Pronto Via (ready, set, go)!
Lace up your sneakers and bring your A-game downtown this weekend for the Little Italy Urban Challenge 2022. It’s the third installment of a neighborhood scavenger hunt in the nation’s largest Little Italy.
San Diego’s 48-block Little Italy–brimming with restaurants and specialty shops–is regularly ranked as one of the best-to-visit in the country.
A fun excuse to check out all the local pizza, pasta, bites and sights is this August 28 scavenger hunt.
The two-hour contest begins and ends at the Little Italy Food Hall on Date Street. Opened in 2018, the food hall houses half a dozen restaurants and opens onto the lively, 10,000-square-foot outdoor Piazza della Famiglia.
The Scavenger Hunt
Sam “The Cooking Guy” Zien emcees the 2021 Little Italy Urban Challenge.
The scavenger hunt is produced by Grain & Grit Collective, which runs the Little Italy Food Hall and co-owns several interior restaurants with TV personality/cookbook author Sam “The Cooking Guy” Zien.
Why a scavenger hunt?
“A local resident who’s a regular at the food hall brought us the idea,” says Grain & Grit marketing manager Lindsey Pierce. “It seemed like a fun way to connect with the community and also share some historical facts.”
The initial scavenger hunt was held in 2019. After a COVID time-out, the event resumed in 2021.
About 50 teams of two people participated in the event last year, Pierce says. She expects a larger crowd this go-round.
“A lot of people are out for a fun day, and there will definitely be a mix of competitive people out to win,” she says.
In It To Win It
Sam “The Cooking Guy” Zien toasts winners of the 2021 event.
Count me in. Consider me a scavenger hunt hound. Not-so-humble brag: I once captained a team that won a citywide hunt and netted a freezer full of Dreyer’s Ice Cream.
Yep, that was me. I also assist on scavenger hunts as a team leader for the local team-building company Out of the Ordinary Group Adventures.
I plan to hoist a trophy this Sunday.
Note: I’m passing along all the knowledge I have about the Little Italy Downtown Challenge right here:
- You can pre-register online here.
- It’s $55 for two people (including t-shirts); or $34 without tees.
- Check in begins at noon on Sunday, August 28. The hunt runs from 1 to 3 p.m.
- Teams get their scavenger hunt clues at the beginning of the race.
- The winning team will get the most answers correct and finish in the shortest amount of time.
- Prizes will go to first, second and third places. Winners will take home gift baskets mixed with Little Italy merch.
See you at the finish line. Buona fortuna! SDSun