Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About Dobson's Bar & Restaurant
Dobson's Bar and Restaurant is a hidden treasure in the heart of Downtown San Diego/Gaslamp Quarter. For the last 33 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").
San Diego, CA 92101
Hours of Operation:
Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 3:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 12:00pm - 10:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Martin San Roman
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Wine
Special Events & Promotions:
Available for buyouts, partial buyouts, private events, or intimate gatherings. For special events please contact Medina 619-231-6771
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.
Dobson's Bar & Restaurant Ratings and Reviews
Had a wonderful evening with my daughter and my soon to be son-in-law.The mussel bisque is one of the best items soups I have ever had.I have been going to this place since 1985.My daughter and boyfriend are both chefs and they LOVED Dobsons.Service was over the top excellent!The fixed price dinner covered all the bases.We had a blast!
We were disappointed with Dobson’s and here’s why:
1. Restaurant wasn’t busy, yet service was slow and took forever to get our lunch.
2. I ordered the Mahi Mahi special and at $22. it was a huge letdown. Had fishy taste and gave me heartburn.
3. Bread was served when we arrived and we were charged $1.50 per slice!! What??
4. Another guest was seated at the bar and talked at full volume to the bartender.
5. Plus his phone was dinging continuously during our entire lunch (texting). Maddening!
6. It’s mid January and all the Christmas decor is still up.
Not a good experience, in any way.
We were going for a pre-Hamilton dinner. I have food allergies to onions and bell peppers (I carry an Epi pen and I noted the allergies ahead of time when I made the reservation). When the meal came there was a red bell pepper under the fish on the plate (I always check under my food first). The evening hostess/event coordinator immediately saw the look on my face, took the plate back to the kitchen, had them prepare a new meal and comped our dinner.
Having this allergy for over 40 years I often find my allergy foods on my plate while dining out and it is handled differently each time. In this case it was above and beyond. Not only did she comp the meal, she invited us back after the theater for free coffee and dessert!
This is now my favorite restaurant in San Diego. The food is really great too, but you can't buy service like this anymore! Bravo Dobson's!!!
The evening began magnificently, thanks in large part to hostess Medina (I think I remember her name correctly.) She is the perfect combination of "in the know" and friendly, attentive that one could hope for. It was interesting to hear of the famous folks who had just visited the restaurant without being pretentious.
The food was perfectly portioned and perfectly prepared. The bread is so magnificent, served in a big piece of warm, sourdough goodness. I haven't been to Dobson's in years, and now wonder why I have been away for so long. We will definitely be returning soon!
This place is such a treat for those of us that remember the days of fine dining and great atmosphere. That’s something that seems to disappeared in the millennial. We’re going to find an excuse to drive 35 miles from Oceanside just to have this restaurant is our destination.
Hadn't been there in years and years but it works great before a performance at the rep. Was pleasantly surprised with the food (sea bass and the halibut special). Both were moist and very tasty. Service was so-so - never came back to check on us but the server was pleasant enough. Such a small place that has seemed to survives for the decades it's been there. It does have an odd smell - if they could ever close for a day and completely clean it out it would be good but I do understand.
Terrible service - no service. Been here many times, over many years. On Friday, we had a 9:00 reservation. Showed up at 8:45, but the bar tender refused to seat us because he said they weren't busy, so they decided to close the kitchen early. I mentioned we had a reservation. He said "yeah, sorry". I asked what they hours are, and he couldn't give me a straight answer. Basically said it just depends on how busy they are. Bottom line, if you have a reservation past 8:00, do NOT count on them honoring your reservation. We decided to go to Cafe Sevilla and had a great time/meal.
Dobsons was having a bad day when we visited last Monday. First, a line formed at the door and no one came to seat the guests. Apparently, the hostess didn't show. Then the server handed us a couple of menus and pointed to a table upstairs. The bread they served was stale. We ordered and the Chilean Sea Bass, normally a good choice, tasted like it had been defrosted in a microwave. It had a horrible texture and taste. My guest ordered a Ceasar Salad with chicken. They forgot the chicken and when we requested it, it came about the time we were finished. That was okay because it was inedible. The server handed us our food over another table and set of guests. It was a very disappointing experience for us for a special Christmas night out with a guest from out of town. Love Dobsons, but hope they dont have a lot of days like this or their future isn't very bright.
I hadn’t been in years. Didn’t realize Paul didn’t own it but the new other seems nice & on top of it. We sat between Ingrid Croce, Jim’s widow & her husband of 30 yrs. So cute. Food was great. Service was great. On the other table next to us we’re to past owners of Fios.
Good for you guys for attracting past restaurant owners of San Diego. And good restaurants.
My bf has never been there. He grew up in IB, i inCoronado.
We really had a good time. And great that you take Passport dining card.
Thanks again, Janice Rhea , Domani Salon of Coronado
Dobson's is ideally suited for dinning before going to a play at the San Diego Rep. which is a half block away at Horton Plaza. There is even a parking garage next door to Dobson's. The food is always great and the service is alway great. Try the sea bass. You won't be disappointed.
What an EXCEPTIONAL EVENING as a "before the theater" relaxing dinner. First time for my friend. She was blown away. The woman I confirmed the reservation with on the phone was so helpful and I asked to meet her when we arrived. Everything about the service was perfect timing. The food was delicious and with ample servings, The Creme Brulee so o o creamy.
I have also been for lunch in the past and it is fun to sit at the bar. The bartenders are very sociable.
Food quality and preparation down from our last visit with the exception of the mussel bisque. It is always, always, always exceptional. The filet special was swimming in a gravy like sauce that did nothing to enhance the beef. The staff are very attentive, friendly and professional. This is our "go to" restaurant for theater night in town.
I used to love Dobson's and have gone there for years. Not having been for maybe the last year, I was surprised at a couple of things. #1 They now charge $1.50 per person for their wonderful bread. When you're paying $38 for an entrée, you'd think they could throw in the bread that used to be free. A small issue but irksome nonetheless. #2 The Mussel Bisque which they are famous for tasted good but the puff pastry was so chewy, it was hard to cut it even with a knife. It used to be very flaky and easy to break off into the bisque, however, this was chewy and hard to cut off the bowl. The filet mignon was good but not over the top delicious. The Tiramisu was very strange; not like any Tiramisu I've ever had. I didn't even finish it. The best part of the evening was my martini which was delicious :-)
Dobson's did not seem like the special place it used to be and I probably won't go back. I would like to mention that the servers are excellent!
Food was delightful and delicious. Burst of flavors. Wait staff was great.
Only issue was that we waited 10 min to get serviced. It appeared as they were still getting situated. Just opened , wait staff getting situated. Owner still tidy up the place. Once everything was done we finally got checked in and after that everything was good
The bread is worth the $1.50 it costs, have it. The mussel bisque with a puff pastry topping is divine. The food is very good, the service just OK. It is not fast. You will need to plan 2 hours before the show at Speckles. But the ambiance and food are worth it for sure.
One of our Go To spots. We always try and make it before theater since it is an easy walk to the Covic Center.
The mussel bisque is a MUST and paired with steamed mussels and bread is all you need!
Service is great but NOT fast so leave yourself enough time!
Despite there being an open table opening that I took 10 minutes prior, when we arrived it was very apparent that the wait staff was busy to the point of being flustered. We waited a good while for our food, which wouldn't have been a big deal had they not been so visibly stressed. The food was great though and had dim lighting / romantic ambiance. It wasn't bad, it wasn't good enough for the price for me to go again.
First of all the prices of the on line menu are incorrect. We usually go before the civic or the Lyceum theater. The new owners have really upped the prices. $36 for scallops, sea bass and the duck. Add to that, the charge for bread which has always been delicious but included with your meal. The men in our party had the pork chop ($30). My husband had to send his back as it was under cooked. On the plus side, they still have their famous mussel bisque, which is a meal with a salad. The service was very good. The wine list is still reasonable. There was talk of a remodel but it's the same as it's been forever, good or bad. Uncomfortable chairs if you're a big man.
We won't be returning due to high prices.
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