Bencotto Italian Kitchen
Bencotto Italian Kitchen

Bencotto Italian Kitchen

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.lovebencotto.com/
  • Phone: (619) 450-4786
  • Hours of Operation:

    Tuesday- Wednesday- Thursday-Sunday: 11.30 am to 9 pm (depending on business)

    Friday- Saturday: 11.30 am to 10 pm (depending on business)
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Fabrizio Cavallini
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: India Street/Kettner Blvd.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Valet Parking sponsored by Little Italy Association.
    Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday: from 5 pm to 9 pm
    Friday & Saturday: 5 pm to 10 pm
A word from Bencotto Italian Kitchen
ONLINE RESERVATIONS ARE LIMITED. PLEASE CALL THE RESTAURANT IF YOUR DESIRED TIME IS NOT AVAILABLE.

Bencotto offers 100% honest Northern Italian cuisine.

We are proud to offer 15 kinds of different hand-made pasta, fresh and hand-crafted 12 hours a day.

"Bencotto" means cooked well: this is what authentic Italian food is about.
Our menu is based on simplicity. It tastes as it should and would in Italy.

Bencotto offers two different eating environments: guests can either enjoy their meal at our “kitchen-esque” bar downstairs, or they can relax in the intimate low-ceiling dining area upstairs. The décor creates a clean and sophisticated atmosphere, where old-world charm and warmth blend with contemporary appeal.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Bencotto Italian Kitchen reviews from OpenTable diners
116 reviews since July 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.6
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.2
    Noise LevelModerate
91% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (79)neighborhood gem (69)special occasion (49)hot spot (43)notable wine list (35)romantic (31)great for outdoor dining (28)good for groups (18)great for lunch (13)vibrant bar scene (9)late-night find (7)great for brunch (5)kid-friendly (3)scenic view (2)Show More
  • Very Italian, Italian
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 5/29/2014
    The food tasted liike you were transported to Italy. The menu included a huge variety of pasta combinations that you could combine with a sauce of your choice. The pastas are homemade and delectble. The Lamb Ragu that I had is a rare find in American restaurants, my husband's lasagna "melt in his mouth." Service was friendly and deserts marvelous.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Italian umami
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    Taking form the Japanese, I use the word umami to classify my whole experience. That includes food, drinks, ambiance and service. Bencotto deliveres Italian umami. Simply excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    I took my fiance for her birthday. The server was good at first then at the end he wasn't coming to table. Had empty waters. He will pass through our table with No eye contact. Also I didn't get my discount for dessert special occasion.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Inconsistent
    InconsistentVIP
    Dined on 5/22/2014
    Bencotta was recommended to me as a great Italian place. For me Italian is ALWAYS about the food - which sadly was good, but just that average. The service however was excellent - David was our server - he was engaging, attentive and made the evening very nice. The appetizers were amazing - the Prosciutto was shaved to perfection; we also had the aroncini which were great and then an order of meatballs. We all (party of 4) ordered pasta - the sauces did not live up to the excellent pasta. Bencotta is good in a pinch but I wouldn't seek it out again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Losing it's edge
    LiveLaughDrinkDineVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    Bencotto has been a favorite of our for the past few years. The last time there we felt that the service, food and ambience had lost its edge, but this visit confirmed it. We had a table against a column inside the door that barely accommodated our party of three, despite having made reservations six weeks in advance. A special request for pasta with pesto was delivered wrong, and ended up as a bowl pesto with a few noodles. Enough pesto to serve the entire restaurant. Our waiter seemed uninterested in what was wrong with the order. Not sure that we will go back, but if we do, it will not be with the expectation of the great meal, service and ambience we used to expect.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very Nice
    BDDinner
    Dined on 5/13/2014
    We had a very nice dinner, the menu was interesting with unique items. The only negative is that it is not easy to find a parking spot. Also it might get real noisy if they are really busy. It was a very good choice.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Little Italian Spot
    ogBadBoy
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    I have been coming here for 3 years and the food is still good. I live in Los Angeles and when ever I am in San Diego I always come here for Dinner! Great ambience, Great People who work here and Very Affordable!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, reasonable prices
    BobM
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    We had a party of 8 who thoroughly enjoyed the food. Most plates didn't have a morsel on them when we finished. If I lived in San Diego, I would definitely go back. Parking on a Saturday night was painful. We found a parking garage for $20. The valet parking was 6 deep. One of our party found a spot on the street 4 blocks away.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • gina rae
    ginaeats
    Dined on 5/9/2014
    Food was fabulous and so fresh! Had the squid ink pasta and shrimp, wonderful! Waiter was knowledgeable and friendly.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Upside surprise
    RelgaVIP
    Dined on 5/7/2014
    Having dined at the adjoining restaurant I wasn't expecting excellence. Bencotto over delivered/ Excellent pasta and eggplant starter. My guest enjoyed the salmon. We will return
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Interesting appetizers
    Michele
    Dined on 5/4/2014
    The San Daniele prosciutto simply melts in the mouth, gnoccho fritto is puffy and flaky, tasting of good oil. Saffron riso fritto is outstanding with its accompanying bolognese sauce. Zucchini flowers were delicately fried, enveloping a fresh cheese filling and nicely presented. The fried stuffed olives Ascolana were nice but need more careful pitting; my husband bit down on one but no damage. I would prefer a stuffing which would fill the olive a bit more and be assertive in flavor, such as ground pork or veal with Parmagiano and herbs. My favorite zucchini flowers are fried simply, in pastella, so one tastes the flower itself. The sbrisolona is outstanding for dessert. Service was attentive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing Prom Dinner
