Lupi Vino Cucina

4.5
107 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Awarded with the Gold Medal for Best Dinner in La Jolla for the last five years by La Jolla News, Lupi Vino Cucina provides guests with an authentic Italian dining experience. Lupi has a prime location in the exclusive Bird Rock area of La Jolla, California and is only one hundred yards away from the Pacific Ocean. Executive Chef Luigi Tornatore opened Lupi Vino Cucina in 2003 to offer an Italian casual dining experience with a focus on roman style cuisine. The authentic Roman cuisine uses only fresh, local ingredients that are made on location every day.
What 107 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.5
service
4.4
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
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A
San Diego
19 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food, friendly service, very welcoming. Will define return.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Very good meal, has neighborhood feel. Prices very good. Go visit, they feel like home, where ever that is. Seafood salad not like home, way better, fresher... captured Italian cooking, make what you have locally very well with simple ingredients.

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SF
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went with my two teenagers for a family dinner. The service was so friendly and warm even though we were clearly tourists and slightly underdressed for the restaurant. The food was old school Italian and very tasty. We had bruschetta, pasta pesto and chicken breast topped with sauteed vegetables. There was a guitarist playing classical guitar that Friday night. It was a great experience.

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M
San Diego
37 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We always enjoy Lupi's. Dinner was exceptionally good. Our guests loved the experience.aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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D
San Diego
45 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great meal the other night at Lupi. The prices were good. Our waiter was terrific. It is a gem of a place!

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OT
Nashville
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 4

My boyfriend and I went for dinner on Valentine’s Day. They were able to seat us early, but we waited about 5 minutes to be greeted. I asked for a glass of Chianti, but the server pushed a different bottle of Italian red wine on us for $40 (which we later found out is only a $9 bottle of wine!!!). He didn’t really give us much of a choice but to drink that. Calamari was VERY bland and lacked any seasoning. The sirloin was excellent, lobster dried out a little under the heat lamp and they didn’t do a very good job of pulling it from the shell. My lamb was tough and not very meaty. We barely saw our server during the meal (understaffed!) and didn’t want to even wait for dessert.
I would go back again but definitely not for a holiday. I would order exactly what I wanted and not what the server pushed us to order.

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AD
New England
12 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic meal. We were in San Diego visiting for a week and we went here twice. Definitely a hidden gem. Owner and staff were very warm and friendly - when we came back the second time we were greeted like old friends. Food is like homemade and very reasonably priced. Osso bucco was fabulous - cooked to perfection and melt in your mouth. Veal scallopini and manicotti were very good - pasta is homemade. The chef’s signature dish was colossal shrimp in a scampi sauce. These huge shrimp were perfectly cooked and just delicious. The pizza margherita was perfectly seasoned with a thin, golden crust that was crispy on the outside, tender inside. All of the food was made to order and served piping hot. The staff was very knowledgeable about both the menu and the wine list. I can’t believe this place isn’t packed with people every night. If you want to eat authentic Italian food, eat here.

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I
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

This is a local restaurant and I wanted to love it. They only had 1 waiter it was busy he didn’t let me choose the wine of my choice he insisted on choosing a wine for me. He never came back to check in on us.
My daughter ordered spaghetti there was a piece of metal in it! The experience was disappointing.

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KW
San Diego
23 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We are regulars and the food is never disappointing. you feel that the chef is cooking for you. We have tried many dishes and have enjoyed all

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U
San Diego
23 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 2

The food was great. Our initial waiter was great. There was a horrible smell in the restaurant.
It was a dinner with a friend who I haven't seen in a long time and we were catching up. Another waiter came by our table to take our water away since our plates from dinner were gone. We asked why they were taking the water and he said to get the table ready for new people. I asked if someone was waiting to be seated. He said no but wanted to get it ready. I felt this was rude and unprofessional. He basically was kicking us out of the restaurant when nobody else was waiting to be seated. Put a very bad taste in my mouth to recommend them or ever go back again.

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BV
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great little restaurant in Bird Rock. We have been there twice and both times the food was excellent and the wait staff was very attentive.

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L
Chicago
59 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food is always excellent and the service is terrific ! The Scampi Luigi is to die for and my husband loves the lasagna. Says it is among the best any where. The only thing I would change is that there should be more filled and working outside heaters .

