Take 5: Top Things To Do in Little Italy San Diego

Located at the northwest end of downtown San Diego, Little Italy is a hip, historic neighborhood just a few blocks from the Embarcadero and San Diego Bay. Starting in the 1900s, Italians came to the area to join San Diego’s booming tuna fishing and canning industry. Though the canneries closed in the 1980s, this quaint yet lively downtown neighborhood continues to thrive through a growing art and culinary scene, and many annual festivals and events.

When staying at our resort near Little Italy San Diego, take 5 for these top things to do in Little Italy:    

Eat Here: The line out the door on any given night is a testament to the food at Filippi’s Pizza Grotto. Authentic Italian food doesn’t get any better than at this old-fashioned, family-owned restaurant, deli and market that opened in 1950.

Drink Here: Witness the art of mixology at Craft & Commerce, where the bartender will spend a solid five minutes creating the perfect cocktail – as long as it doesn’t include vodka. This dark, literary-inspired gastropub has sworn off the tasteless liquor and instead serves carefully crafted drinks that incorporate beer, champagne and other interesting alcohols. 

Play Here: Experience San Diego’s art scene within Little Italy’s 15+ galleries with works ranging from contemporary photography at jdc Fine Art to eccentric Mexican sculptures at Artelexia.

Shop Here:  Browse the Little Italy Farmers’ Market, or Mercato, every Saturday 8 AM – 2 PM. You’ll find fresh produce and gourmet groceries over the span of four blocks.

Snap Here: Get a picture in front of the landmark Little Italy sign, standing tall in the heart of the neighborhood. It’s adorned with mosaic tiles, a nod to the strong religious values of Italians, and nautical elements that represent the area’s ties to fishing.

For a resort near Little Italy San Diego, stay at Paradise Point Resort & Spa, located just 15 minutes away on Mission Bay.

The “Take 5” blog series introduces visitors to San Diego’s unique neighborhoods through recommendations from experts on the area: hotel employees who live there.  Check back every month to learn about a new section of the city, always within 10 miles of our centrally located San Diego resort.


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