Bencotto Italian Kitchen

4.6
1983 Reviews
$31 to $50
Italian
ONLINE RESERVATIONS ARE LIMITED. PLEASE CALL THE RESTAURANT IF YOUR DESIRED TIME IS NOT AVAILABLE.

We are proud to offer 75 kinds of different pasta recipe, fresh and hand-crafted 12 hours a day.
"Bencotto" means cooked well: this is what authentic Italian food is about.
It tastes as it should and would in Italy.
Bencotto offers two different eating environments: guests can either enjoy their meal at our “kitchen-esque” bar downstairs, or they can relax in the intimate low-ceiling dining area upstairs. The décor creates a clean and sophisticated atmosphere, where old-world charm and warmth blend with contemporary appeal.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Physical Distancing
  • Limited number of seated diners
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 1983 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
86% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JP
vipJPValdez
Palm Springs
24 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall3food2service5ambience5

Pasta was boiled to death and drowned in sauce. I sent that back and they brought me lasagna. It was like soup. Literally like soup. I thought lasagna was three dimensional. Iced tea was out of the bar gun. Yuck.

The wait staff was drop dead gorgeous so we tipped well.

J
vipJason
San Diego
26 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience3

I have been here several times and the food is always very tasty and fresh. With outdoor seating you sometimes, as a party of 2, get seated right next to the sidewalk and the atmosphere is not the best for a nice dinner. If I am eating tacos get it and understand covid has pushed this type of seating to stay open,etc. Service was strong to start and the server was very nice however at the end we got less to no attention which lead to us to skip dessert and another drink that we usually get. Service is always good here this was a blip at the end of the visit. Would recommend.

A
vipAnonymous
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food5service3ambience4

We love this place!! Definitely get the prosciutto and fried dough and the cheese wheel pasta!

MB
MaggieB
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Our server was outstanding. There were some good choices for a gluten-free meal.

ND
vipNormaD
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wait staff and manager were very attentive to our needs. Delicious food!

ZG
vipZiaGina12
San Diego
43 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience2

Hello. ...

This will unfortunately not be the review I was hoping it would be. The reviews did not match our experience in the least.

We were celebrating my boyfriends birthday, who is an Italian from Italy. Based on reviews we chose Bencotto for his celebration.

Not one Italian in sight working there, and I mean, not one.

The waiter was meh. He wasn’t informed well of items on the menu and it was apparent that he wasn’t passionate about his job or food in general. Nice enough guy, but that’s where it ends.

The antipasto appetizer plate was good and we enjoyed it.

I ordered the Osso Bucco and was truly looking forward to it as it’s been forever since I have had this dish. When it arrived, we looked at the dish and then each other in a perplexed state. It looked and tasted like something just pulled from a microwave dinner. I mentioned to the waiter. Based on the recommendation from our waiter, my boyfriend ordered the gnocchi with Bolognese sauce. What showed up were raviolis, not gnocchi. Once again, it tasted terrible. The manager came over and apologized and removed both entrees from our bill. This was appreciated, albeit expected. He offered us a complimentary dessert, but we just wanted to leave. We did order a delicious wine and it was enjoyed with our antipasto of meats and cheeses, so not all was lost.

Three weeks ago I stopped in for a quick lunch as I was running early for a meeting. I love octopus and ordered it. It smelled fishy and was dry. I have had this dish more times than I can count at other restaurants and never been this bad. I gave them a pass as I wanted to think it was just a bad day. Not. I should have stuck to my gut.

This restaurant is not for foodies or a nice dining experience.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Orange County
1 review
Dined on April 5, 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience3

Horrible experience food was mediocre & the server never came back with our $30 change just assumed it was her tip

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience3

The service by far was a huge disappointment. The food came to the table extremely fast with our entree following the two apps within minutes apart. The wait staff was unfriendly and pressuring to clear dishes from the table when we weren't finished. The food presentation was sloppy. The octopus tasted fishy and just a bit off. The meatballs were not flavorful and tasted off the shelf. The black squid ink pasta with shrimp and tomato cream sauce was salty and lacked richness. The shrimp had the shells still intact which added no flavor benefit and proved challenging to eat. Overall, this experience was not worth the ~$80 and disappointing.

