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  • The Prado at Balboa Park

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The Prado at Balboa Park
The Prado at Balboa Park

The Prado at Balboa Park Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.pradobalboa.com
  • Email: restaurant@pradobalboa.com
  • Phone: (619) 557-9441 x203
  • 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: Contemporary American, Mediterranean
  • 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.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 6th Avenue
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Valet offered Tuesday through Friday 5:00pm onwards. Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am onwards. Public parking lots available in Balboa Park.
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 photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
Diner Reviews
  • "I had a wonderful date with my husband, the service was excelente!!!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Took an out of town guest here on their last night to show that San Diego has as good (if not better!) food scene than NYC. I think I won that argument. Every time I have come to the Prado, it has been spot on.. this time it was the braised short ribs over horseradish mashed potatoes for me, and my guest had the mustard crusted Pork Prime Rib. Excellent choices."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Restaurant was perfect - the parking is not. The only way to the restaurant is by shuttle or a very long walk. Was disappointed they did not have valet service."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Decided to spontaneously take advantage of a beautiful Tuesday evening and the Prado patio for their Tuesday Date Night Special. The venue was perfect, the weather was incredible, the service couldn't have been better, the food was not the best that we have had their but we chose from the TNDN limited menu: a bottle of wine and two entrees for $40. There isn't a lot to complain about and would do it again just for the experience."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "We love this place. Especially wonderful on nice evenings when you can sit outside and view the garden. You can even count the tires on the planes that land at SAN, but hey, you don't pay extra for the show."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "Every meal I've ever had at The Prado has been exceptional, and the service is always impeccable. Highly recommended for dinner dates and other special occasions. I really enjoy the hummus and flatbread, pressed salad, and black bean soup. The entrees and desserts are innovative and tasty."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "Greatest ambiance, incredible service, and what a perfect location. The salmon was very good, but slightly over cooked. That was the only minuscule complaint. Perfect locale for any occasion."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "It's great when the server arrives with GF taro chips, along with the bread. Every dish was fantastic. Loved a GF version of the calamari chips. Perfect place for a small family reunion."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "My wife and I just went here for our 1st wedding anniversary and it couldn't have gone any better! Great food, great service, great overall experience. I would definitely recommend this restaurant to anybody who likes good food and doesn't like being ignored by their waiter. Their staff is very sharp and eager to please. 5 stars in my book!"
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "I went out to dinner here with my parents on a Saturday night. My parents had both been here before, but I had never been. I loved it and it definitely exceeded all expectations I had for it. This would be the perfect place for a date or special occasion! I will definitely be back."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "The Prado was absolutely fantastic. I love Balboa Park, and the Prado definitely only adds to my admiration. The food was great. I had the black bean soup as an appetizer and the 8oz steak for the main course. There was absolutely nothing left on my plate. By far the best steak I have ever had, and I love steak. The employees were all so friendly and our waiter made us laugh. The ambiance was great with the lights that hang overhead (we sat outside) and the views were fabulous. I will definitely be going back again."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Got there at 715pm and were seated promptly, wait staff appraoched right away and were very knowledgeable and attentive and the service was excellent."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "This is a fun, upscale restaurant....not very intimate for romantic dining....with pricey, but good food. Although the food was fantastic, portion sizes were very small. For an appetizer, we got the calamari, which was over the top good. We got the mustard encrusted pork chop which was amazing. We also got the braised short ribs, which were good, but portion was way too small. The patio was closed when we went due to forecasted rain. I would go back, but wearing shorts and a polo shirt....not dressed up."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "The Prado has long been one of my favorite restaurants in San Diego, and our most recent visit was delightful. We used to go to The Prado often just for its crab cakes and a glass of wine, but a while ago, the crab cakes, disappointingly, became "seafood" cakes. On this visit we tried them again, and although they're improved from the initial change (they are now blue crab, shrimp, and cod), we were still disappointed, compared to the former crab cakes. The rest of the meal, however, was The Prado's usual wonderful fare. Our server was excellent, but I've dinged "Service" one star because it took quite a while for our food to come out--not the server's fault, I think."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Was a really nice place for dinner. A little expencive but worth it the salmon and the paella are really really good. I came here for my aniversary it was perfect!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Great dinner, service, and ambience. Should not miss this place if traveling through."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "We love everything about our experience at Prado. We can arrive early and enjoy a beautiful stroll though Balboa Park and then show up for a great meal. We usually eat outside and enjoy the view."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Had an amazing date with my girlfriend. Menu was simple, food was delicious. Service was top notch."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "Everything at Prado is always wonderful. Service was extraordinary and food was great. This is one of my favorite places."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "A good dining experience overall. My guest and I were able to get an outdoor table upon arriving. We had reserved for 7:30 p.m., but were in the party and ready to eat at 6:00, and were most graciously accommodated. Food ans service were generally great, but we had to wait a long time to order despite few tables with people, and I ended up flagging down the waitress after a long wait. She was only marginally warm, a demeanor that extended into a clipped last visit before the check. Perhaps she was having a difficult day. Otherwise all the food was good, although some of the items mentioned on the menu came in. Vary very small quantities- two small thin slices maybe a 2 square each - of fennel, more a garnish than a side dish."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "I normally grab a bite and sangria in the bar before the play, but this time took mom to Prado for dinner outside and she loved it - especially the wedding going on below us."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "I have been to The Prado twice now, and on both occasions I came away impressed with the ambience, service, and quality of the food both in taste and presentation. I would highly recommend The Prado for romantic dinner dates and special occasions. Being located right in the middle of Balboa Park amongst the various museums and water features, it's really great to be able to stroll through the beautiful surroundings either before or after a meal."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "The Prado is consistently excellent. Great food, great service and great atmosphere. You just can't go wrong here."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "My girlfriend and I recently enjoyed an evening meal at Prado and had an excellent dining experience. The service was the best."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "We once again had a great dinner at The Prado. We both had fish entrees which had interesting presentatons and were served piping hot. Our server was extraordinary - extremely thorough professional and attentive without being overbearing. We enjoyed our dinner very much and plan to return."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "The outdoor setting is lovely. The food was mediocre. Caesar salad with chicken was no better than a highway fast food chain. Beet salad was meager. Turkey burger not baldpate. French fries average. Slow but pleasant service. Won't eat hear again."
    Dined on 3/3/2014
  • "No visit to Balboa Park is complete without a visit to the Cafe at The Prado. A perfect prelude to a night at the Old Globe. The service is efficient and unobtrusive. The Tandoori Duck Breast is wonderful. The desserts are pleasantly wicked."
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "Hubby & I went for lunch after the zoo and sat on the patio - gorgeous sunny day, good food (not great), but fab ambiance! Service very attentive!"
    Dined on 3/12/2014
  • "The food and service were terrific as always, but you can't depend on the heaters. Turns out that several of the heaters just don't work! It was a little breezy and colder than it had been all week. The heaters would have made everything perfect, but we were just a little too cold to make it a perfect evening. I hope the restaurant gets around to fixing the heaters soon!"
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "I travel often and entertain often. I ate at several restaraunts in the area that lived up to the hype. This was one of the most hyped but failed. Worse was that I saved this one for my wife and not my clients. I would not return with either. This place has a great spot and vibe. The food is average and so is the service. The wine menu is limited, at best. This may sound snobby. But taking people to dinner is one of the things I do for a living. This place is a "tweener" it's not a fine dining experience but its not Olive Garden. The scene is not enough to carry it. Maybe I'm not the target market."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "We have dined at the Prado dozens of times over the years, albeit always preferring to sit outside than inside given the tendency for the inside to be noisy. Friday's pre-theatre dinner experience was great for food and service, but horrific for noise. As we left, and once we were outside, we agreed that we would never go back."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Balboa Park and that particular courtyard is just one of my most favorite places in San Diego. My husband and I went for our 11th wedding anniversary dinner- it'd been practically that long since we'd actually eaten at the Prado, though. I remembered the food being so tasty, the sangria just right, the restaurant so beautiful with colors, textures, views-- and it was just as nice as we remembered it!! We loved it and for sure will go again."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "We had a great time the staff was very attentive and the food was delicious!"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "A group of 4 enjoyed a delicious lunch in celebration of our friend's birthday. I continue to order the skirt steak panini though the hamburger, BLT and skirt steak tacos that my fellow diners ordered were equally good. Our server was Nikki. She did a great job of seeing to it that we were enjoying ourselves and made the birthday celebrant feel very special. We had 2 desserts: A cream cheese flan( which was complimentary complete with lit candle) and a dark chocolate mousse bar. Both desserts were yummy and very shareable. The view of the garden off the patio was lovely. We got to enjoy music from the wedding celebration that was occurring on a lower level. A great time was had by all."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "fun place. great setting in balboa park. . good food. wonderful service."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "I've eaten here several times and I have to say I was a little disappointed with the service this time. The gentleman who sat us was wonderful - very friendly and helpful. Once seated we sat several minutes plus before our waitress came to take our drink order. Two of the drinks-non-alcoholic came quickly and the wine took over 10 minutes. The food was good. I asked for some quacamole for my steak tacos and never received it. She did acknowledge at the end that the one of the food runners must have forgotten it. It just wasn't the same as my experiences in the past."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "I always sit on patio, surrounded by the trees of Balboa Park.The calamari fries are amazing, and my go to dish is the US Kobe burger. The derive is always top notch, with enough presence without being stifling. This time Noelle did a great job."
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "Great ambiance. Very relaxing. Wait staff very friendly...no long waits. My Tomato basil and ham grilled cheese sandwich really hit the spot. My friends enjoyed the beet salad with the skirt steak, Caesar salad w/shrimp and the Kobe beef hamburger. Tried the Flan and chocolate mousse cake. They were awesome!"
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "We came back to the Prado after a friend brought us there a few weeks ago. The large dining room was very classy, yet comfortable, and very cozy. The prices seem a little high, but the value is very good because all of the food is at the cuisine level. Congratulations on that fact! Upon our return, we found the same great food, flavors and preparation. However, we were seated in the area outside of the large dining room; the ambience is almost lost there. With the 2 dining experiences so close in time, it's as if you should discount the prices in that other room. On a very picky note, the bus boy removed my plate before I was finished eating. I was talking to our friends at the time, but that is a sign of an 'untrained operator'."
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "Have dined here often and like Prado very much. This time we ate before a performance at the Old Globe Theatre and had a fine meal, nicely served, in plenty of time for the performance. Definitely a casual place that we will return to again."
    Dined on 2/25/2014