San Diego is a city known for its diverse food culture. From tacos to sushi, there's something for everyone. But for those who love Italian cuisine, antipasto is a must-try dish.
Antipasto is an appetizer plate that typically includes cured meats, cheeses, olives, and vegetables. It's a perfect way to start a meal, or even as a light lunch or dinner.
With so many Italian restaurants in San Diego, it can be overwhelming to choose where to go for the best antipasto.
That's why we've compiled a list of the best places to try this delicious dish. Whether you're a local or just visiting, you won't want to miss out on these top spots.
From traditional Italian restaurants to modern eateries with a twist, there's something for everyone on this list.
We've scoured the city to find the most authentic and flavorful antipasto plates. So sit back, relax, and get ready to plan your next Italian feast.
1. Ciccia Osteria
Ciccia Osteria is an authentic Italian restaurant with a great ambiance and friendly staff. They offer a variety of nonstandard dishes as well as vegan and GF options.
Their antipasto plate is a must-try, filled with amazing meats, cheeses, olives, jam, and homemade pickled veggies.
The charcuterie XXL board is also a crowd-pleaser. Ciccia Osteria has a beautiful patio with a fireplace and a clean feel to the place.
It's a small restaurant that gets busy even when you have a reservation, so patience is key. The food is delicious, and the service is great, making it a must-visit restaurant.
2. Cucina Basilico
Cucina Basilico is a laid-back Italian restaurant that serves up some of the best Northern Italian cuisine.
Their housemade pastas, salads, and starters are a must-try, and their limited entrees are equally delicious. The staff is friendly and helpful, making it a great spot for a date or a lunch with friends.
What sets Cucina Basilico apart is their dedication to offering gluten-free options for all their menu items.
Whether you're a celiac or just looking for a healthier option, you won't be disappointed. Give it a shot and experience authentic Italian cuisine at its finest.
3. Pomodoro Ristorante Italiano
Pomodoro Ristorante Italiano is a charming Italian restaurant that serves authentic and delicious Italian cuisine.
The menu offers a wide selection of options, including gluten-free dishes, and the service is friendly and attentive. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere and is perfect for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends.
The homemade pasta and seafood dishes are particularly noteworthy, and the tiramisu is a must-try dessert.
If you're looking for a place to enjoy some authentic Italian antipasto, Pomodoro Ristorante Italiano is definitely worth a visit.
4. Pesto Italian Craft Kitchen College
Pesto Italian Craft Kitchen College is a casual and modern Italian eatery that offers a variety of delicious antipasto dishes.
The restaurant's signature pizzas and pastas are made with fresh and locally sourced ingredients, making every bite a delight for the taste buds.
The staff is friendly and attentive, ensuring that every customer has a pleasant dining experience. The restaurant also has a nice selection of drinks, including craft beer and wine, which perfectly complement the food.
For those looking for a quick and tasty Italian meal, Pesto Italian Craft Kitchen College is definitely worth a visit.
5. Volare Italian Restaurant
Volare Italian Restaurant offers an exceptional antipasto that is sure to please any Italian food lover. The portion sizes are generous and the prices are reasonable.
The restaurant's unassuming exterior and location may be deceiving, but the food is well worth the visit.
The family-owned establishment serves up traditional Italian dishes with a homemade touch. The linguine pescatore is a must-try for seafood lovers.
The friendly staff and cozy atmosphere make for a pleasant dining experience. Volare Italian Restaurant is a hidden gem that should not be overlooked.
6. Buon Appetito Restaurant
Buon Appetito Restaurant is a cozy Italian eatery that serves generous plates of classic Italian antipasto. The waitstaff are friendly and knowledgeable about the food, and they offer great wine and meal pairings.
The warm bread and zesty marinara sauce are a must-try, and the lobster-filled Borsettini Di Aragosta is a standout dish.
The restaurant can get loud and cramped, but the outside seating area is lovely with heaters to keep the chill off.
All in all, Buon Appetito Restaurant is a great spot for a delicious and authentic Italian antipasto experience.
7. Sardina's Italian Restaurant and Bar
Sardina's Italian Restaurant and Bar is a must-visit for those craving authentic Italian antipasto.
With decades of experience and a menu featuring traditional dishes from Southern Italy, this restaurant is a hit with locals and tourists alike.
The portions are generous, and the food is consistently tasty. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere and friendly staff, making it a comfortable spot for a family gathering or a romantic dinner.
Don't forget to try their pizza, which is often praised as the best in town.
8. RoVino Restaurant + Bar
RoVino Restaurant + Bar is a cozy spot for Italian specialties and wine. The food is visually beautiful and has complex flavors.
The antipasto options are fantastic, and the staff is very helpful and friendly. The ambiance is warm and inviting, perfect for a romantic dinner or an evening out with friends.
The outdoor seating is delightful, with just the right amount of shade and air. The service is prompt, friendly, and attentive. The menu has a lot of vegetarian options, which is a plus.
The desserts are amazing, especially the cannoli. The restaurant also offers gluten-free pasta. Highly recommended for anyone looking for delicious Italian food and a great dining experience.
9. Old Venice Restaurant
Old Venice Restaurant is a charming bistro that offers delicious Italian-Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant has a relaxing and romantic atmosphere that is perfect for a date night or a family dinner.
The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and attentive to their customers' needs. Their shareable entrees are large portions and cooked to perfection.
The antipasto is a must-try and is sure to leave you wanting more. Old Venice Restaurant also has a patio option that is perfect for outdoor dining.
They also offer a great happy hour menu with half-price appetizers and drinks. The restaurant is reasonably priced, making it a great value for the quality of food and service that they provide.
10. Enoteca Buona Forchetta
Enoteca Buona Forchetta is a cozy Italian restaurant and wine bar that serves top-notch antipasto.
Their seafood charcuterie board is a must-try and the recommended wine pairing is spot on. The meat and cheese plate is also a favorite among customers.
The staff is attentive and friendly, making the dining experience even better. The gelato is worth every penny and the Italiano sandwich is a must-try.
The bathroom art is amusing and adds to the overall ambiance of the place. If you're in the mood for delicious antipasto and great wine, Enoteca Buona Forchetta is the place to be.
11. Filippi's Pizza Grotto
Filippi's Pizza Grotto is a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic Italian antipasto.
The restaurant has a warm, old-school atmosphere that transports diners to Italy. The portions are huge and the food is delicious.
The antipasto salad is a must-try, and the pizza is thick and loaded with cheese and toppings.
The staff is friendly and attentive, adding to the overall experience. Don't miss out on this gem of a restaurant!
12. Rosaria's Pizza
Rosaria's Pizza is a no-frills Italian joint that serves up delicious antipasto. The restaurant is small but cozy, with Avengers decorations on the walls.
The friendly staff makes you feel welcome as soon as you walk in. The antipasto is fresh and flavorful, and the portions are generous.
The prices are reasonable, making it a great spot for a casual meal. If you're in the mood for something more substantial, they also serve pizza, pasta, salads, and sandwiches.
Whether you're dining in or taking out, Rosaria's Pizza is definitely worth a visit.
13. Mazara Trattoria
Mazara Trattoria is a cozy Italian restaurant that offers a variety of authentic Italian dishes.
Their antipasto is worth trying, as it is tasty and well-seasoned, albeit a little heavy on the iceberg lettuce. The pizza is thin crust and the sauce is great, but some may find it a little dark at times.
The calzones are highly recommended, just ask for them to be lightly baked. The staff is friendly and the atmosphere is welcoming, making it a great spot for a romantic date or a casual night out with friends.
Mazara Trattoria also has a great selection of beer and wine, making it a one-stop-shop for a night out.