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Cafe Luna - San Diego

4.4
379 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Special Occasion

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About

Famous for the celestial dipping sauce, Caf� Luna in San Diego is a noted boutique Italian restaurant with an impressive wine list and irresistible array of sweet treats to enjoy, as well.

Some of the specialties on the menu at Caf� Luna in San Diego are the fusilli Umbriaco or the tournadoes gorgonzolia. The rosetta is a sheet of house made pasta rolled with ham and cheese and then baked in a creamy sauce. Chef Paden Skaggs is perpetually creating new dishes using the amazing local and seasonal ingredients, making any visit to Caf� Luna in San Diego something new and unique. Whether you wish to savor the freshest produce and seafood or something more exotic like duck or quail, it is likely to be on the menu.

Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Italian, European, Bar / Lounge / Bottle Service
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Tuesday - Friday: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm; Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Happy Hour 4:00 - 8:00 Tues - Fri
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Phone number
(858) 673-0077
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Executive chef
Paden Skaggs
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Private party facilities
Cafe Luna can accommodate 35 quests seated in our Wine Room or 50 guests seated in our Dining Room. The cost to hold a private party using either rooms requires a $1,500 booking. The catering cost is reflected in that amount.
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Private party contact
Jamie Wimmer: (877) 649-4546
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Catering
Café Luna offers full catering for any occasion. Birthday celebrations, weddings, family reunions & private parties. From casual to elegant, we promise to make your day special! Contact our events coordinator, Jamie Wimmer, to submit your special request today.
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Cross street
Carmel Mountain Road
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout
What 379 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.4based on all time ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.1
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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5.0Dined on May 28, 2016

If you haven't been to Cafe Luna in the Carmel Mountain Ranch area lately, you're missing out on a wonderful dining experience. Fantastic dishes, wonderful service, and great entertainment (Saturdays). I strongly recommend you check out Cafe Luna !

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5.0Dined on May 27, 2016

Food and service are always excellent. The rosettas are our favorite.

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4.0Dined on May 26, 2016

The food at Cafe Luna is always good. Service is friendly. Love this place.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2016

Even though we were late for our reservation, they took us in and had a table ready. Great food and the bread was most excellent. Really got you in the mood for a great meal.

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5.0Dined on May 6, 2016

We ordered 3 pastas and a halibut entree. The pastas were outstanding, probably the best we've ever had. The halibut was disappointing as was the dessert. The Artesa pinot noir made up for the dessert. Service was very good. The ambiance was great but it was a little noisy. I will certainly eat here again.

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5.0Dined on April 15, 2016

We have been going to Cafe Luna for years and it never disappoints. The food, service and atmosphere are second to none.

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5.0Dined on April 8, 2016

Great neighborhood restaurant. Always great food and service.

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4.0Dined on April 8, 2016

A pleasant surprise! Will go back again to try additional dishes.

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3.0Dined on April 1, 2016

The staff is friendly, the service good, I had lemon chicken with pasta, the side pasta was really good, chicken was not. My husband had the ground filet marinara and spaghetti he enjoyed. Our friends ordered filet which he enjoyed and eggplant pasta dish was okay. Its a nice dinner but it's not exceptional. They have a pretty good wine list and serve liquor drinks as well. It was a full house so it fills the needs of the area. I can not say the food is foodie worthy so don't go with those expectations. I've gone to this restaurant intermittently throughout its "life" they used to be better.

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5.0Dined on March 22, 2016

Dinner was delicious with superb service. I thought the menu had a lot of great choices and the waitress was informative and helpful with selections.
I hadn't been there for several years and it was just wonderful that it did not disappoint.
I'll go back for another special occasion for sure.

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4.0Dined on March 22, 2016

This was our first experience at Cafe Luna--and we were delighted with the food and service. We'll definitely return. The food was great; the service attentive and polite. Thank you Cafe Luna!

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3.0Dined on March 19, 2016

Cioppino was good ($30), butternut squash soup was excellent ($12) Vitello Parmesan was so-so ($30). Overall, a little pricey for what you get. Good service though. Ambiance is eh...for those prices, should be on the beach or at Balboa Park or downtown.

