Little Italy Mercato

It’s been a while since I last made it to the farmer’s market here in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood, so I made it a point to drive downtown this morning to check it out again.

The Little Italy Mercato runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday, rain or shine, on Cedar Street between Kettner Boulevard and Front Street.  There are dozens of vendors hawking pretty much anything that you can imagine.  Of course, there are fresh fruits and vegetables; artisan cheeses, sausages, and breads; prepared foods like crepes, humus, and paninis; and T-shirts, crafts, and jewelry, among many other things.  The food isn’t limited to Italian food or fresh fruits and vegetables, either.  There are vendors with food from around the world.  And I’ve never been to the Mercato when there hasn’t been some form of live entertainment.

It’s a fun way to spend the morning, noshing on free samples of this and that.  Of course, it’s a great place to buy things as well, and the one thing that I keep forgetting to bring is a cooler into which I can place some of my purchases (especially on a hot day like today). It can be a bit crowded, so be ready to go at a leisurely pace and be ready to get bumped into on occasion.

So, aside from Old Town San Diego, this is another way to go “abroad” within 30 minutes of home.  Isn’t San Diego great?

What You Need to Know

Location: On Cedar Street between Kettner Boulevard and Front Street.

Hours: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday

Cost: Free.

Website: Little Italy Mercato

Tips: Parking in Little Italy is a problem. Street parking is metered with a 2-hour limit, and there are numerous private pay parking lots in the area. The best way, however, to avoid parking issues is to take the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (SDMTS) Green Line Trolley to the County Center/Little Italy station and walk about 2 blocks to the west end of the market at Kettner and Cedar.


Click to see full-sized photos.



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