Buon Appetito
Buon Appetito

Buon Appetito

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.buonappetito.signonsandiego.com/
  • Phone: 6192389880
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Wednesday: 11:00am - 2:30pm, Thursday - Sunday: 11:00am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Wednesday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Thursday - Sunday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: We offer full catering for any occasion. Office meetings, weddings, family reunions & private parties to name a few. From gourmet-elegant to casual fare we can meet your dreams. Our events coordinator will work with you individually to create your celebration feast!

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Cedar
  • Public Transit: Coaster stop 3 blocks south-west, bus stop on the south east corner, trolley tours stop on the south east corner.
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Buon Appetito
Urban Italian groove, old country cuisine with a modern flare. Buzzing with vibrant energy.Rotating local artists splashing their creations on our walls as we bring our culinary prowess to your table. Sustainable & local is our mantra. Our menu screams old school classics yet our specials are whimsical creations from whats in season. Quail, rabbit, lamb ~ Homemade gnocchi, lasagne and ravioli rock the casbah...Gluten-free & whole grain pastas are available as well as a wide variety of vegetarian items to choose from. "A day without wine is a day without sunshine" over 100 bottles & more than 20 by the glass are offered to dazzle and delight. This list is off the hook! Small, boutique wineries from all over the world! We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and high quality products for an enchanting experience for all of our guests. Raise your glass and fill your soul with heart and goodness ~ cheers!
Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Buon Appetito reviews from OpenTable diners
55 reviews since April 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.5
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (33)fit for foodies (22)great for outdoor dining (21)notable wine list (16)special occasion (14)great for lunch (12)romantic (11)hot spot (8)good for groups (6)late-night find (5)kid-friendly (5)great for brunch (3)scenic view (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • Excellent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    I had a hard time choosing a restaurant in Little Italy. I am glad I chose this one. The food was excellent, very old school.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Keeps us coming back
    HappyCamper
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    Buon Appetito is by far the best all around restaurant in Little Italy! We came once and we keep coming back.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lived up to its reviews
    FatDumbnHappyinSD
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    First time we ventured to Little Italy for dining, so wanted to (hopefully) find a gem. We were NOT disappointed! Great wait staff who were attentive, courteous and very knowledgeable of the menu and wine list. Our main course food was excellent, as were both appetizers and desserts.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Airy-Open-Good Italian
    Pan2FVIP
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    It seemed pretty authentic restaurant. I had booked a lunch appointment and couldn't wait to go back, unfortunately my appointment canceled so I had lunch by myself which was nice to catch up on work and enjoy the nice ambiance myself. Since they had given me the 2-seater table, it is really fit for a romantic lunch since they are very small and my iPad & phone were crowding the table with the bread & tomato sauce dip they serve, table was very crowded when the actual meal came out along with my drink, I heard quite a bit of Italian going around which was beautiful. Food was OK. Lasagna has carrots in it which I thought was strange & the sauce was very "soupy". I would go back & try something else.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Little Italy gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Our dinner here was the perfect ending to a perfect California trip. The homemade Lobster ravioli was scrumptious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • local1dinerVIP
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Hostess was rude. My 82 year old mother was with us. My husband dropped us off so she wouldn't have to walk so far from the car. The hostess would not seat us until all of us were there. I explained the issue, but she wouldn't help and was snippy even though we were not snippy with her. Instead, she started to seat everybody else - which worried us that we wouldn't get a seat inside. My mother could not sit outside. I asked her if she would at least save our reservation and her answer was vague- leading us to believe that we might not get seated inside. It was very tense for us. I see the point of this policy, but not in the case of the elderly. That's just crazy! Service and food were great, the hostess and the policy were not.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Dinner at Buon Appetito
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Went for my Dad's birthday. There were 5 of us. They first put us at a 4 person table near the high traffic bar. Asked to be moved away. Went to another 4 person table until I complained. Finally agreed to add a 2 person table. Uncomfortable wooden chairs had no padding at all. My 2 kids were 30 min late, but we had ordered wine and were just relaxing after Midway. They asked 3 times when the rest of the party would be there. Although I noted the birthday on the reservation, was never acknowledged. Food was very good and reasonable prices, but I was annoyed by these problems and probably wouldn't go back as there are so many other good Italian restaurants all over San Diego with much better atmosphere and friendlier service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great find in Little Italy!
    JennyMod
    Dined on 7/21/2014
    Dined with a group of 8, 6 of us have been to Italy. We had the rabbit dish, gnocchi, fish stew, and several salads/wines. All was delicious, fresh, and served promptly. Staff was attentive. Food was as good as what we've eaten in Italy. Definitely worth a stop when in San Diego.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wow!
    GSOFANS
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    Cozy authentic regional Italian fare that is amazing! Incredible food and service!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food great, ambience choatic
    Walker
    Dined on 7/20/2014
    I would recommend this restaurant based on the great food. The red sauce and bread were yummy. The only reason I would not probably go back is because of the almost unbearable noise level that made it difficult inside to have a conversation with the others at my table. I prefer a less chaotic venue for dinner but the larger groups and families with toddlers that were there did not seem to mind the noise. The restaurant only serves beer and wine in case that is important to you. The waiters were pleasant and attentive but seemed harried. India Street where this restaurant is located is a vibrant dining area and is fun to stroll along.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Too loud
    Jpbreno
    Dined on 7/16/2014
    Food was great. Do not sit against interior wall gloss paint acts as a reflector of everyone conversation Sit outside
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Sweet spot in Little Italy!
    mamatVIP
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    The sister restaurant to our favorite i Trulli in Encinitas; so we knew we would get remarkably great Italian food. Our dinners,two different versions of Osso Bucco, were fantastic. Love it!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service!
    kitt
    Dined on 7/9/2014
    Food was excellent and the bartender really made my night
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • get stuffed
    originalsd
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    made an early dinner of it with small children. service was excellent. though people have raved on online reviews, the food didn't exactly stand out, sure, it was good, but not exceptional.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Authentic Italian
    Foodie
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    Small intimate restaurant in Little Italy was very lively on our visit. We tried four different entrees and enjoyed each of them. Our waiter was very attentive and helpful. I would recommend this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GoodNeighborVIP
    Dined on 6/30/2014
    So noisy....food was acceptable. Would want to give it another try and then give it a lengthier review.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Always Excellent!
    KMAC
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    Not trendy or edgy or confusing-just good old fashioned delicious Italian food. Knowlegable waiters and excellent service. The Osso Bucco and Fettucini Montanara are two of our favorites. Always fun to be in Little Italy too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food best in San Diego
    Robin
    Dined on 6/23/2014
    Food was outstanding! Service was the best!! Best lamb my husband has ever had!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • grad celebration
    Rickw
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    The environment is casual and comfortable dining. The food was excellent. We had some excellent appetizers, especially the burrata. All pasta dishes are great, especially the seafood ones. Service is very acceptable. Will definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pleased with this gem
    Tess
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    I had osso buco, my mom had the lobster ravioli, and a friend had the Seabass. It was all absolutely divine! Tiny and bustling inside but authentic food and staff. Hearty pours on the wine too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food & Service 5 Star
    CasualDiner
    Dined on 6/10/2014
    We ate at the restaurant at 6:00 pm on a Tuesday evening (we had a reservation - a must!) and by 6:30 all of the inside tables were full. The food was great, the service was excellent and the wine list is complete for most tastes. We have eaten here about 10 times in the last 6 months, and we were very satisfied. The only "problem" is the noise level is high when the restaurant is full. An outside table is an available option. BE SURE TO MAKE AN ADVANCE RESERVATION - EVEN ON WEEKNIGHTS.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • mixed experience
    Tucker2VIP
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    The positives: the osso bocco was amazing. The service was good. The negatives: the polenta cakes were awful and not really edible. The sauce was flavorless and the cake was soggy and mushrooms were cheap. They were out of the wine we ordered and so we got different bottle. The price they charged for the wine did not appear to match the price on wine list. Noise is really loud inside.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lives up to its name!
    papajoed
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    Small gem in San Diego's little Italy. Service was excellent, the anti paste, shared with my wive, was a beautiful mix of cheeses and meats. Our waited recommended the pork shank for me and pasta pockets stuffed with veal for my wife. Both were cooked to perfection. The pork shank was like butter when I cut into it. We paired this with a super Tuscan, one of Danielle's favorites....incredible dinner. Only negative don't take the table in front of the door...sun was setting and blinded me until I could move a small plackard to help block it. Other than that, as a east coast paisano, I highly recommend this lovely little taste of Italy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • James
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    Food was good, waiter was good. I had made reservation for five and had already been put off on arrival by hostess who insisted on sitting five tall men at two tiny tables pushed together (about 4'x3'). One had to sit at the end with no where to reasonably put a plate. Several requests for adding a third of the tiny 2'x3' tables together were rebuffed with "sorry, all reserved". I wish they had refused the reservation originally if they couldn't provide us reasonable comfort as it was my CEO and I had chosen the restaurant based on Open Table ratings. Became my mistake. This is not a good locale for odd numbers apparently.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • kabuVIP
    Dined on 5/27/2014
    When in Little Italy this is the place to go. The eggplant parm is well worth the visit. Even the appetizer portion is plenty to eat. If you have never been it's a must to try.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Little Italy Standout
    NineInchNeal
    Dined on 5/1/2014
    Hard to go wrong for Italian dining in Little Italy, but Buon Appetito is a true gem. Lunch entrees were terrific, but dessert was the star of the meal. The Tiramisu is made on premises and truly incredible.
