Nestled in the northwest corner of Downtown San Diego, just blocks from the Embarcadero, sits the vibrant and lively neighborhood of Little Italy. With picturesque views of the San Diego Bay, unique shops and boutiques, art galleries and authentic Italian cafes, this quaint neighborhood offers the perfect combination of old world charm and modern conveniences.
Once home to San Diego’s tuna fishing industry, generations of Italian families settled in this bustling downtown neighborhood, creating a thriving community full of rich history and culture. Take a stroll down India Street into the heart of Little Italy, where you will see banners proudly boasting famous Italian Americans, piazzas with water fountains and open seating spaces, and magnificent art and sculptures showcasing the Italian heritage.
Take advantage of San Diego’s year round Mediterranean weather and grab a bite to eat at one of the numerous sidewalk cafes. A longtime local favorite, Filippi’s Pizza Grotto offers an old-fashioned Italian dining experience, as well as a market and delicatessen where you can find everything you need to make an amazing home-cooked meal. Enjoy a freshly, prepared deli sandwich at Mona Lisa Italian Foods or head over to Po Pazzo, an Italian steakhouse offering delicious food and a great happy hour. For sports enthusiasts, Princess Pub and Grille is the perfect venue to cheer on your favorite team!
For a true taste of Italian culture, venture over to the tree-lined Amici Park, where you can play a game of bocce ball or jot down a traditional Italian recipe from the engraved mock tables covered in red-and-white-checkered tablecloths. For beautiful bayfront views, the newly-built Waterfront Park boasts large open, grassy areas, a playground, gardens and an interactive water fountain and splash pad, where kids can beat the heat and splash around.
Spend a day shopping along Fir Street, browsing the stylish boutiques housed in colorful cottages, or venture down to the Kettner Art and Design District, where you can view contemporary home furnishings and modern art galleries. Antique enthusiasts will love India Street Antiques, filled with affordable, yet stylish collectibles.
No trip would be complete without a visit to the Little Italy Mercato, San Diego County’s largest Farmers’ Market, held every Saturday, rain or shine. With over 150 vendors, you can find everything from fresh California grown produce and flowers to arts and crafts and homemade jewelry.
With live-work lofts and modern high rises intermingled with historic bungalow homes, Little Italy has managed to seamlessly blend the past with the present, while simultaneously creating a small-town, close-knit community feel. Close to the airport and various San Diego attractions, this hip and historic neighborhood is not only a great place to visit, but the perfect place to call home!