7 Restaurants in San Diego’s Little Italy You Should Know

San Diego Restaurants- Little Italy - Roaming Glory

Let’s hang out in Little Italy

Many years ago, families from Italy traveled to sunny San Diego, California, and settled in a neighborhood known today as Little Italy. San Diego is home to Little Italy, a popular tourist destination that is a must-see when visiting the city. Little Italy is a charming and vibrant part of San Diego, with a rich history and plenty of delicious Italian food and drinks to enjoy.

Whether you’re a fan of pizza or pasta, or just want to enjoy a charming neighborhood atmosphere, Little Italy is a must-see destination in San Diego. Not only are the farmers’ markets in Little Italy famous for their delicious produce and interesting museums, but their iconic restaurants are also worth checking out.

Good news, everyone! I’m so happy to be able to talk about the wonderful restaurants in Little Italy. I’ve had some great meals from the restaurants in Little Italy! There are a variety of different restaurants where you can enjoy a meal, so I’ve compiled a list of the top seven. Whether you’re looking for breakfast, brunch, or dinner, this list has you covered! Let’s go! 

Morning Glory

Morning Glory Little Italy San Diego
Courtesy of Morning Glory

Are you ready for the most amazing breakfast accompanied by delicious brunch cocktails or craft coffee? Morning Glory checks all the boxes when it comes to being an amazing breakfast/brunch spot! They have a very unique, yet tasty menu that will be sure to satisfy anyone’s pallet.

Morning Glory offers a delicious and unique breakfast experience, with items like fried rice topped off with an over-easy egg! And of course, their famous souffle pancakes (a must-try), which will literally melt in your mouth as soon as they hit your tongue. These pancakes will have you coming back for more! They’re made immediately after you order, so you know they’re fresh and delicious. They also serve their version of traditional bacon and eggs so you know they’re going to be anything but traditional. The thickness of their bacon will leave you in awe! If you love bacon, then this is the perfect dish for you!

You will be blown away by the Morning Glory decor, the theme of the whole restaurant is a vibe, which will put you in the best of moods!  Dusty pinks, golds, and brass fixtures fill up your sight with many nice bursts of color. It’s an 80s retro vibe that is truly breathtaking. The first thing you will see when you step foot into the restaurant is a huge starburst, with shades of pink and gold hanging over the restaurant, you will be in awe of the whole dining experience. This place is nothing but fabulous, and is something that should absolutely be on your list of unique restaurants to visit!

Recommendation: Morning Glory is a busy restaurant that opens at 8:00 am. It is recommended to arrive at least 30 minutes before they open in order to be seated quickly.

Lofty Coffee Cafe & Bakery

Lofty Coffee Little Italy San Diego
Courtesy of Lofty Coffee Cafe & Bakery

Are you looking for delicious coffee, with perhaps warm pasties? Or maybe an Acai bowl? Well, You’ve come to the right place! Lofty has some fantastic coffee made with fresh ingredients, the aroma itself makes the trip worthwhile. Lofty goes as far as to make its fresh ingredients, such as fresh nut milk, warm pastries, and freshly pressed orange juice (made fresh daily!). Their drinks are so smooth, savory, creamy, nutty, and did I mention, Fresh! It would be wrong of me not to mention the fantastic tea selection they have to choose from, their fresh steep chai will leave you wanting more! A must-have is cloudy with a chance of cold brew! Wow! This drink is one of the best iced coffees ever. What makes it so great? The velvety and nutty taste! I’ve never had anything like it, you’ll never want it to end. But wait, it doesn’t have to end there, Lofty has a little market with their fresh coffee packed up and ready for you to take home.

I would also like to mention that Lofty offers a coffee subscription that gives you the chance to experience all the wonderful coffees they have to offer. Lofty is truly a gem, from their fresh and unique drinks, the Lofty Coffee Shop will surely hit the spot. 

Queenstown Public House

3. Queenstown Exterior - 7 Restaurants In San Diego'S Little Italy You Should Know
Courtesy of Queenstown Public House: Exterior of Restaurant

Queenstown is one of Little Italy’s hottest brunch spots, and I can see why! A cute tiny cottage-looking home turned into the cutest restaurant, serving up some Newzealand style foods. Here You can find some delicious Homemade crispy melt-in-your-mouth fried chicken, which is just one of the many popular dishes you can find here at Queenstown. This place has the most amazing homemade biscuits with an incredible jam, making you want to get up and dance! One of Queenstown’s famous dishes and a must-try is the “cure” this wonderful dish consists of fried chicken, tater tots, sausage, biscuits, and gravy! This dish will surely help “cure”  that hangover! Ohh, and we can’t forget the drinks!! Here you can find an array of drinks such as beer, wine, and other great unique drinks such as their one-of-a-kind “Baja Paloma.”

The aesthetics throughout the whole restaurant are so stunning and unique. The decor inside the restaurant represents the Newzealand culture. Queenstown is also pet friendly!! Which makes this place even more amazing! Now our pups can join in on a fantastic experience at Queenstown! Queenstown will become a favorite, so come down and give it a try, and don’t forget to bring those precious dogs. 

