Shop local this holiday season

Posted: December 1st, 2017 | Columnists, Featured, Little Italy News | No Comments

By Christopher Gomez | Little Italy News

Think big by shopping small this holiday season in Little Italy. Find your loved ones the perfect gifts while enjoying the seasonal décor, delicious dining selection and array of happy hours — now that’s amore!

The Little Italy Association encourages you to shop local and take in the festive atmosphere in their neighborhood. (Photo by Luna Photo)

With more than 500 businesses in Little Italy, there’s something for everyone. The 48-square-block community is filled with stunning galleries and unique boutiques that offer home-décor, handmade jewelry, clothing for him and her and more.

The neighborhood also transforms into a winter wonderland in December, making holiday shopping fun and festive. When you shop local, you’re not only helping the San Diego economy, but you’re also able to find unique treasures for everyone on your list.

Make your list, check it twice and finish your holiday shopping in one trip at these local Little Italy shops:

The Cottages on Fir Street — Stroll along Fir Street to find a variety of different shops at The Cottages on Fir Street — old fishermen’s homes that have been restored into boutiques and shops. You’ll be able to find custom Italian sandals, locally made jewelry and women’s clothing at Azzurra Capri, unique home items and quirky gifts at Love & Aesthetics and Vitreum, and more.

For her — Check out Vocabulary and Little Apple to find gifts for the fashionista in your life. You can find contemporary accessories ranging from sunglasses and jewelry to collectable prints and desk accents.

For him — Have a friend that loves to catch some waves? Atacama should be on your list of stops. It has great finds for any guy on your list — beachwear, lounge wear, surfboards and more.

The local enthusiast — The Little Italy Mercato, happening every Saturday on West Cedar Street, gives San Diegans the opportunity to shop from over 175 different local vendors featuring fresh produce, specialty foods, artisan goods, and more. Get your out-of-town family members something made right here in San Diego.

Art Lovers — For the art collector in your life, visit 1805 Gallery, Meyer Fine Art or Adelman Fine Art to find the next piece for their collection — or for the artist, get them a handful of unique supplies for their next creation at Blick Art Materials.

The 25-foot poinsettia tree in Piazza Basilone offers holiday cheer while you rest in between stores. (Courtesy LIA)

While shopping this December in Little Italy, you can also enjoy the holiday festive décor and get some R&R (rest and relaxation) at one of the many piazzas in the neighborhood, like at the newest one — Piazza Pescatore. Dedicated on Nov. 17, Piazza Pescatore memorializes the tuna industry, which brought national recognition to Little Italy.

Grab a cup of coffee, head to the Piazza for your mid-day shopping break and soak in the holiday spirit! You can also enjoy two Christmas trees in Little Italy this year — a 25-foot poinsettia tree with more than 1,100 red poinsettias in the center of Piazza Basilone and a 20-foot real Christmas tree freshly planted in the front of Piazza della Famiglia.

In addition, guests will find Christmas displays on street corners throughout the neighborhood including 12-foot nutcrackers, festive plants and holiday lights that line the streets — making it feel like Christmas all December long.

So this holiday season, forget shopping online and spend the day with family, friends or have a little quality me-time by perusing the different shops and soaking in the beginning of the holiday season. Buon natale!

To stay connected with Little Italy, check out what’s going on in the neighborhood by following us on Instagram and Twitter @LittleItalySD and To learn more about shopping locally, visit

—Christopher Gomez has been Little Italy’s district manager since 2000. Reach him at

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