The Littly Italy in San Diego isn’t just known as an adorable neighborhood that’s great for taking a stroll in, but also for their incredible selection of restaurants. So much is happening in this part of the city, you don’t want to miss it! There are plenty of cocktail bars to bring company to for a good time, as well as lots of stores you’ll want to check out. Once you tire and hunger is on the mind, you’ll be glad you’re in the area for one of these restaurants that knocks everything out of the park. And because it’s Little Italy, you can be sure to expect a wide selection of exceptional Italian restaurants.
Make a loved one’s day by giving them one of the best gifts of all: a gift card! Once you’ve determined which of these Little Italy restaurants is the best treat to attend, get one of their gift cards to give. Your friend that gets to enjoy a night of luxury out with the meal paid for! To make the experience even sweeter, get and receive your gift cards through GiftYa. The website is full of all your favorite venues, and once you make your purchase online you can send the gift card virtually as well. The game of gift giving is forever changed!
Everything on this rotating menu is fresh and exciting
Juniper & Ivy is the ideal spot to try new and exciting dishes. Their daily offerings rotate with the availability of certain fresh ingredients, giving you all the more reason to return! Even more incentive to come again and again is their stylish and comforting dining area with high rafters and plenty of open space. Start your evening off by going through their cocktail and wine list. Your seasonal menu will then include snacks, small and large plates, as well as dessert to choose from. It’s so fun to come back to see what’s new on the menu!
“Probably my favorite restaurant in San Diego! The menu changes practically daily so there's plenty of incentive to return as often as possible. Seasonal ingredients, innovative preparation, attentive service, and beautiful ambience - not to mention the food itself is ridiculously delicious…” - Yelp Review
You don’t want to miss out on trying their heavenly plate of pasta
1609 India St | Little Italy | buonappetitosandiego.com
It’s when you get incredibly hungry that you’ll really enjoy visiting Buon Appetito Restaurant; after all, the more hungry you are the more you’ll be able to eat. The menu here is full of generously portioned meals that get better and better with each bite. Whether you come out for lunch or dinner, Buon Appetito Restaurant has a table for you either inside or out on their patio. Try one of their pastas, such as the pasta primavera or linguine neri. If you have the room, finish with some delicious homemade tiramisu or a slice of chocolate mousse cake.
“Everything looked super appetizing and smelled amazing when they came out. When I tasted the first bite, I literally said "Wow" and immediately wanted more. We all agreed that we haven't had pasta this good in a long time!…” - Yelp Review
Sit down to an intimate meal made perfect by a menu that won’t disappoint
1655 India St | Little Italy | davantienoteca.com
Davanti Enoteca has a charming interior that will welcome you right in. Once you're seated, take no time to look through their menu filled with options. This restaurant is great for big groups or families, thanks to their kids menu and family packs. Kids can enjoy pasta, pizza, or grilled chicken with their choice of drink! Meanwhile, the adults can enjoy their delectable pasta and meat dishes. You don’t want to miss out on davanti burgers stuffed with bacon jam, roasted tomatoes, cheese curd, arugula, and more. They also have a great selection of pizzas topped with your favorite fresh ingredients.
“This was honestly one of the best meals I have ever eaten. I could eat this salad every day. The #cacioepepe was so cheesy and perfect. There are many restaurants in #littleitalysandiego but this place takes the cake!” - Yelp Review
If you’re looking for some tasty Italian prepared seafood, start here!
750 W Fir St | Little Italy | lovebencotto.com
Looking for an elegant night out made perfect with immaculate food? Say no more. Bencotto has a modern and sleek interior that’s ideal for anyone looking for a high-end night out. Even better than their decor is the dishes they serve. You don’t know what you’re missing until you try the tortiglioni tartufo e porcini, a pasta dish with white truffle and porcini mushrooms. Bencotto not only has tasty entrees, for an extensive bar menu filled with cocktails and Italian classic drinks. If you’re not filled yet, take the opportunity to try one of their amazing side orders like the patate arrosto.
