Little Italy San Diego Neighborhood Guide

 In Downtown San Diego, Little Italy

One of Downtown San Diego’s most exciting neighborhoods, Little Italy is filled with lots of restaurants to enjoy, shopping, museums, exciting events and lots of beautiful condos for sale. Little Italy has a long history in San Diego. Find out how this small downtown San Diego neighborhood became one of the largest Italian neighborhoods in the nation. Experience this culturally diverse section of San Diego for yourself.

History of Little Italy San Diego

Little Italy San Diego is a symbol for all that Italians have contributed to our nation and more specifically, San Diego. Unfortunately, Little Italys throughout the country are slowly disappearing. Little Italy San Diego on the other hand, took matters into their own hands. They pooled together to help this unique neighborhood grow and flourish with local businesses and shops.

Little Italy first began as part of the tuna capital of the western US. Over 6,000 Italian immigrants flocked to this area of San Diego to take part in the flourishing tuna industry. Unfortunately, the tuna industry began to decline and the building of the interstate 5 freeway destructed 35% of Little Italy. The neighborhood suffered for nearly 30 years. By the 1990s, the residents and business owners of Little Italy took fate into their own hands. From there they began to rebuild their community with new retail, professional and living developments. As a result, Little Italy has been thriving for the past 20 years. It’s also a model for the small amount of Little Italys that still remain throughout the US.

Little Italy San Diego Restaurants


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From gourmet and authentic Italian food to five-star restaurants and gelato, there are lots of restaurants in Little Italy to choose from. Little Italy is home to one of the few vegan restaurants in San Diego, Café Gratitude. Café Gratitude has a full vegan menu you can enjoy for breakfast, lunch or brunch. Of course, you can also expect to enjoy some of the best Italian food in Little Italy. Some restaurants include Barbusa, Civico 1845, or Buon Appetito in Little Italy.

If you’re more into traditional American food, head over to The Crack Shack for fresh fried chicken or Born & Raised for a 5-star steakhouse dining experience. You can also choose from a selection of dessert spots like Extraordinary Desserts, Salt & Straw, Pappalecco, or even iDessert By Jean-Phillippe. Whether you’re craving gelato, ice cream, or pastries, you can be sure to find your ideal dessert.

Shopping in Little Italy


Just like restaurants, Little Italy has no shortage of boutique shops for you to appreciate. From women’s clothing to home décor to antiques, furniture and consignment stores, Little Italy has all the shopping options you need. If you’re looking to furnish and decorate your home, visit Love and Aesthetics or Boomerang for Modern. You can find your share of antiques or vintage and consignment goods at Take Me Home Furnishings, or India Street Antiques. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone special, head over to Vitreum Giftware for Japanese trinkets and jewelry. Another store to shop at in Little Italy is Blick Art Materials. This arts and crafts store is filled with everything you need to complete your next art project.

Things to Do in Little Italy

waterfront park

If you want something to do in Little Italy that isn’t eating or shopping, you’re in luck, there are lots of places to visit in Little Italy. If you love art, head over to one of the many art galleries in Little Italy. Visit Kettner Arts, Subtext Gallery, Adelman Fine Art, and Shane Bowden Art. See everything from vintage art to contemporary and modern art. Little Italy also has plenty of museums. Visit the Maritime Museum of San Diego to learn about ships and submarines or The Firehouse Museum to learn about San Diego’s firefighter history. Waterfront Park is also a nice spot for large grassy fields, toys, and spray fountains for kids to play in. This is the perfect spot to spend the day with a picnic or day of fun. There are plenty of things to do in Little Italy, explore some for yourself.

Little Italy farmer's market

Events in Little Italy

Little Italy is beaming with events throughout the year. Every Saturday, visit the Little Italy Farmer’s Market to find local produce, meat, plants, flowers, food trucks and more. Other events throughout the year include the Mission Federal ArtWalk, The Taste of Little Italy, the Little Italy Summer Film Festival, the Little Italy Tree Lighting & Christmas Village and the Trick or Treat on India Street. These are just some of the many events in Little Italy that take place throughout the year.

Condos for Sale in Little Italy

With so much to do in Little Italy, you can only imagine how hot their real estate is. But don’t worry, there are plenty of condos for sale in Little Italy for you to choose from. Whether you want to live in a luxury building like Savina by Bosa or want to live in a townhouse like Doma condos, there are plenty of options for you. From luxury condos to townhouses, to condos located just feet away from your favorite coffee shop, living in Little Italy is a gem in itself. Explore different condos for sale in Little Italy here. If you are not ready to buy yet but want to experience living in Little Italy, you can always rent an apartment first. This will help you feel for the location while house hunting for the perfect condo. Check out the top condos for sale in Little Italy here.

Contact The Auker Group to Explore Living in Little Italy

If you want to live close to your favorite shops, restaurants and coffee shops, Little Italy is the ideal location for you. At The Auker Group, we are committed to helping you find the perfect place to call home. Contact us to begin your search for a condo for sale in Little Italy today. We look forward to helping you find your new home in this cultural San Diego neighborhood. Interested in living in Downtown San Diego? Learn about other neighborhoods like East Village.

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