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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!

 

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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Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2023

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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THE SECRET LA JOLLA TOUR

Jun 15, 2022 - ongoing

This private tour showcases some of the outstanding yet hidden scenery of the La Jolla area, plus funky, quirky and mind-boggling art. You’ll also experience “San Diego’s newest tourist attraction” – a remarkable treasure that even locals don’t know about!

On this private tour, you’ll stroll through a vast outdoor public art collection specifically designed for the landscape and surroundings. Learn about the origin of the collection, how the artists are chosen, and the meanings of the selected pieces.

The La Jolla area is home to some of the most unique structures in the country, including a Brutalism-style gem with a tie-in to Dr. Suess and an architectural wonder which is one of the American Institute of Architecture’s “31 Buildings That Changed Modern Life.” 

But Shhhhh…. don’t tell anyone about these places….they’re secret!

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Whale Watching in Baja California

Mar 4, 2023

Come with us in Baja California Sur to see and interact with Grey Whales!

We depart from Tijuana on Friday, March 3rd at 10 pm and return to Tijuana on Sunday, March 5th at 10 pm.

Starting point is to be defined according to group preferences.

The price is $425 per person, included:

-Whale Watching 3-4 hours

- Round trip transportation both sides of the border

- Guides 

- Hotel 

- Breakfast Saturday & Sunday + Lunch on Saturday

 This is going to be a lot of driving and a long fun adventure!

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Pizza, Pasta and Piazzas - Little Italy Food Tour

Jan 13, 2023 - ongoing

-  A walking tour of the exciting history of Little Italy
-  Taste a combination of Italian flavors and unique bites from 4 restaurants that represent the area
-  Learn about the early fishing industry of San Diego
-  Meet some of the local Italians who’ve been a part of the revitalization of the area
-  Wine, sangria or local beer tasters

The Pizza, Pasta and Piazza tour is the perfect way to get to know the city’s best neighborhood for food and fun!  San Diego’s Italian quarter has grown in popularity for not just Italian fare, but also for the rich array of local restaurant hot-spots that have opened up in the last 10 years, or so.  In addition to the traditional pasta and pizza dishes, Little Italy offers up top chef cuisine, vegan breakfasts, juicy burgers, and lounges for dancing and fine cocktails.  Join our guides for tasty fun!

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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

Museum Month

Feb 1 - Feb 28, 2023
Discover

THE SECRET LA JOLLA TOUR

Jun 15, 2022 - ongoing
Discover

Whale Watching in Baja California

Mar 4, 2023
Discover

Pizza, Pasta and Piazzas - Little Italy Food Tour

Jan 13, 2023 - ongoing
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Little Italy on Instagram

 

Deals just for you

Venues

Happy Hour at the Food Hall Bar!

Little Italy Food Hall
Valid: Aug 10, 2022 - ongoing

Specials on select local draft beer, wine, and cocktails!    Join us for Wine Wednesday. 1/2 off select bottles of wine all day!

Team Building

MRDRinSD - 10% Discount from Murder n' Mayhem

Murder n Mayhem
Valid: Jun 24, 2022 - ongoing

Use discount code: MRDRINSD for 10% off tickets for all Tours & Experiences with Murder n' Mayhem. Redeem online at murdernmayhem.com or via phone 619-781-8013 with Discount...

Activity

Del Mar Village Dollars

Del Mar Village Association
Valid: Mar 7, 2022 - ongoing

Purchase a digital Del Mar Village Dollars eGift card for yourself or a friend. Enjoy and spend your Del Mar Village Dollars while supporting participating Del Mar Village restaurants and retailers....

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