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great meal
    Bogeydad
    Dined on 4/28/2014
    When we arrived we were immediately seated and attended to. We each ordered a separate dinner and everyone was pleased with their meal. The ambiance is perfect for a small Italian restaurant in that it's active but not too loud to where you can't carry on a normal conversation. Always a great time.
    Special Features:
    Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem, Hot Spot, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lived up to hype
    CitizenJon
    Dined on 4/28/2014
    Great food; ossobuco special was fantastic; lobster purses were very good, maybe tad overcooked; baked polenta good but mushroom dressing was excellent. Ate outdoors, a bit cramped but better for conversation than indoors. Good wine and beer selection.
    Special Features:
    Great for Brunch, Fit For Foodies, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, special occasion, Great for Lunch, Hot Spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    Took a group of 12 clients while at a conference in San Diego. It's relatively small and packed with tables. It was full and very loud. Made in difficult to converse with everyone at the table but was still an enjoyable experience. The food was fantastic! Everyone loved what they ordered. My only complaint is that they didn't serve liquor, only beer and wine. With a variety of people having the option of cocktails is important. Wish that was a search filter on this site. Will most certainly inquire for future reservations via Open Table.
    Special Features:
    Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Scenic View
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 26 ratings-only reviews submitted since April 22, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4.5
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 262 reviews are from the Buon Appetito reviews archive.
  • Easter Family dinner
    BiblioGal
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    We had a wonderful experience at Buon Appetito on Easter Sunday. The service was exceptional and the food sublime! The one thing I didn't realize when booking was that it's a tiny restaurant. Next time I ' ll go there with a smaller group. I highly recommend Buon Appetito!!!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Italian in San Diego
    KadoVIP
    Dined on 4/13/2014
    This place came recommended to us by a local and we were not disappointed. The classic marinara sauce is spot on. We brought our kids (ages14,12, 6) and they easily accommodated their special requests for fettuccine Alfredo and Shrimp scampi:). Everyone shared plates and enjoyed all of them. Don't miss the tiramisu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • One of the best in Little Italy
    Baw0929VIP
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    Buon Appetito is always on our "must-do" list whenever we are in town. The food is consistently good, prices are comparable to other similar restaurants and the service is exceptional. We always ask to sit in Griffin's area as he is one of the best servers we've ever met. As one of the restaurant's original employees when it opened about 10 years ago, he excels at his job. Each day there is a list of specials, including wines. They make their own cannoli cream and they are absolutely delicious! They take reservations during the week but not on the weekend, so expect to wait as there is always a line. They also own the wine bar next door which is a great place to have a glass of wine while waiting for your table.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Italian Food
    LindaVIP
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    Never been disappointd in their food. One of the best in Little Italy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Experience
    IODYNE
    Dined on 3/30/2014
    I highly recommend this restaurant for its superior service and amazing food. This was the best Italian food I've ever had. Great experience overall.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great italian food
    bill
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    We met a couple we see every few years at a conference and renewed our acquaintanceship. The Osso Bucco was very tender and tastie, as were the pasta, risotto, and fish dishes. Service was friendly despite the hectic atmosphere - when we arrived the room was packed and people were waiting outside on the sidewalk.....Had a great time, all of raved about our respective dishes..
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • As good as it gets!
    Mcfoodie
    Dined on 3/27/2014
    This restaurant was recommended to us by a waiter working at another restaurant, who assured us we would not be disappointed. He was right. Even though we weren't regulars (and you could tell there were a lot of regulars), we were treated exceptionally well. The food was delicious. - best Caesar salad I've had in a long time. The Veal Osso Buco was fall off the bone tender, the salmon was cooked perfectly, and the pasta Bolognese was packed with flavor. If you are visiting San Diego, and love authentic Italian cuisine, you do not want to miss this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Place
    Buddy
    Dined on 3/24/2014
    No better food in Little Italy, that's why it was hard to find a table on Monday night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Rude hostess
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 3/23/2014
    Good food. Very mean hostess. Been here multiple times. The hostess gets more rude every time. Do not come for a special occasion. The hostess will make everyone feel bad. Servers do a good job of making up for the awful hostess
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I absolutely love this place!
    RedRanger
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    I don't get to the Downtown area much, but when I do I try to make it a point to eat here. The service is great and the food is excellent. It's my favorite spot in Little Italy...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Italian Pasta...
    Newyorker
    Dined on 3/6/2014
    We are New York foodies and this was probably the best Italian Pasta next to Il Mulino we have had...get any of the Pasta dishes...they are quite amazing...stick only to pasta as the other non-pasta entrees are just ok - we found that out the hard way and wish our server told us that. The ambiance is vibrant and made for a classic Italian meal The biggest negative for the evening is the pregnant hostess...she is very rude and not friendly at all which is unusual for San Diego. My wife and I may not go back because of the rude behavior of the hostess seating us! Somebody needs to tell her that she is in the customer service business... However we will probably go back because of the pasta and ignore the rude hostess...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic