San Diego has the biggest 'Little Italy' in America.
Little Italy is one of the best places to eat out in San Diego, and has a wonderful mix of authentic Italian food and trendy American-style restaurants.
It occupies 50 city blocks near the San Diego waterfront. Just follow the Italian flags!
The highest concentration of restaurants is on India Street (between W Cedar and W Grape).
There's also a good selection of boutiques, gift shops, home furnishings, florists and galleries.
10 best things to do in Little Italy San Diego
1. Start at the famous Little Italy sign (corner of India Street and Date Street).
The sign has a blue and white nautical theme with port-holes, as a nod to the Italian immigrants who thrived in the fishing industry here. Peer more closely at the brightly colored mosaics on the Little Italy sign, that pay hommage to the hard working Italians who made their home here.
Little Italy San Diego was once a tight-knit community full of Italian fisherman and their families. They docked their boats a few blocks below on the San Diego waterfront, lived in small cottages, and constructed the Our Lady of the Rosary Church as the spiritual heart of their community.
2. Take a fun photo on the giant Adirondack chair.
If you stroll further down the street there's a giant, red adirondack chair in-front of the Little Italy San Diego sign, popular with tourists for a photo opportunity.
3. Visit the magnificent 10,000 square foot Piazza Della Famiglia.
The Piazza Della Famiglia is just a short distance from the Little Italy Sign, and was constructed in 2018.
There are plenty of tables and chairs for people-watching, and an enchanting fountain at the east end of the Piazza. You can see all the way to the waterfront if you stand at the fountain. Beautiful fairy lights are strung up across the Piazza, giving it a magical quality at night.
4. Stop by the Little Italy Food Hall off the Piazza, for beer, wine, gelato, pizza and other treats.
5. Visit bustling Amici Park.
Amici Park is just one block from the Piazza Della Famiglia, on the corner of Date Street and State Street, with a dog park, bocce ball courts, and an ampitheater. Sit on the stairs of the amphitheater and take in the surroundings.
6. Walk across the road to Our Lady of the Rosary Church.
The Our Lady of the Rosary Church is just across the road from Amici Park, constructed in 1925. It's worth a quick look inside to appreciate the exquisite craftsmanship, including stunning stained glass windows, and gorgeous alfresco paintings. The church was constructed by Italian fisherman from Genoa Italy.
7. Eat at the best Italian restaurants along India Street.
Stroll down India Street to discover an abundance of restaurant choices!
Some of the best Italian restaurants are Filippi's Pizza Grotto, Ristorante Illando, Nonna, Barbusa, and Bencotto Italian Kitchen.
8. Sample some American cuisine along India Street.
If you're more interested in mainstream American fare, check out some of the super chic restaurants in Little Italy like the Kettner Exchange, Ironside Fish and Oyster, Craft and Commerce, and the Farmer's Table. The modern interiors in these restaurants are gorgeous.
9. Stay at a hotel in the heart of Little Italy San Diego.
Little Italy is centrally located in San Diego. Stay at the elegant La Pensione Hotel or conveniently located Urban Boutique Hotel. The Porto Vista Hotel has a rooftop pool. The super swanky Hotel Republic is a few blocks from Little Italy.
10. Find things to do near Little Italy San Diego.
Little Italy is only a few blocks from major attractions on the San Diego waterfront like the USS Midway Museum, Embracing Peace statue, the Maritime Museum, and fabulous Waterfront Park with wading pool and playground.