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“Very Good Affordable Food”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa
Ranked #263 of 4,716 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Kids, Families with children, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Highchairs Available, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: Downtown
Durham, NC
Level Contributor
306 reviews
172 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 333 helpful votes
“Very Good Affordable Food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2013

Mona Lisa is a gem on the north side of Little Italy. The manager of our boutique hotel recommended to my husband and me that we go for there for great sandwiches. He added to take them to his favorite beer shop that is across Hawthorn Street as they allow people to eat there. This establishment is divided in to two entities: the restaurant and the deli/grocery store. Finding a parking space may be difficult due to the limited spaces off of the street and on the nearby streets. This is a big reason why we just walked from our hotel to Mona Lisa.
Our visits to Mona Lisa were on the left side of the building – the deli/grocery store. This side is a small Italian grocery store that has many types of food that are synonymous with the country. There is a nice choice of Italian olive oils, but it pales in comparison to what one would find in a grocery store in Roma.
While in Mona Lisa, we did feel like we were in Roma. The only thing missing was Italian being spoken. There is a nice choice of sandwiches listed on the board above the deli refrigerator. The glass refrigerated counter holds a beautiful selection of tempting meats. Many of them cannot be found in a typical American grocery store. Mona Lisa uses Boars Head meats, which are probably the best deli meats in this country. The choice of cheeses will also please you.
Despite the place being busy, the four people behind the counter took everyone’s order in stride and had them ready in a short period of time. Our sandwiches were very fresh with excellent crunchy Italian sandwich bread. The condiments were crunchy and full of flavor, and the meat on our sandwiches was tender and tasty. Our Mona Lisa sandwiches were so good that we only went to one other restaurant in Little Italy.
Great Italian food at a reasonable price is hard to beat thus our multiple visits. It is also a reason that we ordered a couple of sandwiches the night before our morning flight back home. And, if you are wondering, the sandwiches were just as good 16 hours later – better than anything that can be offered by an American airline.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank MagyarNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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243 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    115
    85
    27
    8
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Vegan option”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2012

Delicious vegan pizza option (when requested without cheese). A great atmosphere with pictures of generations of family members all around the restaurant.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Sandra V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 28, 2012

Mona Lisa is located in the Little Italy section of San Diego. This is a nice, neighborhood Italian restaurant, one much like the ones I used to enjoy when I lived in the Northeast. Very authentic, sauce that fit my taste perfectly. Actually, I ate there three times during my stay in San Diego. You will find other, upscale Italian restaurants nearby, and I assume they are good as well. But, Mona Lisa was so good I never gave them a try. Great Italian food at a reasonable price, in a comfortable setting is hard to beat.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank Rick B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California, United States
Level Contributor
32 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“No place better to order a sub”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 13, 2012

The bread, meats, cheeses... Excellent. Grab a few to go, along with a few homemade sides, bottle of Italian wine (large selection) and your picnic's complete.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank Joseph B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ventura, California
Level Contributor
111 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Great little market for us Italians”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2012 via mobile

This little shop and restaurant is a gem in the center of San Diego's "little Italy" we must have spent an hour browsing ..and buying all sorts of things we needed..the place is packed with people getting fresh sandwiches,cheese etc....then right next door there is a dark old fashion booth type eatery.The pasta was great!!! The minestrone was fresh and delicious...I had a glass of chianti....the place is worth it and by far beats the tourist traps!!!..

Helpful?
Thank Chris1466
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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