750 W. Fir St.
San Diego, CA 92101Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.lovemonello.com/
- Phone: 6195010030x
- Hours of Operation:
Tuesday - Sunday: 11:00am - 2:30pm
Tuesday - Thursday: 2:30pm - closing; Friday & Saturday: 3:00pm - closing; Sunday: 5:00pm -closing
APERITIVO-ITALIAN HAPPY HOUR (complimentary bites with drinks) 4 pm to 7 pm all week
Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Italian, Comfort Food, Pizzeria
- Executive Chef: Fabrizio Cavallini
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
- Cross Street: Kettner
- Public Transit: MTS Transit Trolley Stop Green Line: County Center/Little Italy
- Parking: Street Parking
- Parking Details: The Little Italy Association offers valet parking Tuesday through Sunday at the corner of India St. and Fir St. (in front of Influx) for $8.00 beginning at 5:30pm.
Limited street parking is available. Metered parking is free after 6:00pm until 6:00am Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday.
A word from Monello
Bencotto's younger brother is born and who knew Italians could be so naughty? Monello-literally "little devil"-is a term of endearment used for little boys when they're misbehaving. We're intrigued by their naughty nature and positively entertained by it. Monello's offerings embody our Northern Italian heritage with unleashed passion, unafraid and unapologetic with its own playful twists on the most beloved, street-inspired fare of our hometown Milano.Continued
UNABLE TO FIND A TABLE? CHECK OUT OUR BROTHER RESTAURANT BENCOTTO NEXT DOOR - SAME CHEF!
UNABLE TO FIND A TABLE? CHECK OUT OUR BROTHER RESTAURANT BENCOTTO NEXT DOOR - SAME CHEF!
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
- Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
Monello - Best Restaurants in Little Italy ›
Monello reviews from OpenTable diners
85 reviews since May 2, 2014
- Ambiance4.4Noise LevelModerate
neighborhood gem (57)fit for foodies (56)special occasion (34)hot spot (33)romantic (29)great for outdoor dining (25)good for groups (24)great for brunch (23)great for lunch (22)vibrant bar scene (19)late-night find (16)scenic view (14)notable wine list (13)kid-friendly (8)Show More
- you won't be disappointedmarpozDined on 8/22/2014Even though Monello's big brother restaurant Ben Cotto gets all the hype, don't miss a chance to try Monello. It's slightly more casual but the quality of the food is just as worthy of praise. The energetic atmosphere makes even the most casual diners feel at ease.Special Features:
- Another wonderful meal!CeehVIPDined on 8/22/2014Took my parents here and they adored this restaurant! Every item on the menu is delicious, but we're found that the specials are not to be missed! Can't wait to visit again!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- interestingrichbhamDined on 8/19/2014Nice selection of beers and wines, the cocktails looked like they would be great too. Homemade vermouth they let us sample.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing place!JayelmVIPDined on 8/15/2014Thank you, Monello, for making another memorable evening. The food (seafood cannelloni) and the service (Megan and Lance) we're phenomenal. This is a premiere restaurant destination in Little Italy lost definately, but it deserves a place in the premiere eateries in Sand Diego!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- BdinesoutDined on 8/2/2014The service is very attentive and welcoming, but not intrusive. The food is really well flavored and the presentation is beautiful. Hamilton was our waiter and he couldn't have been more professional and yes friendly. We love this place.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Delicious!EnJoyVIPDined on 8/2/2014From to start to finish our meal transformed us back to Italia! We're still dreaming of the grilled octopus starter, the perfectly fired pizza with raspa and spinach, and Monello's 'cacio y pepe' is the best we've had here in the States!Special Features:
- AwesomeJerryVIPDined on 8/2/2014Unique menu with excellent food! Will come back again and again as we have already!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Mouthwatering!vptwinsDined on 7/22/2014This gem in Little Italy was quite a find! We made a reservation for our party of 10 and finished sight-seeing an hour early. We expected to be told that we would have to wait, but the friendly staff said that it was no problem and we were seated in less than 5 min.the waiter made excellent recommendations and we all enjoyed the food immensely. The wood fired pizza reminded of the pies in Sorrento and Naples...thin, fresh, and delicious. The lasagna special had a fantastic meat sause and soonach layer and I would highly recommend starting with the mini calzones. You can't go wrong with anything on the menu!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- YUM!teenVIPDined on 7/18/2014so good, so creative, so satisfying! a treat at every meal!Special Features:
- Great food and ambient.LillocodeDined on 7/17/2014Quality and authentic Italian food. One of the best Restaurant in Little Italy.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- One of my local fav'sdenisesdDined on 7/13/2014We went here Saturday for brunch. Celebrating my son's birthday. Never disappointed! Food and service amazing.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Perfect Little Italy ExperienceCeehVIPDined on 7/11/2014This was our first visit, and I think we will be regulars from here on out! Service was excellent and food was extraordinary! Loved the seafood lasagna! Fresh mozzarella was delicious, and our dessert (tiramisu) equally fantastic. Can't wait to return to try another round of dishes!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ShelleyShelsxlDined on 6/27/2014The food is always excellent! The service is awesome and everyone is very friendly.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food!drummerboyDined on 6/21/2014Try the seafood lasagna or the seafood pizza - they are super yummy.Special Features:
- DelicioussunnySDdiner07VIPDined on 6/21/2014Monello is fabulous! From the fresh fish, homemade pasta, delicious sauces and wonderful service! I completely recommend this restaurant. Great food, great time!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Just OKMarkVIPDined on 6/15/2014Pizza great but "homemade pasta dishes were uninspired. Pasta was rubbery on both pasta entrees. Nice waitress.
