Nonna

4.7
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271 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Many restaurants in Little Italy have become destinations, among them the Busalacchi family's Nonna. The rustic décor features a relaxed country-style feel throughout the restaurant, including the delightful patio. The wonderfully welcoming atmosphere celebrates yet another delicious Sicilian food lineup, including pizzas and all that you would expect from an authentic Italian menu. The terrific entrées show the Sicilian influence, and fill the restaurant with great aromas.

We would love to hear your feedback on your experience.
What 271 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
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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J
vipJerishps
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Tough times for restaurants, but this was a great experience.

z
vipzeedn
San Diego
21 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2020
Overall3food1service2ambience3

We have eaten at almost all of the restaurants in Little Italy and decided to try Nona this evening. We have eaten at Barbusa which is owned by the same family but run by one of grandsons. I expected similar high quality as Barbusa but we were sadly disappointed. The 4.7 star rating here is off by at least a full star! We started by ordering the Rucola salad. In a nutshell - no flavor, no salt and the arugula was yellow tipped and old. We should have sent this back.

Next up the Polpette. - I had a craving for meatballs and these were not bad. I was surprised however that they were served in a meat sauce (remember they’re meatballs) instead of a more traditional marinara. Regardless they were good and small bite sized about 6 if i recall. It would have been even better had they served it with bread or toast points or something to absorb the sauce since 100% of every other Italian restaurants who serve meatballs serve it this way. I had to ask for bread which was nothing special.

PASTA - We were looking for something with seafood and the waiter told us the Capelline Alla Pescatore - We received the plate and while there was seafood Average at best. Avoid it.

Entree - POLLO PICCATA - This really is a classic dish that is hard to screw up. Well .. they screwed it up. Bland flavors, overcooked chicken and brocollini and some type of flavorless potato purée (not to be confused with mashed potatoes)

Service - while it was busy and we did wait a bit, the service was otherwise friendly.When it was time for the check, neither my wife or I even ate 1/2 of what was served for our pasta and entree. In fact my wife only had a few bites. I took home the pasta and my wife told the waiter not to box the Piccata up which should have been a clue to them that she was not happy with the food.

While we were walking back to our condo we saw a homeless person. I did not give him the leftovers because he deserved better.

P
vipPete
Chicago
20 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is amazing here. Miss the old style ambiance but the food is still fabulous

FB
vipFuzzyBeaver
Toronto
179 reviews
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience3

The meals were excellent and the pasta is all made in-house. Very large portions so you will not go away hungry. The bread is great as well. The only drawback is that it is vert noisy and busy. Service was quite good despite being extra busy.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Chicago
1 review
Dined on February 29, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This is where I take out of town guests for a delicious meal! Everything is always fresh and perfectly seasoned!

r
robmczzz
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always enjoy food and service. One of our favorite neighborhood restaurants.

T
vipTony
San Diego
25 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very pleasant staff

RB
RichButler50
Seattle
4 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I grew up in San Diego from 1970 to 1996 and I have fond memories of Little Italy. Imagine my surprise an pleasure when my friends took me to Nonna for an amazing dinner experience in a transformed neighborhood. We sat outside on a warm evening enjoying great bottles of wine, fantastic service, and some of the best Italian food I have ever had - the Bolognese. At the end of the meal, Vincent brought us a plate of desserts that kept the evening going for another hour - spectacular. Next time I am in San Diego, I will introduce my wife to Nonna.

BC
BarbaraC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a wonderful dinner at Nonna with a party of seven after the opera. I made a reservation for 5:30, but for a smaller party I don't know if one would be needed at that time. Probably. We sat in the rear patio, which love for its atmosphere, fun lighting, and intimacy. Fabio, our server, was excellent: attentive, prompt, and cheerful. We had brought one bottle of our own wine (corkage fee $15), and the wine aficionado in our party went up to the bar and negotiated a second, which was excellent. Everyone was delighted with their menu choices: no weak links in the chain. We shared the large mixed appetizer and two desserts, the crème brulee and, naturally, the opera cake. All delicious and just the right quantities for us. We plan to return after the next opera.

The only downside was a party of four young women who were making enough noise for ten, but it's not like the restaurant can help that.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome Valentine’s Day.... what a great Italian gem of a restaurant

PM
PackerMidget12
Chicago
31 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent food and service

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely atmosphere, excellent staff, superb meals. All over wonderful experience.

DL
DeanaL
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the marinara sauce! Its the best in Little Italy by far!

MW
MarkW
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on January 16, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waiter was very friendly and the food was delicious.

GB
GraceB
1 review
Dined on January 15, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Nonna was great. Our server was excellent, and the food was delicious.

p
vipphillips
San Diego
12 reviews
Dined on January 13, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good service. There were four of us...all very happy with the food.

NP
vipNapaPaul
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2020
Overall3food3service3ambience4

Service was prompt and food was good. Calamari was lacking fried color and was a little on chewy side. Salmon was a little dry and seemed to be Atlantic farm sourced from color but maybe necessary due to time of season? Did not notice any mention on menu of source.
Pasta dishes were very good and generous portions.
Will probably try several other restaurants before I return.

