505 Laurel Street
San Diego, CA 92101Neighborhood:
ItalianPrice: $30 and under
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.cucinaurbana.com/home
- Phone: (619) 239-2222
- Hours of Operation:
SUNDAY | 4:30p - 9p
MONDAY| 5p - 9p
TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY | 5p – 10p
FRIDAY + SATURDAY | 5p – 10:30p dinner | 10:30p – 12a pizza + vasi
TUESDAY - THURSDAY | 11:30a-2p
FRIDAY | 11:30a-5p
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: American, Italian
- Executive Chef: Joe Magnanelli
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Catering: URBAN KITCHEN CATERING provides four star, stunning events with menus unique to your occasion. For more information check the URBAN KITCHEN CATERING link on our website www.urbankitchengroup.com or call Alison at 619.239.2222 extension 2. Or if interested in restaurant buyout opportunities, please contact Tiffany Tassano at 619.239.2222 extension 1.
A word from CUCINA urbana
Welcome to CUCINA urbana, a casual Italian American Neighborhood Kitchen and Wine Shop located in the heart of Banker's Hill. The menu highlights the cuisines of various Italian regions with a distinct California ‘farm to table’ flair for which the Urban Kitchen Group has become known. Chef Joe Magnanelli is excited to preview his Italian heritage and create dishes that are fresh, simple and seasonal. Items include: antipasti, artisan pizza, pasta and piatti. Enjoy wine by the glass or visit the Wine Spectator award-winning wine shop and select a bottle from over 100 selections at retail price ($8 corkage fee applies). The space features contemporary elements and vintage artifacts creating the feel of a modern Italian kitchen combined with the history and comfort of an old rustic country farmhouse. A focus on raw, sustainable material is evident with much product coming from recycled/reclaimed local sources.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
- Diners' Choice WinnerNotable Wine List
- Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
CUCINA urbana - Best Restaurants in Banker's Hill ›
CUCINA urbana reviews from OpenTable diners
372 reviews since July 26, 2014
- Ambiance4.5Noise LevelEnergetic
fit for foodies (272)neighborhood gem (202)hot spot (181)notable wine list (181)special occasion (174)good for groups (132)romantic (105)vibrant bar scene (103)great for lunch (59)late-night find (33)kid-friendly (18)great for brunch (5)great for outdoor dining (4)scenic view (4)Show More
- OpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 11/18/2014Very disappointing. Mediocre at best. We will not return.
- Best Italian foodOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/15/2014The first time my husband and I visited San Diego, we stumbled across this gem of a restaurant. When we left, it was the only food we really remembered, because it was that good. We are both foodies (he cooks, I am a dietitian), and we had to go back again this trip. it did not disappoint. Amazing food, beautiful room, great service.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food/experience!HappygrannyDined on 11/14/2014My grandaughter turned 16, and requested a DINNER PARTY at Cucina Urbana as her party---so I obliged! We were a mixed bag of celebrants, ranging from 16 to 89 in age, and everyone had a wonderful time...the food was stellar, the wait staff was obliging, friendly and simply grand in every way, and we're all still talking about the experience as one of our favorite parties ever! We'll be back, and are recommending it to anybody who will listen!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Creative, eclectic funOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 11/13/2014Third time at this restaurant, and 6th time at this location (was Laurel restaurant several years ago). It was a Thursday night at 6:00 but already busy. Excellent service. The menu is interesting with appetitzer spreads in small mason jars, then lots of choices for other dishes. I had the sweet pea "vasi" but they had a hot chili oil on it and that dominated the flavor in an unpleasant way. My husband had a kale salad with shredded brussel sprouts that he liked a lot. Then we both had a stuffed fish on saffron couscous. Nice flavor of both fish and couscous but biting into thin slices of lemon rind inside the fish wasn't appealing. The most excellent part of the meal was the service in the form of our waitress who gave helpful suggestions and there whenever needed, as well as someone who brought water. My husband asked if the sparkling water was their own and he thought it was made elsewhere. But then he came back in a few minutes and told us the brand. It's a small detail, but it shows an attention and care that would make us return. I could have said the food was very good instead of good but it's somewhere in between. If you don't like noise, go early. It could become very loud. If you like interesting interiors and newer variations on pasta, pizza, fish, meats then you should try it once. We may not return since we're only visiting and this time decided the food is good but probably not worth a fourth time back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ZoomerDined on 11/13/2014Excellent service - excellent food!! I love Cucina Urbana!!