Mona Lisa Italian Foods
Mona Lisa is a San Diego legend that’s currently in its third generation of family ownership. The first restaurant, which is no longer around, was established in downtown circa 1956, while the location of this enduring restaurant-deli hybrid first opened in 1973. In its early years, Mona Lisa operated as a wholesale import business, supplying Italian goods to other San Diego restaurants. Now it’s a bastion of good, down-home, authentic Italian cooking. The deli turns out sandwiches as big as your arm—Capicollo seasoned in hot red pepper and garlic, Sopressata sausage, Caprese with fresh mozz and tomatoes—as well as shareable party trays and three- to six-foot subs. On the restaurant side, the menu offers tempting pizzas, pastas, and lunch combos by day, and Italian classics, like Veal Piccata, Eggplant Parmigiana, and Chicken Marsala, by night. A lengthy dessert menu includes everything from Tiramisu to slabs of Spumoni ice cream studded with chocolate chips, pistachios, and cherries.
How to book: Walk-ins only. Order for pickup or delivery via their website.