Take a Walk Through Little Italy...

Little Italy, San Diego offers a great mixture of the old and new

Bobby Dyer
Vita Marija Murenaite ESeo6IzOV00 Unsplash

The bells are chiming from the churches every hour on the hour. The bay can be seen with ships floating against the horizon. And there are sunny streets full and bustling with restaurants, cafes, and shops. They range from trendy and sophisticated, to classic and traditional. Little Italy was founded in the 1920s, so there are businesses from the 1940s still thriving. Banners are hung proudly showcasing famous Italian artists that have thrived in America.

Here are our favorite spots to shop, dine and take in the culture of Little Italy.

Parakeet Cafe

For a trendy place to sit, eat good food, and get some work done. Everything is organic and they make their own health-conscious desserts, so there is no need to feel guilty with anything you order from their menu. Talk about a new way of dining, enjoy!

Piazza del Famiglia

You don’t even need to buy anything here. Just sit and take in the scene. There are all types that walk through this plaza, complete with a large fountain that depending on the night, you may catch a performance, some dancers or some kids jumping in the water for a cold dip.

Bocce Ball, in Amici Park

Watch the men that defy time play the beloved Italian game of bocce ball on a Sunday afternoon. They know how to enjoy simple pleasures and it will encourage you to do the same.

Waterfront Bar and Grill

Open and alive all times of day r night, always with a great special or deal, and the oldest bar in San Diego! This place is an institution and worth a visit.

Filippi’s Italian Restaurant

For authentic Italian food at an establishment from the 1940s, this place knows what they are doing. It has all the quaintness one wants in an Italian restaurant from the hanging Chianti bottles on the ceiling to the murals on the walls. Plus, they have a deli in the front and the restaurant opens up to the back of the shop.

Crystal Blue Vibrations

This rock shop is for the spiritual and those that appreciate beautiful crystals rocks and anything else new age. Even if you don’t quite believe in it all, this shop makes it fun and beautiful, it is worth walking in to see what craftspeople have taken the time to make.


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Cofounder of ITH Hostels. I love traveling, hosting, gardening, golfing, fishing, and sailing.