Mi Amore: Italian Cookies

It’s become almost a weekly routine for me to go to Little Italy’s Farmers market every Saturday. I have it down to a science, really.

Wake up at 7 a.m.. Take my morning walk. Consume coffee. Hop in the shower. Start laundry. Head off to San Diego’s Little Italy. All this is usually before 10 a.m. Why yes, I am a morning person.

While Little Italy’s Farmers market is one of the best San Diego County has to offer, the surrounding area is nothing to scoff at. In particular, Filippi’s Pizza Grotto is a mecca for all things Italian.



While I can’t say the food at Filippi’s is the end-all and be-all of Italian cuisine, it’s the entry way into the restaurant that makes a lasting impression. Cheeses and meats hang from the ceiling, filling the air with a nice aroma. The refrigerated section holds the perishables including more meats and cheese. (I go here for my mascarpone cheese and lady finger cookies.) And oils, vinegars, tomato sauce — you name it — fill every available space. It’s a lot to take in. But if you look a bit closer, you’ll also find fresh-made Italian cookies right behind the register.

Italian Cookie Display

These cookies are pricey at $8.50 a pound but they are sooo good; two or three cookies usually enough to keep me happy. There are several cookies to chose from but my favorites are the Venetians and the chocolate sandwich cookies.

Rainbow Cookies

The Venetian cookies, also called rainbow cookies, are brightly colored. The red, green, white and yellow layered cake is flavored with almond paste and held together with apricot and raspberry jams and covered with semi-sweet chocolate. It’s a pretty cookie and I eat this immediately.


The chocolate sandwich cookie comes in two forms: A round, buttery cookie or crumbly, fluted version. But what fills them is the same whipped chocolate ganache that is reminiscent of cake frosting. Just one cookie is enough to satisfy any chocolate craving but I recommend a second one for when the craving inevitability returns.

There are several Filippi’s in San Diego County. I don’t know whether all of them have their own grocery store so call in advance to find out.

Filippi’s Pizza Grotto
1747 India Street
San Diego, CA

17 thoughts on “Mi Amore: Italian Cookies

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    1. The lady fingers are the hard ones — all the better to soak with coffee liquor for tiramisu. But there is more than one variety so they might have the slightly crispy versions if you ask.

      I found out the hard way that lady fingers at Trader Joe’s is only sold during the holidays. But lucky for me, Filippi’s carries it year round.

  1. Ooo cookies. I have actually never even been inside the Filipi’s in Mira Mesa. I am doubtful that it sells cookies though. I want some cookies now!

  2. 7am on a Saturday? Yikes. I only do that if I have to work (and then it’s 6am). We used to eat at Filipi’s every Monday after Comic-Con, but we left on Sunday this year.

    1. Unfortunately, I think waking up early is a sign of old age — at least for me. Hopefully at next years Comic-Con, you can extend your visit a bit longer.

  3. I’ve been to the Filippi’s market before, but I never noticed they have bins of cookies! That could be bad news for me because of the whole “my eyes are bigger than my stomach” thing! My friends like to share some great guacamole that they get from the Littly Italy Farmer’s Market.

    1. I sometimes wish that I never knew the cookies existed. I can never pass the store knowing the cookies. I always, ALWAYS get these three cookies to go.

  4. Since I’m married to a Sicilian (yes, it’s different than being Italian, or so I found out after I met him), I’ve had the pleasure of eating at the Little Italy Filippi’s with my husband’s family many times. Unfortunately, they don’t sell the cookies at any of the other locations as far as I know (at least I’ve never seen them at the Friars Road location and I’ve eaten there since I was a kid).

    My favorite thing about the Little Italy location is the smell of salted fish when you first walk in the door (see the far wooden box right in the front of the deli counter). Not only does it smell tasty to me (being Filipino will do that to you!), but it also gets people hustling through quickly, as opposed to staring at all the goodies and blocking the door.

  5. Darlene- Great post. I’ve been there soo many times and had never noticed the homemade cookies behind the counter. Now I know exactly where to go the next time I’m invited to a friend’s house for dinner. Thanks girl! As always, you hook a sista up!!

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