- A MustCitizenRobDined on 6/14/2014Gotta go for weekend brunch, the Bomboloni and Cornetti are even better than we had in Italy. Can't wait to go back for happy hour and try their house made vermouth.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- TropicaleVIPDined on 6/7/2014It took our server over 20 minutes to appear at our table, but bus staff was very attentive.Special Features:
- Fun experienceYoungatheartDined on 6/6/2014This was our first time at Monello's and it was packed. Great vibe and the service and food were very good. Paul was our server and on the spot with everything we needed, and more. Great time and we can't wait to return to try more of their food........Lively and a lot of energy there with a great bar...Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Terrific!JefeBDined on 5/30/2014This place is really doing things right! Very innovative menu items. My seafood lasagna was flavored with saffron and just plain delicious. Everyone at our table was most impressed with their entrees. We received a complementary taste of their homemade sweet vermouth and a take home biscotti. The service was top notchSpecial Features:
- OurFaveItalianDined on 5/29/2014The pasta dishes were excellent. The carbonara was perhaps the best I've had and I've had it a lot, in fact, I make a pretty good one. The mushroom pizza also very good.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- JerryVIPDined on 5/25/2014As always, outperformed the previous visit; beyond the expected and fantastic service!Special Features:
- Great ServiceChipDined on 5/18/2014Jen, our server was awesome. She did everything right & the place had wonderful food. True Italian:-)Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Bravo, Monello!BiondaDined on 5/17/2014Loved everything about this restaurant! Made a reservation for a busy Saturday night, and were immediately seated when we arrived. Sat down and our waitress treated us to a complimentary taste of the house-made sweet Vermouth over ice (which is delicious). Split a bunch of appetizers - burrata, calamari, zucchini (highly recommend). Also tried the Monello pizza and the aglio, olio, pepperoncino spaghetti. Although the latter was not authentically prepared, it was actually better than I've had in Italy (and spicier). Waitstaff is highly attentive and friendly. Will definitely be back!Special Features:
- ExcellentShelsxlDined on 5/16/2014Excellent food! Just like the food we got in Ialty! Excellent service, everyone is so helpful and friendly! If we lived closer, we would definitely eat here more often!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Consistently deliciousHanselNGretelDined on 5/14/2014We are regulars at Monello and every time we dine here we find something new to love. The specials rotate on a weekly basis offering new amazing options faster than I'm able to try them. I've never had anything I didn't love at this restaurant. It genuinely feels like a European cafe. The chef is great, the ambiance is fun and the wait staff is knowledgeable.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Everything, but..OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 5/11/2014The only thing that I might want to correct is really very minor, but when I had a Mother's Day's brunch my credit card was placed in a glass container rather than a typical check folder, bottom line my credit card got left behind and I could not pick it up on Monday as you were closed. It is not that it erased all the good food, good service and great atmosphere it is just that I feel that it could have been easily avoided.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Crown Jewel in Little ItalyJayelmVIPDined on 5/8/2014Monello calls to you; It says, come and eat on my patio, or in my dining room. I find the restaurant friendly and charming. I have eaten here numerous times and each time has been an event. I usually dine alone, as I'm traveling for business, and I've found that the staff is eager to carry on a conversation during their many visits to the table during dinner. The food is unusual in content and in it's quality. I've had octopus and a number of their vegetarian dishes. I've also sampled their pizza: a winner, IMHO. Please look at the more unusual items on the menu. The Neri pasta dish is excellent. It pairs lobster bisque and octopus with a squid ink spaghetti. It was beyond good. Try it.Special Features:
- Milanese style in SDYazminLuv2EatDined on 5/7/2014Monello has been a go-to spot for apertivo time here in SD, introducing their Italian (Milan) take on it here in the states. With every drink for purchase, you receive little enjoyable tastes straight from the kitchen. The service has always been up to par, just the seasoning sometimes is a little off, but the food has been 7 times out of 10 really good. I'll still keep coming here, because the view, drinks, service is great and hoping for the food to meet their potential!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 119 reviews are from the Monello reviews archive.