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ..DG85Dined on 11/12/2014great restaurant, great food..............................................................................................................Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- One of the best restaurants in San DiegototalledaudiDined on 11/12/2014Always one of my favorites. Food is a creative twist on Italian, but there is a little something for everyone. Pasta, fish, steak, pizza. Excellent appetizers. The ability to substitute Gluten Free pasta. Everything tastes fresh, and you can taste the passion of the kitchen staff. Quality wine and cocktails as well. Short-Rib Pappardelli is a staple along with the Stuffed Squash Blossom appetizer. Energetic and fun atmosphere with impressive decor. Can get a bit loud as a by product of the restaurant being extremely busy. Remember to book your reservations a ways out if you want to eat around 7 PM. If you have trouble getting in try their sister restaurant Cucina Enoteca in Del Mar of Via de la Valle. Also an excellent restaurant that actually has about a 10-15 percent overlap on the menu.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful ExperiencepcfchickVIPDined on 11/10/2014Waited at the bar for a few minutes before being seated in the dining room. The bartender was friendly and knowledgable (they even carry house made liquors). Our server was fantastic. He was very helpful with his suggestions. We ended up ordering the polenta and giant meatball as an appetizer. Both were wonderful. I had the chef's whim risotto, which was mushroom with sunchoke sans goat cheese, and my husband had the jidori chicken. The bill was completely reasonable. And it was a wonderful evening. I highly suggest this place a good evening out. Biggest draw back - parking.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Server made our special night great!sf415Dined on 11/10/2014Came for my anniversary. Hostess had some attitude when we asked to switch tables, but after we got situated, the night was perfect! Our server was great--decanted the wine we brought, very friendly and the food was tasty! Though it seems like portion sizes have shrunk over the years as prices have risen...I would recommend this to a friend.
- 5 Stars All the Way!Jazzyman32Dined on 11/9/2014My boyfriend and I have been exploring new restaurants since our move to SD 6 months ago. Cucina Urbana came highly recommended from a locals so we had high expectations. They did NOT disappoint! FOOD WAS DELICIOUS! We dined at 8:15pm on a Sunday night and it was jumping! As soon as we walked in, there was a buzz in the room -- full of energy. The rustic decor is beautiful, felt very warm and inviting. The only thing I'd change is the lighting on top of the tables that line the walls - those could be dimmed for a more romantic/softer feel. Finally, the service was perfect - every dish came out in a timely succession but didn't feel rushed. And the bus boy was on it with clearing plates and refreshing waters! Highly recommended!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Best middle dish we have ever had!rosebudDined on 11/8/2014Three of us shared two orders of mussels, the mushroom ragout, the risotto, the stuffed blossoms, the pea dip with breads. All of the dishes were amazing but the mussels in chorizo sauce were to die for! The desert we wanted had just run out so we got the banana cannoli which was "fine" but not on par with the level of yumminess of our other dishes. Next time we visit San Diego we will be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- 1st time hereOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 11/7/2014Friends highly recommended this restaurant, as they are locals and frequent here often. Appetizers were good, especially the mussels and loved the octopus. Unfortunately my sausage crusted veal entree was under-seasoned, chewy and tough. Polenta and rapini good, but could not salvage the dish. Wine service from in store wine store was nice with $8 corkage fee. Zepolee dessert was good, but pomegranate panne cotte was not good, too sour. I would give this place another chance based upon the fact that I didn't try the pasta and hear that the short rib parpadelle is good.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 11/6/2014The food was good, but I have nothing more to say.
