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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!

 

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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

Jan 19 - Jan 26, 2020

The Annual San Diego Restaurant Week returns Sunday, January 19 through Sunday, January 26 for a delicious dining experience! With more than 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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Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (Acoustic)

Dec 21, 2019

Lauded for creating emotive, astute rock with Something Corporate and Jack’s Mannequin, prolific pianist-performer Andrew McMahon has incubated his creative process with a handful of trusted people, for a musical journey that’s spiritually fulfilling and a purely artistic endeavor, not a commodity.

 

Genre: pop / rock

All Ages

Doors 6:00pm / Show 7:00pm

Ticket Price: $39.50 advanced & day of show

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Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village

Dec 7, 2019

San Diego’s Little Italy will kick-off this holiday season with festive family fun at the Little Italy Tree Lighting and Christmas Village on Saturday, December 7th from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Families, friends and neighbors will experience Little Italy’s Christmas magic and will be able to enjoy the community’s festive décor, seasonal vendors, live music and entertainment, horse carriage rides, holiday treats, a tree lighting, a visit from Santa and more!

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Fortunate Youth

Nov 30, 2019

Fortunate Youth is a collective of six outstanding musicians/producers who have taken the worldwide music scene by storm. Spreading inspirational messages of Peace, Love, and Unity, Fortunate Youth connects music and reggae lovers from all over the world.

Fortunate Youth will be joined by:  Nattali Rize ; Kash'd Out

Genre: reggae

Ages: 21+

Ticket Price: $25 advanced & day of show general admission

Doors: 8:00pm

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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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San Diego Restaurant Week

Jan 19 - Jan 26, 2020
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Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (Acoustic)

Dec 21, 2019
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Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village

Dec 7, 2019
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Fortunate Youth

Nov 30, 2019
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Little Italy on Instagram

 

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