Graze By Sam The Cooking Guy Opens In San Diego's Little Italy

February 18, 2020

Little Italy Food Hall has finally expanded into the space directly across Piazza Della Famiglia with today's opening of Graze By Sam The Cooking Guy, a wine-focused restaurant and bottle shop from San Diego's "every man" celebrity chef.

San Diego-based Sam "The Cooking Guy" Zien left a career in biotech and became the everyman of cooking by combining an irreverent mix of humor with recipes that are "big in taste but small in effort." With his show in 24 markets, 3 cookbooks, 15 Emmys, and a dozen visits to the Today Show, Zien’s 'anyone can make this' approach continues to win fans, including over 1 million followers on YouTube for Sam’s casually uncensored web series, STCGO

In 2018, Sam signed on to be the culinary ambassador for the Little Italy Food Hall, a 4,685+ square-foot bar and food court by Grain & Grit Collective where Zien also operates his first hospitality endeavor, Not Not Tacos. Last year, we announced the food hall intended to double its footprint into the space directly across the European-inspired community gathering space. Sam The Cooking Guy is also in the process of opening a yet-to-be-named, 8,000 square-foot, bi-level bar & restaurant in the bayfront space that long housed Buster's Beach House in Seaport Village

"I’m a homebody and we love having friends over - and I look at Graze as sort of just being an extension of that," explained local culinary celebrity and Graze founder Sam "The Cooking Guy" Zien. "We have comfy couches, coffee tables & cozy table groupings. And the name Graze fits me perfectly - because I like to eat a little bit of a bunch of things and share that food with others. This is about as social as it gets. So if I walk past your table and steal a piece of your flatbread, don’t be mad…I’d do it if you were at my house."

For Graze By Sam The Cooking Guy, Zien has taken some of his favorite dishes and designed his new 1,600 square-feet of space to replicate his own home kitchen. The eatery has roll up glass windows opening up into the plaza and offers a menu featuring shareable plates like salads, flat breads, charcuterie boards, and brisket sliders. Graze also boasts a full bar, an Enomatic wine dispenser machines, and a bottle shop with a curated wine selection.

Graze by Sam the Cooking Guy opens this evening at 555 West Date Street in Little Italy. The eatery is in its soft opening stage with limited hours Sunday through Thursday from 3-9pm and Friday & Saturday from 3-10pm. For more information, visit and check out the photos and menu below.