The Prado at Balboa Park
The Prado at Balboa Park

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.

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.
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked 1000-Point Tables
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
The Prado at Balboa Park reviews from OpenTable diners
340 reviews since April 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.3
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
94% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (263)special occasion (187)romantic (153)scenic view (152)great for lunch (152)fit for foodies (113)neighborhood gem (77)great for brunch (68)good for groups (67)vibrant bar scene (38)notable wine list (38)kid-friendly (37)hot spot (30)late-night find (28)Show More
  • Romantic Anniversary Rendevoux
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    I had requested a special outdoor table for our anniversary and was pleasantly surprised with the perfect location and service.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food fantastic, staff accommodating
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    The food was plated as if it was on a food network show and it melted in your mouth validating the beautiful looking food. They have a view of a romantic little courtyard if you sit outside. My fiance got cold late at night and the wait staff were very patient with us and made sure we were very comfortable. We ended the night with an amazing dessert while listening to a live guitar player singing some classic rock genre music in the bar area since it was warm in there. We are from out of town but hope to visit again soon. Compliments to the chef!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding for special occasions
    SusanVIP
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    Service, ambiance and food all outstanding, on the expensive side.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great anniversary dinner
    Mark
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    We enjoyed another wonderful evening at The Prado. The service was excellent, the food is always delicious and the outdoor garden was beautiful. It's the perfect place to enjoy a celebratory anniversary dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • wanda
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    The person who seated us, Matthew, was very personable and led us to his favorite table on the patio. Our meals ,as usual, were all delicious, as was the wine. It was a wonderful way to spend a summer night finished off with a play at the Old Globe. The Prado is always consistent as are all of the Cohn restaurants
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • PTJPTJVIP
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    I was pleasantly surprised by this restaurant since I had really low expectations. Service was outstanding; the waitress was extremely knowledgeable, attentive and helpful. The food was great. I had a steak panini topped with a fried tomato, house-made potato and tarot chips, and a broccoli-mandarin orange salad. All were superbly prepared and generously portioned. The patio setting was wonderful.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Theater dining
    GloberVIP
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    Great for pre-Old Globe dining! Tuesday night is also date night!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great gal's lunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2000VIP
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    Wonderful lunch during a beautiful day in Balboa Park. The Market Salad was amazing. Would definitely be back!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Beautiful day
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    The perfect way to enjoy a beautiful day with a special friend on the patio.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Pre-Show Dinners
    Marge
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    The Prado features a menu for theater goes which includes wine, salad or soup, and a main dish for around $32.00--great food and good value!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Always enjoy a meal at The Prado. Very top notch.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Prado is a San Diego gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    A great choice for pre-theatre or just fine dining, the Prado serves consistently great food within the wonderful ambiance of Balboa Park.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    The food here is so good and fresh. Love it and will highly recommend. My server was not very knowledgeable that's my only complaint. She checked on us only once. I've been here before and the service was excellent.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, scenic view, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • rkwgolfr
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Although we had reservations and thought we would be in the main dinning area, we were given a table near the noisy bar. We had to request seating in the main dining area where there was plenty of empty seating. Unless you like the bar atmosphere I would recommend you request the main dining area when making reservations. We only go to restaurants like the Prado for special occasions and like quiet surroundings. The food was excellent. Not rushed.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • What happened to the Prado?
    Carol
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    I have always had good experience at the Prado before but took. Y family on Saturday and it was not a good experience. The waiter co used our drinks twice. The Pisco sour was a very very bad excuse for Pisco - don't bother! Good was okay and location lovely
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Love The Prado!
    Luna
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    As always, The Prado delivered! A lovely environment serves as the perfect backdrop for exquisitely prepared food. Perfect beginning to an evening at the park, including the Old Globe Theater.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always dependably very good!
    FanofPrado
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    Service & ambience excellent! 2 out of 3 entrees great, but shrimp was fishy & strong tasting. Otherwise wonderful! Happy to keep coming back again & again.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Consistently good
    mary
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    The Prado is always a good choice. Food is very good and well priced
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Litprof
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    Excellent spot right in the middle of Balboa Park.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Worst of the Cohn Restaurant Chain
    VoraciousVVIP
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Came in for lunch with friends. It was a scorching day so we sat in the dining room. Friends ordered fish tacos, which they enjoyed. I ordered the asian chicken salad. I used to order this salad every time I came to Prado. It was always fresh and delicious. This time, not so much. The chicken tasted like it was boiled, with no seasoning whatsoever, and old. It was as if the mango was cut up and stored in the fridge for a LONG time. Seems like they just didn't care and needed a dish to add to the menu.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Again and again
    Fritz
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Have been coming here for thirteen years each year on the anniversary of our first date (at the Prado). Always a special place for us. Consistently good food and service. Menu has stayed almost the same over the years. May be time for some minor tweaking though.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Went to a play and ate there first for bday celebration with two other friends. Food was disappointing. The shrimp in the paella was super fishy. The rest of the dish was good. Friend had the gnocchi and it was very salty. The service was amazing!! Our waiter made all the difference in the world. I let the waiter know about the shrimp and he alerted the kitchen.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Bravo Prado
    Johnny
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Food: I got the duck and my wife got the pressed arugala salad. Both were delicious! We weren't big fans of the calamari fries though. Service was great from hostess to service. Waitress was very nice and attentive. The ambiance was very nice - the jazz music and the hanging lights, plus being outside at sunset made it a very enjoyable dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Quality establishment
    JCasrillo
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    This is my 6th time and is always a pleasure to go and experience thiz restaurant.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Show off the Best of San Diego
    Vistafan
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Love to take my out of town guest here. It is one of the nicest views is San Diego - not on the waterfront. Service is always 1st class. The desserts .... are well beyond exceptional!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • kappy
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    The service was terrible all the waiter could do was make a joke about vodka and then we asked for water and ice tea. Our water never came nor did other items we asked for. As I had business guests it was quite embarrassing. I have been to this restaurant several times but the service has never been this poor. Also had a reservation but still required to wait about 30 minutes
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • opentablefanVIP
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    Consistently wonderful. The black bean soup and Tres Leche dessert the best in the world.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Corja
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    A true San Diego landmark...Always an outstanding experience to enjoy with local friends or show off to visiting friends
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • always very good
    JimS
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    We regularly dine at the Prado ahead of going to the Old Globe and have never been disappointed. The only "problem" we're having at present is moving beyond the paella, which would be excellent at any price, but a bargain (for what you get) at the Prado - we seem to order this as one of our mains every time. But everything else we've tried is good, too. Their special deals - especially "date night" on Tuesdays - are good. One of our favorite San Diego restaurants.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • First time visit
    repeatcust
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    We were going to be in Balboa Park so we decided to try The Prado. We arrived early for our reservation and were seated early and we decided to dine on the patio. Our server was courteous and helped with information on our potential order. We tried 3 different appetizers for dinner. The three skewers, the seafood/crab cake, and the potstickers were all very good. And a half bottle of Chardonnay topped it off nicely. The evening was warmly pleasant on the patio. The only drawback was the table top. We cleaned off some water glass condensation from the table and the napkin we used was dirty after wiping up the water. This was outdoors but it appeared the table hadn't had a good wipe down for awhile. However, we would go back.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Dining Experience
    YorktownMan
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    We ate here on our first night in San Diego and had a wonderful experience. The service was great as was the food. The beef short ribs dish was the best meal we ordered. The Tres Leches dessert was a unique twist and excellent. I would definitely return.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Balboa Park's finest dining
    ReviewbyRob
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    When family and friends visit San Diego, it has become an assumption that at least one night will be spent at The Prado. Even before you enter the restaurant, the beauty and charm of walking through Balboa Park as the sun sets as the lights come on makes for a special experience. The food at The Prado is fantastic. The bread service consists of flatbread and hummus which goes perfectly with the décor and energy of the dining rooms and patio. Calamari fries, served as an appetizer, is so good I would order it as my main course. I’ve had a variety of meat and fish entrees and never been disappointed. Just as impressive as the food is the staff. The Prado is a wonderful place to enjoy an evening with those you love.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Fabulous food, uneven service
    LinJeVIP
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    Fabulous food, uneven service (waiter was solicitous but forgot an appetizer order and tallied the bill inaccurately).
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Gem in the Park
    Diana
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    The food here is excellent with a local spin. The chicken tortilla soup is hearty with just the right amount of spice. Pork prime rib is a favorite. Good fresh salads, and the sangria is super. Perfect location to take guests for a San Diego experience, especially on the patio. A bit pricey but worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Prado
    Connie
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    It's always frosting on the cake to have dinner at the Prado before or after the theater in Balboa Park.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not impressed at all
    nikko
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Not impressed at all. Our server (older lady) was great and very helpful, but the staff who brought our meals was pretty disappointing - dumped plates on table without even putting it in front of us or arranging the plates proper way so we can actually see the food on our plates. We ordered Spicy Calamari Fries - an excellent appetizer. Grilled 16oz Bone-In Ribeye Steak N' Eggs - tasteless. We requested medium well and got medium. We wanted garlic potatoes and got plain potatoes with uncooked chunk of a potato. Prado Chicken & Gnocchi Dumplings. Gnocchi were great, chicken tasteless and sauce - let's just say I had better. Chocolate Orange Bread Pudding and Tres Leches. We both liked the desserts very much - very tasty!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Our new fav for special occasions
    Toughacton05
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    A great pick for our Anniversary dinner. Different from your over-priced ocean-view restaurant. The terrace seating with fountain, candlelight and music was so romantic. The service was excellent as the food was so good I almost cried. Try the calamari and beet salad as apps. We had three apps and toe entrees which made up the best meal we have had since much moving to San Diego 1.5 yrs ago for under $100. We can't wait to go back for a date night or even to bring family and friends. It was great to end our evening with a stroll around the park.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • janrich2
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Very good service and food. Portions were a bit small for the price - but very delicious.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love the Prado
    BettyLaMesa
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    The Prado is consistent in the quality of the food it serves and the service it provides to customers. The food is well presented and the recipes reflect high quality coupled with culinary expertise. The wait staff is friendly and attentive while not getting in the way of ongoing table discussions. Lunch on the patio is one of the best things to do in San Diego.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, great for lunch, scenic view, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Beautiful but access very difficult
    CCSDCAVIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    For anyone with a walking challenge or wheelchair be aware there is no valet parking during the week before 5PM making it difficult for lunch access.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet