The Prado at Balboa Park
1549 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101Neighborhood:
Downtown / Gaslamp
Contemporary AmericanPrice: $30 and under
The Prado at Balboa Park
- Dining Style: Casual Elegant
- Website: http://www.cohnrestaurants.com/theprado
- Phone: 6195579441x203
- Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 3:00pm, Saturday - Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Sunday, Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Mediterranean, Contemporary American
- Executive Chef: Jonathan Hale
- Dress Code: Smart Casual
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
- Entertainment: Our Lounge offers live musical entertainment from 8:00pm - 10:00pm every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
A word from The Prado at Balboa Park
Just minutes from downtown San Diego, the convention center, and Mission Valley. The Prado at Balboa Park is located in one of the parks most beautiful buildings. Under chef Jonathon Hale's creative direction the Prado Restaurant has won honors as San Diego's Best New Restaurant, has been named one of America's top 10 restaurants by Gourmet Magazine, received the coveted "four star" award by the California Restaurant writers association. Continental cuisine paired with truly excellent service, unique ambiance, hand crafted decor and outdoor/indoor dining year round are just some of the reason's why we've won "most romantic" and "best special occasion" restaurant.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
- Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
- Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
The Prado at Balboa Park - Best Restaurants in Downtown / Gaslamp ›
The Prado at Balboa Park reviews from OpenTable diners
374 reviews since June 3, 2014
- Ambiance4.5Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (288)special occasion (208)romantic (170)scenic view (151)great for lunch (149)fit for foodies (128)neighborhood gem (108)good for groups (76)great for brunch (59)notable wine list (44)hot spot (37)vibrant bar scene (35)kid-friendly (27)late-night find (25)Show More
- SD Restaurant WeekbonmanVIPDined on 9/28/2014I was on vacation and met up with my friends... Looks like they extended their restaurant week menu which turned out to be delish! I had the corn chowder soup as an app and then braised short ribs in red wine as my entree... Yum!!! We ordered all 3 desserts.. vanilla crème brulée, chocolate hazelnut cake with marshmallow ice cream, and cream cheese flan... All were amazing!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Always greatvegasbillDined on 9/28/2014Returned again to The Prado at Balboa Park and was not disappointed in any way. They got it right again. The food, service and ambiance were all as expected and great. The pricing is reasonable. The valet parking was easy but pricey. It's definitely one of our "go to" spots when entertaining out-of-towners, celebrating a special event, attending the theater or just treating ourselves to a great evening. If you've never been there you have missed a treat.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Go-to place for celebrationsOBbatgirlDined on 9/28/2014We love the food and the ambiance. Great service too..Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not what it used to bemas13Dined on 9/28/2014Very disappointing "special" menus for pre-theatre or Restaurant Week (VERY limited choices), with uninspired starters and less than thrilling main courses. My husband ordered off the regular menu and was very happy with his paella. I chose the pre-theatre menu, and was not impressed, especially with the dry, semi-tough, under-seasoned short rib. But the service is excellent and the proximity to the Globe can't be beat.Special Features:
- EricBEricBDined on 9/26/2014We went for Restaurant Week and really enjoyed it. I ordered the calamari fries, the beef short ribs and the chocolate bar for dessert and the food was excellent. It was a reasonable value for $35 per person but not great. When you add in the cost of the expensive bottle of wine our friends ordered and add in tax and tip, it became expensive. We've eaten there several times in the past and it's always good. It's a great place to go for lunch and it's a better value than dinner. But overall, I highly recommend it.Special Features:
- carmelDined on 9/26/2014The bread was stale and the soup (delicious) initially wasn't hot, even though we asked for it to be very hot. The second time around it was perfect. Otherwise, the meal was superb.Special Features:
- Birthday dinner3momsDined on 9/26/2014We took our friend to dinner at the Prado for her birthday and we shared several dishes that were flavorful and delicious. Service A+Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Dined during restaurant weekAnonymousDined on 9/26/2014I wanted to see how lunch would be during restaurant week and I was not disappointed. The Caesar salad was pretty good but the mussels were outstanding. The Bartender makes a great Bellini which was refreshing on the warm day. Very enjoyable experienceSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- We will be back!YumtotheeeeeeDined on 9/26/2014I have only great things about this restaurant. From the moment you walk in the service was great. My husband had the Kobe burger and I ordered the skirt steak panini from the Restaurant Week menu. We were celebrating our wedding anniversary so our server brought us the Cheesecake Flan. Best flan I've ever had. Food, service, and ambiance makes this restaurant a wonderful find.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DeliciousAmp2Dined on 9/25/2014Food and service were great. Their calamari appetizer was the best I have ever had. The short ribs we tender and delicious. Our server was great.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good experience!ErerDined on 9/25/2014Food and ambience was just great!! We loved the terrace and the ribs were just awesome! Service was not bad but neither good the waitress just dis her job bu bringin our food, the buzz boy was very very kind! He deserced the tip better than the waitress.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Pleasant dining experienceChiniDined on 9/25/2014We have eaten at the Prado a number of times, along with many of the other Cohen restaurants, and have never been disappointed. So classy yet so friendly. To have waiters so attentive yet so personable consistently is rather unusual. My wife is quite a cook and perfectionist and just raves about the food and its presentation. She is "arty" as is the presentation. Delicious. One can tell that the cook is always searching for other tasty dishes. Thank you for making a dining experience truly a dining experience that leaves the diner contented for the entire experience. Our waitress was top-notch ( I am trying to recall her name........Brenda comes to mind but that is probably wrong......a short redhead, probably middle-aged).Special Features:
- Delicious foodRomanceDined on 9/24/2014The staff was great and the service was on point, always like going back because of the food and specially the service provided.Special Features:
- WONDERFUL!!!bdnng63Dined on 9/24/2014Went here with a little push from Restaurant Week/SD...thank goodness. Loved it. Food was great, service was great, drinks were great. Did I mention how great it was.. LOL..would definitely go back, can't wait to return..Nothing was a missSpecial Features:
- We always love coming hereDrewDined on 9/22/2014For cocktails, lunch, or dinner - definitely a beautiful destination for locals and visitors alikeSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The Prado during Restaurant WeekLuv2dineoutDined on 9/21/2014We dined during "Restaurant Week" and the menu was eclectic and the food was tasty. The service was also very, very good.Special Features:
- Main course was disappointingEihuggettDined on 9/20/2014Appetizer, salad and dessert were all excellent in flavor, creativity and presentation. The main entre (shrimp and filet) was disappointing. The filet, which I requested to be cooked medium was cooked well. The inside was well done and the outside was charred. We were so hungry we ate it because as we had show tickets we didn't have time to wait for a new entre, and didn't want to go hungry during the show. I don't think the entre should have gone out of the kitchen as it was visibly charred on the outside.Special Features:
- Prado is a favorite of mineReeee1Dined on 9/20/2014The salmon was excellent, the service superb, and the ambience was ideal.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- good food, a bit too much attitudeCajuncraverVIPDined on 9/19/2014Our meal here was actually very tasty except for the chewy duck. The service was ok, but a little bit snooty considering we had just ate at a much dressier and pricier place the night before with perfectly kind service. We shared the Calamari that is served as slices in a tasty sauce. Salads: Grilled Portobello & Pressed Arugula. Both fresh. Entrees: Braised Beef Short Ribs & Five Spice Duck. The rib slice was tender and juicy, just about half the size of entree size though. The duck, sigh, after I trimmed off the fat there were only a few bites of chewy meat. I might have said something if we hadn't already gotten a horrific shocked look from the server when we ordered a side for our entrees, the boursin bacon (potatoe puree with bacon).Special Features:
- Prado is Cosistantly GoodDVonBDined on 9/19/2014We have eaten at the Prado for many years and we are impressed that the experiece, both with the food and service, remains the same after all this time. A great place to have dinner if you are attending a performance at The Globe. Our standout desert award goes to the orange bread pudding with a garnish of chocolate.Special Features:
- Birthday DinnerHelgamsDined on 9/17/2014This is the second time we had my birthday dinner at this restaurant. This time I picked the halibut. It was truly outstanding. My husbands choice, chicken and Gnocchi was not quite as impressive. The complimentary birthday desert was quite nice.Special Features:
- Great experienceAlwayshungryDined on 9/17/2014We've been to The Prado many times and it never disappoints. The menu is always varied with plenty of options. I had the risotto and added salmon at the server's suggestion since it was a vegetable risotto. It was delicious. Our server was also great (I wish I could remember his name). He was attentive and very friendly. We also love the location- Balboa Park is beautiful.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Fun CelebrationBellaDined on 9/12/2014We recently celebrated a friend's 60th Birthday. We all enjoyed our meals and our server, Chelsea, provided professional, friendly service. We have made The Prado our go-to restaurant for special events!Special Features:
- Wonderful eveningFoodhoundDined on 9/11/2014We recently went to The Prado for dinner. We sat outside on the patio and it was very nice, not too hot. Our server was amazing, the service was wonderful and the food was excellent. There were 3 of us and we all had different entrees and each one was delicious. We have absolutely NOTHING negative to say, the whole evening was wonderful.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lovely setting, good foodpractical1Dined on 9/11/2014We enjoyed lunch on the beautiful patio overlooking gardens. Both my husband's fish tacos and my spinach salad were great. Not inexpensive but great experience. Chipotle hummus with flatbread was delicious.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Anniv NightVetdinnerDined on 9/9/2014Steven served us and he was excellent, one of the best ever. The food this night, for both of us, was prepared perfectly.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Service was the weak pointphrankVIPDined on 9/8/2014Nice restaurant in the park, good food. Service was the weak point. We had to wait a long time to order drinks. It turned out our server had mixed us up with another table and thought she had already taken our drink order and told us about the specials, neither of which she had done. After that delay things went a bit better.Special Features:
- SoCalEaterVIPDined on 9/6/2014As always, The Prado was wonderful. We always go before Old Globe performances…. food is delicious, service is excellent and a lovely atmosphere.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent diningannualvisitorDined on 9/6/2014Our food was delicious, and our waiter both helpful and personable. His service was excellent, and his recommendations spot-on.Special Features:
- Great dessertsjoeescondidoDined on 9/2/2014Tres Leches was wonderful. I thought the sauce on the calamari fries was too thick and overpowering. Crab cakes were good. Wedge salad was good.Special Features:
- Prado RestaurantanniepDined on 8/31/2014We enjoyed a delightful before-theater dinner at The Prado. The service was accommodating, friendly and efficient. The "get-you-to-the theater-on time" menu was an excellent choice with a uniquely presented wedge salad, perfectly cooked salmon over a bed of vegetables, and included a glass of wine and coffee. We also enjoyed cocktails beforehand in the bar.Special Features:
- Good enough if your in the park.ReceptionistDined on 8/30/2014We were headed to a show at the Old Globe and eat there out of convenience. Food was good, but not great. However, it was prices as though the owner thought it was great. Perhaps your paying for the location. The ambiance was dated, but the staff was trying hard. It's convenient; I'll give it that.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Why book a reservation?wildthingDined on 8/30/2014I love The Prado restaurant, but I found myself very frustrated this time. We made a dinner reservation at 5 pm, but were not seated until 5:25 and several walk-up groups were seated before us and in the same area we were given a table. We were given a pager when we arrived a couple minutes before 5, but it never went off and it wasn't until I went up to the reception desk and asked what was going on that we were finally seated ... and next to two walk-in groups that came in after we got the pager. The whole point being - why bother making a reservation if walk-in's get seated first and reservations are ignored. It put a little damper on our dinner. Food was very good - as was our server ... rest of the service ... not so good.Special Features:
- Outdoor diningjsbradburyDined on 8/29/2014Took my fiancé here for dinner, requested a table out on the patio. As usual, The Prado took great care of us. The wait staff was attentive without being overbearing, food was excellent and brought in a timely fashion and sitting outside on a San Diego summer night is always pleasant. We will definitely be going back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Lovely Setting in Balboa ParkJrcinmsVIPDined on 8/29/2014Our daughter lives in the area and, on a visit, we wanted to try local restaurants. We were happy to find The Prado on a warm summer evening! We requested outdoor seating and it was so pretty with twinkling lights and very nice setting. Tables are a little close together us my only negative. Good food, my daughter and I split the Paella and that along with an appetizer each was plenty. Although we couldn't resist the Tres Leches cake for dessert! It is memorable.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Beautiful ambiance overpriced food.three4dinerDined on 8/27/2014On our annual trip to the Old Globe Theater in Balboa Park, we dine before at The Prado. The ambiance of the restaurant is beautiful with its welcoming Spanish courtyard. We were greated with efficiency and seated quickly. It was then the problems started. We hurried to order because our server told us that the play started an hour earlier which was incorrect. When we ordered we were astounded at the portion of the meals - halibut 4 inch square over two tablespoons of a salsa with a tablespoon of slaw about $30 - nothing else. Then we ordered desert which took and had to rush to finish so we could leave. Our server dissapeared often. We had more attention from the bus boy! We will be looking for another place to dine next year.Special Features:
- Comfortable and RomanticEagle2serveDined on 8/27/2014My first date with a special lady was at Prado. She selected it due to the fact she is unfamiliar with the area and new to San Diego. What a pleasure and treasure I found in casual-fine dining. I never experienced such attention to detail by servers and food preparation per my special request. It will be visited for all our special occasions!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- WonderfulKaitlynDined on 8/26/2014I ahve only come o The Prado a handful of times but this last time I went was by far the best. On a Tuesday night they have a really great acustic "band" (A singer/guitar player and box drummer) which really is fun to see while enjoying a drink at the bar. My friend and I had a wonderful time and we will be coming back for sure!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- PartymgntDined on 8/26/2014Very pleasant evening before a theater event in Balboa Park. It is nice that this restaurant which is so convenient to the Balboa Park scene is very good both in ambiance and food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Completed theatre eveningOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/24/2014Went before theatre at Old Globe. Perfect, wonderful experience, food and ambiance. Recommended to us and we in turn recommend to others!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.