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Your Complete Guide To San Diego’s Little Italy

a car parked in front of a store

If you travel down the Pacific Highway, nestled between San Diego Bay and Balboa Park, you’ll find yourself in San Diego’s Little Italy. This neighborhood is alive with Italian culture in the form of restaurants, grocery stores, boutiques, festivals, and, of course, the weekly farmer’s market known as the Mercato. Here, visitors and locals mingle happily while the ocean breeze rolls through.

Little Italy Food Hall

San Diego’s Little Italy pizza is widely recognized as proper Italian fare, but that’s only a portion of the great food waiting for you in the Food Hall. This is San Diego’s version of your ultimate social dining experience. According to the Food Hall website, it is a gathering and celebration place (especially for your taste buds).

The Food Hall sits in the heart of Little Italy, in the Piazza Della Famiglia. The Piazza strives to represent the neighborhood’s past, present and future families. It is a 10,000-square-foot European-style piazza with a tiled fountain, cobblestone streets lined with tables and chairs, and an incredibly welcoming vibe. Visitors are encouraged to linger over meals or coffee with friends and family while enjoying the beautiful San Diego bay views. 

Farmers Market

a group of people sitting at a fruit stand

There are more than 5100 farms in San Diego County. San Diego is the leading producer of avocados nationwide but also boasts impressive crops of citrus, tomatoes, flowers, poultry, eggs, mushrooms, and strawberries. 

The Little Italy Mercato Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm and every Wednesday from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. all year round, rain or shine. The Saturday version occupies six city blocks and is San Diego’s largest farmer’s market. At the Mercato, you can find everything from fish, fruits and vegetables, artisan bread, flowers, and gifts. 

The Wednesday market occupies three city blocks and features local farmers offering honey, produce, eggs, and flowers, among other things. When you’re strolling through the farmer’s market in the fine San Diego weather, whichever day you go, the spirit is the same: mangia bene; eat well; be well.

Art Galleries

The art galleries in Little Italy celebrate style and expression with many different cultures represented. While the Mee Shim Fine Art Gallery has been praised for its mixture of real and surreal art styles, the Adelman Fine Art Boutique Gallery is recognized for its diverse collection of emerging and nationally recognized artists. It is a boutique for serious collectors and those looking to enjoy artistic beauty in a warm and relaxing setting.

Little Italy Tours

a person flying a kite in a city

Little Italy offers all sorts of tours, mostly centered around the neighborhood’s history and foodie culture. They reveal hidden neighborhood landmarks and artifacts from when Sicilian and Genovese fishermen dominated the seas and the Black Handheld sway.

Little Italy Restaurants

The list of restaurants in Little Italy San Diego is staggering and features cuisine worldwide. Here you can find coffee roasters, gelato producers, breweries, burger joints, and upscale fare. This titillating culinary scene has flavors that will satisfy every palate, from the refined to the basic, with everything in between. Of course, while you’re there, you ought to try the famous fish tacos for which San Diego is famous.

San Diego’s Little Italy is a warm, welcoming neighborhood. It’s the place that has something for everyone, from art lovers to foodies to folks who want to stroll through with their dogs. If you enjoy a temperate climate and tons of things to do in a small area that overlooks San Diego Bay and the Pacific beyond, this is the place for you. Visit San Diego’s Little Italy website to learn more about upcoming events and happenings in this serene spot and begin planning your trip today.