Salvatore's Cucina Italiana
Salvatore's Cucina Italiana

Salvatore's Cucina Italiana

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://salvatoresdowntown.com/index.html
  • Phone: 6195441865x
  • Hours of Operation:


    Dinner: Sun-Thurs 5:00pm-9:00pm
    Dinner: Fri-Sat 5:00pm-10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Raffaella Morelli
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Full Bar, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Entertainment: Jazz harpist Vicki McMaster performs on Saturday nights. Enchanting her play, is the harp, once belonging to Harpo Marx. He used the harp on his famous cameo appearance on the "I Love Lucy' show in the 1950's.
  • Special Events: We are now offering Happy Hour, Monday-Friday, 5-7PM!

Getting there

  • Cross Street: G St.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: On-site underground parking, free with validation.
A word from Salvatore's Cucina Italiana
Raffaella Morelli, born, raised and educated in Rome, Italy, has been Salvatore’s heart and soul, since its opening in late 1987. Passionate about her country of origin’s cuisine, she has painstakingly trained a staff, with whom together, she has made Salvatore’s one of the best dining spots in the City.

Deceivingly simple, Raffaella’s dishes, using the finest and freshest of ingredients, find a delicate balance, only achievable through her many years of loving labor in the kitchen, saying, “Each dish is much more than a combination of flavors. It is a reflection of Italy’s history, culture, and inherited memories.” Consequently, one experiences flavors, aromas and subtle textures, rarely found even in the best restaurants of Italy.

With a philosophy of “hospitality over pretention,” every guest is treated as if she or he were a loved family member at each and every step of their dining experience.

