Cueva Bar
Cueva Bar

Cueva Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.cuevabar.com/
  • Phone: 6192696612x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Payment Options: Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Latin American, Wine Bar, Tapas / Small Plates
  • Executive Chef: Oz Blackaller
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Smoking Area, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: We provide catering on site and off site.
    We can cater from small office meetings to large weddings, company parties, engagement dinners, graduation dinners or whatever your special occasion might be.
  • Private Party Facilities: We can accommodate parties as large as 30 people and we can create a special menu for that special occasion.
  • Private Party Contact: Ana Prieto-Butts 8889817122
  • Special Events: Food themed event every last Saturday of every month, unless noted otherwise.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Between Mississippi and Alabama
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Cueva Bar
Cueva Bar is a gem in the neighborhood that is University Heights. When searching for a neighborhood small bar with an intimate setting look further no more. Where else in the San Diego Restaurants can you find the chef serving your food and giving you the insight about the beer, the wine and how the food is prepared? Only at Cueva Bar, named for Best Empanadas in the San Diego Magazine. A beer and wine aficionado, Chef Oz has built a solid list of local craft beers on tap and wines that will satisfy your palad. Listed amongst the top 10 San Diego restaurants, Cueva Bar offers happy hour specials to die for! The wine list contains vino that other bars in San Diego will never see. Next time you are looking for the best food in San Diego join us for a fine dining experience without hurting your pocket.

Continued
Foodspotting photos
See all photos
Cueva Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
13 reviews since April 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.5
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.3
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (9)fit for foodies (7)romantic (5)notable wine list (2)great for outdoor dining (2)special occasion (2)late-night find (2)good for groups (1)kid-friendly (1)scenic view (1)Show More
  • fabulous
    nancVIP
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    We ordered half the menu and everything was outstanding! Love Cueva Bar!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, late-night find, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Love this place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    This is my go to date spot. They have a large variety of tasty food, and there's something for all tastes. The servers know exactly when they're wanted, and not intrusive or forgetful. Their beer and wine lists are excellent, it's never too noisy, and never too crowded. Also parking is easy in the area.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love This Place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    I'm such a huge fan of Cueva, love the staff and the food is phenomenal every time. Highly recommend this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Tapas and Friendly Feel
    JrcinmsVIP
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    My daughter and I had dinner here and were totally blown away with the great food. Every bite was bursting with flavor! We shared the spiced olives, corn tapa, guacamole tower and then a chimichurri flat bread. We accompanied this with a great and reasonably priced bottle of tempernillo. We were full and ready to be done when we were tempted by banana bread pudding…so glad we were, it was wonderful! We had a great time and will return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 9 ratings-only reviews submitted since April 25, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.2
    • Food4.2
    • Ambiance4.1
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 25 reviews are from the Cueva Bar reviews archive.
  • Amazing Tapas
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 12/3/2013
    Excellent food! We were visiting from out of town and felt incredibly welcome both by the restaurant owner and the other customers.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Sooo yummy!
    PattyVIP
    Dined on 11/18/2013
    Everything was simply wonderful! From the quality & presentation of the food to the service and ambience... Very delightful! We're coming back next week with friends!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I love Tapas!!
    SuburbanFoodie
    Dined on 10/12/2013
    This place was great if you are looking to try something a little different and you want to share with friends. Everyone got to taste a little bit of everything. Oz was attentive and pleasant without being overbearing. Someone in our party suggested that it was kid friendly...it is if you go in the afternoon, but in my opinion after dark this place should be reserved for adults. We had a number of things on the menu, nothing was bad, the Flatbread was larger than an anticipated and excellent, we had the BST. We also had the Chef Special of the evening, it was Picadillo Red Peppers stuffed with shrimp and Cranberry cheese, it was delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This was a great little find.
    John
    Dined on 10/11/2013
    This was a great little find. I took a quick spin through Open Table looking for something different for my wife's birthday. We like to try small bites, so when I saw Mexican tapas I knew we were in. We found the owner, Oz, to be quite engaging. He visited us at the table several times to ensure that we were enjoying ourselves as well as provide insight and recommendations. He truly cares about his food (and wine) and also does great things in the community. We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nieghborhood Gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 10/4/2013
    Everyone should go to this place - it is fantastic. The food is so good. Plan on sharing the bacon and goat cheese stuffed dates (yum!!), La Capresa and stuffed and baked Jalapenos. Everything is for sharing (tapas). Miss the bacon wrapped jalapenos, but hopeful Oz will bring them back. Always an awesome experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Diamond in the not so rough...
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 8/23/2013
    When I first saw the tapas menu I was confused and skeptical - but when I got to the restaurant I realized that its a Mexican tapas restaurant - no Spanish tapas here. The food was AMAZING, everything that we ordered was delicious and had great flavors.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great neighborhood place
    Nancy
    Dined on 8/4/2013
    Although the inspiration for the food is Mexican, Chef Oz has put his own stamp on the food and serves many dishes tapas style. The salads are fresh, well-seasoned and generous. We ordered several starters, an empanada, a salad, a flatbread and finally the Mac and cheese. The Mac and cheese reminded me of what my mother used to make, creamy and cheesy. My husband wolfed it down! The selection of wines includes many from Spain and Argentina, and they have a selection of local beers. We had a vos and a sour beer, and the waitress was able to explain the subtleties of each one, since we had never heard of vos or sour beers. When we arrived we were the only customers, however, as we dined many regulars came to eat, as we will become!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great family-run spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/3/2013
    The owner and his wife run the place. Service is great and their food is awesome.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Tapas! Great Beer!
