Posted February 24, 2022

Neighborhood Spotlight: San Diego’s Little Italy


Of course, sunny Southern California is no stranger to laid-back, breezy vibes. Explore the hip downtown area of San Diego’s Little Italy, a storied pocket with immigrant Italian roots dating back to the 1920’s and warm, timeless charm. Amid palm trees and Havaianas, savor a sense of urban cool from modern furniture shops to local art, outdoor spaces and world-class cuisines.

Little Italy - Credit Luna Photo

Warm and walkable, Little Italy is a year-round destination. (Photo credit: Luna Photo)

Mid-Century Design 

Known as a design hub, Little Italy has plenty of home shops and galleries.

  • Boomerang For Modern stocks classic designs from designers like Ray and Charles Eames.
  • Klassik fills in the contemporary void with other mid-century gems.
  • Meyer Fine Art is the place to browse for prints.

Browse a selection of colors, shapes and textures at Klassik. (Photo credit: @klassikdesign)

Colorful SoCal Wares

  • Artelexia stocks a bounty of colorful Mexican goods.
  • Vocabulary carries modern his and hers clothing labels.
  • Love & Aesthetics, a longstanding boutique, sells indie tees, candles and sweet vases.

Articulate your style with sweet accents from Vocabulary. (Photo credit: @vocabularyboutique)

And, Surf’s Up

  • Atacama supplies all your water sport needs, with McCallum boards and Vissla wetsuits.
  • Speaking of water, the nearby Embarcadero shows off the city’s savvy maritime roots with its fishing harbor and massive old ships.

Italian (Of Course) and Seafood, Plus Ramen

It’s true, you won’t just find Italian food in Little Italy, but so much more.

  • Mona Lisa Delicatessen breathes new life into old-lore Italian with classic breads and layered sandwiches (psst: the family-friendly dining room whips up pasta for all ages).
  • Bencotto, a bi-level mod spot, serves sharable plates of meat and cheeses while its next door sibling, Monello tosses airy pizzas.
  • Underbelly is the spot to pop by for steamy bowls of ramen.

If you want to venture past Italian, flavorful ramen hits the spot.

Sweet Tooth?


A sweet tooth never looked so glamorous. (Photo credit: @dallmann_fine_chocolates)

Caffe Italia - credit Luna Photo

For a morning wake-up or warm nightcap. (Photo credit: Luna Photo)

Outdoor Festivals, Live Music and Family Time

The event calendar is awash with fun – besides that you’ll also uncover a wealth of outdoor activities.

  • Waterfront Park, great for kids, has a new playground and grassy park area. Make a stop while strolling, jogging or biking along the San Diego Bay.
  • The Little Italy Mercato is the neighborhood’s wildly popular, California-certified Saturday market, showcasing over 150 vendors hawking fresh produce, meat and eggs from nearby farms.
Farmer's Market

Take your pick of fresh options at Little Italy’s year-round Mercato.

  • The fountain at Piazza Basilone channels Rome for people watching or sunsets, especially with a creamy gelato scoop from Pappalecco.
  • Music Box is a concert hotspot with live funk, hip-hop, soul and more.
@Music Box

Music Box’s chic lounge area. (Photo credit: Music Box)

Where to stay: Tuck in at the cozy, art-filled Kimpton Hotel Palomar. Rest well and ciao.


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One Comment

  1. Italian Furniture says:

    Taking the meal in the mini hotel and street restaurants, there are various types of furniture to see to sit and book. Those mini hotels especially street restaurants decorate some types of classic and modern design chair and desk.