Little Italy is a somewhat hilly neighborhood in Downtown San Diego, California that was originally a predominately Italian fishing neighborhood. It has since been gentrified and now Little Italy is a scenic neighborhood composed mostly of Italian restaurants, Italian retail shops, home design stores, art galleries, and residential units. Little Italy is one of the more active downtown neighborhoods and has frequent festivals and events including their very own Farmers Market. Also known as the Mercato (the Market, in Italian).
Little Italy is located in the northwest end of Downtown, just a couple of blocks away from the Embarcadero. It is located north of Columbia, south of Middletown, southeast of Core, and west of Cortez Hill. It is also located on a hill thus giving its hilly terrain.This district is bordered by West Laurel Street to the north, West Ash Street to the south, Interstate 5/Front Street to the east and the San Diego Bay to the west and Pacific Highway to the west.
India Street, the thriving commercial corridor, runs straight through heart of Little Italy; intermingled with high-density mixed-use buildings and single-family bungalow style historic properties. A fairly easy walk, San Diego’s Little Italy is over 48 square blocks filled with rich Italian culture; which allows visitors to absorb the people, sights, and overall atmosphere.
THINGS TO DO
In keeping with Italian roots, there are a number of great restaurants in the area as well as pubs and gelato and coffee shops. For sit down style Italian dining try Bencotto, Zia’s, Trattoria Fantastica, Po Pazzo, Mimmo’s, Buon Apetito or Sogno Divino or for a lower price fare try Fillipi’s Pizza Grotto. For Italian style deli and food shopping, Mona Lisa is the spot. For gelatos, espressos and paninis, Pappalecco has the authentic Italian flavor or Cafe Zucchero for bakery items. Little Italy also has American fare at Burger Lounge or sports bar action at the Waterfront. If a British Pub is your style, try Princess Pub, get a unique Mexican experience El Camino or Argentine flavor at Puerto La Boca . Finally, at the top floor of the Porto Vista Hotel is the Glass Door for that Sunday brunch.