CUCINA urbana

4.7
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5125 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Welcome to CUCINA urbana, a casual Italian American Neighborhood Kitchen and Wine Shop located in the heart of Bankers Hill. The menu highlights the cuisines of various Italian regions with a distinct California ‘farm to table’ flair for which the Urban Kitchen Group has become known. Chef Tim Kolanko is excited to create dishes that are fresh, simple and seasonal. Enjoy wine by the glass or visit the wine shop and select a bottle from over 100 selections at retail price ($10 corkage fee applies). The space features contemporary elements and vintage artifacts creating the feel of a modern Italian kitchen combined with the history and comfort of an old rustic country farmhouse.
What 5125 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 5

Apps and side were good. Papardelle and Bucatini extremely salty. Borderline inedible.

MO
Seattle
5 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Squash Blossoms & Angilotti we’re small yet good. Otherwise, I see why pizza was the most ordered from clientele. Next.

GG
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

As always, the food and service was excellent and the noise level was ridiculous.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Tasty food and great service.

s
San Diego
40 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

our server did such an amazing job. we would definitely come back

OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are in San Diego for a girls trip to celebrate all of our 30th birthdays. It was our first night of the trip and we had just landed, and Cucina urbana kicked off our trip to an amazing start!! Our server Kevin made our dinner unbelievable! Cracking jokes with us, suggesting a delicious (and cheap) wine, and ended the dinner bringing each of us a birthday dessert, 6 desserts and 6 candles. We’re contemplating going back again, with a must to sit in Kevin’s section and order that paparadelli, cauliflower, and mushroom za.

OT
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food here is fabulous...wine list very extensive with a lot of selections from countries not often found in a lot if better wine lists and the service is attentive and good.
The only drawback I find, because it is a busy restaurant, it gets a bit noisy and hard to hear you dinner partners...so if you want an ‘intimate’ evening this might not be your place. But otherwise I highly recommend Cucina Urbana.

OT
Charlotte
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service!

EB
London
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Kevin, our server was attentive, professional and friendly. Excellent place for wine, snacking or full on professional dining experience

OT
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 3service 5ambience 5

Our waitress Lynn was amazing she was 100 % on it. She made our night thank you Lynn.

m
Montreal
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Despite a delay at the incept the evening proved a true delight. The food was well prepared and delicious. The service was outstanding; the wait staff were knowledgeable, affable, solicitous of our reactions. The surroundings are inviting; the wine list is impressive and inviting. It was a highlight evening.

PB
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It’s always amazing at Cucina Urbana! We went pre Old Globe to see Almost Famous, the food was incredible and so was the service! They actually had a shuttle to run us over to the Old Globe! Great night!

LG
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Cucina Urbana is conveniently located within walking distance of the Old Globe theater in Balboa Park, which is why we chose it, but we were delighted to have a delicious meal at reasonable prices. The server was knowledgeable and accommodating, making great suggestions for one of our party who eats gluten-free. All of us loved the dishes we chose, especially the cauliflower small plate. The Branzino fish dish and pizzas were equally good. We will definitely eat there again whether or not we have theater tickets!

CM
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Great, noise level of large group behind us a bit high but that’s restaurants!

L
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

I felt it was too loud. It was difficult to have a conversation.

L
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

The food is delicious, the space is elegant? and the service was very gracious, however, I had my entree dropped with no silverware on the table and no server to be found to help the situation. My other two guests did not have their food yet so I just sat there with a full entree in front of me and no silverware anywhere in sight. It took a full 5 minutes before I could flag someone down to get me silverware. The other entrees didn’t arrive for another full 5 minutes. We also had to remind our server to bring a round of Prosecco that we had ordered but never arrived. When we got the check at the end it was for $9 which was obviously wrong as 3 adults had eaten dinner and drinks. The server remedied it eventually but it was overall very clunky.

HS
San Diego
9 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really really good food. The squash blossoms are awesome. Squid ink pasta and bucatini are great. Burrata pasta is very nice. Awesome experience.

PC
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Food was excellent. Our server, Lynn, was particularly wonderful. Her suggestions were great and her service was impeccable.

DL
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 5

I’ve been coming to Cucina for 8 years and even threw my wife’s 40th birthday party here last December (and paid a pretty penny for it including buying multiple bottles of Corison). Last night was our 7 year wedding anniversary. We had to wait for our table for 15 minutes. No one acknowledged the anniversary even though I noted it on the reservation. Our waiter was inattentive and it was about an hour from ordering our food to receiving our mains. I’ve come to regard Cucina as one of the best restaurants in San Diego and yesterday it was anything but that.

AD
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was creative and great. So was the service, the server took the time to offer suggestions and answer questions.

But...we had a reservation (it was just 2 of us!) and we weren’t seated for about 40 minutes. That was irritating, they kept telling us it would just be a few minutes.

Was noisy and a bit pricey.

DU
San Diego
39 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best dining experience we've had in a while...great food, relaxed atmosphere, and friendly staff. Great start to an evening at the Old Globe theater. We will be back.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We made the mistake of booking during restaurant week. It took us over an hour beyond our reservation time before we got a table. It’s harder to tolerate when people arriving after you get seated first as well. Thus my star reduction.

Once we got to our table our service was great. There were moments of delay between courses/dishes, which were probably because the restaurant was slammed, but we always had full cups since they were prompt with their refills.

We ended up not going with the restaurant week specials because we wanted the freedom of ordering other items, and we were glad of it. Non-Restaurant Week items we loved were the potato gnocchi and the tiramisu. Pretty sure this my favorite tiramisu.

That wait was such a bummer though and it really set the tone for my whole experience. So I will be really hesitant to return for dinner especially on a weekend night.

N
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We always enjoy Cucina. This was the first time we come as a family of four with our baby. One of the staff members that sat us went out of their way to find us a high chair, when we were initially told they were out, I was just expecting to hold my son. This was a great gesture, I believe they borrowed one from the business next door. This was not expected and allowed us to enjoy our dinner even more.

RO
San Diego
57 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food is always delicious.
Faves: cauliflower, chopped salad, pappardelle short rib and branzino. Fantastic wine selection.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Group of 8 had an excellent dining experience. They placed our table in the wine shop area so it was less noisy, our master server Kevin could not have been better. The rest of the service was also top notch - my water glass was never empty and constantly refilled etc. We all agreed the food is great; our only concern was that they had extremely limited wine bottle selections less than $35 and majority north of $40. Overall we really enjoyed our dinner and Kevin made sure our timing was perfect to make the show at the Globe.

SK
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a favorite, never disappoints. Fried Squash blossoms followed by Chefs polenta board...total comfort food meal.

RP
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent place to celebrate any occassion. Love the classic flavors with creative flaires that make you perk up.

TD
Atlanta
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Very good food...wine selection was excellent...really enjoyable meal!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food at decent prices!

EL
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

I went for restaurant week. The stuffed blossoms had the most wonderful saffron aioli with chimicchuri. The agnolotti was like having pillows of buffalo ricotta - delightful. The bucatini was salty and got saltier with every bite which was disappointing since I was most excited to try this one. The salted caramel budino was heavenly. Not a fan of the chocolate wafer it comes with though. Could have used some candied hazelnuts or something instead of a dry wafer. The house wine was enjoyable. The tables are a little close together so I could hear the next couple’s entire conversation Our server was very friendly but I was every so slightly annoyed that she didn’t know the budino came with our restaurant week selection. But it’s one week of specials that’s not standard, so I can understand the confusion. Overall, it was a good experience and I will still go back. Maybe will try the sister location, sorella, for the variation of pastas.

SV
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Outstanding food, cocktails and wine choices. Considerate and helpful staff!
Always a pleasure dining here

r
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic meal! Three of us ordered something different from Restaurant Week Menu and all of our dishes were fabulous. Wine was good, salad was good, serving staff was attentive. Only downside was noisy but every place is that way nowadays.

b
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service with food that exceeds all expectations.

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve wanted to try CUCINA Urbana for years now and finally got around to doing it. Lynn was our server. She was quirky but warm and hilarious. We loved her personality and we had a great overall dining experience. The food did not disappoint. I got the restaurant week squid ink pasta. There was tons of seafood in the dish and the pasta was different than any other pasta I’ve ever had. I’m an transplanted east coaster and it reminded of one of my favorite dishes back east, Zuppa de pesce. My wife got the short rib papadelle . It was the one thing I def wanted to try. It was by far the best short rib I ever had! Desert nocked it out of the park with the caramel burnida. My wife and I went spoon for spoon until the whole thing disappeared. It was a must have. Great dinner, we will be back

RE
Chicago
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 4

We had wine spilled on us from another table. Initially we were told by the manager that’s he’d give us his card and take care of the dry cleaning for my girls dress which has red wine all over it.
At the end of dinner no manager. When the waitress came over she said it’s “like getting your car hit in a parking lot we’re not responsible” and then never came back.
Then a different manager came to the table and took off an appetizer. Wow that makes up for ruining a dress?
Absolutely terrible. Should have at least taken care of the dry cleaning like they said originally.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

We put in our reservation notes that it was a birthday dinner for my husband and asked if something could be done for him. We were called to confirm the dinner a few hours before and I confirmed with the hostess that it was my husband’s birthday and she said normally that they do a complimentary dessert. I asked if it could be communicate to our waiter when we were seated and she said yes. Unfortunately, nothing was done to celebrate his birthday even though we saw other guests receiving desserts with candles. I wanted it to be a surprise for my husband and didn’t want to ask in front of him, nor did I have a chance to get the waitress alone. It was disappointing that this was not communicated even though I put it in the notes and confirmed it. Otherwise, the dinner was fantastic, the service was great, and the ambience was nice! I just wish they followed through with the occasion request.

LL
Caribbean
2 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent!

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OT
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday dinner. Food was outstanding

J
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Very nice restaurant. The menu offered a lot of options including an extensive wine list. The check in was easy and the wait was minimal even though we had reservations. The server was attentive but it was crowded so you need to be patient about getting your food. It is not only crowded but very noisy, which unfortunately, seems to be the norm with restaurants like this.

J
San Diego
19 reviews
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Pre-Theater dinner! Cucina Urbana never disappoints, we had Fried Zucchini Blossoms, Chop Salad, Margarita Pizza and finished with a Expresso Martini! Then to see Almost Famous at the Old Globe Theater and Cucina has a shuttle to take us over the Laurel Street Bridge to the Theater. Also Met Cameron Crowe who was at dinner also. Oh what a night, play was fabulous as was our dinner....

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