Fresco Trattoria & Bar
Fresco Trattoria & Bar

Fresco Trattoria & Bar

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.frescorestaurants.com/
  • Phone: 7607203737
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Sunday: 11:30am - 2:30pm; Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 4:30pm - 9:30pm, Friday - Saturday: 4:30pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 2:30pm - 9:30pm Saturday and Sunday open all day
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Steak, Seafood, Italian
  • Executive Chef: Leone D'Arcangelo
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Fireplace, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Smoking Area (patio only), Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Might we, at Fresco, suggest that you plan your next home or office party with Fresco chef/owner Leone D'Archangelo. Pick a date, invite your guests, and let Leone and his staff do the rest. They will provide the Italian menu of your choice.
  • Private Party Facilities: Consider Fresco for your next private event. Chef/Owner Leone would be happy to help you plan your party. The restaurant can accommodate your guests, from the smallest of family birthdays, to your next corporate holiday party. If you wish, the open-air patio can be reserved and your guests will experience the pleasure of alfresco dining as if they were in Italy. Call Leone and his staff today for reservations.
  • Private Party Contact: Leone 7607203737

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Carlsbad Blvd.
  • Parking: Private Lot
A word from Fresco Trattoria & Bar
Enjoy wonderfully authentic food and ambiance in the main dining room, casual bar, or the warm inviting patio. Leone D’Arcangelo and his family look forward to welcoming you to the restaurant. Fresco is one block from the sparkling blue Pacific and very similar to the village of Sperlonga where Leone was born. The romance of Italy is here in beautiful downtown Carlsbad. Visit Leone and his staff for lunch, dinner or perhaps a drink after work.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
Fresco Trattoria & Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
26 reviews since July 2, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.5
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
87% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
romantic (14)great for outdoor dining (13)special occasion (13)neighborhood gem (11)good for groups (9)notable wine list (9)fit for foodies (7)late-night find (3)kid-friendly (2)great for lunch (2)Show More
  • Best dinner I've ever had.
    Redbootz
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    We went here right after my husband and I got married. My parents and his were with us. Paris, our waiter was phenomenal. My parents aren't the easiest to please, but he did an amazing job. It was our first time here and we were made to feel like regulars. They attention to detail was incredible. My drink was never low, the refills kept coming. The food was incredible. The tilapia was the special that night and it was perfect. Served on a bed of spinach and mushrooms with a lemon drizzle. It melted in my mouth. My husband got a dish with mussel, clan, calamari, he said it was to die for. I'm not as adventurous as he, so I didn't try it. The crème brulé was incredibly delicious as well. Would recommend this place to everyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quality of my order of clams
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/23/2014
    I ordered the manila clams and they were very tough. They were probably over cooked. The waiter agreed and took them off my bill. The rest of my party enjoyed their meal. This was my second visit to your restaurant and the first experience was very enjoyable.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • That's Italian!!
    LOVE2EAT
    Dined on 9/25/2014
    We were on vacation and driving around Carlsbad looking for a place to have dinner and we drove by Fresco Trattoria & Bar. From the outside it looked like a nice establishment. Once we got inside we knew we made a good choice. The atmosphere was very Italian including the fresco on the wall. They have a great selection of food and it was very delicious. Defintely will return to Fresco Trattoria & Bar when we are in the area again.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Consistent excellence
    Eduardo
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Over the years we have always been pleased with every aspect of this dining establishment. Both the regular menu items and the special offerings are reliably excellent in quality and presentation. Always quiet to moderate ambiance, and they have their own car park, which is important for downtown Carlsbad.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Off the beaten path
    raysta
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    I was in Carlsbad enjoying a day off on a Sunday and decided to try this restaurant. I was the only customer for quite awhile but this dis not surprise me nor alarm me since it is down a side street and off the main Carlsbad traffic area. I had the pasta fagioli which was good but still needed a little more time cooking before being served. Great flavor but the beans had some crunch to them. I opted for penned a la vongole and it was very tasty. A good amount of clams, the penned was al dente and with just a small amount of crushed red pepper (which I added) this was a great plate of pasta. The portion was too big to finish. Since it was 95 degrees, I stayed away from trying a desert. Good job Fresco
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Love it
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    We ate here twice during our vacation. Good quality fresh food.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Like a trip to Italy
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    We've come here each time when visiting Carlsbad and this trip didn't disappoint. From Pizza to pasta and fish everything was well prepared and delicious.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • taylorfav
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    Excellent food and service. A wonderful place to celebrate a special occasion or for a date night.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fresco Carlsbad CA
    BobB
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    Delicious food, Great Service, beautiful decor, this restaurant has it all. Their pasta dishes with tomato sauces are the best ever because they use superior ingredients. The service is excellent. We were made to feel at home and treated like regulars who dined there often.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful meal
    bakster21
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    Very impressed with the overall menu and experience at Fresco Trattoria - I can't wait to return and try other menu items! Had the salmon this trip - was excellent!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent! Eat here!!!!!!
    Susan12
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Great food, great service! Reasonably priced. Great for a romantic night out or for the family. I do recommend sitting outside. Tends to get a little noisy inside. Susan Hair WomensChoiceAward.com
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place for dining with friends
    Foodie
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    We recently moved to the San Diego area and met some friends for dinner here and loved it. We sat outside and enjoyed the great atmosphere and pretty much closed the place down. The wait staff was terrific and let us linger over dinner and dessert without rushing us out -- even though it was a Friday evening and they were busy. We ordered the fish and lamb specials and they were delicious. The food and wine were perfectly paired. And the dessert was mouth watering -- homemade and oh so good. I will most definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner with friends
    valp
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Wonderful evening spent at Fresco. We had a corner table that was private for our party of four. good food and great atmosphere
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Great Italian vibe, servers are prompt and have great knowledge of food and wine, worth every penny!!! Will be returning
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing!
    Italianfoodie
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    We went to Fresco for our two year annivirsary and we had such a good time were already planning to go again. Our waiter was amazing, and very helpful with the menu. I had the goat cheese ravioli, calamari, and the creme bruele and everything was amazing. The portions arent so huge you feel like you need a nap after, so we really appreciated that. The place was very clean and a great atmosphere! We will for sure be coming back again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 11 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 2, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service3.8
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 231 reviews are from the Fresco Trattoria & Bar reviews archive.
  • 1st visit
    bakster21
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    Had an excellent overall 1st visit to Fresco Trattoria - we had a party of 7 plus a baby and had a great time. The food was amazing - portions were plentiful, and between all of us we sampled a large chunk of the menu. I sampled the salmon dish and was impressed with the flavor and overall presentation. I can't wait to return again and try something new!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good Italian food
    Arlene
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    I took my son and family to dinner at Fresco's for father's day, 2014. I've eaten there numerous times before because it's across the street from the Carlsbad Inn Beach Resort where I have a time share so it's very convenient. I must say the experience did not live up to my usual high expectations. My son really enjoyed his dish, the lamb shank, but my ravioli was mediocre. The tiramisu wasn't nearly as good as I'd remembered. That was one reason we always went to eat at Fresco's. Service wasn't up to par either. It was busy but always is so that shouldn't account for the change in service. My decaf was served tepid and we had to ask for service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Over priced
    chuckVIP
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    Average food. Average service. Overpriced likely due to location
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ride Up The Coast
    kvol
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    Husband and I were just going for a ride up the 101 with no specific plans as to where we would stop for dinner. So glad we decided to stop here. The food was good, our server was very nice and someone you didn't mind coming over to the table to check. Very reasonably priced as well. If it wasn't so far from our house I would say we would have to visit all the time!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Special Occasion
    Ljerry
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    We brought visiting family on Saturday night and loved the Halibut special, the ambience, the service, and the location.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fresco Trattoria & Bar
    Slvrbk
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    Have visited Fresco's several times now and have adopted it as our go-to Italian restaurant. Food has always been first rate with an attentive staff although it can get a little noisy with a spirited groups. Outdoor dining is available and a good choice before sunset. Especially grateful for the wait staff and their ability to cater to the young ones quickly.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • For shame!
    Mike
    Dined on 4/4/2014
    Excellent service when greeted and during dinner which changed poor or "non-existent" after we settled our bill with waiter, Paris, who then ended his shift. After that we were ignored. Three requests for water acknowledged verbally and visually with the remaining server after Paris went unheeded. It was not until I approached this waiter in the prep/kitchen area that water was served! Terrible. Perhaps it wasn't his station, but such a simple request should have been heeded that we might finish celebrating a birthday dinner. Beware the pricey "specials" too!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Anniversary dinner
    Hiszing
    Dined on 3/3/2014
    Everything was great with Fresco. Went here for our anniversary dinner. Made reservations for 4:30 got there right on time, doors didn't open until 4:40 (hence why I gave 4 stars) we were the only ones in the restaurant and took the waiter a bit to get to us. No biggie, they just opened. I think I only got kind of annoyed cause we were on a time crunch to make it to our next destination. The waiter was great, very knowledgable on menu. Wine list was great. Prices were medium upscale but still affordable. Food was delicious and came out hot. Will definetly return in future and enjoy it more when I'm not in a rush. ;)
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent cuisine !!!
    KMAC
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    The restaurant was full and lively and was nice to be a part of the festivities. The staff were quick and responsive and extremely friendly. The specials were all fantastic .... We had the jumbo stuffed pork chop and the filet mignon with mushroom ravioli! We split a salad and my 7 year old daughter( who was with us) had the penne with marinara which was perfect! Can't wait to return to a consistently extraordinary Carlsbad delight!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Enjoyed Fresco Again
    MaryVIP
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    We chose Fresco for our Valentine's Saturday. We've enjoyed this location, and the same in Bonsall, before. The food is consistent and good. I love the lobster ravioli. There are always interesting specials, although we didn't choose one this time. There was a large group in the back of the restaurant and they took all of the parking spaces. This would have been a good time for a temporary valet as we parked three blocks away. Also, because of the large group, we felt that there was insufficient wait staff in the rest of the restaurant. We have not felt this way before so we believe it was an anomaly. We will go again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Plentiful but not fabulous
    carolk
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    Fresco Trattoria came highly recommended to us. Our waitress was lovely but the restaurant was busy and sometimes service was slow. Four of us dined there. My husband had the pizza. The crust was less than wonderful. Tasted a little bit like something out of one of those Pillsbury pop up cans. My friends husband had the Lasagna. He loved it. My friend tasted the Lasagna and she said it was really good and she wished she had ordered it. My friend ordered the Rigatoni and I ordered the Linguine Bolognese. The sauce just wasn't good. I love Italian food and I am Italian and this sauce really wasn't good. My dish had little meatballs all over it and they tasted like the one's you buy at Costco in the frozen section.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • not bad, but nothing special
    Andy
    Dined on 2/15/2014
    I really expected much more based on the reviews. Food was decent but not memorable. Certainly not bad for the price. But it didn't distinguish itself. The good news: friendly, courteous staff; The families with kids were very relaxed and comfortable. The wine list is pretty good - not a bargain -but decent choices and some unusual Italian selections to explore. Downsides: There was a big party there that night and our service was extremely slow - we had to chase down our waitress a few times. Listening to the specials - there were differences between three waitresses - ours never mentioned a fish special, another describe a different sauce. We had to ask for used plates and saucers to be removed - little things.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best dinner of my life
    Fun4all
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Let me start by saying I took my fiancé here for dinner for valentines day and the place was hopping busy which is to be expected on a holiday, The wait staff were running all over the place but at the same time they were attentive to each and every table they were making a very great effort to at least stop by each table and smile and make sure things were good and assure that the food was on its way, We are newbies to the wine world and had no clue what to order well our waitress grabbed the bar tender whom also is a wine expert for certain he picked the perfect wine for our dinner, The food was and is absolutely amazing it was so hard to choose what to eat so we ordered 2 dishes apiece agreed that it was the best dinner of our lives.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • good time
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    I have taken my wife for Valentines twice to this restaurant and it has been a good experience. Good food and nice ambiance.
