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Giardino Neighborhood Cucina

4.6
506 Reviews
$30 and under
Italian
Located in the middle of Lemon Grove’s charming downtown area, Giardino is a welcoming and casual Italian inspired cucina where the neighborhood gathers for fresh and flavorful classic dishes found throughout Italy.

Giardino offers an Italian-inspired menu of seasonally-driven dishes that use timeless Italian techniques and fresh ingredients. Guests will find items such as fresh seafood, pastas, pizzas and salads, as well as a variety of elements made in-house.
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Private Dining

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Experiences

  • Thursday Date Night

    Multiple dates available

    Enjoy a 3 course meal for two people (shared app, 2 entrees and a shared dessert) for $45 every Thursday night.
  • Sunday Family Meal

    Multiple dates available

    Enjoy a family meal for four for only $50. You'll have a choice of family-style Caesar or Mixed Greens Salad, then you Build Your Own Pizza and Build Your Own Pasta!

Offers

  • Pizza Tuesdays

    Multiple dates available

    Tue 4:00 PM - 8:45 PM

    Every Tuesday night, get any pizza from the menu plus a carafe of house wine or sangria for only $19.
  • Cheese Wheel Pasta Mondays

    Multiple dates available

    Mon 4:00 PM - 8:45 PM

    Rotating pastas served table side from a giant parmesan cheese wheel. Every Monday night.
  • Half Off Wine Wednesdays

    Multiple dates available

    Wed 4:00 PM - 8:45 PM

    Every Wednesday, get half off select bottles of wine all day.

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Contactless payment available
Physical Distancing
  • Distancing maintained in common areas
  • Extra space between tables
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 506 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.4
service
4.6
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
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d
dbmc
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on November 18, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

You won't be disappointed. This was our family's second visit, and it was just a great as the first. Highly attentive staff, very nice food, wine, and drink choices, exceptional service, very pleasant inside atmosphere, plenty of space for families or couple seating.
Chicken marsala, salmon, marinara, meatballs, garlic knotts, gnocchi w/ pesto sauce, calamari, and frutti di mare were very good; perfect seasoning, food preparation was spot on, nice plating, and satisfying.
The only thing I would change, is to serve the children in the group first; our 2 year old grandson was the last to be served his pasta dish.
Keep up the wonderful service and preparation of dishes. Thank you for this lovely choice in a neighboring city.

NB
NicoleB
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on November 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A hidden gem. Amazing food and ambiance and very friendly service.

RJ
vipRandJM
Central Coast
31 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Our favorite Italian place!! Not fancy but the food is as good as you can find. We had the Melanzane Rolls

J
vipJeanine
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

All the food was amazing and the staff was very friendly and attentive. The pasta served from the cheese wheel was amazing! Definitely a fun Monday dinner.

JG
JaniceG
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love this restaurant. The food and service are consistently outstanding. I ordered the cheese wheel pasta: tortellini with peas, cherry tomatoes, and pancetta in a cream sauce and parmesan. Excellent. My friends were very pleased with their meals as well. And as always, the service was friendly and efficient. Try this place if you haven't. You will not be disappointed.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience3

I really love the food here unfortunately it is very understaffed. I know it is not anyone’s fault however maybe teach one of 4 busboys to help take orders just till more staff is hired. I saw two people taking orders. It took about 30 min for our waitress to take or drink orders.

AG
AngelaG
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 11, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Fresh food, definitely homemade not frozen. Cute ambiance. Definitely going back ☺️

JM
JenniferM
Nashville
7 reviews
Dined on November 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Favorite appetizer is the eggplant rolls. Tried the mushroom risotto last night. So good.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on November 7, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Afton was a great server and handled

DP
DanaP
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Will certainly return when we have more time to enjoy the place.

S
Siyam
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food and service! It’s expensive, but worth it. I had Cioppino and was delicious.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall4food4service2ambience5

Good food but took over an hour to receive it, we brought it to their attention after an hour and they brought it out two minutes later. The place is very nice and cute to go to.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on November 4, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Team lunch to celebrate a team member’s birthday

A
vipAwesome
San Diego
74 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our favorite neighborhood restaurant! They are adding a variety of sparkling wines to their selection, can hardly wait!

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience5

I love this hidden gem in Lemon Grove. Great atmosphere and friendly staff. I’ve been multiple times since this past year and every time I enjoy my meal. I’ve had all the appetizers, stuffed sole, sea bass, Crab ravioli & prawns. Every thing is delicious!

CG
CatherineG
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So delicious! Love the decor and the staff were extremely gracious! We'll be back for sure!!

d
dbmc
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Tried the "Thursday Date Night" special- 3 course meal; the food choices had something for everyone, the food portions were ample and filling, the food was seasoned well, the food preparation was as described and very tasty, the prices were competitive for the quality of the food/service, the service was outstanding! They make a very good peach sangria and a ginger mule.We sat on the outside patio in front, it was moderately noisy due to the traffic on that street. Overall, we would definitely visit again and recommend to others.

RC
RachelC
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 27, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great local cucina for Lemon Grove. Wish the food had a little more Sicily taste to it. Seemed like four years into ownership, the food and heritage was getting a little watered down.

p
vippcabrales
San Diego
34 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was great. Food was excellent and the person working there was super friendly and make sure everyone was content.

BB
BingoB
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great place for Italian. Food is excellent. People running the restaurant are so friendly and clearly love what they are doing - it shows

CG
ChristieG
Orange County
14 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The food was fantastic, very cute restaurant as well.

r
viprain168
Orange County
18 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Very nice little casual Italian restaurant. Love the decor and outside patio out front. Food was pretty good, and service was perfect!

LF
LoriF
1 review
Dined on October 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our favorite spot for celebrating special events, date nights & introducing friends to this quaint spot! The staff is friendly, the service is wonderful & the food... Oh em gee!!! We have had over half the menu items & never disappointed!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience3

This is our second time here. The first experience was somewhat better. The service was acceptable but nothing more than functional. The food tasted bland, and one of the diners in our group found plastic in his meal. They did offer to replace the meal which was nice. We were hoping for a much better experience than we got.

EB
vipEllenB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

We love this place! It's authentic Italian food with fresh ingredients. Good portions with fair prices.

Only negative thing about it is the noise level inside when it's crowded. Thankfully there is a front patio. We love to visit on Wednesday since it's 1/2 price wine night.

Highly recommend!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on October 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Such delicious Italian food. Most authentic place in East County . Owners and chef are Italian . Love the Arancini balls and stuffed mushrooms. I also had the short rib and polenta

CM
CMSW
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on October 6, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Food, Friendly Staff, Cozy atmosphere. I wish east county had more restaurants like this!

NR
NRNJ
Houston
1 review
Dined on October 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very delicious Italian food. Arancinis were super yummy, so was pappardelle ragu. Finish it with Pistachio Gelato and it's a good 🌃

AC
AngelaC
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience3

I believe because we didn’t drink and could actually taste the food is what reflects my review. The lobster bisque, pistachio gelato and calamari was good. However, the steak my husband had was tough . The shrimp and crab ravioli I had was very lack luster. The sauce was good but I didn’t see any shrimp or crab in the dish at all, they could have had 4 or 5 large shrimp and some crab placed over ravioli or stuffed the ravioli. Customer service was ok. However, management handled my husband’s tough steak issue very well and that gets five stars.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Exellent experience, we reserved the private room in the back for my wifes 53rd bithday. All 12 of us had great food and service.

B
Boltswin
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall1food3service1ambience2

We thought we'd try out a new restaurant for restaurant week. Bad decision! The service was terrible. Appeared to be under staffed, as we didn't see much food coming out and multiple groups asking about their meals. We were seated at 6pm, our main course arrived at 7pm. During that time the only interaction we had with the staff was when they dropped off our salad. Never once did they come by to check on us, update use on the status of the meal, offer us some bread to snack on why we waited, nothing! We sat there wondering if our dinner would ever arrive. It only arrived after I went back to hostess to get an update on our meal and server. When it did arrive the salmon was charred jet black on one side and completely raw in the middle. Couldn't eat it! So upset by this point we decided we did not want the salmon dinner. When the bill arrived it had the salmon dinner on it. Asked them to remove the charge, they only removed the cost of the salmon, wanted to charge us $15 for a salad. Had to ask them to remove the cost of the entire meal we didn't accept, only to get the run around from the owner. This just made a bad situation worse. Would never return to this restaurant nor recommend it.

NG
NeighborhoodGem
San Diego
12 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We are so happy to have this wonderful restaurant in Lemon Grove!

BM
vipBrandonM
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience4

I thought it was pretty good some items better than others. Not a place I would highly recommend but if your local is fine.

j
jhzkongo
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 30, 2021
Overall4food3service2ambience2

Minestrone soup was excellent. Chicken parm less so but edible.
Menu, billed for restaurant week, was a bit skimpy but adequate, and certainly good value for the price.

A
Amanda
1 review
Dined on September 29, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience4

The kitchen was short staffed and the food came out two hours late, I ordered the risotto which I was slightly disappointed with, the salad was very good, the server apologized many times but some of the staff seem to be lounging around hanging out

SS
vipSharonS
San Diego
45 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Given staff shortages and restaurant week, our dinner took nearly 2.5 hrs. However, the food was great and staff attentive even tho the kitchen was backed up. There were several tables of 6+ people which we know can slow the kitchen down. Overall my pasta dish and spouse's risotto dish were very good. It was our first visit here and we will be back (on hopefully a quieter night!)

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

This was our first time to Giardino and because it was restaurant week it was very busy. We know we would have to be patient as most businesses are having a hard time finding help. With that said we enjoyed our cocktails and wine until the appetizer showed up. Our waiter did a great job managing a lot of tables and making sure we had drinks. All the food was excellent and we are looking forward to visiting again and ordering off the full menu rather than a prix fix menu. Inside seating was a little loud but we were able to have a conversation.

DO
DOL1
Los Angeles
6 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience4

It was busy and they were understaffed so I waited an hour or more before receiving my meal. Meal was delicious though.

w
williamo
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What an awesome meal!!

l
viplive2eat
San Diego
39 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Have been to Giardino a few times now. It is always reliable for a good and authentic meal. Prices are a bit high, but you get good quality ingredients and a nice selection. It is on my top restaurants list. The restaurant is in an obscure location, easy to pass by. But worth looking for and stopping in.

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Giardino Neighborhood Cucina using the Order Online button. Giardino Neighborhood Cucina also offers delivery in partnership with Postmates. Giardino Neighborhood Cucina also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (619) 825-7112.

Giardino Neighborhood Cucina is rated 4.6 stars by 506 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.