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4.0Dined on March 11, 2016

Met my daughter here for an early dinner and it was a good thing we'd made a reservation - even at 5:45 almost every table was already seated and as soon as someone left another party was seated. Nice food selection from light fare to more filling entrees. Both my daughter and I selected pasta dishes that were really good - servings were generous on both the Veal Marsala and the spaghetti with a spicy sauce. Our waiter, Jeremy, was knowledgeable about the dishes and made a good suggestion on our wine. Will definitely go back there soon!

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2.0Dined on March 10, 2016

The restaurant seating is very crammed. The good news is that you can barely hear the people seated on top of you because you could hardly hear the person you are with! Extremely noisy! We were ther on a Thursday evening and we thought it might be a slow night. The hostess originally wanted to seat us in the bar---in front of the band. Really??? The thing that keeps this place going is the food--very good. i preferred the restaurant way back when it had booths; you could at least hear the person or persons you are with. I am sure that lunch might be a bit quieter.

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4.0Dined on March 4, 2016

The food is outstanding. The restaurant serves Italian cuisine. The staff is always friendly and provide better than average service. The original configuration was more intimate, but now they have removed booths and packed the restaurant with more tables. The tables for two are very small and you have to be proactive in creating space throughout your meal. There is a nice bar where you can also be served a full meal. There are tables in the bar area, but because they have a TV over the bar, it makes that room seem more like a sports bar than a restaurant.

The restaurant is located in a strip mall, but once you are inside you really don't notice it.

Overall, it is a nice dining experience because the quality of the food and the delicate tastes makes it worthwhile.

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4.0Dined on February 27, 2016

I have eaten here for over a decade and things change from time to time. Currently, the food is excellent as has usually been the case. There are fixed menu selections and always several specials. It is mostly Italian. The food is flavorful and the portions are generous. The wine list is small, but with good and not too expensive choices. It is a great place for an evening out.

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5.0Dined on February 23, 2016

I go to Cafe Luna at least once a month and I enjoy it every single time! Best food in San Diego. I go here for any occasion I can think of lol and the manager is really nice and does a great job of running the place. Love!!

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5.0Dined on February 19, 2016

We love coming back to this place – excellent food and service. My husband and I always intend to try other dishes but we always end up ordering our favorites: Veal Tenderloin Filet Scallopini and Lobster Mac and Cheese. For our visit last Friday (2/19), we would like to thank Peter for an excellent service. We had a wonderful time!

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5.0Dined on February 14, 2016

Our favorite place to go for Valentine's Day and anniversaries.

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5.0Dined on February 13, 2016

We always love Cafe Luna. It's an absolute hidden gem in a small strip mall near a Subway and an Irish Pub, and shares a parking lot with a Carls Jr. But don't let the odd location in Carmel Mtn Ranch fool you, the food and service is as good as any you'll find at the top restaurants in San Diego. We often get different entrees, and they're always delicious -- right down to the fresh baked bread they bring to your table with an very tasty dipping sauce. Highly recommend.

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5.0Dined on February 13, 2016

It's interesting that Cafe Luna shares its location with an Olive Garden. The contrast between the tawdry chain and the small, locally-owned independent could not be clearer. Why settle for mass-produced fodder when you can have gourmet cuisine? If you can afford more than the basics, opt for Cafe Luna.

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5.0Dined on February 12, 2016

My wife and I enjoy Cafe Luna, The Olive Garden is in the same parking lot but let's be real... The Olive Garden is a joke when it comes to Italian food. The food is great and so is the service. Chris and Jeremy are and will always take care of you, above and beyond. Great dining experiences and will continue enjoy.

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5.0Dined on February 10, 2016

Always makes us feel like home, awesome service, food was great! Great for special occasions or date night, great for families as well.

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5.0Dined on February 6, 2016

Always a great time at Cafe Luna. We like eating at the bar for a more casual experience. Tori always has great recommendations.

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5.0Dined on February 6, 2016

Love this restaurant! Haven't been in 10 years- still every bit as good as I remembered .

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4.0Dined on February 5, 2016

We love this local little restaurant. It's not that fancy but the Rosetta is to die for. I had the linguini with fresh clams in the shells and I would give it a 10!

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5.0Dined on January 30, 2016

Cafe Luna has been located in Carmel Mountain Ranch for years. We quit going there because of the service. However, it now has a new owner, full bar, great wine list and great food. It has now become our new 'go to" place. Went with friends the other night. The service was great and everyone thought the food was wonderful. They also have special wine dinners throughout the year.

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3.0Dined on January 30, 2016

As always we had a wonderful experience at our favorite San Diego restaurant. The food and service are second to none.

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5.0Dined on January 8, 2016

It was our first visit to this restaurant. We were very pleasantly surprised. The owner was there talking to everyone. Her son was our waiter. He was very good. The food was very tasty and the service excellent. we will definitely come back.

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3.0Dined on January 2, 2016

The food was excellent but the portion sizes were way to small. Even the beer I ordered came from a small size bottle that I never saw before maybe 10 oz not the standard 12.

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3.0Dined on January 1, 2016

Food was actually good (that we did get), And experience started out fine, BUT after taking the order, service completely crashed, there was some excuse about the dish-washer did not show up, so we sat a very long time without the entrees, some apps never did show up and then they would not honor the $20 OpenTable check that they told me on the phone that they would honor. So lame, very disappointed in that. I had high hopes, but cannot recommend them.

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5.0Dined on December 31, 2015

We went to Café Luna for New Year's Even dinner, our table was not ready and had to wait for a while but the lady at the front was very apologetic for the delay which we understood since it was NYE, she was very accommodating and kept us informed as to when our table would be ready, in the meantime she offered us complimentary drinks. There were three of us in our party, our food was great and so was the service, I would definitely recommend Café Luna, I hope to visit again when I'm in town.

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4.0Dined on December 26, 2015

Great Italian food beautifully served. Unexpected pleasure hidden by all the usual suspects (chain restaurants).
Dessert was divine! and shareable

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4.0Dined on December 22, 2015

Delicious Italian food and cute restaurant. Table was small with uncomfortable chairs but the food made up for it.

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5.0Dined on December 19, 2015

Love the food but portion was tiny... We love the decor and upside down Xmas tree

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5.0Dined on December 18, 2015

There were four of us at dinner. We were celebrating our Christmas Dinner with good friends.
Jan and I had the putenesca over penne - excellent. My husband had pasta diablo with shrimp, and Gary had two small plates - one was shrimp and the other osso bucco raviolis. Jan and I also salads - forgot their names, but both were delicious.
Our wine was terrific because they have a wonderful wine list.
Would tell all my friends, family, etc about this wonderful restaurant.

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5.0Dined on December 11, 2015

Tried this new place for my nephew's birthday and it was fabulous. Had to admit I was skeptical since I live downtown and the dining scene in CMR is not very inspiring, but Cafe Luna is the clear exception. Authentic Italian food, with creative ingredients, well prepared, nice service and some of the best bread ever. Plus the wine list is very strong and reasonably priced. If you are in the burbs and want a super meal try Cafe Luna!!

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4.0Dined on December 5, 2015

The food is excellent and the staff was very good.

It was a little loud and space was cramped.

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5.0Dined on November 28, 2015

I have been dining at Cafe Luna for twenty years. The menu is so impressive that it can stand up to most any of the finest restaurants in San Diego. The food is as good as promised. My favorite entree is the Fusilli Umbriaco, which tastes as good today as it did twenty years ago. I simply cannot say enough good things about this wonderful restaurant. I can't imagine how it has survived in the chain-restaurant jungle of Carmel Mountain Ranch, but thank goodness it has!

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4.0Dined on November 25, 2015

We always enjoy Cafe Luna but I am a little disappointed in their new menu. They no longer serve my favorite dish and the prices seem higher while the portions seem smaller. The food is good, though, and there's and ample selection of wine and spirits. Except for the painting of headless people near our table, the ambiance is very nice. Low, warm lighting, moderate noise level, relaxed atmosphere, the kind that makes you feel it's okay to linger all make Cafe Luna a feel good place.

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