Top 10 Things To Do In Little Italy, San Diego, California - Updated 2021

things to do in san diego little italy

The best thing about cities is the manner in which numerous ethnic communities can embrace each other’s cultures and live together harmoniously. In downtown San Diego, California, one of the more well-known neighborhoods is none other than Little Italy. Once the site of San Diego’s tuna fishing industry, it is now a chic and scenic neighborhood filled with Italian cafes, restaurants, retail shops, public markets, and beautiful residential homes.

There is much to explore here in Little Italy and you’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for activities to do here. Have a look below at our list of the things to do in San Diego’s Little Italy in the state of California.

1. Pay a visit to the historic Firehouse museum

The Firehouse Museum in Little Italy pays tribute to the rich and illustrious history of San Diego’s firefighters that date over a hundred years. You will see all sorts of firefighting equipment and vehicles on display and even a piece of steel from the original World Trade Center in New York is a treasured exhibit in the museum. It serves as a stark reminder that we should not take our safety for granted.

San Diego Firehouse Museum

Address: 1572 Columbia St, San Diego, CA 92101

Website: San Diego Firehouse Museum

Opening hours: Thu - Fri: 10am - 2pm; Sat - Sun: 10am - 4pm (closed on Mon - Wed)

Price: Adults: 3 USD; Children and Seniors: 2 USD

2. Pay your respects at the GySgt John Basilone memorial at Piazza Basilone

things to do in san diego little italy | pay your respects at the gysgt john basilone memorial at piazza basilone
Source: gypazmous on Instagram

World War II was a devastating event in the history of mankind as it claimed the lives of thousands across the globe. At Piazza Basilone, you might come across a war statue memorial dedicated to the memory of GySgt John Basilone and other fallen soldiers. GySgt Basilone had fought bravely in the line of duty in order to protect his country and was the only enlisted marine to receive the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross.

Piazza Basilone

Address: 621 W Fir St, San Diego, CA 92101

Website: Piazza Basilone

3. Enjoy the many festivals of San Diego

San Diego Hawaiian Festival
Source: Photo by Flickr user Mike Avila used under CC BY 2.0

What’s a neighborhood without its festivals across the year? In Little Italy, you can be sure there are tons of events lined up for you every month. There are film festivals, the annual Mission Federal Art Walk, the labor day stickball tournament, the fun Ferragosto pirate event, and many others just waiting for your enthusiastic participation! Check the link below for the event calendar for 2019.

San Diego festivals

Website: Event calendar

4. Have a drink at M Winehouse

This hidden gem in Little Italy is the place to go if you want to relax over a glass of wine to wind down the day. They have a great selection of red, white, rose, and bubble wines from all over the world. Furthermore, you get 30% off all bottles if you visit on a Tuesday. If beer is more your cup of tea, they have a good selection of craft beers, too.

M Winehouse

Address: 1918 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

Website: M Winehouse

Opening hours: 3pm - 1am (Daily)

5. Shop your heart out at Farmer's Market

things to do in san diego little italy | shop your heart out at farmer's market

The Farmer’s Market is only opened twice a week so be sure to plan your itinerary carefully. If you’re planning for the week’s meals, you should head to the market on Wednesdays as you can purchase fresh produce such as poultry, fish, eggs, various meats, and many others. On Saturdays, more shops open and you will be able to buy various spices and sauces. Or, you can simply buy a street snack from one of the food stalls and just soak in the vibrant atmosphere.

Farmer's Market

Address: 600 W Date St, San Diego, CA 92101

Website: Farmer’s Market

Opening hours: Wed: 9am - 1pm; Sat: 8am - 2pm

6. Treat your stomach to comfort food at Waterfront Bar and Grill

When you are having a really bad day, you will be surprised how a plate of comfort food and a cold alcoholic beverage can help to soothe your soul. The family atmosphere at Waterfront Bar and Grill in Little Italy is that place to be to rejuvenate or to prepare for a Friday night out. There is a nice range of classic American and Mexican food so skip the calorie count and just enjoy yourself.

Waterfront Bar and Grill

Address: 2044 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Website: Waterfront Bar and Grill

Opening hours: 6am - 2am (daily)

Price: 11 - 30 USD

7. Visit the Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Little Italy

Our Lady of the Rosary Church SD-1
Source: Photo by user Visitor7 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Established in 1925, the Lady of the Rosary Church has continually served as Little’s Italy spiritual home to the Catholic community throughout the years. The stained-glass windows and the ceilings are painted beautifully and sets the mood for an intimate worship session. There is also a gift shop connected to the parish should you wish to purchase any souvenirs.

Our Lady of the Rosary Church

Address: 1668 State St, San Diego, CA 92101

Website: Our Lady of the Rosary Church

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 4pm; Sat: 9am - 2pm; Sun: 9.30am - 2pm

8. Appreciate contemporary art at the Meyer Fine Art gallery

Art aficionados will love the various art pieces and exhibitions on display at the Meyer Fine Art gallery. Considered one of San Diego’s well-known art galleries, you will find original and authentic pieces by renowned artists such as Roberto Matta, Salvador Dali, Andy Warhol, and Pablo Picasso. Purchases of these art pieces are possible and can be discussed with the gallery’s staff.

Meyer Fine Art Gallery

Address: 2400 Kettner Blvd, Suite 104, San Diego, CA 92101

Website: Meyer Fine Art Gallery

Opening hours: Tues- Thur 11am - 5pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 6pm (closed on Mon), or by appointment

9. Savor scrumptious Italian cuisine at Davanti Enoteca

When it comes to deciding what to have as a meal, you usually can’t go wrong with Italian cuisine. At Davanti Enoteca, you will be guaranteed a five-star Italian dining experience. There are many kinds of pasta and pizzas for lunch or dinner, but the real treat is when you come for brunch service. Try the Focaccia Di Recco and the Lemon Ricotta pancakes.

Davanti Enoteca

Address: 1655 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

Website: Davanti Enoteca

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 9pm; Fri: 11am - 10pm; Sat: 10am - 10pm; Sun: 10am - 9pm

Price: 11 - 30 USD

10. Shop at the trendy Vitreum gift shop

Shopping for Japanese ceramics and ornament pieces to add a touch of the Orient for your home? Stop by the Vitreum gift shop at West Fir street for they have a huge catalog of simple and elegant products that are directly shipped from the Land of the Rising Sun. You will be able to choose from a wide range of vases, tableware, lifestyle decorative items, or Japanese incense.


Address: 619 W Fir St, San Diego, CA 92101

Website: Vitreum

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 11am - 6pm; Sat: 10am - 6pm; Sun: 11am - 6pm

Many wonders in Little Italy

Little Italy, San Diego
Source: Photo by user Visitor7 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

San Diego is indeed thriving with many activities in its active communities and Little Italy is just one of them. We think that we have only covered only the tip of the iceberg, and it’s up to you to discover other hidden gems in this vibrant neighborhood. Have fun!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

Hi all, this is Julian from Singapore. I take the chance to travel whenever there's an opportunity to do so. I've been fortunate to have traveled far and wide to many countries around the world...Read more

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Little Italy
Good things are meant to be shared!