    LuvBeer
    Dined on 7/20/2013
    My husband & I went to Cueva Bar looking to share some good tapas and drink some local beer. Well, we weren't disappointed. We shared several tapas which were very tasty (dragon olives, cheese platter, candied bacon wrapped jalapenos & olive tapenade quesadillas). The dragon olives were yummy (I am a big olive fan) - they had a nice heat to them and were very good. The cheese platter was good - my favorite part was the jalapeno jam. My husband loved the bacon wrapped jalapenos and the olive tapenade quesadillas were my favorite (more like rolled tacos though). They also had great local craft beers on tap that did not disappoint and the service was exceptional. Our food was spaced out nicely and we never had an empty glass. Good job!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Gotta Go!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/21/2013
    My wife and came here wanting to try the empanadas. We left so happy we tried the dates, brisket, and empanadas. All we superb. Oz (the owner) took our order. He was very polite and helped explain the menu. Everything about this place is great!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Had another great time at
    ClassyFoodVIP
    Dined on 6/21/2013
    Had another great time at Cueva Bar! This time took our son and friend to experience this wonderful neighbor hood gem. Oz, the owner treated us like family. He made great suggestions regarding tapas and of course the beer! This is one of University Height's best kept secrets.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect place to relax
    Gastroaddict
    Dined on 6/14/2013
    This is a perfect place to relax after a long day, unpretentious and warm, the owner is going to do anything in his hands to please his customer! You will feel like you entered your best friends home. You will not find hip or elegant decorations, just your basic bar. Food is a mix of tapas (Spanish) with a Mexican flair.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love the owners and the food
    Trolleybarnbunny92116
    Dined on 6/7/2013
    This restaurant is a small gem in University Heights. The food portions are smaller making it great for sharing if you order multiple items. The flat breads are amazing but a must have is their banana bread pudding (I would never have ordered it myself but it was ordered for the table and it was outstanding!!!). The husband and wife team are delightfully kind people who truly care about your dining experience. If you have not tried Cueva Bar I recommend you put it on your list.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Neighborhood Gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 6/1/2013
    Great tapas - we go just for the Candied bacon wrapped jalapenos. Yum.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • The food was great and the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 5/17/2013
    The food was great and the service was friendly. Really a cute place. It's really small so make a reservation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great local tapas bar.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 5/11/2013
    My wife and I had a great experience here last week on a spur of the moment decision. The staff was wonderful and all the dishes were delicious.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Local Ambience
    RedE2Eat
    Dined on 5/10/2013
    Walking into the Cuevas Bar on Friday night was a real gem of an evening for me and my sweetheart. Upon enterening the restaurant, we were immediately greeted by the chef and seated. Shortly thereafter, water was at our table and the hostess, the chef's wife joined us making small talk and informing us about the tasty delights on the menu. My wife and I were given samples of the beers they had on tap and were served quickly. Our plates were cleaned off immediately following our consumption of the delicious and vegan friendly tapas. We felt like we were a part of the community and even chatted with the couple sitting at the next table. I highly recommend Cuevas Bar if you're looking for a relaxing, comfortable, and cozy atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Oz was a great host. He really
    Theresa
    Dined on 4/8/2013
    Oz was a great host. He really takes pride in his wine selection and menu.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fantastic service paired with
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/23/2013
    Fantastic service paired with a unique, delicious menu. Portions are small, in the tapas style, but inexpensive allowing for a wide array of delicious plates. Each item was perfect for sharing between two people. The ambiance and portion sizes made for a great date night.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Awesome Place!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/2/2013
    Cueva Bar is a little hidden gem. We thoroughly enjoyed the everything from the bottle of wine, the food and the owner was very personalble.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • This is a great neighborhood
    DoreenVIP
    Dined on 1/29/2013
    This is a great neighborhood restaurant! The restaurant is owned by a couple . . . the husband is the chef and the wife is the hostess, bartender and waitress all rolled up into one. Our welcome was very warm as is the atmosphere of this restaurant. Our service was excellent and we never lacked for anything! The food was terrific and definitely will be back in the future! If you are looking for a great hidden gem then you should check out Cueva Bar!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful experience. The
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 1/25/2013
    Wonderful experience. The owners, Joanna and Oswaldo, really make the place seem like a home.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • This was my second visit to
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 1/24/2013
    This was my second visit to Cueva. I met friends and we shared some tapas & wine. The owner, Oz, came out and talked with us. Great place to meet friends or for a romantic dinner. The food is delish!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The night started off slow.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 1/18/2013
    The night started off slow. I had made a reservation so when the first two in our group arrived we were promptly seated. However, the place was tiny and packed. The other members in our group were a bit late so we were frequently approached by the staff to give up the other two seats. Our first item we ordered were the Dragon Olives. It took forever for them to arrive. When they did they were delicious. Also, my water glass remained empty for most of the night. Once the remaining party arrived though our table was promptly waited on. The food was good. Though I've got to say the olives were the most tasty. Overall a nice place but be prepared to feel like a sardine.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent food and service
    MarkBVIP
    Dined on 12/19/2012
    We love Cueva Bar. The food is amazing and it is only outdone by the warm and friendly service of the owners who take care of you like you were good friends or family. This is one of our favorites.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate