Matteo, The Non-Profit Restaurant From Buona Forchetta Family, Set To Open March 7

Buona Forchetta Family owner, Matteo Cattaneo, will open his passion project, a namesake nonprofit restaurant in South Park, on Saturday, March 7th. All profits (after operating costs) from the breakfast and lunch restaurant, located at the corner of Juniper and 30th street, will be donated to rotating quarterly causes (501c3 nonprofits), with a focus on education and early childhood development.

Matteo’s first nonprofit partner will be the Chavista Cesar Chavez Service Clubs, a longstanding local organization that creates leadership experiences for young students. The public is invited to submit causes for consideration, which will be chosen quarterly by the Buona Forchetta Family leadership team, via its website.


The 2,800-square-foot eatery will be led by head baker and general manager Joanne Sherif, who closed her beloved North Park eatery Cardamom Café in the summer of 2019. When Cattaneo heard she was closing, he reached out to Sherif and invited her to come work for him, marking the start of a strong partnership.

Matteo will be fast-casual with counter service, offering an expansive menu of breakfast favorites like benedicts, toasts, frittatas, croissant sandwiches, bowls and breakfast pizza alongside signature pastries Sherif perfected at Cardamom, like the coffee cake and cinnamon rolls. The breakfast pizza will be Pizza alla Pala style, small oval pizzas served on a wooden board covered with toppings like sausage, bacon, avocado, egg and veggies.

There will also be a large variety of bakery items, from fresh-baked loaves to three different types of Focaccia Genovese: olive, tomato & onion and rosemary. Starting in March, Matteo will also offer children’s take-away school lunches for parents to pick up daily. To cater to everyone, the menu will feature plentiful vegan and gluten-free options, plus a creative kid’s menu.


The restaurant has been completely opened up with large windows offering a peek out into the heart of the neighborhood from the dining room. The interiors will be modern industrial with hand-painted signage. The restaurant will also include a market selling imported Italian staples like pastas, canned tomatoes and more to take home. A focal point of the exterior is the large mural by local artist Stacey Uy, who regularly works with the South Park Business Group. Her colorful, playful mural includes the hashtag #matteoforacause, which is the official hashtag for
the project.


Already the owner and operator of three Buona Forchetta restaurants, Cattaneo is slowly growing the Buona Forchetta Family restaurant group to include new concepts that he’s passionate about and allowing his team to explore their own strengths and passions further. Cattaneo knew he wanted to open a restaurant that would directly give back to the community that has wholeheartedly embraced him and his businesses since he moved to San Diego from Bergamo, Italy.

“San Diego is my home now,” Cattaneo says. “My children go to school here and my restaurants are neighborhood gathering places. It’s important to me to share my success with my community and Matteo will allow my restaurant group to give back as well as be a key player in the nonprofit restaurant space.”

Non-Profit Restaurant From Buona Forchetta Family Opening March 7


In addition to opening Matteo, Buona Forchetta Family has three additional openings planned for 2020:

A fourth Buona Forchetta location, Garage Buona Forchetta, is slated to open in Coronado in the next few months. Unlike the other locations, the Coronado location will serve breakfast and will also have a market selling to-go staples like house-made pastas and sauces.

Gelati & Peccati, a small pizza stand specializing in pizza al taglio (Roman-style slices) and gelato, will open in the heart of North Park in early 2020. The project is a collaboration between Cattaneo and longtime Buona Forchetta employees Luca Zamboni and Giovanni Bonomi.

Carbón will be a BBQ joint in South Park that focuses on meat-centric dishes with an Italian twist.


Started in 2011 as a tiny Italian restaurant nestled on a leafy corner of San Diego’s South Park neighborhood, Buona Forchetta has since grown into Buona Forchetta Family, a San Diego-based restaurant group led by owner Matteo Cattaneo. In addition to three Buona Forchetta restaurants (with a fourth on the way) widely known for their Neapolitan-style pizza, the group is working to introduce three new concepts in San Diego, all inspired by food from Cattaneo’s childhood in Italy. Central to the Buona Forchetta experience are its hand-built wood fired pizza ovens, tended to by pizzaioli who ensure a perfect pizza every time.

See you there!

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