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Where To Eat Italian Food in San Diego

Everything from pizza to pasta and in-between

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Marked more by cozy neighborhood trattorias than flashy fine dining, there are plenty of options for eating Italian food in San Diego. Spanning restaurants boasting Italian-American-style “red sauce” dishes to those capturing the true spirit of Italian cooking by using few ingredients of exceptionally high quality, here’s where to find Italian food in San Diego.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Sicilia Bella

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7918 Ivanhoe Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 263-4614
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Plates-to-go and imported Italian dry and wet goods are the staple at downtown La Jolla’s Sicila Bella. Stop in to sit down for the pasta dishes, too.

2. Catania

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7863 Girard Ave #301
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 551-5105
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A varied menu spanning antipasti, pizza and pasta combined with ocean views make Catania one of the more popular dining options in downtown La Jolla.

Catania Courtesy photo

3. Isola Pizza Bar

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7734 Girard Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037
(858) 412-5566
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Neapolitan-style pizza is the main draw at Isola’s multiple locations, but regulars know their rotating pasta specials are also well worth a try. The restaurant also imports wine made in Italy by the owner’s family.

Isola Pizza Bar Courtesy photo

4. Ambrogio15

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926 Turquoise St h
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 291-8650
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This Milanese-style pizzeria specializes in ultra-thin crust pizzas while boasting a natural and biodynamic-focused wine list.

ambrogio Courtesy photo

5. Enoteca Adriano

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4864 Cass St
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 490-0085
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Pacific Beach’s Enoteca Adriano is a cozy neighborhood joint with an Italian wine list worth checking out. A static regular menu is bolstered by an ever-changing list of specials, including pasta dishes.

6. Oltre Mare

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4286 Cass St
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 272-7247
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A frequently-changing menu highlights pasta dishes at this cozy, no-frills Italian restaurant. Seafood dishes are particularly loved by regulars.

7. Antica Trattoria

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5654 Lake Murray Blvd
La Mesa, CA 91942
(619) 463-9919
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In-season vegetables and high quality products are the star at La Mesa’s Antica Trattoria, which has a menu consisting of appetizers, main dishes and pasta dishes.

8. Maestoso

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1040 University Ave ste. B101
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 642-0777
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Maestoso opened in 2018 to a waning Hillcrest dining scene and now features rotating small plates cart and a type of pizza called a pinza among other specialties.

maestoso Courtesy photo

9. Giardino

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8131 Broadway
Lemon Grove, CA 91945
(619) 825-7112
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Lemon Grove is home to Giardino, which is a quaint neighborhood Italian restaurant serving classic dishes alongside other creations from Italian chef and owner Marco Provino.

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10. Cesarina

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4161 Voltaire St
San Diego, CA 92107
(619) 226-6222
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Once a fresh pasta pop-up and now a full-service brick-and-mortar restaurant in the upper Voltaire section of Point Loma, Cesarina focuses on fresh pasta dishes but also boasts a menu of other antipasta and main courses. Beer and wine only. The restaurant also serves a separate vegan menu.

Courtesy rendering

11. Ulivo Restaurant

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1776 Sunset Cliffs Blvd
San Diego, CA 92107
(619) 224-2227
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Ocean Beach’s Ulivo has an extensive menu of pasta dishes but is best known for their version of linguine alla vongole.

12. Solare

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2820 Roosevelt Rd
San Diego, CA 92106
(619) 270-9670
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Though Liberty Station’s Solare no longer has its award-winning head chef, Accuriso Lota, at the helm, the team continues to crank out inventive and quality Italian dishes at a slightly higher price point than other Italian restaurants in town.

Courtesy photo

13. CUCINA urbana

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505 Laurel St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 239-2222
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With three San Diego locations in Bankers Hill, Kensington and Del Mar, the Cucina family of restaurants is well-known in town for being one of the best Italian dining options. Pasta dishes are a particular joy, with creative twists being thrown into classic dishes.

14. Piacere Mio

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1947 Fern St
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 794-2543
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A no-frills South Park trattoria, Piacere Mio shines with its fresh pasta selections and ever-changing list of specials.

15. Mona Lisa Italian Foods

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2061 India St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 234-4893
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Mona Lisa is well-loved for both its market, which features imported Italian products, but also its restaurant, which has faithfully been serving classic Italian-American-styled red sauce dishes for decades.

16. RoVino Rotisserie + Wine

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2034 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 269-9341
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Rotisserie is the star at RoVino, which specializes in roasted meats and an impressive Italian-focused wine program. The owners of the restaurant will also open an Italian market soon.

17. Monello

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750 W Fir St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 501-0030
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Aperitivo is the main event at Little Italy’s Monello, the slightly more casual sister restaurant to Bencotto, which is just next door. Spring for the housemade vermouth cocktails with accompanying small plates and don’t skip the pasta in a wheel of cheese special.

Courtesy photo

18. Civico 1845

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1845 India St
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 431-5990
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Pastas, antipasti and main dishes span two menus at this Little Italy restaurant: vegan and not. Even for those who don’t have plant-based diets, the vegan menu is well-worth a try.

19. Buona Forchetta - South Park

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3001 Beech St
San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 381-4844
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One of San Diego’s most beloved Neapolitan-style pizzas can be found at Buona Forchetta, which now has multiple locations throughout San Diego County in addition to its original location in South Park.

Buona Forchetta Courtesy photo

20. Biga

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950 Sixth Ave C
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 794-0444
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Some of the best Italian food in San Diego (or anywhere else, for that matter) can be found at hidden gem Biga at the tip of the Gaslamp. Pizzas and pastas shine alongside other dishes made with fresh and local produce.

21. Mattarello Cooking Lab

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518 Sixth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(858) 717-0173
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Two Milanese restaurateurs opened Mattarello Cooking Lab in the Gaslamp in 2018. A retail section for fresh pasta boasts a menu that features products and pasta dishes made in-house.

Courtesy photo

22. Monzu Fresh Pasta

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455 Tenth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 255-5032
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East Village’s Monzu Fresh Pasta opened in 2018 and features—as the name states—a whole lot of fresh pasta. The Italian-born couple that owns the restaurant trained under some of Italy’s master pasta makers. The restaurant’s all-day menu follows traditional pasta making techniques and flavors inspired by regions including Sicily, Campania and Puglia. The cacio e pepe ravioli is a particular must-try.

Cacio e Pepe Raviolo at Monzu Phaedra Cook

23. Maretalia

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1300 Orange Ave
Coronado, CA 92118
(619) 522-0946
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A recent revamp of the island’s “coastal Italian” restaurant added a raw bar featuring seafood-focused plates and a dedicated pasta kitchen that can be viewed from the dining room.

Courtesy photo

1. Sicilia Bella

7918 Ivanhoe Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037

Plates-to-go and imported Italian dry and wet goods are the staple at downtown La Jolla’s Sicila Bella. Stop in to sit down for the pasta dishes, too.

7918 Ivanhoe Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037

2. Catania

7863 Girard Ave #301, La Jolla, CA 92037
Catania Courtesy photo

A varied menu spanning antipasti, pizza and pasta combined with ocean views make Catania one of the more popular dining options in downtown La Jolla.

7863 Girard Ave #301
La Jolla, CA 92037

3. Isola Pizza Bar

7734 Girard Ave, La Jolla, CA 92037
Isola Pizza Bar Courtesy photo

Neapolitan-style pizza is the main draw at Isola’s multiple locations, but regulars know their rotating pasta specials are also well worth a try. The restaurant also imports wine made in Italy by the owner’s family.

7734 Girard Ave
La Jolla, CA 92037

4. Ambrogio15

926 Turquoise St h, San Diego, CA 92109
ambrogio Courtesy photo

This Milanese-style pizzeria specializes in ultra-thin crust pizzas while boasting a natural and biodynamic-focused wine list.

926 Turquoise St h
San Diego, CA 92109

5. Enoteca Adriano

4864 Cass St, San Diego, CA 92109

Pacific Beach’s Enoteca Adriano is a cozy neighborhood joint with an Italian wine list worth checking out. A static regular menu is bolstered by an ever-changing list of specials, including pasta dishes.

4864 Cass St
San Diego, CA 92109

6. Oltre Mare

4286 Cass St, San Diego, CA 92109

A frequently-changing menu highlights pasta dishes at this cozy, no-frills Italian restaurant. Seafood dishes are particularly loved by regulars.

4286 Cass St
San Diego, CA 92109

7. Antica Trattoria

5654 Lake Murray Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942

In-season vegetables and high quality products are the star at La Mesa’s Antica Trattoria, which has a menu consisting of appetizers, main dishes and pasta dishes.

5654 Lake Murray Blvd
La Mesa, CA 91942

8. Maestoso

1040 University Ave ste. B101, San Diego, CA 92103
maestoso Courtesy photo

Maestoso opened in 2018 to a waning Hillcrest dining scene and now features rotating small plates cart and a type of pizza called a pinza among other specialties.

1040 University Ave ste. B101
San Diego, CA 92103

9. Giardino

8131 Broadway, Lemon Grove, CA 91945
Courtesy photo

Lemon Grove is home to Giardino, which is a quaint neighborhood Italian restaurant serving classic dishes alongside other creations from Italian chef and owner Marco Provino.