Born & Raised

Born And Raised Little Italy San Diego
Courtesy of Born & Raised

From the moment you arrive at the doorsteps of Born and Raised you will be blown away. Giant gold-plated letters that spell out Born and raised, will leave you in awe along with the golden trims all around the outside of the restaurant. Once you step inside, this place will again, leave you speechless. Heads up, This place will continue to take your breath away throughout the whole experience here, so be prepared.

The very first thing that came to mind when walking into Born and Raised was The Great Gatsby, I couldn’t wait to try this place out. The gold-plated walls running throughout the back of the bars and along the walls will make you forget where you are, taking you back in time. The upstairs of the restaurant is just as breathtaking, with an open second story that overlooks little Italy is amazing! The bar upstairs has a fountain of flowers sprouting from bottom to top! That leaves you thinking, can this place get any better? Ohh, yes, it can!

Roaming Glory

Treat yourself to a few drinks on their jaw-dropping 45-foot cocktail bar covered in Italian green marble.

The food here is spectacular! Born and Raised specializes in steaks, just picture the premium selection of filets, porterhouses, rib eyes, dry-aged cuts, American and Japanese wagyu, slow-roasted Prime rib, and the list goes on. Now, what would we recommend? Of course, the steak sampler. It comes with four different types of wagyu steaks that will change your life! Juicy, buttery, flavorful steak that has an abundance of flavors that never end. Their beef wellington is One of a kind; I promise you have never had anything like this. 

Their menu has a great selection to choose from, not only steaks but pasta, salads, and soups. You need to pair your dinner with some of their excellent sides; one of my favorites happens to be their unique and incredible “dirty hashbrowns” wow! Never had anything like it. Imagine a crispy thick rectangular potato with their signature cream sauce on top that gives it the most fantastic flavor ever. Mac and cheese, and roasted mushrooms, are also a must. 

Don’t worry; they have the most delicious craft cocktails that help wash down all that excellent food. Don’t forget dessert! Their homemade carrot cake is unreal, and if you are not a fan of carrot cake, I promise you will be after leaving Born and Raised. Please do yourself a favor and give this place a try! It will leave you absolutely speechless and make you wonder how you didn’t find this place sooner.

Recommendation: if you are planning on experiencing this wonderful restaurant, I recommend you make reservations at least a month in advance! This place fills up extremely fast and gets booked daily, so please save yourself the heartache and make a reservation.


5. Barbusa California Pizza - 7 Restaurants In San Diego'S Little Italy You Should Know
Courtesy of BarBusa

BarBusa is a modern restaurant bringing us Sicilian-style foods with a twist bursting with flavors. BarBusa has a variety of freshly made foods on the menu, such as pizzas, pasta, and seafood, with unmatched food quality. All these dishes are crafted with love, and it truly shows. BarBusa offers Italian-based cocktails; the wine selection comes from South Italy and has a great assortment of local craft beers. This place is a must if you’ve never been to Italy and have always wanted to try authentic Italian food! I recommend trying a little of everything on the menu, but don’t forget the pizza! The pizza here is amazingly light and crispy. BarBusa has many options, such as the Sicilian or their Dolce E Piccante pizza, which has Italian meats and veggies, making it the perfect pizza!

Recommendations: BarBusa gets filled up quickly, so make reservations ahead of time. Also, I highly try one of their signature Italian drinks! They are unique and delicious, and you won’t be disappointed. 

Filippi’s Pizza Grotto

Fillipis Little Italy San Diego
Courtesy of Filippi’s

Filippi’s pizza is a Family owned restaurant that has been open in Little Italy since 1950. This place is an absolute gem, and the food is always on point. The entrance to the restaurant is an Italian market that sells authentic Italian goods you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll find authentic Italian foods from pasta, bread, oils, meats, and sauces.

Filippi’s has been passed down through different generations keeping the incredible recipes of the Dephilippis alive. Here you can indulge in the most authentic, delicious pizza with the best gooey cheese that keeps stretching. The spaghetti with their homemade marinara sauce and meatballs is a dream come true! I’ve never had a meatball so good in my life. Their layered lasagna is an abundance of happiness, with many layers and marinara sauce pouring over the top. Each bite will leave you wanting more. Here at Filippi’s, you will always get excellent family-style food, give one of Little Italy’s oldest restaurants a try, and indulge in greatness.

Cloak & Petal

Cloak And Petal Little Italy San Diego
Courtesy Of Cloak &Amp; Petal: Inside The Restaurant

Cloak and Petal is a unique sushi spot serving delicious one-of-a-kind crafted cocktails, sushi, and captivating decor. This place is not hard to miss if you’re strolling down Little Italy. The aesthetics of Cloak and Petal are enough to draw your attention from the moment you pass by. What caught my attention was hearing Tupac’s voice playing in the background and the stunning cherry blossom tree in the middle of the restaurant. This place is a treat!

Cloak and Petal is Japanese culture meets hip-hop. The walls have colorful graffiti art, with pictures of the hip-hop legends Tupac and Notorious Big; so much culture in one room. Every item on their menu is just as unique as the restaurant, with each sushi roll having its wonderful flavor and freshly cut fish. They also have an assortment of nonfish items on the menu to accommodate those who are not fans of sushi. Everything on the menu is delicious. The cocktail menu consists of wine, beers, and mixed drinks inspired by Japanese culture with a twist.

Stop by Cloak and Petal and enjoy good sushi, tasty cocktails, Instagram-worthy content, and a fantastic ambiance.


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