Sam the Cooking Guy Bringing Samburgers to Little Italy Food Hall

What was once a ghost kitchen concept will soon join five other food hall vendors in the Piazza della Famiglia
Little Italy Food Hall
Photo: Official
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San Diego’s favorite cooking show personality, Sam Zien (also known as Sam the Cooking Guy), is bringing his iconic Samburgers to the Little Italy Food Hall. 

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Until now, Samburgers have only existed within the realm of a ghost kitchen concept in Seaport Village; since launching through delivery apps and to-go orders, they have gained enough momentum to open up a restaurant space. The existing menu offers twists on the classics, including a teriyaki bacon burger with sriracha mayo and grilled pineapple, as well as the “blazing saddle” burger with barbecue sauce and ranch dressing. 

While the majority of Samburger’s Seaport Village ghost kitchen traffic comes from delivery and to-go, there have also been some outdoor seating options. With the new Little Italy Food Hall location, Samburgers plans to take advantage of the open space and invite more customers in person. 

The Little Italy Food Hall first opened in 2018, adjacent to the 10,000 square feet open-air Piazza della Famiglia. This opening coincided with Zien’s first restaurant debut, Not Not Tacos — a Mexican fusion taco shop that incorporates unexpected ingredients like pastrami and Korean short rib.  

As reported by Eater San Diego, Zien’s new Samburgers joint will be swapping places with Not Not Tacos, moving the taco shop indoors. Not Not Tacos will replace the pasta vendor Semola, which plans to move into an independent restaurant space in La Jolla.

The food hall was developed by the hospitality group Grain & Grit Collective, whose portfolio also includes Zein’s Not Not Tacos shop and the San Diego mainstay, Broken Yolk Cafe.

Piazza della Famiglia
Photo: Official | Piazza della Famiglia in Little Italy
Olivia Langen

Olivia Langen

Olivia Langen is a food and culture journalist who has written her way around the world. After traveling from Moscow to Mumbai and Tokyo to Taipei, she has found her way back to sunny Southern California. There, she spends her free time reading fiction, learning languages, and playing music.
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