San Diego's Decades-Old Nicolosi's Italian Reopening This Week In New Location

March 8, 2023

San Diego's nearly 70 year-old red sauce Italian restaurant Nicolosi's has relocated for the fourth time in its long history and will reopen this week in East County.  

Sicily-native Salvatore Nicolosi opened the original Nicolosi's as a bakery in 1952 in the Mission Hills neighborhood before moving it to 40th and El Cajon Boulevard in 1954. In 1991, ownership moved Nicolosi's to Adobe Falls and Waring Roads because the Interstate 15 construction project developed through their former restaurant. Under third generation ownership, the restaurant moved for a third time to its last location at 7005 Navajo Road near Cowles Mountain in San Carlos. In 2020, a "ghost kitchen" outpost of Nicolosi's opened within the new Barrio Food Hub in Barrio Logan but closed soon after. Ownership also launched an offshoot dubbed Nicolosi's Fifth Avenue within the space occupied by De Medici Ristorante Italiano from 1995 until 2021, but that branch shuttered after less than a year in business.

Nicolosi's has closed its Navajo Road location and relocated to a 1,969 square-foot former Pizza Hut space on Cuyamaca Street in Santee. The restaurant will maintain its menu of "red sauce" American-Italian dishes, pizza, salads, sandwiches and more.

Nicolosi's will reopen on Friday, March 10, at 9420 Cuyamaca St, Suite 100, in San Diego's East County community of Santee. For more information, visit