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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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Mission Federal ArtWalk

Jun 6 - Jun 7, 2020

On June 6-7, 2020, the Mission Fed ArtWalk will celebrate its 36th annual event in the streets of Little Italy. Featuring more than 300 artists filling 17 square blocks of the iconic urban neighborhood with art, craftsmanship and beautiful goods, this event attracts artists from across the globe. More than just an art event, the festival is a family-friendly opportunity to participate in interactive art installations and features live music and dance performances.

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Vino! Vino!

Jul 1, 2020 - ongoing

Vino! Vino! walking tour is a great way to get to know Little Italy, San Diego - one of the chicest neighborhoods in the Downtown area. With many unique boutiques, historic buildings, and luxury high-rises, this area is known today as a great area to stay and find some of the best food and drink establishments in all of San Diego. On this tour, you will visit 4 establishments. You will meet wine fanatics who are eager to share with you small production wines, as well as Italian favorites. Learn about the different styles of wine, and taste your way though Little Italy. Taste not just wine, but Italian foodie favorites such as bruschetta, pizza, calamari and a special sangria.

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GoCar Tours

Oct 7, 2019 - ongoing

GoCar is the world's first GPS-Guided Storytelling Car, nominated by TIME Magazine as "One of the Most Amazing Inventions of the Year". With GOCar you can roam the streets of San Diego and see all the sights that America's Finest City has to offer and learn the history and facts behind them without a guide book or map. Choose your own adventure! Fold up your map, put away the guidebook, and get behind the wheel of one of the GPS-Guided tour cars. Zip through the streets of San Diego and let your clever talking car navigate the way, leading you to some of the city's top attractions - Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo, Gaslamp Quarter, Seaport Village or Point Loma. It's the most exhilarating, entertaining and enlightening way to tour San Diego. As you drive, it points out the sights and tells you the stories that bring San Diego to life.

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An Evening With Musiq Soulchild

Jun 7, 2020

With 11 Grammy nominations under his belt, Musiq Soulchild, is clearly a very talented R&B/Soul artist. He leans towards a more laid-back, ballad oriented sound with some more upbeat hits as well, including 'B.U.D.D.Y.' and 'Anything'.

Not on the e-mail list for Presales? CLICK HERE to sign up to be a Music Box VIP and you will never miss a chance to grab tickets before they go on sale to the general public again!

Genre: R&B

Ticket Price: $48 advanced / $50 day of show

Age: 21+

Show/Doors: 8:30 PM (Doors 7:00 PM)

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What's Hot

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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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Mission Federal ArtWalk

Jun 6 - Jun 7, 2020
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Vino! Vino!

Jul 1, 2020 - ongoing
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GoCar Tours

Oct 7, 2019 - ongoing
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An Evening With Musiq Soulchild

Jun 7, 2020
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Little Italy on Instagram

 

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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”...

Tours & Sightseeing

Family Friendly- Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Amazing Scavenger Hunts by Urban Adventure Quest
Valid: Aug 12, 2019 - ongoing

Enjoy an Amazing Race type adventure with your family and Save 20% when you use Promo Code SDFUN. Only $39.20 for a Team of 2-5 people. Have fun and do something unique!

Tours & Sightseeing

Save 20% on an Amazing Scavenger Hunt Adventure

Amazing Scavenger Hunts by Urban Adventure Quest
Valid: Aug 12, 2019 - ongoing

Turn San Diego's Old Town or Balboa Park into a giant game board with this fun Scavenger Hunt Adventure. Combine the excitement of the Amazing Race with a three-hour city tour. Guided from any smart...

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