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Finch's Bistro & Wine Bar

4.2
198 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary European
Perfect For:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Great for Outdoor Dining
  • Romantic

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About

Stellar service and inspired wine list paired with delicious food. Enjoy al fresco dining or sit at the bar or dining room. Something for everyone.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Contemporary European, International, Contemporary American
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Hours of operation
Lunch: Monday - Saturday 11:30 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
Happy Hour: Monday - Saturday 3:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Dinner: Monday - Thursday 5:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M. Friday - Saturday 5:00 P.M. - 10:00 P.M.

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Phone number
(858) 456-4056
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Private party facilities
Sections of the restaurant are available for private events. Please call event manager for more information.
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Private party contact
Event Manager: (858) 456-4056
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Catering
Please contact for details.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Torrey Pines and Kline
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Entertainment
Live music on Saturday nights!
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Special events & promotions
For Special Event inquiries, please contact the event manager at 858.456.4056. We will be happy to assist with all your event planning needs. We will work with you to create a wonderful event with a special touch within a budget you can afford!
Additional
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 198 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.2based on all time ratings
4.2
food
4.2
service
4.1
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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4.0Dined on March 4, 2015

Nice meal for 5 with accomodating service. Informal, pleasant atmosphere. We like it here very much.

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5.0Dined on February 27, 2015

The place has a really nice atmosphere. You feel like you have travelled for lunch. Hidden between two storefronts. You can sit outdoors or inside. The food was very tasty: Juicy burgers and delicious crab bisque. One of the best places I visited while in san diego.

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3.0Dined on February 20, 2015

I really wanted to like this place. Great ambience, service was good, and we found a good bottle of wine on the small (especially for a wine bar) list. However, the food was just ok. My mussels were fresh, but the broth was nothing special and the "caramelized" shallots were anything but - more like boiled. Hubby had the crab bisque, which was good. For entrees we tried the stuffed shrimp and the lamb rack. Both were good but not great. Overall I though the food was a bit bland.

The place is really nice, they have indoor and patio seating. A good date spot. The waiter was attentive and friendly. They had a guitar player on the patio, which was nice except some of his song choices were a bit interesting for the setting. Low Rider? Not so romantic.

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3.0Dined on February 17, 2015

Had lunch here recently, with two friends. Two of us ordered eggs with spinach, mushrooms and
tomatoes in a skillet. The spinach and tomatoes had a strong metallic taste, probably from the pan. This item should be served a different way. Our other friend ordered the carrot soup, and she seemed to enjoy that. The service was fine, although no one inquired as to why we left so
much of our food. The ambiance was delightful, though there were very few diners and it was at
the height of lunch time. I will probably return and hope for more palate pleasing food.

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4.0Dined on February 5, 2015

Had a very pleasant dinner at Finch's with friendly, prompt service. Highlights were the beet salad with warm goat cheese, Oysters Maxim, and Rack of Lamb Romana. Topped it all off with a tasty cannoli. Will definitely return.

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5.0Dined on January 28, 2015

Finch's was fanstastic. Every course was a crowd pleaser. The beet salad and ahi tuna were perfectly prepared. Others at the table had salmon which looked great. The half price wine was a pleasant surprise. But the bread pudding is the absolute best I have ever had. Bravo to Finch's.

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5.0Dined on January 28, 2015

The Place was great. We were a large group and the accomodated us even after i called to bump up the reservation to an earlier time. Servers were very knowledgeable and extremely attentive.

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3.0Dined on January 17, 2015

Delicious calamari, Brussel sprouts, fried cheese dish. Great wine and ambiance. Service was lackluster. Didn't even notice when my friend accidentally tipped her glass over and ice and water went everywhere. We waited almost five minutes before grabbing another waiter to get us some new napkins. Otherwise, the live music and food were excellent.

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4.0Dined on December 31, 2014

At the last minute we decided to go out for New Years Dinner, we choose Finch's. Unfortunately the only available spot was the bar area. Fortunately, it was with the Family (& extended Family) area to celebrate. The service was great but the fact that they included us in their celebration was great. We didn't know they were the owners until we were leaving. They were awesome & the experience was as great.

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5.0Dined on December 27, 2014

the food was delicious and beautifully presented. Our waiter was outstanding. I will return and take friends with me.

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4.0Dined on December 20, 2014

Quaint small restaurant nicely tucked off of Girard Street in La Jolla. Has almost a feel of someone's house. One of the few places where there were so many excellent options on the menu that we had a hard time choosing what to eat! Great options with various flavors. Went for the crab and avocado sopes (delicious - a must try!), the beet salad (good, enjoyed the fried goat cheese with it), the pistachio crusted salmon (nice large piece of fish, very flavorful), and the lamb fettuccine (lots of great flavors mixed together, tender lamb). Honestly could have enjoyed everything on the menu.

A few quirks - not that it would prevent me from returning; however, if these happen consistently I would question frequency:
1. They were out basic items. No limes for drinks - told the shipment was coming in a few days (for limes??). The couple next to us tried to order three different wines, all of which they were sold out of (this is a wine bar, so that was odd).

2. We ordered the sopes appetizer and our main entrees. Decided to get a salad as an appetizer as well and asked if they could split it on two plates. They said it would be an extra charge to split the salad. Understandable when someone wants to split a main entree and not order their own, but this was a second appetizer in addition to two entrees. I mentioned that to the waiter and he said it applies to salads too. That was ridiculous. We got one salad plate and split it ourselves (we had an extra plate with the sopes already).

Overall, enjoyed and will give it another chance.

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5.0Dined on December 20, 2014

The atmosphere was charming, service excellent, and the fish was outstanding. The music and ambience of the restaurant is a neighborhood gem. Thank you for a great evening!

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4.0Dined on December 19, 2014

A very lovely, quiet and charming little wine bar restaurant w/ cozy furnishings and a very attentive wait staff. We ordered and shared some appetizers and small plates (squash soup, sautéed calamari, and balsamic brussel sprouts with duck bacon and aioli), all of which were wonderful flavor adventures.

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5.0Dined on December 11, 2014

We love everything about this place. Food is wonderful. Great service. Nice ambiance. Good value. Delightful music on weekends. They do a fantastic job. Menu very interesting. Hard to make choices because everything is so appealing.

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5.0Dined on November 29, 2014

The food was beautifully presented and prepared and everything was full of flavor. The service was attentive and thorough. I will definitely recommend this little gem to my friends, as well as return.

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3.0Dined on November 8, 2014

-rude waiter who took minutes to seat and serve my party
-lack of sufficient staff to serve customers
-multiple mistakes with food orders
-tasty food
-simple, coherent menu
-reasonable, if not below expected pricing for caliber of food

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4.0Dined on November 1, 2014

a cute bistro slightly hidden downtown. Quant patio dining with light outdoor music or indoor dining option. Outstanding attentive service, good wine choices, flights if you would like to try several different wines. Very good food. Tables are bit close together but still comfortable.

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5.0Dined on October 25, 2014

First time a Finch's and we will definitely return many times in the future. We were "blown away" as they say, with the very energetic menu! Our party of three ordered three different appetizers, main dishes and desserts. My fist comment after the appetizers was: "are we in New York?" Everything as absolutely creatively and beautifully presented then came the amazing taste to behold. I think you could order anything on their menu and not be dissatisfied. One truly stand out was the Fried Cheese Cake. WOW...so delicious and a wonderful way to remember a great new find for us!

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5.0Dined on October 14, 2014

This is a definite must do when in La Jolla. You may walk right past the entrance unless you know where you're going. But once you're there you will be pleased with your decision. The wine list has many great selections & shows both the suggested retail price & the restaurant markup. They offer a few selections at a substantially reduced price. The menu has a nice variety of selections to choose from. Our dinner choices were the Osso Bucco lamb shank encroute & the beef short ribs; delicious. We also chose the roasted brussels sprouts with duck bacon & the avocado fritters. To top off the meal we had their chocolate salami which was 2 slices of nut studded dark chocolate fudge with berry compote and vanilla gelato. We'll definitely return.

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5.0Dined on October 11, 2014

Food was amazing, got the filet and bobotie, the music was romantic and the patio was perfect. Our waiter was great and attentive, asking about a special occasion and brought us champagne with dessert on the house. Definitely will be going back

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2.0Dined on October 10, 2014

The dinner was for my husband's birthday. He was a bit disappointed with the restaurant. It was not a private patio---but rather an entrance to business offices. He loves lamb---and the puff pastry lamb dish was "different". The service was nice. It was odd to get our salad before our wine. I thought it was a cute place---but maybe not the right place for a special birthday dinner.

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5.0Dined on October 10, 2014

One of our favorite restaurants. Wonderful food. Unusual dishes on the menu. Quiet live music.

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5.0Dined on October 6, 2014

We visited Finch's Wine Bar after reading about it in the SD Magazine.
We wish we had found it sooner. Fabulous Food , wine and Atmosphere.
The Staff was extremely friendly! We are going back again this week!!

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5.0Dined on September 18, 2014

We like to dine early, so we had a choice of seating and the atmosphere was quiet. The food was delicious. I was pleased with my choice of pistachio crusted salmon. The dessert menu stood out the most! I chose the caramel bread pudding, and it was amazing. As the evening went on, the restaurant started to fill and live music started at 6:00. It was a great place to celebrate our 32nd anniversary.

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4.0Dined on September 12, 2014

If we lived in the area, we would make this a regular spot for dining. The service was great as was the food and ambiance. When we are back in So Cal, we will definitely return.

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5.0Dined on September 2, 2014

This is a hidden gem of La Jolla, the food and wine are excellent. They also have low-key musician playing in the courtyard at times.

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5.0Dined on August 28, 2014

Excellent food! Great ambiance! Top notch service! Truly the best restaurant in La Jolla!

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3.0Dined on August 16, 2014

To be fair, we made a last minute reservation based on the menu, so we were seated indoors, which is a mistake in the summer, as it's easily 10-15 degrees hotter than outside. We also weren't very hungry, so decided to order light. The squash blossom appetizers were very good, though their delicate flavor was a bit overwhelmed by the heavy use of goat cheese. The service was friendly, upbeat, and helpful, allowing us to order dish by dish so we could stop before overloading. They also had to keep refilling our ice waters since we were so overheated in the small indoor space, and our waiter was very understanding and right on top of the refills! Would love to return in the Fall, or at least sit outside next time we go!

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3.0Dined on August 15, 2014

have been here before for lunch and have usually been pleasantly pleased with quality of the food and choices. today was a dissapointment. some delivery issues so a number of dishes were not available (friday at 12:45 PM - what happened?) I chose the beet salad ($11) with salmon side ($8) for $19 for a salad with salmon, the greens (euro) were tired and about to expire. the salmon was fair. my dining companion had the louis salad...presentation looked tired as well. quite surprising. everyone is entitled to a bad day. i will return again to see if they corrected today's fall down.

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4.0Dined on August 9, 2014

Attentive service. Warm, romantic atmosphere, ample street parking and live music. Nice selection of menu items, including first and second plates, desserts.

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4.0Dined on July 17, 2014

I visit this restaurant often. They had an excellent singer, were packed and they have 2 new dishes which we had and they were excellent! A calamari appetizer with a mildly spicy sauce, and a light, fluffy, fruity, light dessert whipped like an excellent chocolate mouse is. I wanted it all to myself and will definitely go back for more. Especially since they ran out of the calamari because everyone kept ordering more. We always have excellent wine, and this night was no exception. We had a delicious 2008 Ramon Bilboa Reserva Rioja Tempranillo.

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4.0Dined on July 17, 2014

relax and enjoy the surroundings, the food and wine, or in my case a bellini! had a very creative pasta dish that i really enjoyed - suggested by our server - and appreciated. if you like lamb, try it!

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5.0Dined on June 27, 2014

The food was really good, the service was great, the atmosphere was excellent and we loved the live music.

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2.0Dined on June 26, 2014

food mediocre and menu so so. the only good thing about this restaurant is that is a near by locatio

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4.0Dined on June 21, 2014

I googled to find Finch's and am so happy that I did! What a hidden treasure! I could've thrown a dart at the menu and had something delicious. I especially loved the stuffed squash blossoms. The service was attentive and pleasant and the owner came by to welcome us and make sure we were happy. I love this place and hope to go back several times! :)

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5.0Dined on June 18, 2014

This is a great find - a hidden gem in La Jolla. The food was superb and the service first class. Owners Linda and Marshall really care about the quality of their restaurant as was apparent when they visited with us during our meal. I would recommend Finch's - without reservation - (no pun intended here!!) to everyone I know.
Peter McKimmin

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4.0Dined on May 31, 2014

A delightful evening here, with an especially talented jazz guitarist. The menu features several dishes requiring a deft touch in the kitchen. My dish, scallops, was overdone with too sweet a sauce for me. My wife enjoyed her entree.

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5.0Dined on May 23, 2014

Who new this existed in La Jolla. This little wine bar is tucked away in the cutest setting i've seen in La Jolla. The wine list is great, as is the menu. Food is delish and the servers are excellent. I would say they could definitely extend the beer list with more local craft brews but otherwise this place is top notch. I'll be a repeat customer!.

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1.0Dined on May 23, 2014

First time at this location. Food was heavy and overcooked. Was rushed throughout the meal. Better options around. Not kid friendly. Very disappointing. On a positive note: the guitar player was great.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2014

Service was excellent- good well prepared and presentation best I have seen in long time. We ate inside but the " alley" looked like great place to dine as well. Go before it becomes well known!!

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