- Always interestingIndependentDined on 11/6/2014Meal was great, unique, creative. Can never figure out why desert is ALWAYS an abject disappointment.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Loud and More LoudOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/1/2014The waiter definitely could have used a lesson on service. Was not very attentive and at times felt rushed. The food was good, I would come back perhaps with a promise of a different server.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Loved It!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/1/2014Celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary! Was greeted with a glass of proseco. Had a fabulous dinner. Had autumn chopped salad, short rib pappardelle and a whole fish special on saffron couscous. Will definetely be back! Can't wait to try some pizza!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Saturday evening ...BillstheteacherDined on 11/1/2014The food, service, and ambiance were outstanding. Your restaurant gets my highest recommendation. I'm even thinking of flying my mom in from Louisiana over the Xmas holidays and will make Cucina U a must stop. Appetizers: Squash blossoms, gnudi, and ragut/polenta board ... perfection!! Salad: Autumn Harvest ... a great mid-course! Entree': Short-rib pop and risotto ... the best I've ever had. Amber did an incredible job as our waitress and your auxiliary staff was on top of everything. I don't remember the name of your expeditor, but he was equally as incredible. As I said, on top of everything. Thank you for the wonderful experience. Money well spent!!Special Features:
- Recommendnail17Dined on 11/1/2014Cucina Urbana provided a number of novel approaches to their food and drink menu. Food preparation and presentation was very good. The appetizers and main courses challenged us enough that we would trade bites in an attempt to identify tastes and ingredients. How good overall?...well, to put it all in one appetizer, I dislike Brussels sprouts, but I would order Cucina Urbana's version again. What to improve? The beer list does not nearly have enough selections to pair with many of their food offerings; their list should be double their current size. And caution: when offering imported beer in a bottle, the quality often suffers as did my Belgium. Worth a return visit?...yep, to go back to explore more of their menu.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Amazing time! Cherished gem!OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 10/30/2014It was a wonderful time I had with my group of friends. We found the ambience amazing and we were especially fortunate to have had the corner table by the walls of wine. Private and such beautiful character! Our server was EXCELLENT! He chose all the dishes for us and it was all amazing with 3 pastas, one pizza, appetizer, family-size salad, and delicious parmesan truffled fries. The wines were great and we never felt rushed. I wish I could remember our server's name but he was efficient, courteous, and professional!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- No taste, bad serviceBridgeDined on 10/30/2014I don't understand what the buzz is about. My boyfriend and I were on vacation in San Diego and had high hopes for this restaurant based on the reviews that we read on the internet. What a disappointment. My pasta was too sweet. His pizza was lacking taste. The service was brusque. Every other restaurnt that we tried in San Diego was so good. You better spend your money somewhere else.
- Never disappointed!NCFoodieDined on 10/29/2014After several visits to Cucina Urbana, we have yet to disappointed in anything - the food, the service and the venue are always excellent. We often bring out-of-town visitors here because we know that CU, unlike many restaurants, is consistently excellent. Their polenta with ragu is out of this world!Special Features:
- Enjoy !OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 10/29/2014Very nice place. It has a trendy, good atmosphere. Lights are really pretty Food was very good, although bucatini and pappardelle were somewhat salty - big full fllavors Overall an enjoyable eveningSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Cucina will not disappointOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 10/29/2014This was my second vist to Cucina, this time hosting the business dinner. It was a first visit for my 3 guest and they couldnt stop commenting on this place. From the ambiance, to the service the food and definitely the wine program. Polenta is a must have. We also enjoyed the Octopus and the Pork Belly as starters. Main courses ranged from steak, pork chop pasta dishes. All were awesome. The desserts finished off a great evening. Everyone said they cant wait to come back and introduce Cucina to their friends and family.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- One of our favorite restaurantsLbarchitectDined on 10/28/2014Cucina Urbana has easily become one of our favorite restaurants. The food, service, ambiance reign supreme.....Special Features:
- Great food, service just meh.TrishBrazilDined on 10/27/2014Food was fantastic, I mean, real good. I had the short rib pappardelle and I swear I could eat that thing everyday. Service was ok. Lack of enthusiasm, a bit of attitude and patience to explain dishes. I got the feeling all the female staff believed to be "above" all the rest of us, simple mortals spending $150 on a Monday dinner. I'll be back for the food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- This place never disappointsDuaneSVIPDined on 10/26/2014Cucina Urbana is our "go to place" when friends and/or family come into town and the food, wait staff, wine list, and atmosphere never fail to impress. From the whole fish (sea bass) to the veal medallions, to the rib eye (the waiters are right it really is better than a filet)... all the meals were tremendous and were right sized to allow sampling of the many interesting appetizers without feeling uncomfortably stuffed. Get your reservations early as the local San Diegans know all about this place. Cheers!Special Features:
- Our favourite restaurant in SDBigCatVIPDined on 10/26/2014Superb selection of quality wines at superb prices, excellent food, great service, really nice looking environment,,,,, Just GO.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- CuisineMikeDined on 10/23/2014Food and portions perfect with comfortable time between coursesSpecial Features:
- Everybody loves itOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 10/23/2014Brought my friends this time and everybody agrees : the food is great.Special Features:
- Yummy Delish! Can't wait to go backOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 10/21/2014Absolutely loved Cucuina Urbana. Only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 was b/c the brussels sprout side came out way too salty. I let the waiter know, as it seemed so incongruent with the detail of the rest of the dinner, and not only did he immediately apologize and say he would remove it from the bill, but soon after came back and expressed agreement. Obviously the kitchen tasted it to find out what the problem was. You can tell that this is a place where the chef and staff want everything to be just right, from drinks through dessert, and Kevin, the waiter, certainly knows the menu & wine list very well. He answered all of our questions & had some great recommendations. Of note, Summer in Milan, squash blossoms & fig semifreddo.Special Features:
- Another Great DinnerEdieDined on 10/21/2014My husband and I have eaten many times at Cucina Urbana before attending events in Balboa Park. We have always enjoyed the ambiance and food, but this week was even better than previous dishes. The polenta we shared had a sweet and smoky flavor. We also shared autumn chopped salad which had a wide variety of flavors and textures. Our table, semi-private, gave us a chance to catch up on our lives. I ordered the whole fish as an entrée. It was pre-boned and sweet and moist.Special Features:
- Great food. Inviting atmosphere.NewYorkDined on 10/20/2014Enjoyed our dinner. Staff was accommodating and friendly. Food amazing. Would definitely go back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Plan on returning...shsteinerVIPDined on 10/19/2014There's so many tantalizing dishes on the menu you'll be making plans to return before you've completed your appetizer. The food is excellent and the portions are generous, so you have to plan ahead if you want dessert.Special Features:
- Amazing spotBillVIPDined on 10/18/2014Great food great drinks would definitely go back because my meal was fantasticSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- From A to EronwwDined on 10/18/2014From the Appetizers to the Entrees, this restaurant excelled. the stuffed squash blossoms and grilled octopus appetizers were delicious, although too expensive. I chose the veal sausage entree which was exceptional. The service fell apart towards the end of the meal but all in all, it was a good experience and I would return.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Consistent and GreatRickCDined on 10/17/2014...I think. I'm addicted to the short rib papaderro(sp?). Amazing favors. Two at our table had the SRP. The spaghetti carbanerro looked good as well. Was a bit surprised by the very small cookie with a candle for a birthday celebration but might have been that one of the two tiramisu 's was comped. The zucchini blossoms were also good as usual along with the focaccia. The Rosemary honey butter is amazing! Make sure you get you reservation a week or two in advance especially if more than 4 persons.Special Features:
- LoboVIPDined on 10/15/2014Terrific menu! We love the "Vasi" (mini Mason Jars) spreads. Especially the Chicken Liver Pate-Brown Sugar Shallot! Yum! We shared the Short-Rib Pappardelle and it was delicious. Also recommend the gorgonzola-fig pizza. Every time we dine at Urbana Cucina, we find something new to try. Service and ambiance is very comfortable. Excellent choice for lunch or dinner pre-theater, as the location's proximity to the Old Globe Theater!Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 10/14/2014great treat for out of town company. noise level too much. Enjoyed the community table. Hostess was very accommodating.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always A+++ Dining and Service1happybellyVIPDined on 10/14/2014I enjoyed Cucina Urbana again, my 3rd time since late July. Always outstanding in every category. I can't say enough about the pork belly, squash blossoms, variety of salads....I haven't even gotten to an entrée so far. The customer service is extraordinary and staff always a pleasure to spend an evening with.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- good , creative foodmojonana3Dined on 10/14/2014Four of us enjoyed a wonderful dinner before the theater. None of us had been there before and the food quality will bring us back. The shuttle service to the theater was very handy. Our waiter was very attentive and helpful with our choices.Special Features: