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: (619) 557-9441 ext. 203
  • 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
The Prado at Balboa Park reviews from OpenTable diners
341 reviews since July 30, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.4
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.6
    Noise LevelModerate
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
great for outdoor dining (265)special occasion (212)romantic (161)fit for foodies (139)scenic view (135)great for lunch (126)neighborhood gem (106)good for groups (77)notable wine list (44)great for brunch (40)vibrant bar scene (36)hot spot (31)late-night find (19)kid-friendly (17)Show More
  • Nice for special occasion
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    The Prado is always a great place to go anytime but more so for a special occasion. The park is so beautiful to walk around and ambiance at the Prado is wonderful.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Made our anniversary special
    JoeB
    Dined on 11/22/2014
    The staff at The Prado was accommodating, friendly and patient. It was our anniversary, and our never-still 6-year old came with us because we had no sitter. The Prado made sure we had a lovely time anyway. The food was superb. The wine list was outstanding. Highlight of the meal was the cheesecake flan.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A gem in Balboa Park walk and eat!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Best area to walk at night in San Diego. Beautifully lighted area. Sit on the patio if you can.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First of Many Visits
    Asandov1
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    This place lives up to its great reputation. We received top notch customer service and enjoyed a great meal. The ambiance is full of vivid artwork throughout. This is a great place to celebrate any special occasion. We are definitely coming back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Prado Perfect
    loveslunch
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    Went there after viewing the art museums for a special birthday lunch. Everything was perfect: the wait staff, the introduction to a new pinot, the food. The Cohens know how to operate a restaurant. Glad I make reservations with open table because people were waiting for a table at 1:00.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Quiet Wednesday Night Dinner
    kimbrogan
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    We went here for dinner on a Wednesday night before our play at the Old Globe. It was quiet in the dining room although there was more activity in the bar area. The outdoor patio was open although we did not take a table outside because it was chilly. The Prado is a beautiful restaurant with old-world charm and the food is delicious. I had two "appetizers", the bean soup and the shrimp chile relleno. Both were very good. I especially liked the chile relleno stuffed with a cheese sauce and shrimp. My husband had the salmon and couldn't say enough good things about it. This is a wonderful restaurant...about $70 for two if each of you have one drink and no deserts.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food and great service
    Louise
    Dined on 11/19/2014
    Good food and great service in an elegant but not stuffy environment.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • THE place to dine in Balboa Park
    OlinecVIP
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    I love this restaurant which is on my list each time I visit San Diego. Start with a lovely sea cake, salads and sandwiches are wonderful. Finish with one of the best bread puddings.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch at the Prado
    DeeDee
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    The kobe burger was great and so was the grilled taco plate. The prickly pear cactus margarita was delicious and strong. Sitting outdoors on the patio was relaxing and scenic. Overall a good dining experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • H2O Michael
    H2OMichael
    Dined on 11/16/2014
    This was the second year we did the Grinch before the Tree Lighting and had a wonderful time! Great venue, lots of fun for our family, the Grinch was awesome, the tree lighting and attendance was excellent, and then to top it off with a wonderful dinner just steps from the theater makes for a memory that will last for all!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Night
    SeanVIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    I love eating here, great for a special occasion or a date.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • would gladly return
    KarenVIP
    Dined on 11/14/2014
    A lovely atmosphere with great food. Large selection of both appetizers and entrees and GREAT desserts. We ate inside, away from the bar, so it was very quiet and easy to engage in conversation
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for romantic dinner
    luvgr8spots
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    The Prado is great for a romantic dinner. I took my boyfriend for his birthday in the middle of the week, It was quiet, great scenery and our server Dominic was awesome. His knowledge and honesty on the dishes was appreciated.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food
    diningexplorer
    Dined on 11/12/2014
    The food at Prado is always great. I eat there whenever I am in San Diego. There were four of us. We each ordered something different and we all loved our choices. I always eat outside for dinner because the noise inside can get intense, especially with entertainment. The heaters outside work great. The Waitress on this occasion was not the most charming and was a bit of a wine snob. We weren't sure if it was to get us to spend the most to increase her tip or not. She seemed to strain to be pleasant throughout the service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch in the Park!
    Patt
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    Always a pleasure to meet friends at this lovely historic venue. The food and service is flawless. A short walk from the main parking lot or valet.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Belated anniversary dinner
    samadams
    Dined on 11/9/2014
    As active duty military and stuck at work on duty I wanted a good choice to enjoy our evening the following weekend. I read all of the reviews and The Prado seemed to fit. After great service and a yummy meal I couldn't be happier. We'll be back definitely.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Wonderful!
    GailCVIP
    Dined on 11/8/2014
    Perfect service! Super delicious food!! Beautiful location/setting!! We love The Prado--great place to celebrate a special occasion or just to take a break when museum-hopping! The menu is varied and works well for healthy dining or for more indulgent splurges. The cracker/flatbreads and hummus is a perfect starter. The broccoli orange side is fresh and delicious. Always a favorite!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • No lobby music please!
