Little Italy Lunch Bites

In Date Ideas, Little Italy, Restaurants, San Diego by SipSavorSeeSDLeave a Comment

Little Italy has completely captured my heart. Walking down India Street hearing Italian spoken passionately around tables and listening to the Italian accents of the servers takes me straight back to my fond memories of my awesome college study abroad experience in Pisa, Italy and beyond. During my trips I completely fell in love with Italy, and recommend any student to study abroad if they are able to. It was definitely a life-changing trip! (I will save this for another post.)

But back to San Diego. Now that I work blocks from Little Italy, I have had plenty of time to wander around and explore on my lunch breaks. We all know that the neighborhood is known for their completely delicious and gourmet restaurants. But what about those times when time is limited? Here are my top Little Italy picks to get some quick (and equally delicious) bites around the neighborhood!

Extraordinary Desserts

I don’t think I need to go into too much detail about their extraordinarily delicious desserts, but did you know that they serve lunch too? While this isn’t as quick of a lunch as the others, I had to mention their delicious paninis and salads. I also love the side salad that comes with the sandwiches, which changes often. And like I said, looking at the desserts and eating them is a show in itself!

My go-to: Turkey Breast Panini $11.50 (and ANY dessert item on their menu)


Pappalecco holds a special place in my heart, because their owners are straight from Pisa, Italy. Whenever I stop in I feel like I am transported back to Italy and all the memories come flooding back to me. Many know Pappalecco for their authentic and amazing gelato (YUM!) but did you know they have plenty of lunch items to go with their delicious desserts? Their lunch counter of paninis with fresh meats and cheeses will have you feeling like you are ordering a Panini in the heart of an Italian piazza. Finish your lunch off with an order of nutella gelato or a classic cannoli, you won’t regret it!

My go-to: Capresino Sandwich $4.75

Juice Crafters

I am pretty crazy about acai bowls. They are delicious, healthy and so refreshing! To get my acai or smoothie fix on a hot day, I walk over to Juice Crafters to cool off. They have cool decor on their walls (I’m a sucker for decor) and their large selection of cold pressed juices and smoothies is hard to beat. The acai bowls are large and the perfect consistency – topped with bananas, strawberries, granola and coconut flakes, you can’t go wrong!

My go-to: Acai Bowl $10


For a quick slice of pizza, Landini’s is a top spot to go. With over ten different pizzas available at a time, their selection is awesome. Walk up to their counter, order a slice (or a good combo), they will heat up the slice in their oven, and I am off and running to my next destination! They also have pasta and baked items, which are on my list of foods to try soon!

My go-to: Slice of La Piccante $3.50


Step into Napizza and to be greeted by friendly employees, specialty pizza and a full blown farm-to-table salad bar. They have great lunch combos, and usually I have enough to save for the next day. When I am craving a salad, I order their house salad, topped with their house-specialty balsamic dressing. I am obsessed with balsamic, and this dressing is one of my favorites!

My go-to: Happy Belly Slice with House Salad $11

Mona Lisa

A friend/coworker introduced me to Mona Lisa a few months ago. I had driven past hundreds of times, but when she heard about its great lunch combos, we had to check it out! Lunch at Mona Lisa is fast and delicious. Step up to the lunch counter and pick a pasta, and soup or salad. The combo comes with a drink and a big slice of bread. The portions are huge, and I usually have enough food to last another meal…if not more!

My go-to: Lasagna Half Order $6.75


I felt obligated to include Yogurtland. I don’t think I need to explain why, but its a great place for a self-serve sweet treat.

My go-to: Plain Tart, Red Velvet Cake Batter, & Double Cookies & Cream

Kebab Shop

The Kebab Shop is a go to for me, especially because it is right across the street from where I work. Their doners are delicious, and I love their garlic sauce. (But be sure to grab an after-doner mint!) Between their doner kebabs, salads, plenty of sides, and even baklava, their menu will satisfy all cravings. They have plenty of lunch options, their staff is ALWAYS over-the-top friendly, and I am never disappointed!

My go-to: Lamb Doner $8

Curbside Bites

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Was I the only one left in the dark about this until a few weeks ago?? Curbside Bites is a gourmet food truck booking service, and lucky for me (and all you other downtowners), they host a food truck market every Wednesday on India & West B Street from 11am-2pm! Last time I was there I had the asparagus grilled cheese from Devilicious, and I HIGHLY recommend it. I also spotted Super Q’s, which you can read about here! The lineup changes weekly, so be sure to check their website to see if your favorite food truck will be there! Note – Curbside hosts these markets all around town, so if you aren’t downtown, not to worry!

Well that’s it for this roundup! If you are a foodie in search of a spot with tons of character and ambiance, then Little Italy is the spot for you. These nine spots were just a snippet of the delicious spots in the neighborhood, but I always try to experience new spots, so be on the lookout for a Little Italy dinner roundup, as well as other posts. Also – if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them!

Ciao bella!

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