San Diego

Travel San Diego

Share On:

Little Italy

Little Italy in San Diego is a vibrant and bustling neighborhood known for its lively atmosphere, Italian heritage, and culinary delights. Once a predominantly Italian fishing neighborhood, it has transformed into a trendy and chic urban district that retains its European charm.

About the Place

Little Italy is a compact and walkable neighborhood, making it easy to explore on foot. It is filled with patio cafés, restaurants, pubs, art galleries, shops, and boutique hotels. The area is a dynamic mix of historic elements and modern urban living, creating a unique and engaging community.


The neighborhood began as a fishing village in the early 20th century, home to Italian families who worked in the tuna industry, earning San Diego the nickname “The Tuna Capital of the World.” However, the construction of Interstate 5 in the 1970s cut through the heart of the neighborhood, leading to a decline. Since the 1990s, Little Italy has seen a renaissance, becoming one of San Diego’s most popular destinations.


  • Little Italy is well-known for its annual events, including the Little Italy Festa, which celebrates Italian culture with food, music, and art.
  • The neighborhood showcases public art and piazzas, with the central Piazza della Famiglia being a community gathering spot.
  • It’s home to the Little Italy Mercato, a weekly farmers market where local vendors sell fresh produce, gourmet goods, flowers, and crafts.
  • The area is also known for Amici Park, which features a bocce ball court reflecting the community’s Italian heritage.


For more information about Little Italy, including a directory of businesses, event calendars, and neighborhood news, you can visit the Little Italy Association of San Diego’s official website at


Little Italy is located just north of downtown San Diego and is bordered by the waterfront of San Diego Bay to the west, Bankers Hill to the north, the Core district to the southeast, and Columbia to the south.

Things to Do

While in Little Italy, visitors can:

  • Dine at some of San Diego’s best Italian restaurants, as well as a variety of other cuisines.
  • Visit the aforementioned Little Italy Mercato Farmers’ Market.
  • Enjoy craft cocktails and local brews at stylish bars and breweries.
  • Attend one of the many cultural festivals and events that take place throughout the year.
  • Stroll through the streets to explore the unique boutiques and art galleries.
  • Relax in the public spaces like Piazza della Famiglia and Amici Park.
  • Experience the neighborhood’s nightlife, with many establishments offering live music and entertainment.

Tips for Visiting

  • Parking can be challenging in Little Italy, especially during peak dining hours and special events. Consider using public transportation, ride-sharing services, or the nearby paid parking structures.
  • Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll likely be doing a lot of walking.
  • Check the Little Italy Association’s website for any special events that might be occurring during your visit, as they could enhance your experience or affect traffic and parking.
  • Many restaurants in Little Italy are popular and can get crowded, especially on weekends. It’s wise to make reservations in advance if you have a specific dining spot in mind.


Little Italy is a must-visit neighborhood for anyone coming to San Diego, offering an immersive cultural experience with its blend of historic charm and modern urban sophistication. Whether you’re there to enjoy the fantastic dining, the lively atmosphere, or simply to soak in the Italian ambiance, Little Italy provides an unforgettable slice of San Diego life.

Places to Visit

Outdoor Recreation

Presidio Park

Presidio Park is a historical park located in San Diego, California. This park is of significant historical importance as it

Read More »
Outdoor Recreation

Cabrillo Bridge

The Cabrillo Bridge in San Diego, California, is a historic structure that serves as a grand entrance to Balboa Park,

Read More »
Outdoor Recreation

Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach, commonly referred to as “PB” by locals, is a vibrant neighborhood in San Diego, known for its iconic

Read More »

Seaport Village

Seaport Village is a waterfront shopping and dining complex in San Diego, California, known for its picturesque seaside setting, unique

Read More »