    Yummy
    Dined on 11/7/2014
    We love the Prado, the ambience is lovely, the food is good, service, always excellent, but please, can't they choose a better selection of music? Throughout our meal we had to listen to nondescript, " hotel lobby", music droning away. With so many choices, why that station? Even the staff was complaining!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great food
    DerekS
    Dined on 11/6/2014
    Always great food and service here. The chicken jidori was so amazing. We were here for dinner on the patio which was perfect. I also enjoy coming here for lunch on the patio.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Doesn't Dissapoint
    sabrina
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    We had a great dinner at The Prado -- food was very well prepared and presented, waiters were friendly and accommodating and while we sat outside, there was even a little live music happening in the bar.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful restaurant
    SB619
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    I loved The Prado, from the amazing ambiance to the eclectic food selection and the wonderful staff, everything about the experience was perfect. Highly recommend.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Prado is a Treasure
    lindafoodie
    Dined on 11/5/2014
    We are always pleasantly surprised by the innovative meals at the Prado. It is a beautiful setting, the food is excellently prepared, and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. They made our out-of-town guests feel very comfortable and excited to try many of the dishes! Great Job!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • SavtaSanDiego
    Dined on 11/3/2014
    a favorite spot of mine when I take a friend to lunch on their birthday. Impeccable service and food. Never disappointed. Lovely walk in nearby Balboa Park after lunch is a bonus.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Awesome waiter!
    finefoodjunkie
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    I made reservations at the Prado since we were going to the Old Globe afterwards for a play. It was a special occasion. The hostess was delightful and our waiter was really fabulous! He had seen the play and told us how wonderful it was. He understood our need to be out of the restaurant in time to pick up our tickets at will call. The dinner went smoothly, and we made it to the show on time! The food and drink were also outstanding! I love this place and come here as often as I can when I am in Balboa Park.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, late-night find, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best Food around.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/1/2014
    Amazing food, wine, and dessert. Paella was amazing. Salmon dish was delicious. Very berry tart really hit the spot! Love the food & atmosphere here. Kinda pricey so good for special occasions.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Stellar
    datniteprime
    Dined on 10/30/2014
    Had an amazing experience taking my girlfriend out to the Prado. Definitely recommend it for any date night
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Access to Prado is Poor
    kisfanVIP
    Dined on 10/29/2014
    The overall access to The Prado leaves a lot to be desired. Even the drop off location for valet parking is bad. Filner really screwed things up with his stupid, illogical plan.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Outstanding service
    ThomVIP
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    We dined on the outdoor patio at Prado before going to the Old Globe theater. Thought we had plenty of time with a 6 pm dinner and 8pm show. Thankfully the waiter, Michael, reminded us that the Tuesday show started at 7pm. He remained cognizant of the time and made sure the dishes were served promptly so that we were able to enjoy our meal and get to the theater on time! The grilled portabella salad & halibut entree were very good. This is one of our favorite restaurants in San Diego
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lunch at the prado
    Lunch
    Dined on 10/28/2014
    Went to the Prado for lunch to celebrate a birthday. Sat outside, perfect weather and excellent menu options. Service was outstanding, this is a park treasure
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A favorite
    Mimi
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    We love The Prado for lunch. The menu has a nice variety and all of them are well prepared. The prices are reasonable and they take reservations.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Nice location but food is just OK
    BigCatVIP
    Dined on 10/27/2014
    We had lunch on Monday at Prado after walking around the zoo for a couple of hours. It was quite the relief to finally sit down on Prado's deck, which is lovely. In fact, the overall setting of the restaurant within Balboa Park is lovely. Unfortunately the food really just doesn't stand up to it all. Especially not when a place like Cucina Urbana is so close by. But, the overall experience of either the park or zoo followed by lunch at Prado is nice to do once in a while.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great for pre-theater
    jmacslb
    Dined on 10/26/2014
    This is very good, reliable and convenient for dining before going to the Old Globe.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great patio (but not much else)
    shvonneatehere
    Dined on 10/25/2014
    I hadn't been here for a few years but remembered it so fondly. Everyone at hostess stand was lovely and attentive getting us a table outside which was beautiful. But the server would come by so infrequently we had to ask any other server or busser walking by to either get her (not a busy night) or just put in our orders with them. Everything came out lukewarm and just kind of tasted soul-less. Like catered wedding food. I had the paella that had none of the delicious crispy rice that makes paella not just rice and seafood. Everyone else felt like their dishes were just "ok" as well. But I do love going here for a glass of wine / cocktail outside and small plates. Probably wouldnt do dinner here again.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful night!
    Bestserviceevah
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    Our server Daniel was spectacular and his suggestions were absolutely delicious. He made out anniversary very special and tasty, especially with the tres leches dessert. The halibut was cooked to perfection and the short rib entree was so tender it was falling apart. I am definitely coming back for every occasion so i can try more of the menu!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never disappoints
    Green12
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    My friends and I ate outside on the patio where there is plenty of shade and a terrific view. The service and food were very good, as always. You never feel rushed when you dine here, the staff is accommodating, and the atmosphere is fun, yet the noise level is comfortable.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great Restaurant and Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/19/2014
    Came here for my one year anniversary. Ian was our server. Very honest with his recommendations. We ordered the Pot Stickers. Not just any pot stickers. These were amazing. I ordered the salmon and braised ribs. My gf had the 8 oz. steak. Both dishes were great. Happy Anniversary K.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Didn't disappoint!
    lovestoeatVIP
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    We recently moved back to San Diego after 3 years away and decided to try The Prado again. We weren't disappointed! One in our party can't eat gluten and another is a vegetarian, and all 3 of us had delicious meals (short ribs and salmon combo, seafood cake, and pork prime rib). Their Blood Orange Cosmos are the best. We like the unique and comfortable inside decor as well as the outdoor patio. Our server was very good too...friendly, attentive and knowledgeable about the menu. A great night out....
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • always spot-on!!
    Princess
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    never can go wrong with this little gem- food wonderful and service outstanding!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • long wait
    LUV2EATPRIMERIB
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Had 2:00 reserv. Arrived on time. Rest. not busy. Had to wait 20 plus min. I discovered large sections of rest. were 'closed off"!I guess not enough help at time.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, scenic view, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Pre-Globe place!
    Special
    Dined on 10/16/2014
    Loved every minute here, great service, delicious food, not rushed but plenty of time to get to an 8pm performance at the Globe. Memorable time!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, great for lunch, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.