The 10 Best Restaurants In Little Italy, San Diego

Photo of Sierra Brown
9 February 2017

One of the best aspects about San Diego is its restaurants, and Little Italy is particularly known for its Italian dining spots. We check out the 10 best restaurants in the area for La Dolce Vita.

Chicken Marsala | ©Annie/Flickr

Bencotto Italian Kitchen

Bencotto Italian Kitchen offers traditional Italian cuisine and regional specialty dishes to share. Pasta is Bencotto’s signature dish and customers are free to order it al dente or cooked to their liking. Customers can also choose between eight different sauces for the pasta. The restaurant prides itself on excellent customer service, so go experience it yourself and ask the staff for a recommendation if undecided.

Indigo Grill

Bar, Restaurant, American, Fusion, South American, $$$
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Indigo Grill entrance
Indigo Grill entrance | © Joe Wolf/Flickr
Indigo Grill specializes in American, Californian, fusion and Southwestern cuisine. In addition to great food, drinks are served at the restaurant’s full service bar. The ambiance is calm and casual, making it a great place to eat with family, friends, or a group of coworkers. Indigo Grill aim to provide great service to everyone: the restaurant is wheelchair accessible and pet-friendly.

Mimmo’s Italian Village

Bakery, Deli, Restaurant, Grocery Store, Italian, $$$
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Prosciutto & Arugula Pizza
Prosciutto & Arugula Pizza | © jpellgen/Flickr
Mimmo’s Italian Village is a highly regarded restaurant which started as “Italian Village” in 1969. Back then it was a deli, bakery, flower shop, and grocery store. Now, customers come for their Italian dishes, especially their meatball subs at lunch time. However, there is no table service until dinner, when pastas, bread, and pizzas are served alongside Tuscan and other Italian wines. Mimmo’s Italian Village offers gluten and wheat-free pizza options.

Ironside Fish & Oyster

Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
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Stop by Ironside Fish & Oyster on your visit to Little Italy for mouthwatering seafood. They promote an oyster culture that is deeply ingrained in coastal communities spanning from New England to the Pacific Northwest. The restaurant is located in a 4,500 square-foot, 1920s-era warehouse which rests in the heart of Little Italy.

Monello

Restaurant, Italian, Contemporary, $$$
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Monello, located next to another favorite, Bencotto, is a modern Italian restaurant. One of the best spots in the Little Italy neighborhood, it specializes in reasonably priced pizzas, pastas, and entrées and serves unbeatable cocktails. Customers enjoy this quiet and quaint space, and rave about Monello’s tasty brunch and complimentary snacks during happy hour.

Burger Lounge

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Burger Lounge

Burger Lounge is very popular in Little Italy. It offers its customers plenty of juicy, flavorful, and fresh beef patties, as well as healthy options such as quinoa, free-range Turkey and wild salmon. Burger Lounge was created in 2007 out of the idea that burgers should taste great as well as utilize healthy ingredients produced in a sustainable environment.

Address: 1608 India St., San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619-237-7878

Buon Appetito

Bar, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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Buon Appetito is a small and intimate restaurant famous for its homemade pasta, including gnocchi, ravioli and lasagna. Their lobster-tail ravioli simmered in vermouth and served in saffron sauce is a customer’s favorite together with their homemade tiramisu. The restaurant has a bar with over 50 wine varieties, so feel free to order a glass during lunch or dinner.

Juniper and Ivy

Restaurant, American, $$$
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Juniper and Ivy
Juniper and Ivy | © Jon Scally/Flickr
Juniper and Ivy offers American food with a left-coast edge. The restaurant’s hospitality, excellent cocktails, wines, and vibrant design make it the new place to eat on the west coast. Juniper and Ivy’s lovely interior makes it the perfect place to book for a special event: they offer the second floor overlook or a semi-private space in the dining room.

Filippi’s Pizza Grotto

Filippi’s Pizza Grotto is one of the best go-to spots for good Italian food and is famous for its delicious pizzas and its meatball subs. There can be a wait at this popular spot, but it is one that loyal customers are willing to endure. Visit Filippi’s and their décor will make you feel like you’re in Italy.

Address: 1747 India St., San Diego, CA, USA, +1 619-232-5094

Pappalecco

Restaurant, Pizzeria, Diner, Italian
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Pappalecco Gelato Kimberly
Pappalecco Gelato Kimberly | © Vardeman/Flickr
Pappalecco serves pizza, sandwiches, coffee, and much more for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Pets are allowed in the restaurant and the staff tries to make all customers feel at home. This feel-good restaurant offers reasonably priced cuisine and is a good setting both for a meal with the whole family and an intimate one-on-one evening.