Little Italy San Diego calls itself “A hip and Historic urban neighborhood” where both visitors and locals have discovered that this vibrant haven of downtown and blocks from the Embarcadero is also one of the best places for fun, food, and canine companionship to explore with your dog.
If you’re staying in the district, Porta Vista Hotel, Hotel Vyant and Urban Boutique Hotel are among the pet friendly properties to welcome you- policies vary by hotel.
Your first stop should be at Hairy & Merry Pet Spa & Dog Wash – the ultimate one stop shop serving as a dog bakery, gift and food shop, daycare, dog wash. Open just a year on the district’s north end, has created a flyer with a map and listing of 54 dog friendly places in the neighborhood. They have also provided red water bowls and dog waste disposal bags throughout the district.
Walking with your pooch in Little Italy can provide people watching for humans, some great aromas and socializing for dogs, and exercise for both. Make sure to get you and your dog’s photo taken in front of the Little Italy landmark sign and the Piazza Basilone. Check out the One Mile Walk which starts at the corner of Union and W. Ash Street and marks your progress along the way, and for some great park time, just a few blocks west is the Waterfront park where leashed dogs are welcome anywhere but in the fountains. Dogs also enjoy the grass of Amici Park, part of which is an offleash dog park during non school hours.
Dining in Little Italy with your dog is so easy that one day wouldn’t be enough to hit all of the great gems. Some of the locals favorites for dog dates include: grabbing a slice or two of pizza and sitting on the dog friendly back deck of Landini’s Pizzeria; grabbing one of San Diego’s best burgers at Burger Lounge; or checking out any of the many Italian eateries lining the district including Zia’s Bistro, Petrini’s and Davanti Enoteca. There’s also an ample selection of craft breweries and wine tasting rooms to share with your canine companion- which will be profiled in a future article.
A visit to the Little Italy Mercato held on Saturdays is a must if you are able. One of the largest and best in San Diego County, this farmer’s market is full of fresh produce, flowers, art and jewelry and is a food lover’s delight which you can enjoy with your leashed pet.
Hairy & Merry’s handy guide will also point you to a handful of shops, salons and other businesses welcoming both of you. There’s also a pet hospital in the neighborhood.
Don’t forget about dessert! In Little Italy, there is an Italian pastry, gelato, or frozen yogurt on nearly every corner that will make you feel like you’re actually eating them in old world Italy itself.
A visit to Little Italy San Diego is sure to be a tail wagging good time for humans, kids, and canine companions!
More information: Little Italy Association