Our Story


After owning and operating restaurants over a 30-year span in Italy, Franca and Celso came to beautiful San Diego to retire and spend some time with their daughter.  But after just a few short months of enjoying the beaches and parks of the area, the senior couple realized that their true joy was cooking and that is how “Parma” was started.

The inspiration for the restaurant came from one the couples’ fondness of their original hometown of Parma in Italy which is well known for its Parmigiano cheese, Prosciutto di Parma and the world’s most famous pasta maker, Barilla. Parma Restaurant offers Northern Italian cuisine, fresh ingredients and simple presentations.

Celso, a combination of Geppetto and Super Mario, is one of the chefs, and his specialty is, of course, pasta!  Don’t miss the best lasagna, the homemade pasta and remember to ask about his special creation of the day. Franca is the dessert chef with unforgettable creations such as homemade TiramisuTorta della Nonna and the “to die for” Profiteroles al Cioccolato, always a crowd pleaser. Their cooking can be best described as homemade cooking combined with a dash of love and exceptional flavor.

Celso and Franca, co-founders of Parma Cucina Italiana

Celso and Franca, co-founders of Parma Cucina Italiana

Leonardo and Francesca owners and co-founders of Parma  Cucina Italiana

Leonardo and Francesca owners and co-founders of Parma Cucina Italiana

Then, Leonardo co-founder and chef owner of Parma Cucina Italiana and his wife Francesca. They were both born and raised in Florence Italy where they discovered and grew their vocation for hospitality and culinary spirit. They moved to San Diego in 2012 with the aim to help the senior couple to make Parma Cucina Italiana one of the most recognized and appreciated Italian restaurant in San Diego. 


Parma Cucina Italiana is located at 3850 Fifth Avenue San Diego CA USA in the hearth of the colorful historical Hillcrest. Our restaurant was voted repeatedly best italian restaurant San Diego, offers down to earth ambience and the best authentic Italian food and is sure to be a staple in San Diego for years to come.  From the Italian wines and the Lavazza coffee machine to the native Italian, “right off the boat” proprietors, Parma Cucina Italiana is as authentic as it gets.  

"PARMA, come for true authentic Italian food, leave with an experience.

Food with “AMORE”!”
— Leonardo & Francesca