MM
MatthewM
Orange County
7 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience3

No too fair of a review. We ate too much at lunch and only ordered apps and dessert. The aged cheese and prosciutto was good. Panacotta was okay, not great. The service was outstanding but we were seated in a little upstairs alcove....not my fav.

M
Meggie
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious pasta! Lots of choices to customize your meal. Decent wine list. Excellent service

w
whywynn
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on April 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely love this place and definitely going back to try even more of their tasty homemade pastas! The squid ink gnocchi was incredible!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

love the new out door dining

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were celebrating a birthday and everything was wonderful. The only recommendation would be to have garlic bread like they do across the street at Barbusa

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Chicago
10 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The food was amazing, probably the best Italian food that I’ve ever had! The prices were a bit high, but, the quality of the food made it worth it. I highly recommend the Cheese Wheel Pasta!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Las Vegas
4 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2021
Overall2food3service1ambience1

We asked to be seated outside. They sat the 2 of us at small table right outside the entrance. During the meal, people were walking their dogs and many just passing by (within a couple ft) up and down the street. Between courses we would put our masks on because some people were walking close by without masks. Our server was also the bartender and he seldom checked on us. Food was ok, not great. No dessert. Just wanted to get out of there ... this was our second visit. First time was great. Won't be going back. Terrible location of small tables and the bartender server combo did not work for us.

F
Favorite
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our favorite place for an afternoon lunch with a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio. Great food and service!

J
Jasmina
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on March 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food never disappoints! I got the Cioppino which was to die for and my husband made his own pasta which was squid ink pasta, with arrabiata sauce and sausage.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So fun! Got the gnocchi Neri and was absolutely delicious.

K
Karin
San Diego
20 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice place to eat. The Pesto and ravioli were wonderful. Nice wine selection.

MH
vipMichelleH
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

CHEESE WHEEL

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2021
Overall2food1service2ambience2

Wanted to have pasta for dinner decided to go to bencotto our first time very disappointed ordered the zucchini blossoms which were barely warm and looked like they were frozen. The pasta I ordered was the butternut squash tortellini and it was very sweet my wife ordered the chicken Alfredo and said it was watery. Paid almost $100.00 for our meal plus tip and didn’t enjoy it. Barbusa and monello are so much more tasty and fresh.

JM
JonathanM
Hawaii
4 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Place is great, can't go wrong with anything on the menu

E
Emilie
1 review
Dined on March 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Little Italy has a variety of restaurants but Bencotto stands apart. Their food is delicious, the servings are substantial and the environment is gorgeous. Also a side note; they don’t charge extra for gluten free which is outrageously generous. I am so thankful.

M
vipMonica
New York Area
70 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Food was excellent, any and all pasta is 5-star. I had the salmon entree and it was equally fantastic, super fresh, simple and flavorful.

KE
KERRIF
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience2

Inadequately heated outdoor seating, mediocre food

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience3

For the price of the food, we were not impressed. It lacked flavor, the noodles tasted like they came straight from a box which was disappointing.

I had the cheese wheel & my husband and the gnocchi ( the gnocchi was probably the only good thing we had, it definitely tasted homemade) with creamy cheese sauce and chicken (which was recommended as the protein from our server). The chicken was Flavorless and gross. As well as the cheese sauce, it lacked flavor & was watery. My dish had moments of flavor but over all it was not amazing & $26! The noodles weren’t cooked all the way ( and they weren’t even al dente) they were hard. The calamari wasn’t very good either it was over cooked & rubbery. We normally finish our meals, but we left with food still on our plates.

