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  • Vela

  • Online Reservations

  • Address:
    Hilton Bayfront
    1 Park Boulevard
    San Diego, CA 92101
    Downtown / Gaslamp
  • Cuisine:
    Contemporary American
    Price: $30 and under

Vela Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.velasandiego.com
  • Phone: (619) 321-4284
  • Hours of Operation: Breakfast Monday - Friday 6:30am- 11am
    Saturday & Sunday 6:30am- 12:00pm

    Dinner Sunday - Saturday 5:30pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, Californian, American
  • Executive Chef: Neil Dandekar
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: To make arrangements for private or semi-private dining; or for groups of 12 or more, please contact our Restaurant Manager directly.
  • Private Party Contact: Barrett Rickman (619) 321-4207

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Harbor Drive/Park Avenue
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: Three hours of complimentary self-parking also available.
    Complimentary valet while dining for Vela Society members.
A word from Vela
There’s something special about the coast that draws people to want to live near it, travel to it and celebrate it. One lives for satisfaction and finds it in simple things. Throughout the world’s coastal resort destinations eateries thrive on the finest products, grown locally where “from farm to fork” is a way of life. At Vela, diners will enjoy the freshest meats, daily caught fish, locally grown market produce and home baked desserts with casual excellence.

Vela’s focus is on the use of the freshest, seasonal, local and sustainable products available to achieve modern interpretations of classic culinary traditions from the most desired coastlines of the planet.

