Little Italy in San Diego can be summed up in one word: exhilarating. This lively neighborhood brings a cool Mediterranean vibe to the downtown district. Designed to preserve and honor the area’s heritage, Little Italy is the perfect blend of traditional and contemporary cultures. It’s a great place to visit with the entire family because there is so much to see and do.
Explore the Quaint Streets
You’ll find many points of interest strolling down any road in Little Italy, including fun retail spaces. Browsing the hip shops is an adventure on its own. Incredible boutiques offer a range of Italian-inspired products from clothing and accessories to home furnishings and small crafts. Be sure to check out the cute cottages of Fir Street Shops, which are filled with some very quirky selections.
Numerous galleries are peppered throughout the area as well. The Firehouse Museum has some fascinating firefighting relics on display that children and adults will enjoy. You’ll also find several unique fine-art galleries featuring local and international creations by respected artists. When you need a break from walking, stop by the gorgeous Amici Park and soak up more Italian culture.
Bring Your Appetite
For a genuine Italian experience, take time to explore the many restaurants, pubs, cafes and delis of Little Italy. Options range from the edgy Juniper & Ivy to the cozy Buon Appetito. If you’re looking for the real deal Italian Market, stop by Mona Lisa Italian Foods. Afterward, pop into Extraordinary Desserts for some delicious pastries, or enjoy a gelato on the patio of Caffe Italia.
You cannot visit Little Italy without sampling some pizza, and Filippi’s Pizza Grotto wins on authenticity and taste. We encourage all our guests to try Fillipi’s old-fashioned cuisine because we believe it truly is the best pizza restaurant in San Diego. After you fill up on the delectable dishes, stroll over to the Waterfront Bar and sip some adult beverages while mingling with locals and tourists.
Release Your Inner Tourist
Although it’s exciting to just take in the ambiance of Little Italy, special events tap into an adventure-seeking mindset. One way to make some solid memories is by attending the Taste of Little Italy on June 17. You’ll sample one-of-a-kind cuisine as you amble along tree-lined pathways and groove to live music. Be sure to take some trendy foodie photos of those mouthwatering apps, entrees, beverages and desserts.
Every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can stop by the Little Italy Mercato, where more than 150 vendors sell their prized plants, crafts, baked goods, pastas, coffees, produce and other specialties. From June to the end of August, you’ll be able to continue the fun at Amici Park’s Summer Film Festival. Also in August, the wildly talented Marine Band San Diego performs an outdoor concert.
Enjoy the Vibrancy of the Italian Community
One undeniable attribute of Little Italy is the strong energy buzzing in the air. This mystifying zing is even more evident during the October Festa. The San Diego Sicilian Festival merged with this annual street fair, and each event celebrates the Italian heritage. An impressive array of vendors, musical entertainment, spectacular cuisine and stupefying artistry will blow your mind.
The dynamics of this colorful neighborhood and the stunning waterfront views perfectly mimic the Italian Riviera. You’ll feel Italy’s electric spirit whether you’re zooming from point to point or relaxing and people watching in the beautiful Piazza Pescatore. If you long for a unique and unforgettable mini vacation with family or friends, discover the vitality, heart and soul of Little Italy.
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Mission Vally Resort