We are out on a date and felt like we were being rushed out. We took our time eating bc we were talking and enjoying a night out and we kept being asked “do you want that boxed” “are you finished here” “can I bring the check.” I’ve served in the restaurant industry for over 10 years and I know what checking in your tables means, and trying to turn them over looks like. We sat down at 5 and left before 6:30 bc we felt rushed.

We spent over $100 for our dinner and left hungry. Sad to say we won’t be coming back.

CL
vipChristinaL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 12, 2021
Overall1food2service4ambience2

This used to be one of my favorite spots in San Diego. I was so sad to see the change in quality. (The meatballs were hard and seemed like they were from a grocery freezer section)The outside set up they have is nice, but the house music being played made things feel rushed. Our waiter, Josh, was wonderful though. He kept apologizing for the disruptive table nearby and helped us get our check quickly.

d
vipdtiger
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Very good menu choices, reasonable prices, good size portions, and very friendly service. The outdoor seating (covered and heated) was excellent. Some of our dishes were very good, some were OK, and a couple were very disappointing. We would go back.

L
Laura
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food and wine! Outdoor dining was spaced out and they had heaters for warmth.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was great! Service is awesome!

AP
vipAnandP
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food is always great. Ate too much. Pastas were delicious as always. In and out of three course meal in under 1 hr. Great leftovers.

H
vipHortense
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious as always! Highly recommend the cheese wheel pasta and truffle ravioli. One of the best Italian restaurants in Little Italy.

FD
FrankD
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience3

Worst food and service ever. We had reservation and the host was beyond rude! We got there 10 minutes early and wait 20 minutes passed our reservation. When I asked the host and told her they’re already passed 20 minutes she said “we should feel lucky because other customers have waited 30minutes” WOW!! Then why take reservations if you do not honor them!? Next the food was horrible! I got there penne with meat sauce and it was extremely bland with no flavor at all!! All of our food was to bland. It tasted like regular ragu. I do not recommend this place to anyone. Go to one of the other many Italians places on the same street

KM
KristineM
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A truly lovely outdoor setting with some plant walls dividing outside dining spaces for social distancing, terrific service from Lynette and wonderful food! Try the gnocchi with the short rib filling and the ravioli filled with butternut squash.

DB
DawnB
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I had been “stalking” this restaurant on Instagram for the past several months. When the opportunity to go to San Diego presented itself, I immediately made reservations for dinner here. The food was incredible! The service was prompt and friendly. It was everything I had hoped it would be after months of wanting to eat there.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was delicious, service was very good! Our seating not the best but the food and service made up for it

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good experience, especially considering that it was during COVID.

Food- I got the squid ink pasta with shrimp and loved the fresh pasta and generous amount of shrimp. My bf got the ossobuco and he really enjoyed it too, it was very tender. The drinks were also great.

Service- seated on time, service was appropriately attentive. They had lots of heat lamps outdoors so it was comfortable. There’s a time limit due to covid so I do wish we were offered the dessert menu but I understand we were nearing the end of the 1.5 hour limit and they needed to tend to the long line of people waiting to get a table.

Can’t beat the location in Little Italy. I’d highly recommend!

TB
vipToriBu
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

For the last two years I’ve brought my husband here for his birthday, it’s our favorite Italian place in San Diego! Highly recommend... we’ve tried just about everything on the menu and never have been disappointed.

TG
ToddG
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on February 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best Italian food in San Diego!

Report
MH
vipMarkH
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

They produce the best homemade pasta in San Diego. They also built a beautiful outdoor dining space that creates a great atmosphere while making us feel very safe. A perfect COVID safe experience.

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Bencotto Italian Kitchen using the Order Online button. Bencotto Italian Kitchen also offers delivery in partnership with Postmates. Bencotto Italian Kitchen also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (619) 450-4786.

Bencotto Italian Kitchen is rated 4.6 stars by 1983 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.

Tweets by Bencotto Italian Kitchen