Little Italy is a hilly neighborhood tucked in Downtown San Diego, California that started out as a Italian fishing village back in the early 1900s. But since then, the area has transformed into a ultra-gorgeous, scenic neighborhood comprised of retail shops, Italian restaurants, art galleries, home design stores and residential units. In 2014, Forbes Magazine named Little Italy as one of the top 10 neighborhoods in the United States for Millenials.
Culture-wise, Little Italy is one of most active neighborhoods in downtown San Diego. The neighbors enjoy frequent social events which include the weekly farmer’s market fiesta that is at times dubbed as Mercato (Market in Italian).
Compared to other downtown San Diego neighborhoods, Little Italy has a relatively low crime rate and is generally considered cleaner thanks to the regular trash removal and disposal efforts of the Little Italy Neighborhood Association. The association is also at times responsible for the decoration and setting up of the above-mentioned events.
Popular Restaurants in Little Italy
As far as culinary and dining excellence goes, Little Italy is one of the few places on earth that can give the mainstream Rome a run for its money. When it comes down to Italian food, the neighborhood’s diverse dining scene offers multiple arrays of choices to both locals and visiting tourists. And this is courtesy of the following well-rated places.
1. Indigo Grill
Headed by Chef Deborah Scott, Indigo Grill is a culmination of both exotic exquisiteness with a splash of local American cuisine. Whether it is the grilled Romaine or the anchovy-chipotle cream and the orange-passila & buerre blanc, you will find something that keeps you coming back for more.
2. The Mimmos Italian Village
Those looking for a more vintage experience can head to the highly-rated Mimmo’s Village that was started back in 1969. It is arguably one of the few places in this neighborhood where you can grab a healthy dish of pasta and meatballs along with gluten-free bread for just but a few dollars. But more importantly, the restaurant is a favorite local wine joint and has a rich selection of Tuscan and Italian wines that patrons can choose from.
Other restaurants within this locale that are worth mentioning include Craft & Commerce, Filippi’s Pizza Grotto, Mona Lisa Italian Foods (Amazing Sandwiches), Bencotto Italian Kitchen, Davanti Enoteca, Ironside Fish & Oyster, Underbelly, Prep Kitchen and, last but not least, Buon Appetito.
3. Juice Crafters
Offering fresh juices, organic meals, and acai bowls, Juice Crafters has become a very popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
Public Places in Little Italy
The quaint, beautiful Amici Park heralds the pinnacle of the best public places in Little Italy. Which is then spiced with a variety of nightlife clubs such as Waterfront Bar & Grill that is famous for locally brewed ales that are served side-by-side with locally-made burgers.
If that doesn’t quench your jaded palate, you can hop into another favorite watering hole – the Princess Pub and Grille – that serves exotic Irish and British beers.
Condo Buildings In Little Italy
As far as the thriving real estate market of San Diego goes, Little Italy is one of the six core neighborhoods that are considered unique and very promising. As a result, the area has seen an exponential architectural growth ranging from expensive concrete high-rises to loft complexes and condominiums. And thanks to these condos, Little Italy has managed to assume an urbane facade but still has a touch of a ‘quaint and local’ neighborhood touch.
Here are some of the best condo complexes in Little Italy
1. Acqua Vista Condos
Located at the helm of Beech & Columbia Avenue, Acqua Vista Condos form the bulk of the twin 18-story high-rise block that is just a walking distance away from restaurants and boutiques.
2. Aperture Condos
Aperture is Citymark’s newest housing project that features over 86 state-of-the-art condominiums caged inside an 11-story complex. The entire structure is complement with a spacious underground parking space.
3. 350 West Ash
Situated at the corner of Ash & State St. the 350 Ash is a brand new mega complex that houses a decent number of condos, studios, penthouses and 2-bedroom apartments. Its proximity to local hang-out joints has made it very popular among Little Italy’s youthful population.
4. Bella Via
Bella Via is a mid-rise modern but still contemporary condominium complex located right at the heart of the neighborhood of Little Italy. To be more accurate, you can find Bella Via apartments on the corner of Cedar and India – something that puts it in the vicinity of Little Italy’s shopping mini-district and vibrant nightlife, making it an superb nesting place for the city lover.
Completed back in 2009, the street level retail of this condominium complex is taken up by restaurants and a range of uptown boutique shops.
5. DOMA Condos
DOMA is an array of classy lofts and condos situated on the corner of Kettner & Fir in Little Italy. Comprising of two mid-rise buildings, Doma’s huge chunk of real estate is taken up by lofts made out of cement and concrete. The other building houses city homes, lofts units, townhomes fabricated from a combination of steel and wood frame. The structure was constructed by Citymark Development Enterprises in 2013.
6. Hawthorn Place
Situated on the corner of India Street and Hawthorn, Hawthorn Place is another mid-rise made of stucco construction and wood. It was completed back in 2004 by Phillip Boczanowski and the street level unit below the lofty condos is taken up by a Starbucks Coffee House and an Argentinean Restaurant – Puerto La Boca.