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  4. San Diego
  5. Downtown / Gaslamp

Dobson's Bar & Restaurant

4.5
4.5
1127 Reviews
$30 and under
Californian
Dobson's Bar and Restaurant is a hidden treasure in the heart of Downtown San Diego/Gaslamp Quarter. For the last 37 years, this has been the hot spot for business lunches and frequented by many local and nationwide celebrities. Paul Dobson, the namesake for Dobson's bar and restaurant, is one of America's few professional Bullfighters. The food is California cuisine with a touch of Italian, French, Spanish and Asian cuisine. One thing that both local San Diegans and Zagat can agree on is that this is one of the top restaurants in San Diego. Due to the limited seating and popularity, reservations are highly recommended. Owner Paul Dobson "works a room better than Sinatra", which explains why this "local tradition" downtown remains, "after all these years", a "high-powered, hobnob spot"; the Cal kitchen "serves up delicious, innovative food, along with old standbys" ("have the mussel bisque and think of heaven").

Make a reservation

2 people

8:30 PM


Booked 8 times today
Private dining

Private dining

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Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Californian, French, Seafood

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Mon–Fri 11:00 am–3:00 pm Dinner Mon–Sat 3:00 pm–9:00 pm Sat 4:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (619) 231-6771

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Executive chef

    Martin San Roman

  • Catering

    We offer catering for private events. Please call the restaurant to inquire about details.

  • Private party facilities

    Dobson's proudly introduces our new Private Dining Planning Department! Your ideas and our expertise will create just the right menu. You can even rent the whole restaurant for your private event!!! For more information please contact us directly.

  • Private party contact

    Marcos Luciano: (888) 566-7151

  • Neighborhood

    Downtown / Gaslamp

  • Cross street

    Broadway

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wine

Popular dishes

What 1,127 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.5
4.5 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.6Service
  • 4.5Ambience
  • 4.3Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • San Diego

    Californian

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  1. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Surprised it was not too busy. Food here is absolutely excellent. You don’t have the view of the waterfront but you could always do that afterwards. If you’re looking for amazing food and value, this is the place. Fillet mignon and chicken Marsala were both excellent.
  2. M

    Marnes

    Las Vegas

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excelente experiencia, la sopa es exquisita, y los ravioles de champi;o es. EY l bareman es excelente y todo todo el personal muy amable. 100% recomendado
  3. JR

    JoeR

    Portland

    17 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on August 7, 2022

    overall3food3service4ambience4
    OK food, good service. They need to up their game.
  4. A

    Andras

    New York Area

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 2, 2022

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    I left it before ordering. The Menu Card was dirty, the waiter rude, the venue is messy
  5. DR

    DeanR

    Salt Lake City

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Best mollusk bisque ever! Staff very attentive and worked together to make sure we were well taken care of.
  6. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 31, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing from the entrance to leaving. The waiters were always on top of the service. Wine never ran out always a new pour. The chefs food was something I’ll never forget. To add to it the environment is amazing!
  7. DE

    DenniseE

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Haven’t been here in a few years, but their mussel bisque is still delicious.
  8. MW

    MiaW

    Orange County

    7 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on July 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We love this restaurant. The ambiance is fantastic, food and service is wonderful.
  9. HN

    HNHN

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 24, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Their famous muscle soup was amazing. Their famous escargot filet was not worth the price. The sauce drowned out the filet and was just ok. Next time I’ll have the soup and try their muscles.
  10. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Houston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious. Great atmosphere. Very chill. Bread service was a few but worth it
  11. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent food. Best steak we’ve eaten in years. And the drinks were excellent.
  12. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great cozy place if you prefer older, nostalgic dining. Food perfect. Service 5 star!
  13. m

    majorettefoodie

    New England

    66 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    66 reviews

    Dined on July 17, 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience5
    Michael was great!
  14. C

    Carol

    San Diego

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 15, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    I had looked online to select what I would order prior to my visit, but I was disappointed to find that my choice was not available because a limited menu was offered instead. I would not have minded had the website agreed with the experience. That said, what I had was tasty, but not what I had expected. Communication is essential.
  15. G

    Greatdining

    Palm Springs

    9 reviews

    4.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on July 7, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Service great. Ambiance (upstairs) a wee-bit dated (stale). Food great. Drinks measured pours. Been there before… Will be there again on next visit to SD.
  16. B

    Blahswig

    Milwaukee

    34 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    34 reviews

    Dined on June 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great time anniversary week food was great service Impeccable
  17. L

    Local

    San Diego

    239 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    239 reviews

    Dined on June 21, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    We really enjoyed to happy hour menu at the bar. The House Wine was good, as was the fish and chips.
  18. T

    Terce

    San Diego

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Dobson's is a classic! We were going to the Civic Theater and didn't want to re-park, so walked down and had a delicious dinner. Quality service, delicious food and a cool bar. I would go back in a flash.
  19. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 19, 2022

    overall4food3service5ambience4
    At 6 pm already running out of food. My steak came out of the medium weld not rare. Waiter know it was wrong.
  20. CL

    CathyL

    Orange County

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Loved the ambiance! The music was wonderful. The wait staff was attentive and friendly.
  21. SD

    SDDiner

    San Diego

    30 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    30 reviews

    Dined on June 14, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience3
    Been visiting Dobson's for 30 years. The mussel bisque is still the bomb! And the service is 5 star, especially since service in SD generally is very poor. However, a good scrubbing and fresh paint would do wonders.
  22. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    vip
    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 11, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    Loved it, had a musician that was great but it was a little loud.
  23. CR

    CandaceR

    San Diego

    1 review

    vip
    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 4, 2022

    overall2food3service2ambience4
    Menu online does not match the restaurant menu. Less than half of the options listed online are available.
  24. SC

    SoCalVisitor

    Central Coast

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on June 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Excellent service and wonderful meal!
  25. Y

    Yumm

    Las Vegas

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on June 3, 2022

    overall3food5service2ambience5
    Super cute place with great food. A little on the spendier side. I paid $40 for 4 scallops which tasted amazing. Service was extremely slow. The sourdough bread is to die for, however, we asked for some when our food arrived and we were all fininshed eating before they brought it. It took us 2 hours to get out of there and we had to hunt down our waiter and ask for the check. As we were leaving, I heard that another couple never got their food. WTH? I know there is a staff shortage everywhere right now, so I'm going to give them another chance next time I'm downtown, but definitely don't go if you're crunched for time.
  26. n

    nasing

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 22, 2022

    overall2food3service3ambience1
    This is a convenient restaurant if your seeing a show at the Civic Theater. It is extremely small however and they pack the people in. Our table was no more than a foot from the two tables next to us. My husband had to move to allow the gentleman next to him to leave his seat. Although the food was fine it isn't somewhere we'll go again.
  27. L

    Local

    San Diego

    239 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    239 reviews

    Dined on May 22, 2022

    overall4food5service3ambience3
    Delicious food but very cramped table space. We sat downstairs and I won't do that again.
  28. MR

    MariaR

    San Diego

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 21, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Excellent food
  29. AE

    AnneE

    San Diego

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on May 21, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our dinner was delicious. My husband had the pork chop, I had the linguine and our daughter had the chicken marsala. The waiter was great about recommendations on wine. There service was excellent. Our water glasses were filled frequently, and we were checked on just the right amount. We were seated right next to the bar in a booth which felt cozy and also included in the energy from the bar.
  30. LT

    LindseyT

    San Francisco

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on May 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food, service and atmosphere. Loved it!
  31. B

    Bruin

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We were there early before going to the theatre so the upstairs only had one table occupied for most of our meal. Service was excellent and the food was delicious.
  32. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Celebrating a birthday before the theatre. A little rushed in our end.
  33. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food was excellent and the service was perfect. Very relaxing atmosphere, love the feeling of being transported to another era with a decor. We will be back.
  34. PS

    PaulaS

    Orange County

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food. Only drawback was that it was very warm upstairs in the dining area.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent meal drink and service
  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Very quaint and charming, you feel like you’re in an Irish pub but a tad more upscale. The food and the service were both excellent. Make a reservation, as there are limited tables for dining. They may even give you a time limit for dinner on a very busy night, but it’s worth it.
  37. BH

    BetsyH

    Palm Springs

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on May 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Sourdough bread was amazing, server was awesome, and live music both singing and saxophone by Alejandro was enjoyable and made our night!
  38. HL

    HumbertoL

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    A Classic in San Diego... 100 year Old building with all the class and ambiance that comes with it for you to feel transported to days gone by. The staff attentive without being intrusive. Everything you would expect from a class act, nothing that you you would not. The menu has NO FLAWS. Everything is 10+. Key to a place who respects you as a patron is that the check does not come until you ask for it.
  39. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    21 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    21 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    A must for dinner before an event at the Civic Theater.
  40. M

    Murphy

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 3, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Love love love this place! The staff is inviting and fun and the happy hour is great.

FAQs

Dobson's Bar & Restaurant offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (619) 231-6771.

Dobson's Bar & Restaurant is rated 4.5 stars by 1127 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

8:30 PM


Booked 8 times today
Google Map for Dobson's Bar & Restaurant

956 Broadway Circle, San Diego, CA 92101

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Broadway

  • Neighborhood

    Downtown / Gaslamp

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Mon–Fri 11:00 am–3:00 pm Dinner Mon–Sat 3:00 pm–9:00 pm Sat 4:00 pm–9:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Californian, French, Seafood

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Parking details

    Street Parking

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Martin San Roman

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Wine

  • Phone number

    (619) 231-6771

  • Catering

    We offer catering for private events. Please call the restaurant to inquire about details.

  • Private party facilities

    Dobson's proudly introduces our new Private Dining Planning Department! Your ideas and our expertise will create just the right menu. You can even rent the whole restaurant for your private event!!! For more information please contact us directly.

  • Private party contact

    Marcos Luciano: (888) 566-7151

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