Lupi Vino Cucina

4.5
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126 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian

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About

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.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian, Contemporary Italian
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Hours of operation
Tuesday - Sunday 5 PM - 10PM
Monday Closed
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Phone number
(858) 454-6421
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Payment options
AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Luigi Tornatore
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Midway Street
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Parking details
Street Parking
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Entertainment
Live music on Wed, Fri, Sun
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cafe, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 126 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.5based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.8
service
4.3
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Calgary
4 reviews
Dined on November 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Arrive and you are immediately greeted warmly. The excellent service is extended for the entire meal, as each server is very knowledgeable about the menu and create that authentic Italian atmosphere you crave when out for the food. Each meal our table had was cooked to perfection and tasted excellent. Could not be more impressed. Not from San Diego, but will be back for more regardless!!

SG
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Luigi is a chef extodinaire! I love this comfortable, delicious spot.

DG
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Excellent in every way. Outstanding. Had the Paoaradelle with lamb. Really really good

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

Food was excellent, service superb, prices reasonable. The decor is a little tired but we'll be back. I recommend.

RA
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great service and music on Wednesday nights that made the evening very enjoyable

MK
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very authentic Italian food. Service was excellent. Great for a quiet dinner or a birthday celebration. I got a Chocolate Martini for my birthday dessert!

L
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Service - he forgot the one item and we had to request it - he was rushing a lot
Food - veal was tooooo oily , meatballs not real meat (:
Value - expensive for what you got
Atmosphere - nice outside
We came here a while ago and I remember it being really great - not sure what has changed but not sure I can recommend it to my friends like it is now

CM
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a special evening with friends at Lupi. We were outside on a lovely evening with Sergio the guitarist serenading us. All of the tables were full and there was a joyous feeling. Our service was attentive and spot on. From starters to dessert the meal was excellent. Our friends stated it was the best veal parmigiana they had ever eaten. We recommend it highly.

S
San Francisco
10 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall1food1service4ambience3

I’m Italian so I expected better quality food. It was just okay. I won’t bother to go back- even though there were rave reviews, which I believe are unfounded. They need to do a better job.

JH
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Service was excellent!! Food was so delicious. Live music on patio - so inviting and great ambiance - loved this spot and will be back!

FA
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Fun night out with friends in great neighborhood eatery. We sat outside to enjoy cool patio.

AP
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Food was amazing and live music was awesome. Its more loud and energetic environment with people on table sometimes singing along with live musician. So if you want to quite dinner maybe this is the right place for you. We enjoyed the live music with great food.

OT
Dallas
47 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall4food3service3ambience3

I went with a friend and we had her dog with us so we sat on the patio.
Overall the food was good, service only moderate and got slower as the place filled up. Had to ask water, flag down for to go boxes and check.

CM
Chicago
6 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have enjoyed Lupi many times and have never been disappointed. It is a cozy, neighborhood restaurant with wonderful food. Everyone is welcoming and accommodating. We especially enjoy the calamari and the seafood specials. Highly recommend it for a terrific evening.

JA
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on June 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great food and fun professional servers. Great neighborhood Italian food and wine.

JO
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Osso Buco is my favorite and always delicious. The bruschetta was the best I've ever had.

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and service

OT
New York Area
15 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely evening. Excellent food. Loved the Italian guitarist playing in the background. Service was excellent. Will return.

A
San Diego
23 reviews
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

OT
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

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.

SF
San Francisco
26 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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.

M
San Diego
48 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

D
San Diego
59 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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!

OT
Nashville
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall4food3service2ambience4

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.

T
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall2food3service2ambience2

My number #1 complaint is they rush you during your meal like crazy. Went for a Valentine's dinner but barely got 45 minutes out of them ordering all courses and drinks before they basically kicked us out.

I won't be back, not interested in going out to dinner with a 45 minute time limit.

Reading other reviews and we aren't alone here with this issue. I would go somewhere else.

Food was fine but nothing to write home about.

AD
New England
12 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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.

I
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall1food2service1ambience1

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.

KW
San Diego
24 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

U
San Diego
37 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall3food5service3ambience2

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.

BV
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 14, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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.

L
Chicago
62 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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 .

CD
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

C
New England
19 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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!

DL
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2018
Overall3food3service4ambience3

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.

OT
Phoenix
2 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A great find!

OT
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall1food1service1ambience1

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.

x
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Incredible food with incredible service! An absolute must!

MM
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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

C
Phoenix
112 reviews
Dined on July 12, 2018
Overall5food5service4ambience3

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!

T
Phoenix
21 reviews
Dined on July 8, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

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