- Solid dining experienceCitizenJonDined on 4/26/2014Good food, good recommendations and specials. Service was excellent, attentive. Good home-made vermouth!Special Features:
- Not impressedMargheritaDined on 4/24/2014The prosciutto appetizer was sliced very thick. This may be a style choice, but it was not good - too tough for this cut. The gnocchi "ragu" was very strong and greasy and left a terrible after taste. I liked the carbonara, but later was killed by the presence of garlic that should not have been in the dish at all.
- ExceptionalOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 4/20/2014Been 3 times all amazing going back again this Sunday...Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- atmosphere - no, food very good!OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 4/20/2014Went for the Easter Italian Brunch. Very nice egg and polenta dish and ricotta pancakes. Music should be Italian. Service excellent. Would go back and recommend.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food and drinksOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 4/19/2014We really enjoyed our evening at Monello. The food and drinks were fabulous and we were well taken care of. The drinks were the highlight, Daniel the bartender made me a drink called the Paper Plane which I LOVED. We really enjoyed the burrata dish and I loved my seafood pasta. So many delicious treats mixed together with pasta. I'm sorry we weren't able to enjoy the leftovers the next day, they didn't survive the car ride.Special Features:
- Good foodFernandaDined on 4/19/2014Good food, great service, but TOO many kids dining at around 8:30 pm on a saturday. Once the groups with kids left the noise level went down (by a lot!). We ordered the bencotto pizza with sausage (very good choice). My favorite was the caesar salad- amazing presentation.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- WOW!!!!JackJ75Dined on 4/19/2014Benocotto does it again! Everything we ate was spectacular. Pizza crust made me fel like I was in Italy. Vermouth drinks are to die for. Definitely put this at the top of your list in Little Italy!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Authentic Italian Food!fiori4uDined on 4/15/2014If you're looking for the "real" Italian cuisine experience, check out Monello! I've always had great food there! My favorite cheese on their menu is "raspa" that they shave thin and serve in a paper cone for everyone at the table to try. You can easily share dishes (like awesome pizza!) on the menu and you're encouraged to do so!Special Features:
- Monello On a Weekend NightDineOftenDined on 4/12/2014This is not the restaurant for a weekend night. It was so loud we could not hear ourselves talk sitting across the table. The interior is solid concrete or glass so there was nothing to absorb the noise. The service was a mishmash. We started with one waiter who said he would be right back. Eventually one of us had to get up and speak with the hostess/manager; she took our order. The waiter returned surprised. The entrees did not come out at the same time. We waited for the last entrée to arrive (brought by someone completely different) and had to return the other entrée for a reheat. For this experience we paid over $160 for two. Don't know when others who rated this so highly might have dined; weekend nights is not the time.
- My wife, mom and I went toDcycleDined on 4/12/2014My wife, mom and I went to Monello on Saturday. First if you are wanting what the norm is in local Italian dining this is not the place for you. What they serve here is something very fresh and appears to be less American influenced. We had an appetizer that consisted of fresh made mozzarella,hot bread, arrugala, tomatoes and spices. It was good but of all the items I think it was overpriced. For dinner we each ordered an item and asked for plates to share. We ordered the Monello pizza (not like any pizza Ive had), The special Lasagna made with spinach crepe's for the layers. The highlight was the carbonara gnocchi. OMG this dish was amazing and if you look at the refrigerator case you know why (its in the hallway). This place we will keep.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Little ItalymorimoDined on 4/11/2014This was a great restaurant. The food was just as good. The restaurant was very noisy though. I could hardly understand my waitress. Too loud.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.