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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.  

 

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

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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 22 - Sep 29, 2019

The 15th Annual San Diego Restaurant Week returns Sunday, September 22 through Sunday, September 29 for a delicious dining experience! With over 180 participating restaurants offering prix-fixe menu options throughout San Diego County, you’re sure to find the perfect place to satisfy any craving.

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Live Music @ Pali Wine Co.

Apr 16, 2019 - ongoing

Catch live performances by local musicians every Saturday from 7pm - 9pm. 

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Kids Free October

Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2019

Kids Eat Free at Bayside Kitchen + Bar in the month of October with a paying adult.

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Little Italy Mercato: Farmers' Market

Dec 29, 2018 - ongoing

Come stroll through the Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., where over 200 tents line W. Date Street from Kettner Boulevard to Front Street. The options are endless—you can enjoy an incredible selection of farm fresh produce, pastured eggs and poultry, meat, fish, flowers, local artisan food and more! Find food purveyors with sauces and relish, oysters, coffee beans, spices and more, and plants including orchids, fresh flowers, and bedding plants. Dine on crepes, paninis, green smoothies, lemonade and local chefs’ specialties best enjoyed with our live music. Visitors come from all over the world to indulge in our farmers’ market, whether it’s to get a taste of the just-caught sea urchin or to simply soak in the beautiful atmosphere. Mangia Bene!

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What's Hot

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Walk to the Waterfront

Discover

Ciao! Little Italy

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San Diego Farmers Markets

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What's On

View More Events

San Diego Restaurant Week

Sep 22 - Sep 29, 2019
Discover

Live Music @ Pali Wine Co.

Apr 16, 2019 - ongoing
Discover

Kids Free October

Oct 1 - Oct 31, 2019
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Little Italy Mercato: Farmers' Market

Dec 29, 2018 - ongoing
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Little Italy on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Venues

Big Baja Mondays

Rockin' Baja Coastal Cantina - Gaslamp
Valid: May 29, 2019 - ongoing

We offer $1O off our Big Baja Bucket for Two on Mondays. Enjoy Seasoned Canadian Lobster Tail, Baja Style Shrimp, Carne Asada, Grilled Chicken, Grilled Corn On The Cob, “All You Can Eat”...

Venues

Whole Lobster Wednesday!

Rockin' Baja Coastal Cantina - Gaslamp
Valid: May 29, 2019 - ongoing

Whole, Flash Fried, Baja Style Lobster served w/ Rice, Beans, Tortillas & Honey Chili Butter. Only $24.99, Every Wednesday! While they last.

Group & Charter Transportation

10% off Summer Time Craft Brewery Tours

Five Star Tours & Charter Bus Company
Valid: Apr 22 - ongoing

Save 10% off any of our Craft Beer Experiences at Five Star Tours.  Learn how beer is made and how to taste it. Get special behind the scene access to breweries and brewers and find out the...

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