Benvenuto & Boun Appetito!
Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Salvatore's Cucina Italiana reviews from OpenTable diners
46 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.7
    Service4.7
  • Ambiance4.6
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (35)romantic (34)neighborhood gem (24)fit for foodies (18)notable wine list (15)late-night find (4)good for groups (3)great for lunch (1)scenic view (1)vibrant bar scene (1)Show More
  • A wonderful dining experience.
    Barrett
    Dined on 7/31/2013
    Exceptional cuisine. White table cloth environment yet relaxed. We make a point of going there every time we visit SanDiego from Connecticut which is often
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service, very nice
    NathanVIP
    Dined on 7/25/2013
    A very elegant and friendly restaurant. Owner David very involved in making guests feel welcome and insuring great service. Very nice music as well. This is a great restaurant for a private dinner. Highly recommended.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very classy place with good food!
    spartans197
    Dined on 7/19/2013
    We had a very good experience from the time we got here. David greeted us at the door and sat us. And our waiter was really good. He answered all our questions and gave us his recommendations when we asked. Very appreciated.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good appetizers
    Reb1VIP
    Dined on 7/15/2013
    But the entrees were just ok. If I go to an "authentic" Italian restaurant, I expect the pasta to be homemade. It was not. People I dined with really enjoyed this place but I thought it was just average.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Unfortunately it was a most
    EatingOutVIP
    Dined on 7/10/2013
    Unfortunately it was a most unsatisfactory experience. We had appetizers and soup and then waited 40 minutes, without a word from our server, for our entrees. We left, paying for what we had up to that point. We had a miserable time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Review
    Newcustomer
    Dined on 7/10/2013
    My wife ate at your restaurant last year. She states that it was outstanding, and she was right. The food and service were great. I would recommend this restaurant to everyone and would definately eat here again whenever i return to san diego.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Her birthday was unforgettable.
    Ritchie
    Dined on 7/6/2013
    Thanks to the staff at Salvatores's (from Manage to waiter), our night was superb, well done. From the waiters choice of wine wich was a delicious mascotto, to the pasta and the sounds of the harp in the background. Everything was a beautiful complement to being greeted by name when we walked in to include the request of my girls favorite flower displayed upon our table before we arrived. I am not wealthy by any means, I am enlisted Navy and when the check came, I was pleased for the experience and night we had was priceless. Well worth it and we were able to park in a garage for free. We finished our night by walking one block over to the Mad House. Unforgettable. Thanks again Salvatore's! See you on our anniversary!
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Expensive and not that special.
    Singha79
    Dined on 6/15/2013
    Expensive and not that special. Waited over an hour for our entries which were ok. I won't be back
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Impeccable dining experience
    SpeshVIP
    Dined on 6/14/2013
    This dining experience was flawless from the moment it began. We were greeted like family as soon as we walked through the door, and were personally guided to the table of our choice. Wonderful ambiance in a very tranquil and romantic setting, including live piano. The food had very unique flavors and is definitely authentic. The lasagna was amazing and the creme brûlée was beyond decadent. Was very impressed by the servers knowledge of the menu and the overall dining experience. Highly recommend and will certainly return to try other menu items.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delightful classic Italian
    JTx2VIP
    Dined on 6/14/2013
    Everything about Salvatore's made a delightful evening. The greeting was warm and the service attentive and professional. The food is the highlight particularly the fresh produce and homemade pasta. Enjoyed it all and will return!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Find!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/1/2013
    While in town for the Rock n Roll marathon, we did a quick internet search for an Italian restaurant in very close walking proximity to the Manchester Grand Hyatt (did not want to walk too far the night before a 26.2 mile run!). Salvatore's came up with wonderful Yelp reviews, so we immediately made a reservation. We were blown away by the service and food! We can't wait to come back again!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Treated us right
    Jpag
    Dined on 5/25/2013
    We went for our anniversary on a trip to San Diego and David the manager met us at the door and greeted us with two glasses of Champaign. The food was out of this world and the service was world class. We were spoiled there with service and a great meal. If you are thinking of going, do so, it is worth it. Thank you Salvatore's!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Absolutely Loved This Restaurant
    DrEstrellaVIP
    Dined on 5/18/2013
    I knew we were going to have a great experience when David, the manager, called and left a message detailing how to get to the restaurant. I called him back to confirm. What a great guy. The perfect person for the front of the house. We arrived. The place is beautiful. Our waiter was very friendly and helpful. We enjoyed a great bottle of wine at a reasonable price. This place is old school great Italian food. Go! We met the chef, Raphaella. What a gem! She sat with us and we talked for 15 minutes. She cooks her family recipes. This food is cooked by real Italians!...this is the real authentic deal. GO!...HURRY!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • nice restaurant
    eater
    Dined on 5/18/2013
    This was a nice place to eat. Since it was our first time there we got a complementary glass of white wine which was really good. The food was really good too. There was a lady playing the harp which made the whole experience wonderful, i love the harp. I would recommend.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food and excellent service
    ConanJim
    Dined on 5/11/2013
    I had the best caesar salad I've had in a while, the pasta dishes we had were simple yet excellent, and the wine was great (the Federalist Dueling Pistols -- I highly recommend it!)
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Comlimentary Proseco.Very
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 5/4/2013
    Comlimentary Proseco.Very enjoyable meal. Harpist was a nice added touch.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent Experience
    ErichSVIP
    Dined on 5/1/2013
    This is a gem. We were seated at a great table. The wine list was very good to excellent. The menu is exceptional and they were more than willing to go "off menu" to suit my particular tastes. The plates were hot, the portions excellent and the presentation was spot on. The white Christmas lights that at first bugged me--i grew to like by the end of the meal. The chef and manager both came over to greet--in a friendly, non-intrusive way. This place is excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • perfect romantic spot
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/20/2013
    Excellent service, just let them know if you are celebrating anything when you make the reservation and they will accommodate you!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • excellent find - A+
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 4/18/2013
    Found this on Yelp. Convenient parking garage under the building - free with validation. Spectacular service, delicious food, small but great wine list. Our waiter was attentive, knowledgeable and pleasant. We had a live jazz pianist providing a great atmosphere. It was very quiet when we started dinner, and got only a bit louder as more guests arrived.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pricey but the food is excellent.
    paulsupras
    Dined on 4/8/2013
    Pricey but the food is excellent. Background music could be worked on to improve the atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Classic Italian
    PatM
    Dined on 4/6/2013
    The food in this restaurant is superb. In fact, it is the best Italian food I have had outside of Italy! Rafaella, the chef owner is simple and focused on flavor. The dining room is done in quiet cream colors and the service is excellent as well. Nothing like having a chef owner. I can't wait to return to San Diego and dine here again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing local Italian eatery
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 4/5/2013
    Amazing local Italian eatery in downtown. They were so helpful that they allowed us to have custom orders! I will definitely go again if I ever find myself in San Diego. Awesome service and fantastic food!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Salvatore's is a fabulous
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/21/2013
    Salvatore's is a fabulous place to have a very nice dinner and dining experience. For the past 10 years we've celebrated Our wedding anniversary here and the food continues to amaze our taste buds!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Has Been
    Missmt
    Dined on 3/19/2013
    Big disappointment. Salvatore's was probably something special twenty years ago but it is sadly lacking now. The food was nothing special and the service just ok. We were greeted by the owner who then went to get our glasses of prosecco which never materialized. Instead he sat at the bar the rest of the evening. I feel like they're just going through the motions. There are several other good Italian restaurants in the area and I would definitely choose one of them instead. If you want a true dining experience go to Bice.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful dining experience.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 3/19/2013
    Wonderful dining experience. Get food quality and service. Wish we found it earlier
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Best of everything!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 3/9/2013
    My husband and I found Salvatore's on Yelp. It came highly rated and we echo the positive sentiments! Excellent service, delicious food, and very romantic ambiance. We will definitely come back the next time we are in San Diego.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • My wife said her lasagna was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 3/2/2013
    My wife said her lasagna was excellent and my mussels were close to excellent. My osso bucco was good to very good but not the best I ever had. There was a harpist playing that night and it was a very nice addition to our night but we were right behind her so I found it I bit too loud (it was amplified through speakers). I would definitely go again. My waiter was superb but not overbearing. I would like to get back to try the lamb.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Restaurant was not crowded,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 2/21/2013
    Restaurant was not crowded, but waitstaff seemed to be somewhat more concerned with large party. Pasta with crab was very good in appetizer portion. Halibut was well done, but could have had more sauce. Nice overall experience, but nothing to suggest it is in 5-star category.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We would recommend this restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/21/2013
    We would recommend this restaurant to everybody who enjoys best Italian food and friendly service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Would definitely go again.
    rcp2VIP
    Dined on 2/21/2013
    Would definitely go again. We had a large group and everything was top notch
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This place had the most polite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 2/14/2013
    This place had the most polite service I have ever experienced. The ambiance was great, everything from the art on the walls, the moulding, and the live pianist and harpist all went perfectly together to set a mellow and romantic atmosphere. We had a special Valentine's menu but everything we ordered tasted amazing.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Outstanding lamb chops
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 2/9/2013
    Outstanding lamb chops and excellent service. Nice harp music on my visit (Saturday night).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • This is hands down the best
    Local3FANVIP
    Dined on 1/16/2013
    This is hands down the best Italian restaurant in the gaslamp. So get off of 5th avenue and walk a few extra blocks for the real deal. Bice is it's only competition but Bice has gone too continental for my taste. For real Italian cuisine look no further than Salvatore's.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Celebrated our wedding anniversary,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 1/11/2013
    Celebrated our wedding anniversary, absolutely beautiful inside and so romantic but also would be great to celebrate any occasion with a great group of friends. The waiter was very knowledgeable with wines as well as accommodating to a food order request. Everyone made our evening so special and served complimentary glasses of amazing champagne for us at end of meal. Food was fabulous!! Will definitely return for many more wonderful meals with family and friends!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Select this excellent restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 1/5/2013
    It is one of the best restaurants in San Diego, CA.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Well, this was one of the
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 12/31/2012
    Well, this was one of the very few restaurants where we managed to find a table on New Year's Eve and there is a reason. For the quality of food, innovation, presentation and taste, this place is extremely overpriced. And we felt like eating re-heated supermarket tv-dinners. From the appetizers to the dessert which we joked that it came from a nearby Safeway to the coffee which was certainly from a 7-11 (and I don't mean to offend all the 7-11s out there). At least the setting was pretty and the musician playing a harp was incredible. The service was acceptable but there is absolutely no reason to go back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • It was nice I guess we were
    KippVIP
    Dined on 12/28/2012
    It was nice I guess we were expecting more based on the reviews, food was good, drinks were excellent, service was slow had to ask for water several times during as well as some other things. Harp music was cheesey playing cartoon theam songs and tv show theams
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Abbiamo avuto una cena meravigliosa
    VelocistaVIP
    Dined on 12/27/2012
    Abbiamo avuto una cena meravigliosa a Salvatore's. Il cibo erà bonissima, particularmente il vitello. Il servicio anche erà brava. Signora Morelli è venuto al nostro tavolo per chiacciarare un po, e ricordare Roma. Chè bella donna.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I would recommend this restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/15/2012
    I would recommend this restaurant to anyone visiting the harbor/marina area of San Diego.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Very romantic
    Kelly
    Dined on 11/9/2012
    Very upscale, romantic restaurant great for special occasions or if you have a guest in town that you'd like to impress. They even had a harpist playing most of the evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet