A pedestrian-friendly neighborhood, Little Italy is home to a large Italian population. Residents enjoy great food, gelato, and fireworks at sea at the many festivals held here. Originally settled by Italian and Portuguese fishermen, the neighborhood has evolved with the times, adding boutique shops and grocery stores. It is also known for its farmer's markets every week.
A Quick Tour of the Neighborhood
Little Italy is a 48-square-block district in northwest San Diego. It has international restaurants and patio cafes, urban wineries and craft beer stops, boutique hotels and specialty shops. A major landmark is the Piazza della Famiglia, a massive food hall.
Some historic buildings remain in the neighborhood. Among others, the Amici House, constructed between Columbia and India Streets, is now the home of the Convivio Society for Italian Humanities, which promotes Italian culture. There are also many talented local artists in the area. For example, the Mee Shim Fine Art Gallery, located on India Street, features South Korean artist Mee Shim's narrative figurative works. She also incorporates surrealism into her art.
Famous for Its Festivals
Little Italy is known for its festivals. While the Mission Federal ArtWalk celebrates the pursuit of beauty, the biggest event of the year is the Feast of San Gennaro, which is a religious festival honoring the patron saint of Naples, Italy. People attend to enjoy the fun atmosphere, delicious food, and eye-catching processions. Little Italy is transformed into a red, white, and green party for 11 days, complete with celebrity guests and live music.
Places to Go and Things to Do
The neighborhood is packed with hip brewpubs, chic restaurants with bustling patios, upscale clothing stores, and indie music venues. The Mercato Farmers' Market draws crowds every weekend. Also, be sure to visit Waterfront Park, which has fountains and a fabulous view of the bay.
Pubs and Restaurants
Several local breweries have also opened in the Little Italy neighborhood, including Bolt Brewery and Ballast Point Brewing. The A.W. Pray House was built in 1888 as a saloon. It is now a wine bar and tasting room named M. Winehouse.
In this hip neighborhood in San Diego, you can dine at a variety of top restaurants. Craft & Commerce is a popular spot that has a speakeasy with tiki drinks and a mix of different styles.
With a rooftop location overlooking the waterfront, Crack Shack is a great choice for a casual lunch. The restaurant offers delicious chicken dishes made using local, free-range fowl.
Mona Lisa Italian Foods is owned and operated by the Brunetto family, a renowned deli that opened in 1956 and has become famous for its unforgettably delicious freshly-made deli sandwiches.