Godfather Restaurant

4.8
260 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian

The Godfather, a Balistreri restaurant, is an Italian monument in downtown San Diego providing authentic cuisine from the hills of Italy. Established in 1974, The Godfather is a sophisticated and classy establishment that centers around generational recipes from both Northern and Southern Italy. Over the years, the quality of food and standard of service has never declined and thus garnered The Godfather a national recognition as one of the top twenty-five Italian restaurants in the entire nation.

The menu is filled with classic favorites based in steak, chicken and pasta. For an intimate evening for two, try the Sicilian kiss prix fixe meal that includes a bottle of champagne.

What 260 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.8
service
4.8
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
99% of people would recommend it to a friend
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HI
Indiana
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is the third time we've been to the restaurant and each time we are more impressed. Wait staff was very attentive and knowledgeable. Food is delicious and prepared according to special requests. The ambiance was delightful and romantic with low lighting, dark leather, small booths and round tables. We appreciate the extremely low noise level as it's so hard to find restaurant where you can go with at least 2 other couples and hear one another.

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R
Phoenix
36 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Nice atmosphere. the food was very good but I have had better Italian.

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TL
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

this is a classic, old-school Italian restaurant with service that goes with. very professional. we loved that in addition to our entrees, we were served a large bowl of soup of the day - lentil, delicious, and fried zucchini - also delicious. It really rounded out the meal- i couldn't finish my pasta, but my husband polished off his chicken parmesan which he loved. this is a fun special occasion, family birthday location. or a nice date.

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c
San Diego
43 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 5

We've eaten at Godfather many times, and the food never disappoints. My favorite continues to be the Veal Piccata. Normally, I would give five stars, but we've had the same service issue the last two times. Our waiter (the same both times) is an older gentleman whose demeanor frequently borders on surly. He rarely makes eye contact and appears not to listen well. He doesn't throw your food on the table, but he isn't gentle with it, either. We always tip at least 20%, so it can't be payback for us stiffing him. Frankly, I am reluctant to go back for fear of getting him again; he really does ruin the ambience and the dining experience.

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Y
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. Very attentive, but not hovering.

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LW
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Upon arriving SERVICE was outstanding. Greeted by Anthony and we were seated when we walked in. No wait! Staff was exceptional!!! Went to bar to finish off our dining experience, and again service was exceptional!!

See you next time we are in San Diego.

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GP
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful old style elegance and service. Food is second to none!

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MA
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Awesome service, awesome food, and excellent ambiance for couples, first dates, and family. Would recommend this restaurant 6 stars.

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M
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I went for his birthday dinner. Everything was fabulous. I have never eaten zucchini before; the complimentary fried zucchini was amazing. We will definitely be going back.

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TC
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my first visit to Godfather Restaurant and it was amazing. I invited 2 work colleagues and we enjoyed everything - our impeccably dressed host and waiter and the fantastic food. Will definitely be back again! Thank you for such a great experience.

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J
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Dinner at Godfather is always a treat. Great atmosphere, service, food, etc.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The waitstaff was very friendly and attentive and the food was great.

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GD
Palm Springs
23 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A San Diego tradition. Portions are large good for sharing. Each meal comes with a salad and the Best bread in the world. Reservations are must. Go once you will be hooked and make this one of your go to eateries.

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KS
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and service. Great environment to dine in as well. Been going there for years and always love it all. Will be back again for sure!

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SD
San Diego
24 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food, great service and beautiful piano entertainment. Never disappointed.

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L
San Diego
14 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food..very friendly staff..always consistently good! Thank you

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DL
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food, excellent service! When we have something to celebrate that is our go to spot.

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P
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service was absolutely amazing. The setting really captures the movie and I’ve seen all 3.

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JD
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Owner, Anthony, brings a personal touch to customer relations which outclasses any restaurant I've ever visited! Excellent food, great service, and a neat, old-world atmosphere make the Godfather a jewel of San Diego

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s
Orange County
11 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had an absolutely amazing meal at Godfather's on Saturday. The staff is phenomenal, the decor is nostalgic, and the food is so very delicious. One day I'm going to have to try some other things on the menu but it's so hard to pass up their spaghetti bolognese (I'd eat it every day) and their fillet's are better than any traditional steakhouse. I've been coming here for over 30 years and it's just as good now as it was before, plus its now my friends, coworkers, and families favorite place to go as well.

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CD
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

An Oasis for a Jersey/NYC kid who moved to San Diego and is Italian Ambiance and food deprived.
I love everything about this place like:
* My favorite Sinatra Piano Music played lived
*Wonderful and Creative Italian cuisine
*First Class Service
*Marlon Brando's Picture on the Wall

Notes: Not a place for the your over sugared children or Faux Comfort dogs; this is a REAL RESTAURANT.
People tend to dress a little upscale here so flip flops and your Bob Marley t-shirt might make you uncomfortable.

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JD
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was wonderful except the noise level. Recommend checking to find least attended times.

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PS
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best meal we all ever had. The Italian recipes were amazingly delicious. Two had the lasagna, one linguine and pesto sauce, and one linguine with clam sauce. The clams were fresh, the pesto delicious, and the two lasagnas were very gourmet. Wish we could afford it more often. We were there to celebrate a special birthday. We will definitely return!

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M
Palm Springs
3 reviews
Dined on February 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Love the Veal Marsala, the food has always been good Old Italian

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LW
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My husband and I had a great Valentine's celebration on Saturday, food was great and Anthony made us feel at home. Good Job!

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m
Central Coast
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Celebrated Valentine's Day with my wife on Saturday evening and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Food was amazing and the piano was a perfect enhancement to the ambience. If I were to nit pick, the service was not as atttentive as usual but probably because they were so busy for Valentine's weekend. Looking forward to a return visit soon!

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a
1 review
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great and despite the busy day our waiter was nice gave us free dessert because he wanted to take care of us better and apologized for being so busy .

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BC
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Everything was terrific, just very loud! Not sure if I'll ever be back.

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CJ
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food, and really enjoyed the live piano. Our waiter, Roberto, was extremely helpful, and gave excellent advice on the menu and wine choices.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere!

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LI
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The host, the atmosphere, the setting, the food, the service, and the piano player... all make the entire experience amazing every single time I dine here. I recommend this restaurant to every person I engage in a conversation with regarding best places to eat.

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l
San Diego
14 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

great atmosphere as always, service was just as good and food is upscale italian.
after lunch drink in the bar was enjoyable as well.
h

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HW
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My family and I have been coming to this wonderful restaurant since I was 16. This place has provided memories that will last a lifetime.. We celebrate most everything here and their service is top notch. We always feel like one of the family when we arrive as Tony and his staff seem not to forget a face even if it has been a few months since we were last there. I recommend this place to all my friends and family when they come in from out of town. You can't go wrong with the ambiance and the food served.. Please give it a chance as you won't be disappointed. Bon appetite.

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k
San Diego
34 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We have always found this restaurant consistent on all levels of service from the food to the waiters it is always good. Apart from a misunderstanding about our reservation we have always enjoyed our visits. It is one of the few romantic restaurants around with their red banquets, beautiful table settings and waiters dressed to kill. If you want a romantic evening out Godfathers will not disappoint.

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JD
Chicago
5 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We have not been here in a long time. Had a very nice dinner and we will return

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JB
1 review
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great meal have already recommended your restaurant. Reminded me so much of the movie Godfather

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SS
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Have eaten here several times and service and food have been 5 star on every occasion.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and service. Love the ambiance,!

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JD
Orange County
2 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, service, and atmosphere. Very consistant in all aspects for a fine restaurant.

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H
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Favorite place for a great dinner with friends. Food was delicious as usual

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