    Reveur
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    My date and I found this restaurant for our prom night, and my experience was far better than I even expected! The meatballs were delicious, the sauces were full of flavor, the staff was pleasant, and the prices were fair. The ambiance was wonderful and the atmosphere felt "cool". I especially loved all of the decor, mainly the trees. Bencotto got our Prom night started, and started RIGHT!
    Special Features:
    Romantic, special occasion, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem, Vibrant Bar Scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bencotto is the bomb!
    HonestWiner
    Dined on 4/20/2014
    Great food, reasonable prices, overall nice place in little Italy.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Food, Excellent service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    We were a party of 4 for a late lunch on Saturday afternnon. The service was excellent, and the food was outstanding. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone who enjoys delicious Italian food. This will be a new favorite place to dine.
    Special Features:
    Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A new favorite
    nonameVIP
    Dined on 4/17/2014
    Only recently discovered this gem, and have already enjoyed three visits. The service is consistently excellent, the homemade pastas are so delicious, and there is a nice wine list. It can be a little noisy in the main room downstairs, but this last time we were seated in a small area just beyond the entrance, and it was lovely. So nice for chatting with friends over a luxurious dinner. The desserts are amazing -- save room!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • As Advertised
    DougTucson
    Dined on 4/10/2014
    Bencotto was very busy on a weeknight. Lots of noise and people. Food was good to excellent, with especially good pasta. Service was fine, and the overall experience is fine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Italian Experience
    Krichardson
    Dined on 4/8/2014
    Bencotto Italian Kitchen was an excellent dining experience. I made online reservations and when we arrived, we were promptly seated. Within 3 minutes the waitress was there asking if we had been there before. Since it was our first time, the waitress began to explain the specials and the popular items on the menu. She was very knowledgeable and listened to all our questions. She then took drink orders. We did have to wait a few minutes (another 5) for the bread and drinks to come but it was worth the wait. The bread was good and plentiful. The appetizer was stuffed zucchini and it was excellent. Our orders came shortly after finishing our appetizer and the food was excellent. I highly recommend Bencotto.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Contemporary, modern feel
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 4/6/2014
    Contemporary, modern feel to an Italian restaurant. Gnocchi verdi with salmon sauce was delicious! Bread & (bland) olive oil to dip it in were not particularly tasty.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not as good as previous visits
    RobertaVIP
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    This time I have to say the experience was not as good as previous ones. Our appetizer was cold; the pumpkin ravioli were drowning in sauce; Just not up to par.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • 2 nights in a row
    Rahla
    Dined on 3/28/2014
    Amazing food, interior, service. So good, we went back for more the night after!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, notable wine list, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Simple Perfection
    cam1VIP
    Dined on 3/22/2014
    The specializes in home made pasta. I had ravioli stuffed with crab with a lobster cream sauce. My wife had a pesto gnocchi. They were both simple perfection. For dessert we shared a pistachio semifredo that was one of the best desserts I have ever had. I'm looking forward to coming back to try the rest of the menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • experience
    Chris
    Dined on 3/21/2014
    Overall. Great experience. Amazing food. Outstanding service and exceptional food preparation time. Our meals were brought out less than ten minutes after we ordered. Simply great.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best pesto ever!
    Musteatout
    Dined on 3/15/2014
    All the pasta that the four of us tried was excellent but the pesto was the best I've ever had. The ravioli was also exceptional - the thinnest pasta wrapped around an amazing filling. Not to be missed!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellence
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    Excellent food, excellent service. This is THE place we go to when visiting Little Italy, or San Diego in general.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The pasta is divine
    arossettVIP
    Dined on 3/13/2014
    Just right. We really liked the pasta and alternative toppings. This place is definitely one of SD's best Italian options and as you know, we have MANY Italian restaurants.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • ONE of MY FAVORITES in SD
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 3/12/2014
    I'm a big foodie, and often find it difficult to find places in SD that truly have great food. I'm from Boston, a town that had phenomenal food in all directions. Been to Bencotto several times, the restaurant never disappoints. I would recommend this place to PASTA LOVERS. Portions are good, pricing is reasonable for the quality of food. Pasta dishes will run you around $16-20ish dollars, but again, I would much rather pay a little more to enjoy what I'm eating. Tried some of their appetizers, all very good but have yet to try any of their"meat dishes". Great place for a glass a wine on the weekday (if you can find a spot to squeeze in FYI..you NEED to make reservations at this place). The ambiance is great, very simple, modern and chic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Doesn't live up to its hype
    DWG60
    Dined on 3/9/2014