    Special Features:
    late-night find, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Delicious food, and attentive
    RSCohen
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Delicious food, and attentive service. A wonderful find for both a Valentine's & Birthday dinner so far from home. We'll be going back next time we get down to the Carlsbad area.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful Resturant
    dine2enjoy
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    My husband and I love this place. The atmosphere is quaint, the service is outstanding and the food can't be beat. We've been there several times and have never been disappointed. We've also recommended it numerous times, everyone we have sent here has raved about it. The seafood pasta is amazing!
    Special Features:
    romantic, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Valentine's Day Success
    Sucker4specials
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    My wife and I had Valentine's Day dinner at Fresco and the experience lived up to expectations. Great ambiance, wonderful wine selection, and delicious meals... Not to mention it's a stone's throw from the beach in case you are interested in an after dinner stroll! Come prepared to sit close to fellow diners and do a little cross table socializing if you go on a busy night... It's an Italian restaurant after all!
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Valentine's day dinner
    Valetinesapproved
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    I decided on this place based on diner reviews, never ever really hearing of the place before. Needless to say I was very pleased. The service from the hostess to our server was great. Very friendly despite being very busy because of Valentine's day. My wife and I were seated imediately, our food was served promptly by our very Italian server. I had a prosciutto stuffed pork chop which was amazing. We were very happy with our experience.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice for a date
    Colmcille
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    This was our first visit to Fresco. Because it was St. Valentine's Day it was pretty busy and a little crowded. The service was outstanding. The ambiance is very romantic and inviting. The wine list is extensive. The wines I was familiar with were a little pricey in comparison to other restaurants. The food was good but nothing extraordinary. This could have also been because of the holiday rush. I might return in the future on a not so busy evening.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • V-day Catastrophe
    Sherpa
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We had a 7pm reservation on valentines night, that turned into us walking out of the restaurant. We put our drink and appetizer order in some time around 7:10 and did not receive either for 30 minutes. We put our entrée order in at 7:30 and had to ask about our drinks and appetizer order. With no entrée in sight it was now 8:30, so I asked our server and she said it would be out shortly, I am not sure if she realized it had been about an hour and fifteen minutes. I asked to speak to the manager he promptly came over and we asked for the check, he insisted that we stay. Manager was reluctant to let us go. thought we were going to have to stand up and leave, after almost causing a scene the check came and we choose In-n-out driver through.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • First Timer
    Thunderhawk
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    Although we've lived in Carlsbad for many years, and have eaten at many of the downtown restaurants, we had never eaten at Fresco Trattoria. We went there for a casual Valentine's Day dinner and had their Halibut special. It was excellent.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dinner for Valentine's
    Maggie
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We have eaten at the restaurant several times and the food and service is always good. The only issue we have with this visit to the restaurant is that because it was Valentines Day they crammed extra tables in the restaurant to try and accommodate everyone. With that it made it very tight and loud. Otherwise everything was good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food.
    DC13
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    We had a party of 7. Everyone was served at once and all the good was cooked to perfection.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fresco's/Carlsbad
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/9/2014
    All lunches we had(4) were very good-including fish dishes, eggplant parmesan, pear and gorgonzola salad etc. Service was fast but waiter was not intrusive. We had a very quiet and relaxing lunch on a Sunday and there was lots of empty tables. Prices were moderate for that area too!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Awesome experience!
    doc4teeth
    Dined on 2/6/2014
    I was a little skeptical initially but after the announcement of the specials...forget the menu! OMG was this a fabulous dinner. Had an awesome server and nice dinner. I would highly recommend this quaint find.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.