6 Ideas for the Perfect Little Italy Date

Little Italy is one of the best neighborhoods in San Diego for planning the perfect date night. It’s home to San Diego’s best food scene, extremely walkable, and perfectly situated near the San Diego harbor. Use this guide for the best date night ideas and plan your perfect night out in Little Italy, San Diego.

The dining room at Barbusa

Image Credit: Urban Dining Guide

Eat at Your Favorite Little Italy Restaurant

Little Italy is known for its dining scene. Choose from one of the best Italian restaurants in the neighborhood at Civico 1845 or Barbusa, Little Italy’s best option for modern Sicilian food. Experience San Diego’s celebrity chef scene at Juniper and Ivy or Herb & Wood. For more variety, head to the Little Italy Food Hall, home to six different food stations that offer a little bit of everything.

Make sure that you make a reservation at one of the best restaurants in Little Italy, San Diego, if you’re heading out on a holiday like Valentine’s Day. A delicious meal is one of the more popular date night ideas in San Diego, and you don’t want your special occasion ruined with a full dining room or long wait. You want to get seated right away to show your date a good time.

Italian Park in Little Italy, San Diego

Have a Picnic in the Park

Take your meal to-go or prepare something delicious of your own to bring to Waterfront Park, Little Italy’s best green space. The public park is right by the harbor and the perfect spot for a stroll after your picnic meal. It’s even more magical at night if you want to take a walk by the bay after dinner. Just make sure you’re out of the park by 10pm.

If the park is too crowded, the Piazza della Famiglia is another option for a picnic with a view. The public square is modeled after similar versions in Europe, and has become the neighborhood’s gathering place.

San Diego Harbor Cruise

Take a Cruise on the Harbor

Book a cruise on the San Diego Bay and experience one of the best things to do in San Diego. Many of the cruises come with narration to tell you more about things you’re seeing on the bay. Some cruises come with a dinner option if you really want to make a special occasion out of it. 

Flagship Cruises offers whale watching adventures, dinner cruises, and even Champagne brunch cruises. Hornblower Cruises is one of the most popular cruises for those seeking an informational adventure. For a dose of adrenaline, Speed Boat Adventures offers speed boat tours on the bay. Imagine zipping past that downtown skyline with your date on the water.

For a budget-friendly option, book the Flagship Ferry from Broadway Pier to Coronado. You’ll still get the cruise on the bay, with plenty of fun things to do in Coronado on the other side.

Desserts at Extraordinary Desserts

Image Credit: Extraordinary Desserts

Leave Room for Dessert

You can certainly order dessert wherever you land for dinner on your San Diego date night, but the other option is to plan a night around a dessert place that’s special to the area. 

Extraordinary Desserts is a popular option for their carrot cakes alone. If you and your date are a little more casual, Salt & Straw is the perfect sweet finish for craft ice cream. If there is a long line when you arrive, rest assured that these cones are worth the wait, especially if you try their honey lavender. To stick to the Italian theme, head to Bobboi Natural Gelato, run by a gelato chef from Bologna, Italy. 

For those planning a sweet surprise before their date has even started, Frost Me Cafe & Bakery sells a variety of cupcakes that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Cocktail at Born & Raised in San Diego

Image Credit: Mikee Rogers

Sip at Little Italy’s Best Drinking Holes

If a cocktail is what you’re after, Little Italy is spoiled for choice when it comes to breweries, bars, and even speakeasies. Start off your night at Born & Raised, which is known for their high-end cocktails, steaks, and beautiful rooftop patio.

If it’s a nightcap you’re after, head to the historic M Winehouse or False Idol, the speakeasy inside another excellent eatery and drink spot, Craft & Commerce. Reservations are recommended no matter where you decide to go to avoid long wait times, especially if you’re headed to a speakeasy with limited space.

Couple sitting in the park in San Diego

Take a Little Italy Walking Tour

We don’t mean you should book an organized walking tour of Little Italy as the perfect date, although the history buffs may enjoy that idea very much. Little Italy is best explored on your feet so that you can pop into local businesses that strike your fancy, or that intrigue your date. If you’re celebrating something special or looking for a last-minute gift for your date, Irelia Fine Jewelry is the perfect place for custom jewelry. 

Exploring Little Italy on a walking tour of your own is a great way to get to know one another, too, and get to know this vibrant neighborhood. Are you looking for a Little Italy apartment of your own? Contact us at the Ariel Apartments for a tour of the best luxury apartment living San Diego has to offer.