Little Italy Neighborhood Guide

San Diego is full of interesting neighborhoods to explore, but few are as popular as Little Italy. Located five miles away, between our hotel and Downtown San Diego, this vibrant area is packed with some of the city’s best dining, drinking, entertainment, and shopping. Of course, the best thing to do is explore it for yourself, but if you’re wondering which hot spots simply can’t be missed, then keep reading our Little Italy neighborhood guide to make sure you enjoy the best of it.


Pappalecco | 1602 State St, San Diego, CA 92101

A true neighborhood icon, this Tuscan-style café is open from 7am-11pm and serves breakfast, panini, pizzas, homemade gelato, coffee, and Italian wines.

Born and Raised | 1909 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

This sleek restaurant provides a stylish, modern twist on the classic steakhouse. Savor high-end steaks and cocktails in the glitzy dining room or on the glamorous rooftop patio.

Photo credit: @bornandraisedstk

Juniper & Ivy | 2228 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Housed in a former warehouse, this modern culinary destination offers progressive, creative cuisine and an award-winning wine list.

Cloak & Petal | 1953 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

This exquisite, exotic eatery serves up authentic Japanese sushi, appetizers, and small plates. You’ll also find signature cocktails, premium sakes, and a broad selection of beers and wines.

Photo credit: @cloakandpetal

Buon Appetito | 1609 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

If you’re coming to Little Italy for Italian food, then you can’t go wrong at Buon Appetito. This intimate trattoria serves traditional Italian fare with premium bottles from the neighboring wine bar.


False Idol | 675 W Beech St, San Diego, CA 92101

Accessed via a secret entrance in a walk-in refrigerator, False Idol is a nightlife experience you don’t want to miss. The gorgeous Polynesian-themed bar is hidden within Craft & Commerce (itself a great cocktail bar) and serves tropical drinks amid spectacular decor.

Photo credit: @falseidoltiki

Kettner Exchange | 2001 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

While Kettner Exchange is also a fantastic restaurant, the crowning jewel here is the gorgeous rooftop lounge with harbor views. Come see why this is considered one of the best rooftop bars in the city.

Mikkeller Brewing San Diego | 9366 Cabot Dr, San Diego, CA 92126

Located right in the heart of Little Italy, this popular brewery and taproom serves a tempting array of beers that draw inspiration from its Danish heritage.

Sogno di Vino | 1607 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

This charming, intimate wine bar offers exquisite vintages from around the world paired with delicious small plates and appetizers.

Harbor & Sky Rooftop Bar and Lounge | 900 Bayfront Ct, San Diego, CA 92101

Enjoy spectacular water views, tasty bites, and a full menu of drinks at one of San Diego’s newest rooftop destinations.

Photo credit: @harborandskysandiego


House of Blues San Diego | 1055 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101

Enjoy Southern-inspired eats, delicious drinks, and some of the biggest music acts in the country at this world-famous entertainment venue.

Harbor Music Hall | 1506 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

Offering live jazz in a wide variety of styles, this elegant venue complements the music with delicious cuisine and a fantastic drink selection.

Tin Roof | 401 G St, San Diego, CA 92101

If you like enjoying your live music in a fun, festive setting, then Tin Roof is the destination for you. Head here for drinks, food, and live music in a rockin’ atmosphere.

Music Box | 1337 India St, San Diego, CA 9210

This three-story music venue is one of San Diego’s premier entertainment destinations, offering craft cocktails and star-studded lineup of performances.

Photo credit: @kaip0ra

Casbah | 2501 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

This intimate nightclub and music venue has a proud history of hosting indie groups, alternative acts, and punk-rock performances.


While it’s primarily known as a drinking and dining destination, Little Italy is also home to some of the best shopping in San Diego. This is a great place to browse for fashion, art, and home decor. There are also some fantastic salons and barbers — perfect if you need to freshen up before a night out.

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Explore for Yourself

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