Bencotto Italian Kitchen
Bencotto Italian Kitchen

Bencotto Italian Kitchen

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.lovebencotto.com/
  • Phone: 6194504786x
  • 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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Bencotto Italian Kitchen reviews from OpenTable diners
137 reviews since May 20, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4.3
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
88% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (77)neighborhood gem (71)special occasion (47)romantic (35)hot spot (32)notable wine list (24)great for outdoor dining (23)good for groups (17)great for lunch (17)late-night find (10)vibrant bar scene (10)great for brunch (5)scenic view (4)kid-friendly (3)Show More
  • Salty and Strange
    Suz13
    Dined on 7/1/2014
    This place lacks ambiance and the food was over-salted and lacked flavor. Our waitress replaced the words, "You're welcome. " with "Yah." and although she was pleasant, seemed disinterested overall. Being from out of town, I don't know what the building's previous use was, but little was spent on the remodel. White walls and plastic furniture and a very strange chopped up interior. They tout homemade pasta but unfortunately the four different dishes we ordered were so salty the pasta didn't matter. I would scratch this place off your list despite the rrviews.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great dinner with friends
    Vettie
    Dined on 6/30/2014
    The food was really good. Our table ordered the calamari, lobster sauce ravioli, lasagna, and a beef dish. It was all very good. The atmospher is nice and the staff is excellent. I haven't tried enough of the other restaurants in the neighborhood to say it's better but I would go again. They did personally call me the next day to ask me if I enjoyed my dinner, that was nice of them to add a personal touch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Candy
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Great food! One plate of pasta is enough to share. Order many items and share them. You won't be dissapointed. We come here every time we are in San Diego!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good homemade pasta
    Liche
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    Pasta lovers will love the menu options. Great wine list and good desserts. The place is small and is typically busy.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Handmade Pasta - Amazing!
    DiscerningDiner
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    Bencotto Italian Kitchen was highly rated and centrally located in San Diego's Little Italy. The handmade pasta was amazing! $6 to add 1/4 cup of spinach to a dish was a bit steep, but the food was wonderful. Would definitely go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, service and location
    Texasag
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    Truly great restaurant!!! Food was amazing and service was top notch. Definitely a place to plan in your vacation. If you're local, lucky you!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great pasta, lousy cioppino
    Dining4luv
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    I love seafood, so I ordered cioppino. The tomato base had a good flavor, albeit not a hint of seafood. Although the cioppino had a generous amount of fish and shrimp, it was all overcooked. The frozen cioppino at Trader Joe's is better. My date had the tagliatelle bolognese. She thought it was fabulous. We ordered the stuffed squash blossoms from the specials menu, but they were out of them - even though we were there before 6 PM. So, we tried the stuffed, fried olives, which were good.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Sorely disappointed
    Whirledtraveller
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    We'd heard good things about this restaurant but were sorely disappointed. The restaurant was packed and the noise level made conversation difficult. We started with the truffle soufflé which was dense instead of moist. My husband had the lamb shank which while flavorful was dry and the edges overcooked. I had the squid ink pasta with pink sauce which was very average. The shrimp were flavorless and the sauce bland like a can of tomato sauce with a bit of cream in it. When we got the bill there was a comment from another guest on one of the included coupons that said "osso buco was tough. Needs more braising to be authentic." We just looked at each other and laughed.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A Favorite
    DaddyHockey
    Dined on 6/16/2014
    Excellent food. A favorite spot for Italian. We have never had a bad meal and last night was no exception. I entertained an out of town business colleague and Bencotto was definitley a hit. Exellent Manhattan. Excellent gnocchi. Attentive service. I can't wait for my next visit.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great pasta!
    foodie4life
    Dined on 6/15/2014
    I've been to Bencotto a few times, but had forgotten how good their pasta is. I will definitely be returning and would recommend to anyone that is looking for a romantic date spot.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loved it!
    love2eatVIP
    Dined on 6/8/2014
    Bencotto was a wonderful experience from the hostess and server to our delicious meal. We tried the fried risotto as well as their lobster/crab ravioli and lamb ragu specials. Everything was timely and quite tasty. The best part of the night was dessert - I seriously think their tiramisu was the best I've ever had. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/6/2014
    We had an early reservation at 5:00. They let us enjoy a glass of wine before ordering apps only. We were able to have the apps and a second glass of wine before ordering dinner without the feeling of being rushed out. I really appreciated this. All of the food was good. Great wine selection. Patient staff. Wonderful dining experience.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasty food well prepared
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 6/5/2014
    Authentic Italian food, and varied menu complimented by a nice beverage selection. Excellent presentation and attentive, friendly service. Not cheap, but a good bet nonetheless.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Didn't disappoint!
    Millegrazie
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    The food was wonderful (squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta were amazing) and service outstanding. Will be back soon!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A wonderful taste of Italian
    Delightful
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    Don't pass this gem up! You will have a wonderful dining experience. Great customer service, delicious food, and elegant environment. Enjoy!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 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
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 78 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 20, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.5
    • Food4.6
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 221 reviews are from the Bencotto Italian Kitchen reviews archive.
  • 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.