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.
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).
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
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.
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 .
Love it, great place for family.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Consistently outstanding for decades. Tasty fresh food prepared right, served professionally and priced well.
Great service, excellent food and overall a really delightful experience.
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.
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.
Great food. Go every year for our anniversary
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.
Great chicken parm-only complaint is that there were mushrooms in it. The dessert saved the day
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.
Delicious Christmas Eve dinner! Even on a busy day, everyone was so friendly and attentive.
Amazing Christmas Eve dinner!
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.
Delicious food and excellent service
This restaurant is always on point with their meals, service and attention to detail.
Anthony and his crew are the best in town
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!
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!
This restaurant has been in business, run by the same family, for 45 years, and it shows in the professionalism of the staff and the quality of the food. And on a very busy Tuesday lunchtime, they even had free valet parking which was much appreciated.
Very festive atmosphere
Look forward to having a different server next time.
This restaurant is the real deal!
Excellent way to spend a 90th birthday with family.
My parents were visiting from Michigan and my father loves spaghetti and meatballs. We've eaten at Godfather's several times, and were certain that he would love their food. We were correct. Not only did my dad love his, but my very picky eater 16 year old son scarfed down the fettuccine alfredo. They have a gluten free pasta, and unfortunately for my wife, she is intolerant of gluten, but her dish with the gluten free pasta was delicious.
The entire meal and experience was great. Polite servers, great service, and most important of all, delicious food.
Thank you for warm welcome and ambience, and prompt seating. Knowledgable, professional and friendly wait staff. Meal arrived warm and was delicious! A special restaurant all around. Thank you for the hard work - it's noticeable and appreciated.
Simply the best Italian restaurant in the San Diego region if you want good, old-fashioned, family-style cooking with a flair for the traditional. Been dining here since the mid-70s, and it's always a treat.
Went to this classic southern Italian restaurant for Birthday dinner. Service was fantastic. Food as good as always, No wonder this place has stayed in business when many others have not. Highly recommend, especially for special occassion
We JUST love this restaurant! It has old-school charm💕
Celebrating my 19 year old at The Godfather was fun, yummy and special ‼️
Arribiatta pasta - very good!
Another phenomenal experience! We have been coming to The Godfather since the 80s and it has NEVER disappointed. Always a great dining experience. We always bring guests and they are always impressed!
Fantastic place for a dinner date. Ambience is great, everyone was very kind and helpful, and the recommendations were very worthy. I'll be back in the future!
Godfather never fails to meet expectations; a wonderful restaurant.
The food just was not that great. Nice atmosphere and service, but the food was not up to par.
Excellent service and incredibly good food. The whole evening was a wonderful experience for all in my party.
Awesome servers and great food