D
vipDhirsch10
Los Angeles
19 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall4food5service4ambience4

I am glad that I finally was able to go to Nonna, it is difficult to get a reservation on the weekend. Both of my grown children have eaten there several times and highly recommended it.
We were seated after our reservation time, but it was worth the wait. The selection of wine and cocktails was eclectic and fairly priced.
My friend ordered the fish special and she thoroughly enjoyed it. I chose an eggplant dish that was atypical and delicious. The food was presented beautifully and I would definitely eat there again. We were too full for dessert, but the gelato and pastries were tempting. I intend to order an appetizer and/or dessert next time.

FK
FatKid
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great experience again! One of the best spots for the value. You can’t go wrong here

GT
GTRIZ
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent Italian Food, Vince and the waitstaff & Kitchen Team are a “Home Run”!

Feels like HOME

GT
vipGTRIZ
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on December 11, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love the food and service..Vince the PERFECT host!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Took my son for his 18TH birthday. Food was amazing. Family really enjoyed it

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It’s was my friends birthday

B
Bonnie
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Delicious food, as always, service a bit rushed.

EL
vipELENA
San Diego
42 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always consistently great food and service. Highly recommend.

DD
DavidD
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great home style Italian cooking. Great service. A bit noisy for my taste but "happy noise."

DC
DavidC
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Very good experience!! First time at the restaurant..service was fantastic and food was great!! Especially liked the dessert selection

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great good and helpful service to understand the menu and adjust to our taste. Would come here again

D
Denise
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience4

Arrived early for reservation to have a drink at the bar. 2 other patrons sitting there with drinks and food. Sat for greater than 10 minutes, never acknowledged or spoken to by the bar tender who seemed disgruntled and distracted with a beer keg. Never got the drink we arrived early for. Food quality was great, served hot by a food runner. Waitress not very attentive, and never checked to see how food was. In my opinion the chefs work is fantastic and the food runner/bus staff. Others have a way to grow to make a 5 star experience.

AS
vipAndrewS
Chicago
45 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Generous, tasty, classic Italian food served in a boisterous atmosphere along San Diego's lively Little Italy on India Street. If you're fortunate enough to have Raimondo as your waiter, you will be well cared for indeed. Great for a large party. Every dish was thoroughly enjoyed by our crew of a dozen. There were no leftovers!

CS
CamifromSD
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We love Nonna, I brought some out of town clients here for dinner and they loved it! My family comes here often, great food, ambiance and prices!!!

j
vipjoannab
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Nonna is great for fairly traditional, family style Italian meals. Nothing too exciting or creative, but everything is tasty and they have some pretty good happy hour deals.

PC
vipPaulC
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Mario is fabulous

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

Favorite! Absolutely love this place - best Italian on the block!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Minneapolis
4 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

I was really disappointed—We ordered the 3rd Chianti on the menu which is listed at $34. As I was itemizing the bill today I noticed I had been upcharged to $74!!!!!
Impressed that the manager called and corrected the problem.

DD
DeniseD
Nashville
5 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Just what you would expect, great vibe, excellent food - definitely a great place to eat!

L
vipLayne
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great food
Great service
Very noisy

KH
vipKathyH
Sacramento
13 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall2food4service1ambience2

The service was lackluster. The food was tasty, but if you are in Little Italy, you are looking for an experience. Sadly disappointed.

LG
LindaG
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall2food1service2ambience3

We wanted to introduce our new to San Diego friends to the restaurant and especially the dish ‘imbotiti’. I looked on line to confirm it was still on the menu, made the reservation and we all went. Our server brought the menus and to my disappointment, my favorite dish was not listed. I asked and was told they no longer serve it. When I mentioned that it was on the online menu, he said they need to update the web site. I was told to just order the eggplant Parmesan. I’m sorry that it not the same, not even close. We then asked how many serving were in the arancini. He said 3, we were a party of 4, “could they please add an additional arancini ball?” No, three is enough for 4 people was the rather rude reply. We ordered wine and our dinners. To my surprise they did bring a plate of 4 arancini to the table. The sauce is very good, the balls were mostly bread. 2 of us ordered the sea bass special of the night. It was so over salted it was not palatable, and this from me who puts extra salt of most things. I mentioned this to the server and he asked if it was just mine and my friend also stated hers was far too salty as well. I think he saw his tip circling the drain and brought two small portions of complimentary desert. Their lemon merengue cheese cake was much better than the cannoli. In any case we won’t go back. Over priced, poor dishes and rude service.

1
vip1professionalguest
San Diego
57 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience3

Four of us: mine was excellent;I always order the same item, short rib, but w/risotto, not potato purée. One ordered pasta that was ok. Two ordered the steak special. It was exactly like a veal or chicken parmigiana, but w/steak. Both agreed is was a great way to ruin a steak.
Our server was not self-initiated. We had to wave him down when we needed service, which was three times during our meal... example, drink refills. One person sent the steak back because it came out well done, not medium rare as ordered. The other steak eater just ate his anyway. The server never came by to ask how the meal was.
We have eaten at Nona a few times, and although this was our first not-good-experience, we will return.
However, I will still order the short rib:)