About us

Located in the vibrant heart of downtown Chula Vista, Mangia on Third offers an authentic taste of Cosenza Italy, where we believe in the Italian custom of celebrating great friends and special occasions over a fine meal.

The Mangia Italiano Story

Domenic Donato left his hometown of Cosenza Italy in 1959, armed with degrees in Engineering, Architecture and Bookkeeping. He set out on an adventure of a lifetime to a country he had never before seen. At age 29 he had little more than a vision and a lot of hope.

In 1961, after traveling through Canada and the U.S Domenic visited his brother Joe in El Cajon and he knew that he found his new home.

Domenic opened his first restaurant in Clairmont and named it after his mother, Mamma Rosa, whom he swore was the best cook in Italy. He must have been right, because the food was wonderful and people came from all over San Diego to have a fresh taste of Cosenza, Italy.

There began a lifetime of combining new and old traditions as Domenic’s collection of family restaurants grew. His next Mamma Rosa’s was opened in Bonita, then La Mesa, two more in El Cajon and one in Ramona.

The recipes of Domenic’s beloved mother, Mama Rosa, have come down through the family and continue to be used by second and third generation family members throughout San Diego County.

Mamma Rosa’s on East Main in El Cajon is now owned and operated by Domenic’s sister Dora and Mamma Rosa’s in Ramona is owned and operated by Domenic’s brother, fondly known to everyone as “Uncle Joe,” by everyone.

Domenic opened his newest restaurant on Third Avenue in Chula Vista in August of 2006 as Mangia Bene. Known by its new name, Mangia Italiano on Third, (or Mangia on Third), the restaurant is now owned and operated by Adam and Kathy.

Mangia on Third

Made with the highest quality, fresh ingredients, the food at Mangia on Third is based on the original recipes of Domenic’s Mama Rosa from Cosenza Italy, where it is an Italian custom to celebrate great friends and special occasions over a fine meal.

“It was an honor when Domenic extended this opportunity beyond immediate family to me and my wife Kathy,” said Adam, the new owner, and proprietor. “ Although we are not related by blood, we share many years of love, friendship, and respect. Kathy and I (combined) have over sixty-eight years of restaurant management experience and it was a natural fit.”

“Having known the Donato family for over eighteen years and knowing how successful their restaurants have always been, Kathy and I feel blessed to be given this opportunity. The warm welcome that we have received from the Third Avenue Association and the people of Chula Vista assured us that this is the place for us.”

“This is an exciting time for downtown Chula Vista, as Third Avenue becomes the vibrant heart of this city, bringing family and friends together to enjoy shopping, cultural events and of course memorable dining.”

“We promise to preserve the traditional family atmosphere and to make Mangia on Third more than just another restaurant. We wish to contribute to Chula Vista’s rich heritage of great eateries, past, present, and future. Eating at Mangia on Third will create lasting memories of friends, family, and great food.”