12 Best Italian Restaurants in San Diego, CA 2023

San Diego has a diverse range of superb Italian restaurants. A few of its culinary delights are handcrafted gelato, perfectly cooked pasta, and freshly caught fish.

Continue reading to learn about the 12 best Italian restaurants in San Diego. Experience the fun and savor the best dishes in these dining destinations.

Piacere Mio

$$ | (619) 794-2543 | WEBSITE


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This restaurant specializes in serving generous portions of fresh, homestyle pasta at reasonable prices. You can make your choice from nine sauces and five kinds of pasta.

Ravioli stuffed with radicchio and pancetta is also one of their specialties. There’s something about it that appeals to both the inner child and the hungry adult.

Piacere Mio also provides antipasti and entrées from the freshest, local ingredients. The antipasti are heavy on seafood. They include potato salad, octopus, or clams in tomato chowder.

You may want to enjoy beef carpaccio as an appetizer. It consists of a big piece of aged beef, loads of olive oil and lemon juice, and a stack of a crispy rocket.



$$ | (619) 450-4786 | WEBSITE


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Bencotto is in the center of Little Italy. It serves handcrafted Italian cuisine in a sleek, modern atmosphere. Try their various appetizers. These include spicy calamari, risotto balls, several slices of cheese, and meat platters.

Salads, soups, meat, seafood, and gourmet pasta are also available. Every pasta is 100% natural and prepared fresh by hand daily. There are also many vegetarian and gluten-free options.

You can choose to park along the street for free or pay a nominal fee for valet parking.


Buona Forchetta – South Park

$$$ | (619) 381-4844 | WEBSITE

Buona Forchetta - South Park

A variety of salads, appetizers, pasta, pizzas, seafood, and meat dishes await you here. The excellent wine list features wines from around the world, matching every recipe.

The restaurant takes pride in its traditional Neapolitan wood-fired oven pizza. It is handcrafted by renowned oven manufacturer Stefano Ferrara.

The restaurant features daily specials that highlight the freshest ingredients available. It also offers vegetarian and gluten-free alternatives as well as homemade desserts.

The servers are very kind and knowledgeable. They do not linger or disturb you frequently. But when you need their attention, they usually respond swiftly.



$$$ | (619) 501-0030 | WEBSITE


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Monello’s menu features fritti appetizers, pizzas, artisan pasta, seafood, and meat dishes. These are influenced by Milan’s modern street food. Butternut squash gnocchi and veal ravioli are house specialties.

Every Tuesday and Wednesday, you can try a special pasta or risotto dish baked in a 40-pound block of cheese. They have 25 different types of handcrafted pasta daily.

There is a happy hour every day from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m, during which you can enjoy cocktails made with homemade vermouth using a secret blend.

Desserts include handcrafted gelato, sorbet, affogato, and gelato drowned in espresso or vermouth.



$$ | (619) 234-6538 | WEBSITE


Operacaffe is the perfect restaurant for a genuine Italian experience. Savor authentic and award-winning cuisine here! It will transport you to the heart of Italy.

This restaurant is renowned for family-oriented service and fresh and quality food. The delectable dishes to the romantic Italian ambiance are outstanding.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a certified food lover, a fascinated beginner, or in between. You’ll surely love their food!

You can go for soups, appetizers, and gourmet pasta. You may also try their unique seafood alternatives. Fish and meat dishes, pizzas, and a broad selection of healthful salads are also available.


Buon Appetito Restaurant

$$ | (619) 238-9880 | WEBSITE


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Buon Appetito welcomes customers to experience genuine Italian hospitality and traditional family cuisine.

You can try classic favorites, including Caprese salad, veal shank, and spinach ravioli. You can also pick among different salads, soups, appetizers, pasta, and meat and fish dishes.

Wine is available in glass or bottles. The wine selection contains both domestic and foreign options. The restaurant’s dessert menu includes tiramisu, loaded cannoli, and ricotta cheesecake.

Weekends, particularly romantic dates, are fantastic here! If you can also get a table outside to eat, you’ll get a nice sense of Italy.


Jack & Giulio’s Italian Restaurant

$$ | (619) 294-2074 | WEBSITE


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Jack & Giulio’s is an old-school eatery that serves moderately-priced classic Italian meals.

If you happen to visit this place, try their phenomenal shrimp scampi. They also have tasty appetizers, fresh salads, seafood dishes, and meat entrees.

You can also try several specialty pasta varieties made from scratch. Gluten-free alternatives are available for some of them.

The restaurant serves a selection of distinctive Italian cocktails. You can also opt for white or red wines in glass, half bottles, or bottles.


Baci Restaurant

$$$ | (619) 275-2094 | WEBSITE


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Baci is a welcoming neighborhood hangout. People of all cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds may find pleasure and comfort here.

This restaurant is frequented by locals. It is one of San Diego’s most well-known eateries. It gives diners a sense of old-world Italian elegance. Get amazed with white tablecloths and kind servers in tuxedos.

It’s the kind of spot where you’d take out-of-town visitors to show them the sights and sounds of San Diego!

The atmosphere is contemporary. But, the menu is traditional with Northern and Southern Italian dishes. You can have veal, unique pasta dishes, and fresh seafood. Don’t miss their delicious daily specialties as well.



$$ | (619) 238-1917 | WEBSITE


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Barbusa is a modern restaurant that serves classic Sicilian cuisine with a twist. It’s one of San Diego’s top Italian restaurants. There is something here for everyone.

They serve handcrafted pizzas, homemade pasta, and seafood-loaded entrees. Special artisan Italian cocktails and Italian wines are also remarkable. They’re also well-known for their Sicilian Ribeye.

The environment is lively in this place, with plenty of seating. Their crudo bar is open every night where they offer stone-oven pizza.

The service is also excellent and relaxed. The servers check in on the customers politely and appear to be sincere.


Leucadia Pizza Point Loma

$$ | (619) 295-2222 | WEBSITE


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This eatery is more than just a pizza parlor! They urge you to come in or place an order online for fast, pleasant delivery. See for yourself why they’re North County’s top casual restaurant.

Locals have gathered here to commemorate momentous occasions for almost 30 years.

Their dining rooms are open every day for lunch and supper. They can accommodate big groups, wedding rehearsals, corporate gatherings, and family reunions.

They provide one of the widest and most effective delivery operations in San Diego. They are known to deliver your complete menu quickly and courteously.

The restaurant is located in San Diego County’s gorgeous coastal area. Enjoy its wonderful weather, famed beaches, and many other year-round outdoor activities.

Check this eatery out! Try their fresh Italian delicacies such as pasta, pizzas, and many more.


Scuderie Italia

$$ | (858) 352-6912 | WEBSITE


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Scuderie is located on Garnet Avenue in Pacific Beach, San Diego’s famed beach town. It is perfect for a casual lunch or an exclusive meal with family, friends, and loved ones.

The elevated menu in this restaurant includes a wide range of appetizers. You can also try their artisan pasta, large main courses, and unique desserts. On the weekends, they only serve a special brunch menu.

This unusual eating idea reflects the owner’s passion for Italian food, cars, and motorcycles.

You’ll always find a welcoming atmosphere here at Scuderie. Enjoy genuine Italian cuisine, wood-fired pizza, and exquisite Italian wine.


Trattoria Don Pietro

$$ | (619) 255-7205 | WEBSITE


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Trattoria Don Pietro delivers something unique and pleasant. It is famed to be San Diego’s trendiest and most Instagrammable eatery.

This is because of its innovative Italian recipes. The remarkable garden patio and unusual beverages are also a plus.

The restaurant offers an ideal blend of classic and contemporary Italian cuisine. It is the sole Italian eatery in the center of Old Town, giving the area a sophisticated and modern vibe.

It serves as the best location for people searching for a pleasant ambiance. You won’t get stressed with the congested districts of Little Italy and downtown.

Trattoria Don Pietro is the perfect setting for a romantic night out or a special occasion. Your significant someone will feel royal for proposal dinners or birthdays, to name a few.

The restaurant serves a variety of Sicilian-inspired homemade pasta meals. It also offers a variety of gluten-free and vegan alternatives. The Sicilian street food snacks are also a must-try.



Are you planning a trip to San Diego? While you’re in town, make a point of visiting authentic Italian eateries. Try some of the city’s most historic Italian eateries or more modern options.

You will not be disappointed with any of the 12 best Italian restaurants in San Diego listed above.

Best Italian Restaurants in San Diego

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Restaurant Observer is the ultimate go-to destination on the web when looking for nothing but fantastic places to genuinely enjoy food across the United States. Inspired by the saying when there’s good food, there’s a good life, Birch Restaurant starts the food blog to scout the best food places across the country.