Authentic Italian Food in San Diego You Need to Try

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San Diego is home to some pretty spectacular Italian cuisine, with restaurants offering pretty much any kind of Italian dish you can think of. From handmade pizzas to pasta crafted with family recipes passed down from generations, check out these amazing Italian restaurants right here in San Diego.

Cesarina – Point Loma

With handcrafted pasta at the center of the culinary program, Executive Chef Patrick Money showcases a regionally-diverse menu of creative Italian cuisine prepared with local and sustainable ingredients. All pasta is made simply with semolina flour and water, serving as the basis for a variety of create-your-own pasta dishes alongside signature chef-driven specialties. The drink menu is comprised of wines from Italy, California, New Zealand and beyond, alongside a roster of local and Italian beers and coffee beverages made with beans provided by Cafe Moto. 

Solare – Point Loma

This Southern Italian restaurant is a local favorite, offering classics like Ravioli di Ricotta and delicately handcrafted thin crust Sicilian pizzas. Each dish features meticulously sourced ingredients, all contributing to the authentic flavors in every bite. The restaurant itself offers a stunning covered patio with a peaceful view of a grassy field, so you can enjoy your meal in the beautiful evening air.

Barbusa – Little Italy

This culinary project exists to offer its patrons authentic Modern Sicilian Cuisine with their own flare. Here you’ll find artisan pizzas, handmade pasta, seafood-centric dishes, and find Southern Italian wines. The Garganelli Funghi with black truffle oil and oyster is divine, and the Margherita pizza is tossed fresh with only the finest ingredients. But to be honest, you can’t go wrong with any choices here.

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Lunch is grab and go.

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The Godfather Restaurant – Kearny Mesa

Here you’ll find dishes crafted using recipes passed down from skilled culinary artists from the “Old Country.” Since 1974, The Godfather Restaurant has been serving the people of San Diego treasured Italian dishes that have stood the test of time as being some of the finest you can find. The interior decor mirrors this experience, exemplifying the elegance of the Italian world. With soft golden candlelight complimenting your meal with a warm glow, this place is the perfect romantic night out.

Osteria Panevino – Gaslamp

Located in the historic Gaslamp District, Osteria Panevino is the premiere Italian cuisine destination in this area, featuring a wide variety of dishes for all tastes. They are often touted as having the best pasta in town, and that might not be too far off. Everything on the menu is handmade daily, including the pasta, all of which you can enjoy on a comfortable outdoor patio overlooking the area. You’re not going to get much more authentic than what you’ll find at Osteria Panevino.

CUCINA urbana – Bankers Hill

Where dining and design meet in a perfect union, CUCINA urbana is a highly acclaimed culinary adventure with an Italian-California kitchen and wine shop. Each dish is prepared with a focus on California seasonality locally sourced ingredients that perfectly exemplify the freshness of its menu. You’ll find a perfect balance among the simple yet refined dishes that deliver robust and delectable flavors with each bite. The pappardelle with cremini mushroom and short rib is a crowd favorite, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you need to start with the charred octopus complete with peppadew pepper, lemon sheep yogurt, and red potato.

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