8131 Broadway
Lemon Grove, CA 91945

10. Cesarina

4161 Voltaire St, San Diego, CA 92107
Courtesy rendering

Once a fresh pasta pop-up and now a full-service brick-and-mortar restaurant in the upper Voltaire section of Point Loma, Cesarina focuses on fresh pasta dishes but also boasts a menu of other antipasta and main courses. Beer and wine only. The restaurant also serves a separate vegan menu.

4161 Voltaire St
San Diego, CA 92107

11. Ulivo Restaurant

1776 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107

Ocean Beach’s Ulivo has an extensive menu of pasta dishes but is best known for their version of linguine alla vongole.

1776 Sunset Cliffs Blvd
San Diego, CA 92107

12. Solare

2820 Roosevelt Rd, San Diego, CA 92106
Courtesy photo

Though Liberty Station’s Solare no longer has its award-winning head chef, Accuriso Lota, at the helm, the team continues to crank out inventive and quality Italian dishes at a slightly higher price point than other Italian restaurants in town.

2820 Roosevelt Rd
San Diego, CA 92106

13. CUCINA urbana

505 Laurel St, San Diego, CA 92101

With three San Diego locations in Bankers Hill, Kensington and Del Mar, the Cucina family of restaurants is well-known in town for being one of the best Italian dining options. Pasta dishes are a particular joy, with creative twists being thrown into classic dishes.

505 Laurel St
San Diego, CA 92101

14. Piacere Mio

1947 Fern St, San Diego, CA 92102

A no-frills South Park trattoria, Piacere Mio shines with its fresh pasta selections and ever-changing list of specials.

1947 Fern St
San Diego, CA 92102

15. Mona Lisa Italian Foods

2061 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

Mona Lisa is well-loved for both its market, which features imported Italian products, but also its restaurant, which has faithfully been serving classic Italian-American-styled red sauce dishes for decades.

2061 India St
San Diego, CA 92101

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16. RoVino Rotisserie + Wine

2034 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

Rotisserie is the star at RoVino, which specializes in roasted meats and an impressive Italian-focused wine program. The owners of the restaurant will also open an Italian market soon.

2034 Kettner Blvd
San Diego, CA 92101

17. Monello

750 W Fir St, San Diego, CA 92101
Courtesy photo

Aperitivo is the main event at Little Italy’s Monello, the slightly more casual sister restaurant to Bencotto, which is just next door. Spring for the housemade vermouth cocktails with accompanying small plates and don’t skip the pasta in a wheel of cheese special.

750 W Fir St
San Diego, CA 92101

18. Civico 1845

1845 India St, San Diego, CA 92101

Pastas, antipasti and main dishes span two menus at this Little Italy restaurant: vegan and not. Even for those who don’t have plant-based diets, the vegan menu is well-worth a try.

1845 India St
San Diego, CA 92101

19. Buona Forchetta - South Park

3001 Beech St, San Diego, CA 92102
Buona Forchetta Courtesy photo

One of San Diego’s most beloved Neapolitan-style pizzas can be found at Buona Forchetta, which now has multiple locations throughout San Diego County in addition to its original location in South Park.

3001 Beech St
San Diego, CA 92102

20. Biga

950 Sixth Ave C, San Diego, CA 92101

Some of the best Italian food in San Diego (or anywhere else, for that matter) can be found at hidden gem Biga at the tip of the Gaslamp. Pizzas and pastas shine alongside other dishes made with fresh and local produce.

950 Sixth Ave C
San Diego, CA 92101

21. Mattarello Cooking Lab

518 Sixth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Courtesy photo

Two Milanese restaurateurs opened Mattarello Cooking Lab in the Gaslamp in 2018. A retail section for fresh pasta boasts a menu that features products and pasta dishes made in-house.

518 Sixth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

22. Monzu Fresh Pasta

455 Tenth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
Cacio e Pepe Raviolo at Monzu Phaedra Cook

East Village’s Monzu Fresh Pasta opened in 2018 and features—as the name states—a whole lot of fresh pasta. The Italian-born couple that owns the restaurant trained under some of Italy’s master pasta makers. The restaurant’s all-day menu follows traditional pasta making techniques and flavors inspired by regions including Sicily, Campania and Puglia. The cacio e pepe ravioli is a particular must-try.

455 Tenth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

23. Maretalia

1300 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118
Courtesy photo

A recent revamp of the island’s “coastal Italian” restaurant added a raw bar featuring seafood-focused plates and a dedicated pasta kitchen that can be viewed from the dining room.

1300 Orange Ave
Coronado, CA 92118

Related Maps