“Great pasta, great service, what else can I say? I enjoyed the visit to this restaurant. Highly recommend their pasta, it was fresh and delicious! I highly recommend their TAGLIATELLE AL NERO DI SEPPIA… Very generous portion and did not skimp on their seafood…” - Yelp Review
Stop by for an authentic Italian cafe experience complete with pastries and gelato
1602 State St | Little Italy | pappalecco.com
Pappalecco is a small cafe-style restaurant that is ideal for those looking for a casual stop for caffeinated drinks and freshly baked pastries. As well as all their coffees and teas, this restaurant has a long list of wines to choose from, and while they have lots of pastries to choose from, their menu has so much more to offer. Sit down to enjoy their pannis, pizzas, or salads. That’s not all, because Pappalecco also has gelato! So much to choose from, and the ambiance and flavors make for a great experience every time.
“Panini is made fresh and described in detail by the staff. The staff are incredibly personable and the service is top notch. Tried the pistachio gelato and loved it too…” - Yelp Review
This is the perfect spot to enjoy a great meal with equally great wine
2034 Kettner Blvd | Little Italy | rovinosd.com
Rovino Rotisserie + Wine excels at providing an unforgettable meal matched with an unforgettable glass of wine. Their indoor and outdoor seating areas are equally comfortable and accommodating, so come by when it’s a nice day out. Come with a small appetite? They have a plethora of small dishes to enjoy with your drink. Rovino Rotisserie + Wine is serious about their pasta, with plenty of options and each made with extraordinary flavors. Get a taste of the pasta siciliana or gnocchi rovino. Once you’re here, you have to get a taste of their flatbreads topped with fresh ingredients.
“Rovino was so delicious! Cute outdoor space with heaters. Everyone really enjoyed their meal and I can't wait to come back! Definitely one of my top picks in Little Italy…” - Yelp Review
Modern Sicilian fare
1917 India St | Little Italy | barbusa.com
Barbusa, the latest culinary project by the Busalacchi family in Little Italy, offers authentic modern Sicilian cuisine with a flare. They offer artisan pizzas, handmade pasta, and seafood-centric dishes. But the handcrafted Italian cocktails and Southern Italian wines ensure that what you’re sipping is just as good as what you’re eating.
“Everything on the menu is amazing! Fun for a night out in little Italy. It is a tad noisy (just with conversations and close seating) so be aware for the ambiance/vibe you are going for.” - Yelp Review
1747 India St | San Diego | realcheesepizza.com
With their website literally named “realcheesepizza.com,” you know this spot is gonna be good! Filippi's Pizza Grotto Little Italy is a family-owned chain that has been around for over 70 years! Here you can get delicious pizza where the vast amounts of cheese melt in your mouth, a variety of pastas (spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna, macaroni, and gluten free options), along sandwiches that are so full of ingredients, you’ll pick up new flavors in every bite!
You can enjoy all of these with a bottle of one of Filippi’s house wines or a variety of white, red, sparkling, and blush dinner wines. Plus, if you enjoy Filippi's Pizza Grotto in Little Italy, you’ll be pleased to know they have many different locations, so check out their website for more info!
“Absolutely amazing selection of Italian ingredients in the entryway store, the smell inside was incredible. The pizza was beyond great with some of the best sauce I've had outside of Sicily. The hand stuffed cannoli was also to die for, we brought many leftovers and left stuffed.” -Yelp Review
1743 India St | San Diego | mimmos.biz
This upbeat Italian eatery is family-owned and operated and has been serving Italian fare in the heart of Little Italy since 1973! Mimmo’s Italian Village serves food just like their Grandpa Mimmo used to make it, and locals and visitors alike absolutely adore it.
Their pasta is always made from scratch, and they guarantee it will be the best you’ve ever had. We recommend the Chef’s Special Ravioli that changes daily or the Spicy Shrimp Linguini with shrimp, peas, and chipotle cream sauce. Enjoy your meal with a drink - white wine, red wine, sangria, sparkling wine, or beer. And for dessert, get a cannoli!
“Food, atmosphere and drinks were great! We ordered the Lobster Bisque as an appetizer, the chicken parm, and the fettuccine clams as our entrees. Everything tasted great and we will definitely come back when we're in San Diego. Check it out, you won't regret it!” -Yelp Review
Get a look at this brunch spread, it’s there every Sunday! Image courtesy of the Nolita Hall Instagram page.