From breakfast to dinner, Vela will surprise you at every turn.
Foodspotting photos
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Diner Reviews
  • "The only option for food was a buffet that we are told on the phone would have vegan options. The food selection was horrible, undercooked, cold, and very few options. The only healthy thing they had was salad and it ran out right away so we couldn't even have that. The service was good and the view was great for the fireworks, but, I was really surprised at how awful the food was."
    Dined on 7/4/2014
  • "A lot going on at Vela - but mostly the service was terrible. Server could not remember what we ordered, brought the wrong drink order, etcetera. The host was not inviting upon arrival, not one person said "hi". Also it was dirty - on the floor beneath our table was dried, crusty food - not something from that day - it was old enough to be shriveled and falling apart from movement under the table legs from a vacuum cleaner. Probably will not return."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Given that most hotel restaurants are over-priced and over-hyped, I had low expectations when I made a reservation at Vela, but I was unexpectedly surprised by the quality of the food and service. Despite the fact that the breakfast prices at Vela are inflated (as in most hotels), I found the dinner menu to be much more reasonable. If you are looking for a good restaurant right on the San Diego harbor, definitely keep Vela in mind."
    Dined on 6/10/2014
  • "The food was good -- actually, the duck comfit was as good as any I have had in Paris -- but despite views of the harbor, the decor was blah and the service lackidazical. "
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Made reservations via OT & learned that Vela is a 1000 for dinner.point place! We were recognized upon arrival as celebrating a birthday & were taken to a nice window table. Would have had great view except clouds decided to roll in :( Service was very good -- thank you Michelle. We started with bruschetta & pita bread and hummus. Both were very good. I had the lamb shank with polenta for my main course. DELICIOUS! The lamb was very tender, flavorful & fell off the bone. The polenta was the best I've had anywhere including when we lived in Italy. My wife wasn't very hungry so chose the Cioppino from the starter section. It was pretty good sized & she said it was great. We then enjoyed a special birthday dessert compliments of the house."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "food was ok - I was expecting better and the desert was just awful and we tried all of them. the drinks were great and the flavored tequilas really great. Our server was awesome and we had a great time, just would have been great if the food was better"
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "The hostess was lovely, but the waitress was inattentive (we never got bread and waited ages for our dinner plates to be cleared.) My arugula salad was very tasty (although missing the promised hazelnut crunch), but my Baja Seafood Boil was overcooked and overpriced. I had to remind the waitress of the Kids Eat Free policy (although, in her favor, she did immediately correct the oversight.) Potential for a really good restaurant here, but not quite living up to it yet. "
    Dined on 4/15/2014
  • "Three hours for dinner and we were only one if ten tables in the place. Food was not really good. This more of a coffee shop in a hotel, trying to be a dinner place. It had a nice view, but couldn't see it because the lighting was too bright in the room. Overall, I will not come here again unless I need a bagel and I am staying at the hotel."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "We had a wonderful dining experience....ambiance, food, and service. We were staying at the hotel, so I went to the Vela early to ask for a window seat. The bartender was opening up and was most hospitable, telling me that he'd endeavor to get us a window seat. When we did arrive, he remembered me and said he was successful and that the hostess would seat us."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "New to San Diego, I opted for dinner in the hotel after a long day of travel. I tried Vela and was happy to find that not only did it have a great view but it was clean, servers were efficient and friendly, and the food and wine were delicious. I had the Creme Brule for dessert and it was amazing! I highly recommend this to anyone staying at the Hilton Bayfront or anyone on the area looking for a relaxed, but elegant dining experience."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "I typically choose a hotel with an onsite restaurant for convenience. Being so close to the gas lamp, I wonder if Vela is overlooked for local options. After a long conference, I decided to stay in, Vela did not disappoint. Our server was attentive in the right moments and offered good sugesstions from the menu. I'd return to Vela my next trip to SD."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "Everything was perfect from hostess to food. Thank you would go again"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "The place was decent enough. Wouldn't really recommend it for Anything other than a nice place to eat for hotel Guests. If you're not staying at the hotel, you could Do a lot better for the price"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I chose Vela for their Valentines Day special, and am SO glad that I did! I was seriously shocked that the place wan't crowded, especially after experiencing the restaurant. The service was attentive and terrific (thank you Adrianne!). The food was to-die-for! We enjoyed a butternut squash ravioli appetizer, a champagne-grapefruit sorbet, and as entrees seared main diver scallops and roasted duck breast. The food was positively exquisite! But then the dessert plate came out. It was not just a dessert, it was a variety of chocolate, mousse, creme brulee, "cotton candy," and more! (I had to share a picture of it on Facebook.) WONDERFUL experience! I can't wait to go back. Thank you to Vela for making a special occasion that much more special!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Went here with my girlfriend for Valentine's day and we had the duck and it was great. Had the ravioli as the first dish and it was great, so good that I used the excellent bread to soak up the sauce."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "This was an easy destination but after dining there, I feel I wasted an evening in San Diego. The food was tasteless , both items I ordered. I really wonder who was actually preparing the food."
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "The entire staff made our date very welcoming. Our waitress made wonderful choices for dinner. We were treated very well. Thank you for the excellent service."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "The view is great, the food was delicious and the service was first rate! Always great energy thoughout the hotel. I'll be back!"
    Dined on 1/23/2014
  • "We dined early on a Friday night.and the restaurant wasn't busy, though there was a large convention in the hotel. Our server, Vanessa was lovely and checked on us often. We shared the bruschetta, which was awkward since we didn't have service plates. We shared a wedge salad which thankfully had been split in the kitchen. The featured menu item was local black cod. It was offered in 3 different preparations. We each had a different preparation. In each case the fish was outstanding, but the sides were lukewarm or cold. It seemed they sat waiting for the fish to be plated. We enjoyed the dessert choices that came in little mason jars. A bargain at $4. Would we return? Absolutely. We live locally and the free validated parking is a perk."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "atmosphere is good, with a fair variety of food items, only one steak option. so if you happen to like flat iron steak over fillet mignon ( which I don't) service was exceptional. for the price and the ambiance however. I would have rather chosen not to listen to 3 different couples screening 2 year olds. with that exception fine dining should not be held in a preschool environment."
    Dined on 12/26/2013
  • "The Hilton was an wonderful place to stay for the week of Christmas. Staff was nice, place is wonderfully clean. As to our 3 course Christmas Dinner at the VELA. Food was average, but tasty. Was expecting a little more for the main course. Filet steak was maybe 3 or 4oz that melted in your mouth. The Dungeness Crab Cake was size of a Silver Dollar. Was expecting chunks of Dungeness Crab meat in the cake. Wasn't happy with the size or taste. Our Daughters Salmon was huge and she said tasted wonderful."
    Dined on 12/25/2013
  • "The food was very good. The soup, salad, scallops, and black cod were all excellent. The cheeseboard is wonderful. Unfortunately, the service is not on par with the food. Even though there were only three tables other than ours, the server disappeared for long periods of time."
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "$14 salad and a dried up piece of 5 oz. cod for $50. I'll pass next time."
    Dined on 12/17/2013
  • "Painfully slow... Then they ran outa food. Yeah that bad.., and service was polite but bad. Took 30 mins just to get a bottle of wine, the wine wasnt sonoma either it was north coast.... Which is false advertising as north coast is one step above jug wine. What food we did get was edible.... But left hungry."
    Dined on 11/28/2013
  • "Went to Vela on a business breakfast. The breakfast buffet was high-end quality and great tasting food. I had the french toast and it was heavenly."
    Dined on 11/18/2013
  • "Bought the TravelZoo promotion - 3 course dinner for $58. Great value. The ambiance of the restaurant was mediocre. The views are supposed to be spectacular, but it was dark and foggy when we dined. Could not see anything. The lighting was way too bright and they were playing rock music over the loudspeakers - way too loud. The service is outstanding. Our waitress was extremely friendly and brought us 2 champagnes as she knew it was our anniversary. She was very attentive and helpful. The food was okay - good, but was it worth the 1-1/2 drive from north county for it? Probably not."
    Dined on 11/8/2013
  • "We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary and they made our dinning experience wonderful! They provided us with a bottle of Champagne for our special occasion. We loved it"
    Dined on 11/2/2013
  • "We truly enjoyed Vela Restaurant! The scallops were some of the best I've ever tasted. Our waitress was terrific!"
    Dined on 10/30/2013
  • "The food was excellent and nicely presented. Our server Audrey and the staff were very attentive and welcoming."
    Dined on 10/30/2013
  • "This is our most memorable place for husband & I. he brought me here on 1st formal date. We came back for his birthday. Adrianne our server was the best. She was so sweet & made our night even more special. Food was great & ambiance. Always a gem to go back. From the moment you walk in it's as if we were family. Can't say enough about Vela. We love it!!!!!"
    Dined on 10/17/2013
  • "Fair or average pretty much says it all. Everything from service to food was OK. We had a large group of 12-14 , but the restaurant was not terribly busy. After an hour in chair I had to chase the food out of the kitchen as many of our guests had just flown from the east coast and were very tired. Manager should have put two waiters on table this size. Food was not bad, just OK, as reviewed by a few attendees. Appetizer board of select cheese and meat was very good and a nice hit to start off."
    Dined on 10/13/2013
  • "One entree was the cod and another the diver scallops and they were perfectly prepared. However, the accompaniments described were almost entirely missing. A tiny bit of mashed potatoes was spread on the plate like a bit of garnish, two tiny sprigs of broccolini, and two thin leeks no larger than a sprig of parsley, leaving the fish and scallops pretty much solo on the plate. Appetizers were tasty and nicely presented, but we did not care for the desserts. We took advantage of a discount coupon from Travelzoo; enjoyed our meal and the service was very professional. However, we would not return at full price for such skimpy entrees."
    Dined on 10/8/2013
  • "We were in San Diego for a conference, staying at the Hilton Bayfront - location of Vela - and wanted a quiet dinner on Sunday evening. It was superb! The food, the view, the service - the whole package. Our wait person Vanessa was very attentive which made everything all the better. Thank you for a wonderful trip , Vela and San Diego."
    Dined on 9/29/2013
  • "I found the restaurant through Travelzoo. We hadn't been to the downtown Hilton and ballpark area for years. The food and service were excellent. The waitress treated us to two glasses of champagne to celebrate our anniversary and she couldn't have been nicer. We had the cheese board for the appitizer and the Black Bass and Scallops for entrees. Both very good. For dessert, we had the Berry PanCotta and they inscribed "Congratulations" on chocolate. The view was beautiful and we took a walk along the marina after dinner."
    Dined on 9/28/2013
  • "Vela has a nice atmosphere for families and a nice view of the water."
    Dined on 9/19/2013
  • "Food was very good, specially the black cod dish. Tried the seared albacore tuna, also very good, but was not a fan of the rice and corn that accompanied the dish. I thought it would be better served with grilled vegetables. Service was very good as well, and the wine suggestions were really on the money."
    Dined on 8/19/2013
  • "Not bad. Fair view, service mediocre & food was OK"
    Dined on 7/20/2013
  • "food was awesome and server was very friendly would go again"
    Dined on 7/13/2013
  • "My wife and daughter reserved a table for the 4th of July buffet at the Hilton/Vela. they evening they only offered a $49 buffet described as a BBQ. I was very disappointed to find it a rather unappealing Mexican buffet with rather limited choices. I was wrong to expect a more traditional American BBQ spread on a most traditional American holiday. I should have read the fine print. Now I enjoy Mexican food for the most part but when I read BBQ I expect BBQ. They were kind enough to let us order off the pool menu. Although it took over an hour to get our meal it was tasty and our waiter was pleasant as was the host/mgr. In the future if you are going to offer BBQ please have some BBQ. Thank you."
    Dined on 7/4/2013
  • "Had breakfast with some colleagues before attending a conference at the convention center. Easy walking distance. Breakfast was standard fare and the service was cordial and attentive. Nice views of the harbor. Take the walk down the docks to see the mega-yachts on your way to the convention center."
    Dined on 6/20/2013