Little Italy is a great neighborhood with restaurants, gourmet grocers and boutiques- well worth a check out on any day of the week. But if you're in San Diego on a Saturday morning from 8am to 2pm, you have to walk over to the Little Italy farmer's market.
Not only do you get sparkling views of the bay but you can find all kinds of goodies: organic produce, dates, hummus, juices, gourmet oils, gourmet tamales, crepes (which are deliciously cooked with fresh butter), coffees, handmade bread, pastries, lavender products, clothing, jewelry, tea, wood crafts, and the list just goes on.
San Diego has a farmer's markets in different locations throughout the county on various days of the week. The Little Italy is my favorite, not only because of the view of the ocean but there is just so much to sample and enjoy! I also like this farmer's market because the trolley lets out just a couple blocks away, so I don't have to drive.
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Festa in Little Italy, San Diego, CA
If you're in San Diego during the month of October, you have to check out Festa in Little Italy near downtown. Festa is the largest Italian American festival on the West coast.
Here is where all things Italian are celebrated, you will find rich Italian food to eat, you can either sit down at one of the Italian owned restaurants or pick something up from a food vendor. A man walks around with an accordion playing Italian songs and you can watch as artists paint scene reminiscent of Italian art. Some art is reproduced and other drawings are original.
The streets in the area are closed to traffic and many portions of the roads are used for chalk drawings, some simple and others are quite elaborate. Come Monday morning though, the drawings are washed away with hoses.
Restaurants, wine bars, boutiques... I definitely recommend choosing Little Italy as a place to stay in San Diego—either at one of the boutique hotels or a vacation rental. And Gaslamp and Downtown are both within walking distance.
This neighborhood is filled with hidden murals, and there are plaques scattered about the sidewalks with proverbs like "A nickel will get you on the subway but garlic will get you a seat" or instructions on how to make a great cappuccino.
The bars and cafes reflect the young professionals who live in this area. Little Italy holds a great farmers' market on Saturdays. Shop for produce with great ocean views!
Check out the annual Sicilian Festival: http://sicilianfesta.com/ or Festa in the fall- http://www.littleitalysd.com/events/little-italy-festa/
Ballast Point, one of my favorite local brewpubs, is opening a beer garden and brewery here, shouldn't be long! http://www.ballastpoint.com/
Check out Mona Lisa foods, a great little Italian deli: http://www.monalisalittleitaly.com/
There are a number of fabulous restaurants: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/places/little-italy/
Whenever I go to San Diego, I spend Saturday morning at the farmer's market in Little Italy, or, as it's called, The Little Italy Mercato. It's in the downtown area and a 10-minute walk from the Gaslamp Quarter. Vendors sell everything from seafood, crepes, and pizzas to organic fruits and vegetables, sauces, teas and coffees, and clothes and jewelry. The weather is always sunny and warm, there is always great live music playing, and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants nearby to sit down and people watch.
Mission Federal ArtWalk is Southern California's largest fine art festival.
The art community in San Diego has boomed since ArtWalk’s inception and the city is thrilled to celebrate 30 years with a 17-block event footprint that combines more than 350 artists, 5 stages of entertainment, KidsWalk with more than a dozen hands-on arts activities for kids, interactive art and more. It's all FREE to attend in the urban neighborhood of Little Italy, which has become increasingly popular for its award-winning restaurants, pedestrian friendly streets and style.
Last year was a great event and this year the festival will celebrate 30 years in April 2014.