2305 India St | San Diego | nolitahall.com
Operating a made-to-order, all from scratch kitchen, Nolita Hall is a new type of experience for a regular restaurant go-er. Every single dish made at Nolita Hall goes through a process, and that process is making sure that the texture, balance, and flavor profile are crafted perfectly to make each and every bite satisfying. Because they build every meal to what they think is perfection, they are recommending that whenever possible to not modify their dishes, but if you need to or if you have dietary restrictions, just let them know and they will make something you will love!
Nolita Hall has a wide range of menus and selections of foods, so instead of taking up too much of your time listing everything, how about a few highlights instead? Enjoy their Cheese & Charcuterie Board, Truffle Wings, Roasted Cauliflower, Prime Ribeye*, Vegan Tamales, and the French Toast Board for Sunday Brunch!
“Awesome spot just past Little Italy. To sit in the patio you need reservations, but one of the coolest patios around. Food is amazing. Got the Dutch baby pancake, lil basic pizza and the sunny tamale.” -Yelp Review
Sausage and pepperoni and sausage and pepperoni and. Image courtesy of the Landini’s Pizzeria Instagram page.
1827 India St | San Diego | landinispizzeria.com
Back in 2009 the very first Landini’s Pizzeria opened and now with three locations it has become a favorite among pizza-lovers, as Landini’s specializes in “New-York style” pizza, authentic Italian pasta dishes, and all that other classic pizza-shop goodness.
You can munch on their most popular dishes, the old reliable Cheese Pizza, gluten-free 12” pie, or the Meatball Rigatoni. Or go with their wonderfully baked panini, calzone, stromboli, with their Italian pasta dishes like the Rustica Pasta, Lasagna Veggie, and Alfredo e Zucchinie to complete your order at Landini’s Pizzeria!
“this is by far my favorite pizza place in SD. you can tell it's family owned. everything is made FRESH. fresh salads in the cooler and fresh oven warmed pizza. i always get the slice + a glass of prosecco deal for about $12.” -Yelp Review
Although this restaurant doesn’t have a GiftYa gift card opportunity yet, check back soon, as new places are being added to the GiftYa website frequently!
Listen, when seafood looks as good as it tastes, that’s a whole new level! Image courtesy of the 𝑰𝑹𝑶𝑵𝑺𝑰𝑫𝑬 𝑭𝑰𝑺𝑯 𝑨𝑵𝑫 𝑶𝒀𝑺𝑻𝑬𝑹 Instagram page.
1654 India St | San Diego | ironsidefishandoyster.com
If you’re looking for the finest and freshest seafood in the San Diego area, then look no further than Ironside Fish & Oyster. Specializing in seafood that’s caught directly in San Diego along with a “beautiful raw bar,” this spot is every seafood lover's dream!
And they don’t just serve delicious looking food, but they also have an interior that’s absolutely gorgeous. Modern and chic with a bar that almost reaches the top of the ceiling, they are here to make your going out experience one to come back to!
Their menu is one that is changing with the sea, as they want only the freshest finds for each customer, so make sure to take a look at what they have before you go, so you can see if your favorite is there. Right now they have options like a selection of Ironside Platters that range from BIG to HOLY SHIT, Oysters Rockefeller, SD Rock Crab, and Chowder Fries!
“Another great lunch at Ironside Fish & Oyster complements to: Montana, Ryan & Tonya for making it a totally enjoyable and satisfying experience. The food was prepared to our liking, and the wine was perfect! Great place to people watch, and absorb the Little Italy vibe, that is San Diego, California.” -Yelp Review
Little Italy, San Diego is filled with so many great restaurants who serve the best tasting pastas, pizzas, pastries, seafood, and more. Each of them has a unique atmosphere so no matter what mood you’re in, either a casual or high-end spot, you can easily enjoy it in the area. Whichever restaurant you end up in, you’re sure to be satisfied with the amazing flavors and friendly service of any of these best restaurants in Little Italy, San Diego!