Buon Appetito

4.7
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1074 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
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!
What 1074 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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S
St. Louis
20 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Although there are many good (if not great) choices to dine in Little Italy San Diego and being a visitor I had to make a decision based upon instinct more than reviews.
I don’t think that I made a mistake with my decision. The food was excellent. The staff and service outstanding.
I have to say that my choice for Little Italy dining was a wonderful one.

FP
1 review
Dined on November 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved this quaint and charming Italian bistro! The food was fabulous and our sidewalk patio table was perfect for conversation and people watching. We would go back in a heartbeat.

N
San Diego
27 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Wonderful food!

AM
Las Vegas
3 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food and service was excellent but the tables are very close together

m
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall1food1service4ambience2

Simple chicken Caesar salad for lunch was terrible. Chicken was incredibly overcooked!

Staff was delightful, but how does this place get such high ratings when a basic lunch isn’t prepared well?

UT
Salt Lake City
4 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I chose this place because it was a short walk from my hotel and the reviews were positive. And I wasn’t disappointed! I was in San Diego for business and called my wife as I walked back to my hotel. I should have called her as I walked to the restaurant. I was so full from dinner and breathing hard she asked if I was running to the hotel. The Ossobucco was fabulous! I couldn’t stop eating!

OT
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience2

Mediocre. The food was definitely really yummy and we had leftovers. The complimentary bread was also good. Honestly we felt super rushed. The inside and ambiance of the restaurant kind of sucks for a special occasion- we noted it was our anniversary and nada. The tables are tiny and the wait staff was fine if not super loud talking about their weekends to each other. Idk. It was good. Would totally get it take out but wouldn’t go in for a meal again.

R
Miami
86 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great! Eggplant and cheese balls apps and Pasta with sausage and swordfish entree’s perfect! Had Super Tuscan to wash it down...

OT
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on October 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food!

GB
Phoenix
54 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I was greeted with a smile at the door by Rafaela who seated me after asking my preferred location. I opted to sit at the smaller bar since I was alone.
There, I was waited on by Kendra. Upon asking, she provided some dinner selections. I settled on the Osso Buco with cheesy risotto. It was simply delicious. The meat was fall-off-the-bone and the risotto was a perfect compliment. They have a good beer selection so I chose a local brew.
I finished with Port wine and a cafe latte. Great place in the cozy Little Italy district.

OT
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

Odd that we made a reservation for Buon Appetito but ended up eating in the restaurant next door that was a completely different vibe than we wanted.

TS
Houston
7 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was outstanding and the service was great. Will definitely return next time we're in SD and recommend to anyone interested in a great Italian meal.

RJ
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2019
Overall3food4service5ambience3

I put yes to recommending a friend, but the truth is maybe ... I found the lunch Antipasto lunch to be a bit over prices, borderline gouging,and not so appetizing. Little Italy in San Diego is a tourist trap for sure but when a lunch menu is comparable to a dinner prices, elsewhere. I'll probably consider "elsewhere" first. Native San Diegians know this area is not as eclectic as it wants to be. But whatever.

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is consistently excellent. Service is always good. A favorite spot no matter how many new places open in Little Italy.

JT
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This was our second visit to this restaurant and we were very pleased again with our food! Great service & this time we set outside & it was lovely!

OT
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent all around - warm and attentive service, hearty portions of delicious food arrived hot to the table. Complimentary bread served with a tomato garlic condiment.

L
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Food was excellent...truly authentic Italian. Enjoyed the chicken liver salad, and would highly recommend it... something I have not had for many years.
Everyone at our table was very happy we took the recommendation from our San Diego friends, as this is “go-to” restaurant!

S
Sacramento
13 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Buon Appetito is one of our “go to” restaurants in Little Italy for important guests The reasons are reliably great food and service along with a charming and comfortable outdoor eating area. They never disappoint.

DD
Palm Springs
5 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I visit as often as I can. This time I brought a friend for the first time. She lived the eggplant so much, she took another 1 to go

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on October 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Anniversary meal enjoyed sitting outside in the w weather.

SH
New England
6 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely evening

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is by far our favorite spot in little Italy. We’ve never had a bad meal here and highly recommend this place

BS
San Francisco
21 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

The food is fantastic and a good value. It was slightly noisy and our server was good but very busy. It took a long time to get our check and we had to get going. But the place is so good and so busy that’s why the waiters are busy! The ambiance is ok, nothing super special. But we were there for the great pasta

d
Baltimore
10 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Loud, food adequately.

AO
Toronto
4 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Nice restaurant with great food and service. You will be happy you chose to dine there!

CS
Chicago
3 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Probably one of the best pasta dishes I've ever eaten.

OT
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Took my daughter prior to attending a play. Great food and overall experience that will make lasting memories

KS
Los Angeles
7 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great dining, like being served by family, outstanding pastas and the calamari was crisp and tasty. Very nice wine list at very reasonable prices. Big portions, so plenty to take home, just beer and wine, but as noted, big selection and very reasonable. Give it a try!!

OT
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Recommended by friends who have frequented on every trip to San Diego. We were not disappointed. I wanted something that was not on the menu - no problem, they made it for me❣️

NM
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Michaella (sp?) was simply amazing!! Service A-1! Recommendations were on point and just a great friendly face!!! She's a keeper!!! 😊

JL
Los Angeles
27 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Nice lunch in Little Italy.

J
Sacramento
15 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We came here for our birthdays and the food was absolutely amazing! Just a slight glitch my bf was still eating his bread and the waiter asked if we wanted more bread and we said No and he proceeded to take the bread basket and the delicious marinara away and we were still eating it. We asked for bread again to get the marinara sauce back. We still enjoyed our experience here and will definitely return again when we visit San Diego again.

HT
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience3

The food was OK. I can make same level at home. Nothing special. Will not be going back.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Superb Food great location and good wine list.

CH
Calgary
2 reviews
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Honeymoon dinner for our last night in San Diego and oh boy did we pick the right restarting. The arrancini balls are to die for and I’d recommend splitting pasta entrees as they are huge.

We had this incredible squid ink linguini and I’ve never had anything like it in my life. Great food, and a phenomenal server as well. Luckily we got to sit outside as inside is quite loud.

Would 11/10 recommend to anyone looking for delicious Italian in the heart of little Italy. Plus it’s just a walk down from Mikkeller and Ballast Point both award winning breweries for a little after night drink.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Great food and service. Outside was great, but way too noisy inside for our liking. Had to shout to be heard.

SR
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall2food3service3ambience3

The noise level was unbearable. We couldn’t speak to one another across our small table. Others in the restaurant were speaking at very loud levels simply to communicate with each other too.
The main course was above average; but, the bread was unexceptional (not freshly baked; simply a cheap store bought small loaf of bread).
The dessert we ordered (Cannoli) also was unexceptional... we anticipated better. Overall, not what we expected from a restaurant boasting of a 4 1/2 star rating.
The two of us were there to celebrate a Birthday. This was noted in the special comment section when booking our reservation online and the hostess was reminded as well as we were being seated; but, to no avail. That special occasion went unnoticed. By all appearances this restaurant is simply trying to serve its patrons meals as quickly as possible to maximize their revenues.
I believe a 3 star rating is much more appropriate. They have a considerable road ahead of them to achieve a 4 star rating... let alone a 4 1/2 star rating.

PE
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food and great service. If I have to say something negative, it would only be that the 2 top tables are a bit too small.

JH
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on September 17, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Friendly wait staff. Fast service. Food was delicious and a healthy serving.

KH
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Fantastic food and service. Am a returning customer. I have celiac and have never had an issue with their gluten free pasta option.