    Honestly, I was truly looking forward to an excellent meal. I did not get it. The eggplant, and particularly the thick red sauce on it, was far too salty, and tasted like it might have been processed in a factory before it was canned. The squid ink pasta was better, but definitely not excellent. The main waiter assigned to our was not adequately available (and I am someone who usually wants to be left alone more than tended to) and just had a strange attitude. There was another waiter, with a hipster moustache and a great smile, however, who eventually jumped in and was quite pleasant. Wine list is not impressive. We had a similar experience at this restaurant's sister about a year ago.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Overhyped
    1sttimereview
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    Hostesses were rude when we arrived 10 minutes before our reservation, saying they can only seat us closer to our reservation time, even though we were simply checking in. They then seated us 20 minutes after the reservation time and nobody came to our table for quite a while. They weren't apologetic at all and made it seem like they were doing us a favor by getting us a table. I had heard it was a great place but all of our plates were pretty ordinary. Nothing special.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice sunset
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 3/8/2014
    Sat outside on a warm day and had a great sunset so can't say what it is like on the inside. Food above average for Italian. Wine too expensive but that's getting to be the norm.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • amazing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    Had been trying to go here for over a year and it finally happened - def lived up to my expectations and then some! Was really in the mood for chicken but decided to get a pasta instead and so glad I did. Literally the best pasta I've ever eaten! I got ravioli and the husband got lasagna. Both so delicious and the pasta just cooked perfectly! So fresh, no box pasta will ever compare. Service was quick, friendly, and on point. Constantly trading out used plates, glasses, cutlery for new ones and some great recommendations on the wine list. Oh and don't forget to have dessert! The semifreddo cafe mousse was to die for! The fact that its partially frozen makes it taste like gelato. Heaven!
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Too Expensive for lunch!
    SmartWoman
    Dined on 2/28/2014
    The food was good, not over the top like their PRICES, outrageous! There is no lunch menu, if you go for lunch you are paying dinner prices. The waitress took our order, but our food was delivered and serviced by the busboy because our waitress also seemed to be working the bar. We felt this was very strange. Our waitress showed up again at the end with the bill to work on "her" tip (?)! Strange!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Amazing
    MarkVIP
    Dined on 2/25/2014
    We enjoyed it so much we cancelled another reservation so we could return. The gnocchi stuffed with Gorgonzola is a must have!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, good for groups, special occasion, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Big disappointment!
    DS4food
    Dined on 2/21/2014
    We were excited to go based on ratings, a recommendation & menu. The menu sounds great but was an overall forgettable food experience (flavourless). The highlight was the marinara sauce on the meatballs, which is a basic anywhere. Had better food at 'holes in the walls'. Perhaps the chef didn't try the tasteless food before putting it out of the kitchen! Will remember it in the 'won't go back' way..maybe we hit an off day.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best Italian in San Diego?
    RobG
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    After eating at the highly acclaimed Bencotto Restaurant on Saturday, February 15th, I would probably sum it up by saying that I had a decent meal but wouldn't eat there again. As an Italian-American who grew up in NY/NJ, I felt that there was no "Italian Atmosphere", and that they were trying to hard to be the "It" trendy place. I had the cheese sampler and proscuitto appetizers (2 separate items) which were very small portions, so small as if I was eating in a French restaurant! They have decent wines by the glass...The highlight of my meal was clearly the home-made pasta which was excellent, although not enough in itself to make me want to experience Bencotto over again.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • not "worth it"
    appetite4grub
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    unfortunately, I really looked forward to dining here. My boyfriend & I went for valentine's day which may have meant sub par service but after all the recognition I'd seen I really expected an amazing Italian meal, being in the heart of little Italy with apparently hand cut pasta (however already being disappointed with appetizers and the overall impression from looking at others' orders we decided to leave). Pizza by the slice seemed better than what we were in for there and as a bonus less expensive. We ate lobster bisque which had chewy, overcooked lobster in it and a fried veggie option that I believe was stuffed with cheese. We didn't finish either, had our wine bagged up, and left. I will not be going back.
    Special Features:
    Romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful Flavors
    AKYacker
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    They calamari in a light broth is to die for. So popular, reservations are a must. Try it, share several dishes, you will be sure to find your favorite.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enough
    enough
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Food was very good. The white sauces for the pasta could have been a little bit more flavorful.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Little Italy Perfection!
    LittleItaly2DieFor
    Dined on 2/11/2014
    Little Italy has many Italian restaurants to choose from, "something for everybody!" I recommend Bencotto's as one you don't want to miss! The service, food, energy, and ambiance make for a memorable dining experience! My wife and I have now been back on 3 different occasions and each time come away with a smile on our face!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing!!!
    luv2dine
    Dined on 2/11/2014
    Bencotta is like a comfortable dining room in a friends home. The food and service have been always outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Restaurant
    smusic08
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    Everything we ordered was outstanding! Our waitress made great recommendations as well. The pastas are out of this world and brought us back to living in Italy. Highly recommend this place to anyone looking for great Italian food!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.