We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Little Italy's Mercato question

Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
567 posts
60 reviews
Save Topic
Little Italy's Mercato question

One of the things that appeals me the most while planning our San Diego trip is the food. More specific, seafood. So I made a list of the restaurants I want to try:

1.The Fish Market.

2.Bluewater Seafood

3.Point Loma Seafood

4.Phil's BBQ

Last one I know it's not seafood, but husband is a Man vs Food fan, and we saw the Phil's BBQ segment and he & my daughter really want to try that out.

The thing is that someone here in the forum recommend me to go to the Mercato, since we're arriving on a Saturday. And if we go there, we need to leave one of my options out.

So my question is: the Mercato is a better option that the restaurants 2 to 4 in my list? (Fish Market is a must).

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
26,372 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Little Italy's Mercato question

I dont really like Phils and I certainly dont like standing in line outside a BBQ joint like you have to do at Phils most of the time, so for that I dont go to Phils, the same reason I dont go to buffets.

That said The Little Italy Farmers market is nice but its a Farmers Market. If you miss it on Sat. go to the Hillcrest Farmers Market on Sunday. When I go to either I go in the morning so If I eat at all (many times we dont) I eat breakfast, so if you either dont eat or eat breakfast you wont need to eliminate any of the other restaurants will you? You really dont need more than 30-60 minutes at the Farmers Market.

Edited: 02 February 2012, 00:26
San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
22,198 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Little Italy's Mercato question

Here is a list of vendors at the Mercato. You can get food to eat while you walk along and / or have a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants in Little Italy. That's what I do. You can see the water / bay from there. You can look at the vendor list and see if anything appeals to you. However, you state that you arrive on Sat. The Mercado is from 9:00 - 1:30.

http://www.littleitalysd.com/mercato/vendors/

http://www.littleitalysd.com/mercato/

I agree with GoodBeer on several points. Going to the Mercado shouldn't be replacing a dinner. If you miss it you can go to the one in Hillcrest. The main difference is that it isn't in a dense sit-down restaurant area like Little Italy. However, they do have more prepared food vendors that can make up for a sit down meal.

http://hillcrestfarmersmarket.com/

hillcrestfarmersmarket.com/vendorlist.html

Finally, I've eaten Phil's BBQ twice and I don't care for whatever style of BBQ it is. The last time I ordered the food To-Go and was glad I did because of the long line of people waiting to be seated. There are obviously many people that don't feel the same way :)

Edited: 02 February 2012, 01:44
Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
567 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Little Italy's Mercato question

I just talked to my husband, and we both agreed now that we do want to try the Mercato for a light lunch, so we won't substitute it. Basically, we both think that it will be better to eat at a nice location, so long lines are not our thing, specially since looking at the map both Phil's and Bluewater are out off the beaten path, so to speak. And we'll only be there for 3 days.

So I'll keep the Mercato, Fish Market and Point Loma, and add some other... maybe Fishette's, someone here recommend it.

By the way, we'll arrive at 9:25am, so I think we can be able to arrive in Little Italy in time (we do have to pick up our rental and drop the bags at the hotel).

Thanks!!

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
55,118 posts
422 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Little Italy's Mercato question

I've eaten at Phil's many more times than twice. It is one of the best barbeques in town and I seldom ever wait.

Top of the Market (on top of the Fish Market) is much better and much quieter and I think the view is better too since you are higher.

Point Loma Seafood is off the beaten path, not Blue Water and I don't know if Point Loma Seafood is back in their main building yet. Last time I was there, they were still in the temporary location.

http://www.plsf.com/

Blue Water Seafood Market and Grill is on India Street as is the Mercado in Little Italy. It is 1 1/2 miles straight down India Street. The Mercado is at Date & India. Point Loma Seafood is over 4 miles from there.

vancouver, BC
Level Contributor
4,692 posts
274 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Little Italy's Mercato question

elizzie4000....great info and link to the mercados...we have never tried the Hillcrest market so we will try that one in march on a sunday. i can't get over how many food vendors there are....OMG!

i am really looking forward to the sea urchin vendor.....thanks again for the wonderful info.

Berkeley, Ca.
Level Contributor
4,696 posts
72 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Little Italy's Mercato question

Blue Water is a really good, reasonably priced place (near a Trolley station to boot) but it's likely that you'll have to wait in line.

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
22,198 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Little Italy's Mercato question

Ok to answer scott075 - in a friendly manner. It isn't that I have only eaten at Phil's BBQ twice. It's that I don't like the "flavor" of the BBQ nor did the rest of my family. As I did say, it's the "style" of the BBQ. I don't like the spices nor do I know what their style is called. I also said, that clearly other people do like their "style". So having had their food twice is completely and totally irrelevant. Clearly Scott know that ....

If you're coming back in March, I agree that if you want you should visit Hillcrest Farmers Market.

I don't know or remember where you are staying. Blue Water Seafood wouldn't neccesarily be out of your way. The problem I find is parking. I drive by it all the time and have never seen a line. The only time is when one of the shows from The Food Network is shown and then there is a new interest from out of town visitors. Re: Point Loma Seafood, again, whether it's out of the way depends. I live in Downtown SD and can get there in 15 min. I've driven past approx. 6 times in the last two weeks and it looks as though they are in their new bldg. Here is their website

http://plsf.com/location.html

San Diego...
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
22,198 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Little Italy's Mercato question

cliu - Sorry, I just realized you are the one that mentioned you'll be here in March and not the original OP.

I like the Hillcrest Farmers Market and, yes, they do have a lot of prepared food vendors. I hope you enjoy!

Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
567 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Little Italy's Mercato question

I'll arrive in the last weekend of April, and will stay at the Homewood Suites, and I saw that Point Loma Seafood is very near. What worries me is their temporary location, but it's still 3 months to go, so it might change.

I like to plan ahead, but I'm also aware that the bets laid plans can often go wrong, so I like to cover my bases and have different options.

Scott, Top of the Market is not for us because my kids are kind of loud, specially my 10 year old, so we prefer noisy places. The Fish Market is better for us.

I wanted the BBQ place for my husband, but he prefers location, so I can switch that one for another seafood place :-)

Bluewater was one option that I wanted to try, but I'm not sure now. I think I'll play it by ear.

Thanks everyone for your great responses, it's really very helpful for us to have such great recommendations from the experts.

One more question, is the bayfront something that has ambience? Something like Pier 39 at San Francisco? Last time we didnt' get a chance to walk there, we just ate at The Fish Market.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
63,860 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Little Italy's Mercato question

Our bayfront walk (going left from the fish Market)s a place to stroll and watch ships ,or visit ships like the aircraft carrier USS Midway, or take a harbor tour or a passenger ferry that goes across the bay.

IF you go out of the Fish Market and turn right then you can walk along the bay to the Seaport Village outdoor mall which has little gift shops of all sorts.

In either direction it is a nice walk!

BTW The Top of the Market restaurant is MUCH more expensive than the downstairs Fish Market so with a family I can understand that as another reason to stay downstairs!

Edited: 02 February 2012, 15:10