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Exploring San Diego's Little Italy

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

The best places to eat, visit and sight see within 24 hours in one of my favorite places to layover.

Since becoming a flight attendant I have loved flying transcontinental. That love has expanded even more now that I work my airline's business class to and from the West Coast. There is something about how picturesque the West Coast is, how the energy just draws you in and captivates you. My first time ever visiting California I fell in love with it. The sun, the views, the constant nice weather but most importantly the beaches(I love being around large bodies of water). I loved it so much that I moved to the Valley of Los Angeles for two years. Since then I've moved back to the East but the love I hold for the West will always be there. My favorite California city to spend my layovers in, is hands down San Diego, there is so much to see and every turn seems like an adventure. Little Italy is home to a plethora of shops and eateries, it's a foodies best dream come true and if your hotel or airbnb happens to be close to the bay you are getting the best of both worlds. Here are some of my favorite places to eat(the more places I find the more I'll update the list) I hope the foodie in you enjoys.

1. Cafe Gratitude

1980 Kettner Blvd San Diego, CA 92101

I originally found out about Cafe Gratitude from Uber Eats. I was being a slam clicker(flight attendant lingo for a flight attendant who goes in their room shuts and locks the door only to be seen when it's the van time to leave) and being lazy but I had a craving for vegan food. Low and be hold I scroll across this amazing cafe. What pulled me in even more to this place was everything on the menu is an affirmation and what really sold me was when I actually stepped foot into the place. I ordered the I AM IMMORTAL(which is an Ayurvedic Latte with chaga, shiajit, reishi, he shou wu and raw honey steamed in any of your choice of milk substitute), I AM ECLECTIC( buffalo cauliflower with vegan ranch) and I AM PHONOMENAL(Shiitake & smoked tofu Pho). As you are ordering the waiter/waitress repeats the affirmation to you which if you don't already makes you feel so empowered and uplifted. Not to mention the baked goodies they have just waiting for you to order after your meal. The food was amazing and didn't disappoint and on more than one occasion my eyes were bigger than my stomach. The I AM IMMORTAL was amazing!! I normally go for their I AM GOLDEN(which is a turmeric latte with raw honey and black pepper essential oIL) but I was drawn to trying something different and like always listening to my intuition paid off. The I AM IMMORTAL has this earthiness to it that is't over bearing and the raw honey adds the perfect amount of sweet smoothness to it making it the perfect balance for the mushrooms that make up this blend. The I AM ECLECTIC didn't disappoint either. At first I was kind of skeptical about the vegan ranch because most alternatives to food dressings that have milk in them tend to either lack in flavor or have a weird after taste. I can assure you this ranch didn't have either. The cauliflower was seasoned and dressed to perfection. The I AM PHONOMENAL was filled with aromatics which left me leaning over my bowl taking in the delicious smells of the spiced miso broth as my glasses fogged over. One bite into the smoked tofu and I was in Tofu Heaven. If they just have me a bowl of tofu as my last meal I would die a happy woman but the tofu isn't the only star of this dish. For me the star is this dish in it's entirety, every ingredient balances out the other the fresno chilis, Thai basil and spices brings the heat to balance out the sweetness of the miso. The rice noodles, spinach, and mung bean sprouts cut down the heat from the spices and chili, while the pickled carrots, and red onions add the perfect bite and bitterness. All in all this is one of my go to places not just for the aesthetics but for the atmosphere and defiantly for the food