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.pradobalboa.com/
- 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 WinnerContemporary American
- Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
The Prado at Balboa Park - Best Restaurants in Downtown / Gaslamp ›
The Prado at Balboa Park reviews from OpenTable diners
300 reviews since April 1 2014
- Ambiance4.5Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (233)special occasion (161)romantic (133)great for lunch (132)scenic view (129)fit for foodies (104)neighborhood gem (71)good for groups (61)great for brunch (61)kid-friendly (35)notable wine list (30)vibrant bar scene (29)hot spot (24)late-night find (22)Show More
- PointsGeorgioDined on 7/28/2014You promise me to give me 1000points when you dine at the pardo restaurant and now you are telling me that it is only 100points, I dine their because of the points , i have so many other choices, to have lunch in San Diego area,Special Features:
- Great ExperienceOpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 7/27/2014The food was magnificent and the service was excellent. I dined inside but the outside dning area had a great view of a canyon.Special Features:
- Prado PerfectionlindafoodieDined on 7/27/2014Prado is a great restaurant to go before or after a performance in the Park! Food is excellent with innovative dishes that never disappoint. The braised short ribs were delicious. The ambiance is amazing. What a relaxing way to spend a Sunday afternoon! Service was attentive and we never lacked for anything. Our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves.Special Features:
- UnexcitingthebigmanDined on 7/26/2014Nice ambience but entrees rather typical fare My halibut was on the dry side Mussel appetizer nothing to write home about. According to my son short ribs were good but short ribs are almost always good. Good place to take out of town older visitors from the Midwest
- Dinner before Othello2plusDrewDined on 7/25/2014Outdoor seating was perfect. Great spot to relax and enjoy the meal, drinks and conversation. Sadly, the waitress tried to rush the evening. Unfortunately, her cheerful mood changed once she realized we were theater goers.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great managerOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 7/24/2014My daughter and I came for dinner. We were running late and called to let them know. I got the manager when I called. Once we got to the restaurant, he let me know he was sorry we were stuck in traffic and sorry we'd had a stressful night. He sent out a free appetizer. Honestly, we were blown away at his kindness.Special Features:
- Pre Theater PerfectionsallyVIPDined on 7/23/2014Awesome pre theater menu that included a glass of wine! Service was efficient and fun and thoughtful to the tming of the show. Gluten Free was covered which made the whole experience in taking my mother out for dinner enjoyable, she became the norm! Ambiance was perfect, lively and fun without interuption.Special Features:
- Consistently goodOpenTable Diner Since 2004Dined on 7/22/2014The Prado is in walking distance, so we dine there frequently. Every dish we've tried has been excellent. Their Date Night Promotion is an exceptional value! We love their beef short rib and the Jidori chicken.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/22/2014Love the setting, the experience, the food, we were outside as we requested. The servers were very professional and pleasant, Unfortunately we ordered dessert that included a bar ddrink and a latte which left us very pinched for time and to go boxes for the desserts, but no such luck with the drinks!!Special Features:
- Great for pre theatre dinnerMIssMDined on 7/22/2014The Prado has it nailed for having a delicious dinner prior to going to events in the Park. They know the start times of plays and the that is noted to the kitchen. We called that we were stuck in traffic and would be 15 minutes late and were still done in plenty of time for the theatre.Special Features:
- lovely lunchmonkeyDined on 7/21/2014My sister was visiting from NY and I wanted her to experience San Diego. There is no better place than Balboa park and lunch at The Prado. Old world charm, great contemporary menu and wonderful ambiance! I'll be back with future guests.Special Features:
- Wonderful service; good foodbbond82Dined on 7/18/2014The service was outstanding. Steven (maybe Stephen) was one of the best servers I have ever had, and I have eaten at many fine dining establishments. The food was above average, but not outstanding. My duck was overcooked but still tasty. Good flavor combinations overall.Special Features:
- The Prado at Balboa ParkMmmelDined on 7/17/2014Beautiful setting, average food. My husband's chopped salad with chicken was an enormous bowl of shredded cabbage with several rubbery strips of white meat chicken. Rather boring. My beet salad was very small, and the shrimp I ordered with it for an extra $5 numbered 3! We were there for the outdoor seating and it was lovely. Be aware that they will not provide you with a to go cup if you have an unfinished drink, and our daughter's was full.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/15/2014They've got a great deal on Tuesday for date night. $40 for 2 entrees and a bottle of wine! couldn't pass that up.Special Features:
- Off nightTJNeneDined on 7/15/2014It was an off night at the Prado. The excellence to detail was not there. Seated by the kitchen door wasn't the problem. Entrees were slow and then one was wrong- but correct arrived quickly. Still that was not the issue. Wait staff just seemed too busy. Maybe its the summer crowds. We were treating a neighbor for caring for our pet so sorry The Prado was not The Prado we love.Special Features:
- Not Up to Cohen Prior ExperiencesSDMcDinersDined on 7/13/2014Having loved Island Prime, C Level, 100 Wines, Indigo Grill & Bo Beau's we expected the same @ The Prado. Alas not to be. Service was fair - nothing outstanding & not terrible. But restaurants like this are a $rea$ for us so more attentive service was expected. Our entrees were good. I really like my salmon & braised short rib -- but even for fine dining, the portions were small. My husband's filet was ok - cooked as requested but the onion strings were fried in an oil w/ a very strong oily taste. We won't be going back - to spend so much money -- w/ wine $121 - we still had to stop for a pizza on the way home!
- over ratedbolts619Dined on 7/12/2014Potion size very small. Food good but not worth the cost. They need to enforce a dress code....way too casual.Special Features:
- Pre-theatre gemAggieProfVIPDined on 7/12/2014We always go to the Prado before seeing a play at the Old Globe. With dinner before the play, we arrive in sufficient time to find a good parking spot. We can enjoy a leisurely dinner and then just walk over to the play. The Prado now has a pre-theater dinner menu too, which is a nice idea. Highly recommended.Special Features:
- My pros and consInggoDined on 7/11/2014Pros: Location Ambience Outdoor seating Cons: Snooty waitress Food was ok, not worth the price Tiny portionsSpecial Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIPDined on 7/11/2014The Prado never disappoints but we had the world's best waiter Michael that serviced us. That guy must have ESP because he was able to always anticipate any wants we had. Michael is great and deserves a raiseSpecial Features:
- Well worth the cost!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/9/2014Recommended highly by a local and it turned out to be an incredible place to eat. Loved the service and menu! We went for my sisters 30th. I would recommend the Duck to ANYONE! I loved it! :)Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Wonderful!FoodieVIPDined on 7/9/2014When in San Diego, be sure to try The Prado at Balboa Park! It is a wonderful restaurant, with a varied menu, excellent food, atmosphere & service, at reasonable prices. They offer about 4 dining areas, inside and out, and it's a lovely place to dine.Special Features:
- dinner before the playAggieProfVIPDined on 7/8/2014We always go to the Prado before seeing a play at the Old Globe. With dinner before the play, we arrive in sufficient time to find a good parking spot. We can enjoy a leisurely dinner and then just walk over to the play. The Prado now has a pre-theater dinner menu too, which is a nice idea. Highly recommended.Special Features:
- Great for Pre Show DiningDizzyIzzy27Dined on 7/8/2014Perfect for pre-Old Globe dining. Short walk to the theatre. Staff cognizant of showtime and work to make your dinner pleasant and get you out on time. Convenient valet parking (a bit pricey, but not a killer). Food not haute cuisine but good. Wine list and pretty good.Special Features:
- Family diningSatisfiedMomDined on 7/8/2014Dining at Prado was a delight! We are from NC and it had been several years since last there. Meal was exceptional as it was previously. Great drinks, food, service ( great waiter), and ambiance. Could not ask for more!!Special Features:
- Ceremony SiteOpenTable Diner Since 2012VIPDined on 7/7/2014Lunch was great being able to request to sit at a table looking down at the ceremony site where I will be married later this year! Our lunch was fantastic and the service by Claudia was even better!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- anniversary dinnerthimblindaDined on 7/3/2014This was a nice place, we had requested outdoor seating and they were accommodating. Balboa Park is a beautiful place with many different areas. We happened to go on a Thur evening and there are different outdoor concerts on Tue/Thur during the summer, so we stopped and listened for a while, walked around their Koi pond. Enjoyable evening. The food was good, service was great, everyone was very attentive and the tables outside are not just right next to each other so you don't have to be involved in what is going on elsewhere. Great evening and nice place to spend our 10th anniversary.Special Features:
- RanchoCoupleDined on 7/3/2014Nice place with great patio, foods good but small portions and over priced. This was out fourth time there in as many years, firsts three were for lunch last was dinner. Dinner menu is limited but food was very good. Will probably go back for lunch sometime but with so many great restaurants in Hillcrest and surrounding aria it's not likely we'll go back for dinner anytime soon.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good food, good serviceEstevistaDined on 7/3/2014We were late because of holiday freeway traffic. We called to let them know and they were accommodating. Food and service were great. Recommend the Prado for lunch and before the shows at Balboa Park.Special Features:
- You pay for locationHeartostayDined on 7/2/2014Nestled in the middle of beautiful Balboa park, this Cohen family resturant offers a convenient but overpriced food option to tourist. The service is respectable but the food is not. OK at half the price. The weary traveler will pay dearly to rest their feet. Consider some street food near by and a place on the lawn.Special Features:
- Always FantasticpilotswifeDined on 7/1/2014I brought my niece and her children here this time. The kids menu is great as is the regular menu. The sandwiches are huge. The food is always great.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Nice AtmosphereseafordinerVIPDined on 6/29/2014Nice to eat away from the Gaslamp area, particularly if are spending the day at the zoo or the theatre. Food is not exceptional, but good and there are some intetesting options that fuse a Mediterranean flair to the Anerican palette. Overall, a very good choice.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The Prado on a Saturday EveningShellyDined on 6/28/2014The Prado is always a nice experience before or after the theater. Love the ambience and the food is consistently good. This is especially important when you consider the number of times I have dined there while visiting Balboa Park.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Had a wonderful experienceSlinkblotDined on 6/27/2014It was my husbands birthday. My son, his girlfriend and my husband and I decided to spend it at The Prado in Balbia Park. It was pricey but, with the ambiance if the patio and being in the park, it was worth it. The service was perfect; the busser cleaned the table after our appetizer and after our dinner, so we could enjoy the next part of our meal. Our server was very attentive and gave great recommendations for those at our table who preferred vegetarian dining. All in all, it turned out to be a great birthday for my husband!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Excellent as alwaysKMACDined on 6/26/2014Beautiful lush location, top notch food and service. Especially loved the arugula and fruit pressed salad. A fine dining experience.Special Features:
- Prix fixe is great !LHKsdDined on 6/24/2014Ate here before attending the Old Globe theatre.... It was a summer madhouse, so thank goodness we had reservations for outside. The prix fixe dinner for 2 was delicious and excellent value. Service was great, especially considering the crowd. Will definitely return after the tourists have gone home.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- fab experience if you are able toOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 6/24/2014Fab experience if you are able to find a parking space. I remember once there were no parking spaces and we had valet as our backup. This time we spent 45 minutes finding a space for lunch and we covered the entire part as well as outside. Finally found one in one the park's lots. People just drive around and with all the visitors not realizing one way arrows, tight spaces...... Next time if it is a dinner event I will check to see if they have valet.Special Features:
- Ambience is the reason to comeChopchopfizzfizz1959Dined on 6/21/2014The patio ambiance was delightful - no so much the food. On plus side, they have heat lamps for comfort. On down side, food was incredibly pedestrian. The mussels in garlic butter broth were tasty, but the mussels were small. Did they really need to charge $1.50 for two extra slices of garlic bread when you're spending $100+ per couple? The Caesar salad was adequate if unspectacular. The entrees were overly pricey for what you get. I had the salmon with beef short rib. The salmon couldn't have been more than 3 oz. - about 3-4 bites. It came dressed with lots of potatoes to seem more substantial, disappointing given $30 price. Her petit filet w/ shrimp was pedestrian for $33. Service was professional but not particularly inviting.Special Features:
- love2eatlove2eatDined on 6/21/2014Wow Every time we visit this property we are treated royally. Had the special dinner It proved to be a winner Thank youSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Go for the viewmsdcDined on 6/20/2014From the moment we walked in, the view was amazing. Our waiter was so accommodating and nice with our dietary restrictions (diabetic and lactose intolerance). They provide hummus as a starter and it was a bit cold but still good (slight spice). I was excited for our entrees and was very underwhelmed. My BF's shrimp Thai noodles were swimming in peanut sauce and my dish was really dry. For the price, not worth it. But ambiance = amazing.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.