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 1000-Point Tables
- Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
The Prado at Balboa Park - Best Restaurants in Downtown / Gaslamp ›
The Prado at Balboa Park reviews from OpenTable diners
333 reviews since April 22, 2014
- Ambiance4.5Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (255)special occasion (181)romantic (149)great for lunch (149)scenic view (144)fit for foodies (111)neighborhood gem (76)good for groups (66)great for brunch (64)kid-friendly (37)vibrant bar scene (37)notable wine list (36)hot spot (28)late-night find (26)Show More
- Beautiful dayOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 8/18/2014The perfect way to enjoy a beautiful day with a special friend on the patio.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/17/2014Always enjoy a meal at The Prado. Very top notch.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Prado is a San Diego gemOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/17/2014A great choice for pre-theatre or just fine dining, the Prado serves consistently great food within the wonderful ambiance of Balboa Park.Special Features:
- rkwgolfrDined on 8/15/2014Although 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:
- What happened to the Prado?CarolDined on 8/15/2014I 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
- Love The Prado!LunaDined on 8/14/2014As 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:
- Always dependably very good!FanofPradoDined on 8/14/2014Service & 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Consistently goodmaryDined on 8/14/2014The Prado is always a good choice. Food is very good and well pricedSpecial Features:
- LitprofDined on 8/13/2014Excellent spot right in the middle of Balboa Park.Special Features:
- Worst of the Cohn Restaurant ChainVoraciousVVIPDined on 8/11/2014Came 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:
- Again and againFritzDined on 8/10/2014Have 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/10/2014Went 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Bravo PradoJohnnyDined on 8/8/2014Food: 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:
- Quality establishmentJCasrilloDined on 8/8/2014This is my 6th time and is always a pleasure to go and experience thiz restaurant.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Show off the Best of San DiegoVistafanDined on 8/8/2014Love 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:
- kappyDined on 8/8/2014The 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 minutesSpecial Features:
- opentablefanVIPDined on 8/7/2014Consistently wonderful. The black bean soup and Tres Leche dessert the best in the world.Special Features:
- CorjaDined on 8/6/2014A true San Diego landmark...Always an outstanding experience to enjoy with local friends or show off to visiting friendsSpecial Features:
- always very goodJimSDined on 8/5/2014We 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.
- First time visitrepeatcustDined on 8/3/2014We 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:
- Excellent Dining ExperienceYorktownManDined on 8/3/2014We 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:
- Balboa Park's finest diningReviewbyRobDined on 8/3/2014When 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:
- Fabulous food, uneven serviceLinJeVIPDined on 8/3/2014Fabulous food, uneven service (waiter was solicitous but forgot an appetizer order and tallied the bill inaccurately).
- Gem in the ParkDianaDined on 8/3/2014The 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- PradoConnieDined on 8/3/2014It's always frosting on the cake to have dinner at the Prado before or after the theater in Balboa Park.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Basic food done very very wellOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/2/2014The food is not really foodie but it was basic food done very very well. I mean that as a compliment by the way as getting a perfectly cooked steak or piece of fish at even a high end restaurant seems to be difficult. The service was amazing and they were very very good about my gluten issues. I have Celiac Disease and they were right on it from a special starter to explaining what was gluten free and what could be changed slightly to be gluten free. Really enjoyed it and the service was great.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Not impressed at allnikkoDined on 8/2/2014Not 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:
- Our new fav for special occasionsToughacton05Dined on 8/1/2014A 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:I would recommend this to a friend.
- janrich2Dined on 8/1/2014Very good service and food. Portions were a bit small for the price - but very delicious.Special Features:
- Love the PradoBettyLaMesaDined on 8/1/2014The 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:
- Beautiful but access very difficultCCSDCAVIPDined on 8/1/2014For 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:
- Don't missOpenTable Diner Since 2005Dined on 7/31/2014Delicious uncomplicated food, beautiful setting, a unique experience. Can't wait to come back.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- patOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 7/31/2014great lunch, as alway...not rushed...beautiful surroundings and great food...wonderful service...our server Enrique couldn't have been better...and Matthew the manager made us feel our patronage was appreciated!Special Features:
- Delicious food at reasonable pricesBibi26Dined on 7/30/2014Friendly service and beautiful decor. Will definitely come back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Birthday Celebrations SuccessSogoodDined on 7/29/2014Had a wonderful time celebrating the birthdays of the two closest people in my life. Dinner was delicious and the service was outstanding!!! We decided that this was going to be our place to celebrate all the events of our lives. We had such a great time!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ExcellentOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 7/29/2014Tuesday Date Night entrees were excellent! We enjoyed the Salmon & Pork Prime Rib. Can't wait to come bk again next mth!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food; really nice people!FreqDinerDined on 7/29/2014Each of our dishes was "the right size" and the flavors were delicious. Service was fast (and had charisma!); food was cooked perfectly. We were made to feel welcome even though we were bedraggled from traveling - this was great since we were only a block away de Rodeo Drive! Can't wait to go back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- 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 ExperiencePradoDined 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: