CUCINA urbana
CUCINA urbana

CUCINA urbana

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.cucinaurbana.com/home
  • Phone: 6192392222x
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner:
    SUNDAY | 4:30p - 9p
    MONDAY| 5p - 9p
    TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY | 5p – 10p
    FRIDAY + SATURDAY | 5p – 10:30p dinner | 10:30p – 12a pizza + vasi

    Lunch:
    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.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 5th Avenue
  • Parking: Valet
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.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNotable Wine List
  • Diners' Choice WinnerItalian
CUCINA urbana reviews from OpenTable diners
369 reviews since May 22, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.6
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelEnergetic
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (256)hot spot (194)neighborhood gem (193)special occasion (184)notable wine list (179)vibrant bar scene (117)good for groups (114)romantic (99)great for lunch (59)late-night find (32)kid-friendly (18)great for brunch (12)scenic view (4)great for outdoor dining (3)Show More
  • Pleased Palate
    MattMtHelixVIP
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    A really imaginative menu but nothing so crazy you'd hesitate to order. Very fresh foods, local produce for a great salad. The best octopus I've ever had and good service. The prices aren't bad, either. My wife and I attempt to try out a new spot at least once a week; some we won't go back to in the near future. Cucina Urbana will see us again, soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hipster Foodie Adventures
    Jschexxy
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    This little gem lives up to it's hipster ambiance. Not only was the food tasty it was also expensive but you honestly get what you pay for!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very Enjoyable Evening
    dave
    Dined on 7/14/2014
    Excellent service, very good food, and well worth the cost.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Can't wait to go back!!
    tinamija
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    The menu is incredible! SO much selection...I get excited just thinking about it! Took my husband for his bday, as it was our first time there. We tried some of the more popular items, and we were very pleased. He loved it so much...we're going back for his bday celebration with his entire family. We'll be there tonight!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • 4 times excellent
    NathanHale
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Very strong in the food category. Our guests commented that the parpardelle were one of the best dishes they had ever eaten and they were foodies who eat all around the world. Loud and difficult for conversation but the food is worth the sacrifice...You can always talk later!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • An off night?
    BuzzwordVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Cucina has been one of my favorite restaurants since it's opening; however it has been a few months since my last visit. I was, therefore, truly disappointed on Saturday when everything seemed "off." The food was less-than-memorable...with one of our four entrees being inedible (a total surprise since it was one of our favorites.) The waitstaff were efficient, but blasé. And the usual animated vibe was nowhere to be found. I'm hoping that our experience was an anomaly rather than an unexpected evolution.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful
    Kallen
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Cannot say a bad thing. It was delicious! We all had a wonderful time. The service was great. Make reservations far in advance of not you will be eating late.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Underwhelmed
    Homesara
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    We found the food bland and just average. I had the arugula salad which was overdressed and a half portion of risotto which was rich but bland. My daughter had the roasted chicken with fava beans. She's an enthusiastic health food lover but didn't eat the dish, because she didn't care for the seasonings. I ate some of it and found it mediocre. My husband ordered the shrimp puttenesca pasta and said it was uninspiring. I had heard this was a great restaurant and really wanted it to work, but we will not return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great place before the Globe
    Diana
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    We had 6 pm reservations and coming from N county were 25 minutes late because of bad traffic. I called and were told they usually hold the table 20 minutes but accommodated us and held the table longer, which I appreciated. The waitstaff was friendly, efficient and got us out in an hour so we could make the play in time. Good food, good wine. Overall a great experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Innovative Menu, Great Service
    JETDiningVIP
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    I found the menu to be just about perfect. Innovative, a good range of choices in all categories (starters, mains, desserts, etc.) but there was a coherence to it all that kept everything tied together. I tried the Polenta with braised pork ragu (a signature dish); it was a tad salty but wonderful nonetheless and the presentation was fun and appropriate. The grilled pork chop was also a wee bit salty but otherwise perfectly cooked and beautifully presented. The nutella-stuffed chocolate truffle desert was out of this world good. The service was perfect and we appreciated a drop by from the owner. The ambience was decidedly upbeat but not out of control. People were definitely enjoying themselves and there was a lot to enjoy!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent all around!
    DiningDiVIP
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    Loved this restaurant from the location to ambiance to the wine "store" to the food and service! Our best dining experience of our trip to San Diego!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    Very much enjoyed this dining experience. Low point was the noise level
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • always amazing!
    lindsay
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    the servers and bartenders are really helpful and know what to order! This is one of those places you can order anything and it'll all be amazing and fresh.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • One of the best in San Diego
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    One of the SD favorites! Simply great food, service, wine. Check out Sun night no corkage fee....
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Tasty and Fun Place
    Leslina
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    We enjoyed our evening at Cucina urbana. We started out at the bar while we waited for our table and were entertained by the skilled and entertaining bartenders (Good show, guys) and enjoyed a cocktail and a pleasant Sangiovese for Happy Hour. We moved to a table when it was ready and appreciated our waiter's recommendations. Some of the food was not to my taste but I thought charred Brussels Sprouts were fantastic. The Gorgonzola Walnut Mousse, Poached Pear pizza was too sugary for me, though it was overall tasty, just sweeter than I was expecting and not my favorite crust. The whole fish was very nicely prepared and very fresh and the couscous was a saffron lover's dream. The service was good, the table comfortable.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always Awesome!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    One of our SoCal favorites... Food is always great, service is awesome. We did have some hiccups when we first arrived (we were brought to a table at the same time as another group- after they'd refused their original table... they sat, we had to wait), but once we got to our table, everything was great. Try the polenta boards!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • awesome
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    This place never fails to deliver. Every visit seems to top the last one.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always delivers
    ChefAnna
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    I have been here a number of times and I am never disappointed. The service is always excellent, from the host desk to the servers to the bussers and food runners. The food is outstanding. On this visit, amongst other things, we shared the veal sweetbreads and the stuffed squash blossoms. Fantastic!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect for antes de Old Globe
    paloverde
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    My family group of 5 ate a Cucina Urbana at 5:45 before strolling over the Old Globe to see Othello. Food was delicious. We tried a number of dishes. Started with the squash blossoms and mini mason jar of cherry tomatoes. Both were unique and yummy. Favorite dinner entre of our group was the Agnolotti. Tender pasta with great flavor. Finished by sharing the Zappole Nutella filled donuts and Strawberry Tart. A great finish to a great meal. Our waiter and busboys were very attentive and the service was extremely prompt. The walk over to the Old Globe is about a half a mile and is very pleasant way to enter the theater complex.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful
    Greatplace2eat
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    We have taken our friends there several times and everything is great we like to try different items on the menu and have nevver been disappointed. Great wine list and the cheese and meat sampler is wonderful.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I will be back
    SDWineGoddess
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    Brought a client, his wife and daughter to Cucina Urbana after hearing rave reviews about this restaurant from friends. We had a stellar experience. We were given a table away from the fray so we could converse easily. Our server knew the menu well and was attentive without being obtrusive. The martinis were perfectly prepared and I appreciated that the corkage fee was only $20 as I had brought three bottles of wine. The food was fantastic; we all shared and every dish was perfectly prepared. I plan to return in a few weeks with another client.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • JdavisVIP
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    awesome, great food, great service one of our favs
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Must go in San Diego
    LikestoeatVIP
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    While in San Diego I have to dine at Cucina. Food is delicious, service is friendly and knowledgeable. A casual yet elegant ambience makes this a "must go" while in town visiting family. My sibling and I discovered this place when it first opened and they are regulars. I would be too if I lived here!!! Yum!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent
    RTR14
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Absolutely amazing. So glad we went here! The food was great and reasonably priced.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great place
    CValVIP
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    When we got there it seems The music was too loud, but as we got used to it everything was fine
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another great evening at CU
    WestCoastFoodieVIP
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    I visit Cucina Urbana pretty often. The food and the service are consistently great. Whether I have a server who I know or someone new, my party is always well cared for. This visit was to celebrate a birthday, and the server's thoughtfulness made the occasion extra special. The food, a a always, was perfectly prepared. Chopped salad was delicious. Peppers stuffed with ricotta, the market veggie, was amazing. Pork chop, burger, and a simple margarita pizza were all wonderful. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • They have changed the menu a bit