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CD
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We certainly enjoyed our ossobucco with veal. Sauce was wonderful and rich !! We shared and no leftovers.Perfect.

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C
New England
13 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Friendly staff who spent time explaining dishes and making general,conversation. Checked on us throughout the meal and gave us time to,enjoy each course. First time eating here and will definitely become a regular customer!

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DL
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

A restaurant past its prime. Waiter overzealous, thought he was famous comedian.
Bread on the stale side after sitting at the table for a few minutes.
One dinner portion came out cold.
Started closing down at 9:30 as we were finishing up.

Wasn't awful in any way but would not go out of my way to return.

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OT
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great find!

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OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

Maybe it was an off night, but we sat for 15 minutes with no service or menus or water. The head waiter was rude and the other waiter appeared to be a bus boy who had no clue what to do. After hearing the rude comments from the head waiter to another table, we decided it was time to leave.

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x
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible food with incredible service! An absolute must!

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MM
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food and wine! Great menu choices...Wonderful music. Perfect date night spot!

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C
Phoenix
99 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

The food was simply amazing! It lived up to or surpassed all the great comments that diners had on this website. We lived in La Jolla for 14 years and never heard of the restaurant. Our loss! Now, as a visitor, we’re going to go back all the time!

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T
Phoenix
18 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Good service. I will put this on my list for everyday ad well as date night dining

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FA
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great pasta
Attentive service
Casual neighborhood spot

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L
Chicago
59 reviews
Dined on July 5, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food !! My husband had the sea bass and loved it. I had the pesto pasta with shrimp and scallops and would have eaten every bite except the serving was so large that I couldn't finish it. It was excellent the next day too ! Best pesto sauce ever. The warm bread and delicious dipping sauce make a welcome opening. Have always had terrific meals here and look forward to returning.

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CD
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waiter took special attention to make our evening special. Presentation and food was great. We will be back!!

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SC
1 review
Dined on May 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My boyfriend and I had a wonderful date here. Our waiter was great and the food was so good!

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CB
San Diego
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was delicious!

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PM
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything excellent but became very loud on a Friday night after 7:00 pm. Other than that, excellent !

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic!!

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SU
San Diego
53 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The waiter was very professional. We had a lovely dining experience

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l
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a pleasure to go to this neighborhood gem. The food is delicious, the service even better and you feel like you just arrived in Italy. Highly recommend!!

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JA
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on March 31, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Love the space and the staff. Food is very good. Guitar player/singer sometimes a bit loud.

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RH
Orange County
1 review
Dined on March 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Delicious food, friendly wait staff and great atmosphere. So glad we found this place!

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a
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 5ambience 4

We've eaten here once before, on an earlier trip, and had a wonderful time then. Unfortunately, this time, it took too long for our food to come out of the kitchen. Our reservation was at 5:45 (there were young children in our party of 6), and by 7 we still had not been served. People who had been seated after us were served well before we were.

The service was perfect--the waiter was very attentive to the adults and children--and the food was good, but the kitchen fell short.

The manager did comp our wine (a bottle and 2 glasses), so that was something. We'll probably try them again, in hopes that it was just an off evening for the kitchen.

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OT
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lupi is a great place, good food, great singer and warm service, we will come back for sure an recommend it to friends!

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M
San Diego
37 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We always enjoy dining at Lupi's. They did a nice job this time of celebrating my wife's birthday. Great neighborhood gem.

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ST
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

After 45 minutes of being ignored, we left. It was Valentine's Day and, at one time, only one-half of the tables were occupied and two of the waiters were sharing a snack in plain view. We ended up picking up pizza at another restaurant and eating it at a friend's home in San Diego. We drove down from southern Orange County specifically for this meal. If rude staff and no service are appealing to you, please visit this establishment. Otherwise, there are many more restaurants to select in the area that actually want and appreciate your business.

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TP
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love eating at Lui Vino Cucina. The owner and wait staff are extremely friendly and accommodating. Every dish is delicious and always be sure to try their specials which change daily. Short ribs, gnocci, halibut, everything really is amazing.

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s
San Diego
79 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Julio gave us Great service and brought a special dessert for Barbara's birthday including a birthday song with guitar accompaniment!!

All our food was outstanding!

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OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

There food is very good and not real pricy for what they give you and quality

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OT
Orlando
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

A bit expensive but no other complaints. Will return again.

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