November 1, 2018

Title: Throwing Shade Live 2018: There’s No Place Like Condo Tour

Bands: Throwing Shade

Age: 21+

Door: 7pm

Show: 8pm

Advance: $30 seated ($28 + $2fmf)

DOS: $32 seated ($30 + $2fmf)

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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

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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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Vernon Reid's Band of Gypsys Revisited

Oct 26, 2018
Discover

The California Honeydrops - An Evening With

Oct 27, 2018
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Throwing Shade Live 2018

Nov 1, 2018
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The California Honeydrops

Oct 27, 2018
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Little Italy on Instagram

 

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