    Woodruff
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    I think they have improved the menu. It was good before but it is even better now. Our service this last visit was excellent as it is most nights. It is a happening place. It is not a quiet hideaway so be prepared for a bit of noise.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great
    eats
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    loved eating at Cucina, will be returning soon. Food was outstanding, ambiance modern and rustic. You must have the truffle fries and the arugula salad along with whatever entree you choose!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Service
    mlhunt4nufood
    Dined on 6/23/2014
    Very nice place, valet parking (always a plus), greeted well and seated quickly. All staff were friendly and attentive, but not overbearing. We started with the liver pate & the mussels for app's, then had the beet salad, spicy shrimp and pear pizza, all very tasty. For dessert we shared the Nutella/crème fraiche and cappuccinos...the staff were always around, but not pushy, they kept us well hydrated and answered every question with ease. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Noisy but good
    marebearVIP
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    The menu selections were mouthwatering, very nice presentation, delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good dining near Balboa Park
    missingLAdining
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    Very convenient pre-theater dining. Shuttle to Balboa Park. Modern, casual ambience with excellent service both times we've been there. Love the suckling pig appetizer. Portions generous, lite eaters can split an entree. We've enjoyed the sea bass, lasagna, and short rib papardelle (very rich). Look forward to returning.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • better than expected
    ErickV
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    I have to say i was skeptical about all the above average reviews, but Urbana. Innovative recipes and great integration of ingredients to old dishes make for a good surprise. This is not a classic steakhouse, so do not expect THAT kind of menu here. If you are into new tastes and something totally different than what you are used too, than try this place. It did not disappoint me or my wife. The prices match the menu and a great surprise that I did not expect nor have I seen in any other restaurant recently is that THERE IS NO MARK UP ON THE WINE! You pay for retail price of the bottle and uncorking. I will be back as soon as I get an opportunity, maybe for brunch or lunch just to try a different menu. Thanks for night out CU!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, late-night find, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Fun place
    fooderizVIP
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Good food-a bit busy...a fun place to bring a date.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Amazing!
    ChapelHillDoc
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    I loved the ambience of this place -- the rustic decor gave the interior a very relaxed feel. The food was a nice experiment in exotic combinations of savory and sweet. Our waiter, Kevin, was very attentive, polite and particularly helpful when it came to choosing from the menu and wine list. The Sangiovese was very smooth. The creamy polenta with mascarpone was amazing, and the ragu was a perfect accompaniment -- bold, bursting with flavor and rich-tasting. My tastebuds were truly delighted. If one were to chose anything off the menu, I doubt that you could miss.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • out of town friends loved it
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    Brought a couple from Illinois to Cucina Urbana on Sat night. Ordered a variety of food items, wine, desserts. Wonderful all the way around!!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Our waiter made our night
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Our server was amazing. He was friendly and watchful, and really knew how to please.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    Great food at this place that doesn't look this amaxing from the outside.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful lunch of italian fusion
    RebeccaSD
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    I had my first visit here with my mother and husband. The gorgonzola vase with wine poached pears was wonderful. We followed it with the fried squash blossoms, arugula caprese salad, and entrees of the short rib pappardelle, carbonara, and funghi pizza with added fennel sausage. All of the dishes were wonderful! The service was friendly and prompt! Will return again for dinner soon.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fantastic dinner and service
    dangleangles
    Dined on 6/16/2014
    Outstanding food, service and wine list. The Vasi-gorgonzola walnut mousse & poached pair, arugula & heirloom tomato salad and entrees of lasagna al forno and green garlic tagliatelle carbonara were nicely seasoned. Chocolate espresso budino dessert is decadent. The décor is lovely, even in the clean restrooms. Valet service makes parking a non-issue. Nice surprise to find wines at different price points that are not usually on wine lists but I know are good and have in my private collection. Our server always arrived when we needed him. The staff were great at clearing our dishes promptly, keeping our water/wine glasses filled. They let us linger after the dinner so we could visit and I never felt as though we were being pushed out.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 6/16/2014
    Fabulous food and service. Must try the stuffed squash blossoms. Pastas are wonderful. Chicken was also yummy.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic