Godfather Restaurant

4.8
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495 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 495 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
4.7
food
4.8
service
4.7
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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A
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Valentines Day

OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Valentines Day lunch is so much lower key than dinner

TH
Orange County
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An great evening. Godfather’s provides an intimate venue that enhances the dining experience; like eating a meal in the comfort of your home surrounded by happy family members and home cooking. Great food, wine, and service. Never a bad experience. Quality ingredients, excellently prepared. Carbonara and Linguini Con Vongole superb. Always a great meal.

k
San Diego
38 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

This is one our favorite restaurants for good Italian food and lovely ambiance. The lighting and piano player make it romantic if that is high on your list. My husband loves the chicken livers and the baked artichoke hearts are delicious. We shared the cannelloni and had the sinfully rich chocolate cake for dessert. The wait staff are great and take care that your food and service are to your expectations. We are never disappointed with Godfathers.

RC
Palm Springs
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a great place. It has been here for many many years. Service is at the top, fantastic.
Food is great. Menu is full of great choices. Wine list is unlimited. Will be back again.

CS
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

As i said on Yelp, his place is like the old Mr A's, or Lubach's ( if anybody remembers that far back) in atmosphere, but be prepared for a super fast meal . The Frutti di Mare is incredible with a medium sized lobster tail split in half. The waiter took our order to the kitchen and returned with our salads. So quick! I enjoyed their Italian blue cheese mixed dressing on mine. Last bite of the salad and away went the plates and the Frutti di Mare was on the table. If you want an incredible dinner for two for around $100 and be out the door in 40 minutes this is a great choice. Probably you just order wine by the glass.

JP
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 8, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Great food and ambiance. A very good value, as well. Old school Italian like you’d expect it to be. I will be back.

RO
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A great surprise! One would never realize that a great restaurant is lurking in a small shopping center on Mira Mesa Blvd. The Godfather is a wonderful surprise with great food, a cozy (if not a tad noisy - at lunchtime) nook with super food, and a helpful, impressive wait staff standing by to respond to any request you might have. We were seven for lunch and all had great meals. A return visit is definitely on the menu.

MS
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always enjoy our meals at The Godfather! We’ve been going for 30 years and it’s always wonderful!

SD
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Special occasion or quiet place for a dinner meeting or just wanting some great Italian food, this place is for you.

OT
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outstanding service. Outstanding food.

JN
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great date night spot. Service is top notch and food is excellent. It can get a little loud if you are sitting in the open area, I think the booths are a little quieter. Went on a Saturday night and they had a piano player. Overall a great dining experience again. Will keep coming back.

OT
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Don’t let strip mall location fool you. Inside feels like your in old Italian restaurant in NYC. Food and service was excellent.

LP
1 review
Dined on January 20, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always great service and great food. I look forward to coming here everytime. I highly suggest you give them a taste if you have never been.

TF
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 17, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a great experience when dining at The Godfather! Anthony always takes care of us, and the live piano music is fantastic.

CG
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

In efforts to celebrate our new move to San Diego, my husband and I set aside a night specially for the two of us to go out on a date. A friend of ours highly recommended The Godfather, so we made a reservation right away. After waiting about a half an hour to be seated even though we had a reservation, we were a bit put off by the long wait, but our friend swore that it was worth the wait so we stuck it out. We are SO glad that we stuck it out. The Godfather truly is worth the wait. As soon as we were sat, fried zucchini was placed onto the table along with bread and butter. For the price paid, we were astounded with not only the quality of the food provided, but also the quantity. We ended up taking some food home because the portions were so plentiful. My husband and I were treated so elegantly, we can't wait to come back for our next celebration soon. Please do not be put off by a long wait on the front end, because the Godfather experience is truly worth the wait (there might not even be a wait each time, it just is a highly popular restaurant in town for a reason).

SH
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Have already recommended to a friend. Very enjoyable experience. Drove well over one hour to try you out. Well worth it but wish you were a little closer to Canyon Lake. Steve Hipsak

MM
San Diego
43 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2020
Overall3food3service2ambience5

Waiter was in a BIG hurry...food came in lukewarm.
The rush job we got on an early Monday evening, with reservations, was surprising since this is one of our favorite restaurants to go to, always superb.

H
San Diego
14 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always delicious. Anthony greeted us like family . Our waiter Roberto remembered us from the last time . Our friends found him warm and friendly. We had a lovely meal .

OT
Las Vegas
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love it, great place for family.

S
San Diego
35 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A perfect start to a new year. The food is always fantastic and you cant beat the service. Anthony always stops by to check on you and make sure everything is just right.
My goal this year it to make it through the whole menu. Lets see if i make it.

PA
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been dining at The Godfather for 45 years and have never had a bad meal. Always delicious!!! The BEST Italian restaurant in San Diego.

S
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We have been going to the Godfather for several years and for the last 2 New Year Eves. I must say through all the years going for dinner on New Years Eve, this is the BEST! They have a great menu, excellent management and service. Atmosphere and Food is Excellent. Will be back during 2020 and for next New Years Eve. We extend our appreciation to the owner, Anthony and our Server David for outstanding caring.

CC
San Diego
33 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A favorite of ours for many years. Anytime we are thinking about a great Italian meal and excellent service, this is our choice! Never had anything here that I would not eat again. We do not eat red meat but friends and family have raved about the steaks. I prefer the fresh seafood and the home made pasta. I am salivating as I type this. Parking lot can be a little tight and from the outside you have no idea what you are getting into. Just GO, you will not regret it.

DY
San Diego
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Consistently outstanding for decades. Tasty fresh food prepared right, served professionally and priced well.

e
Seattle
15 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service, excellent food and overall a really delightful experience.

y
San Diego
29 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Took some visitors to a San Diego landmark and it was perfect. They seated us in a quiet booth and although there were many holiday parties going on, we could hear each other. Our waiter was wonderful, paying special attention to one of our party with special dietary needs. Everything about the Godfather says class--a great staple here in our home in America's finest city.

VM
Las Vegas
103 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is one of our favorite restaurants on the planet. We had lunch there with friends today and it did not disappoint it's just always good. Old family recipes with family owners.

OT
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food. Go every year for our anniversary

g
San Diego
103 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Godfather restaurant consistently has great service and a traditional feel to it, which we enjoy. The menu is extensive with favorites such as Eggplant Parmesan, Chicken Parmesan and similar dishes, and the zucchini chips served as a free appetizer are yummy. It’s well worth the drive for us when we want traditional italian choices and a rustic styled dining room with booths and art work that appear to be from sometime around the 1960s. This restaurant has withstood the test of time in San Diego, while others have come and gone, and we can see why.

JD
Toronto
1 review
Dined on December 28, 2019
Overall5food3service5ambience5

Great chicken parm-only complaint is that there were mushrooms in it. The dessert saved the day

S
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2019
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Caesar salad dressing was a bit too sweet. Frutti De Mare was a bit too sweet and creamy for a red sauce. I asked for my noodles "Al Dente" (slightly undercooked) and they came out way overcooked. My guest said his pesto pasta was too heavy.

ML
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious Christmas Eve dinner! Even on a busy day, everyone was so friendly and attentive.

OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing Christmas Eve dinner!

S
San Diego
21 reviews
Dined on December 20, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

E lasagna was fantastic as was the lemon cake. The black tea had a strange floraly taste, not good. The bread could be a little better, but overall this place is great.

CL
Central Coast
11 reviews
Dined on December 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious food and excellent service

MJ
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This restaurant is always on point with their meals, service and attention to detail.
Anthony and his crew are the best in town

JS
1 review
Dined on December 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Godfather is a classic, proper representation of what a Fine Dining Italian Restaurant should be! As a Chicago native I grew up with wonderful Italian restaurants after forty five years in San Diego I would say The Godfather is as close as it gets to "Home cooking" in the best way! Love it, Can't wait to go back!

LK
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on December 17, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Nice, classic, solid Italian restaurant. Perfect for family dinners, nice enough for special occasions. They bring free zucchini as an appetizer, solid lentil soup or salad, and fresh bread with every entree. The pesto is amazing!