Queenstown Bistro

4.2
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59 Reviews
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$30 and under
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New Zealand
We are the lil sis of Queenstown Public House located in the Little Italy district of San Diego. Slightly smaller, but with the same basic ingredients.

A beautiful, comfortable, unique, fun setting. A friendly, smiling, courteous staff we hope you get to know. Guests enjoying the moment, sharing a laugh, whom we hope we get to know. Freshly made dishes; locally sourced, passionately created, many unique…and all delicious. A beer list changing daily, proudly from our award winning local craft SD brewers, and a wine list chosen with care from select vineyards and varietals.

With a kiwi inspired lineage, and the spirit, love and good nature from the land of the Maori, we hope you will join us. And if we are so fortunate, then, we hope you will have a little too much of a good time, have a few too many laughs, stay a while, and return again soon to see us.
What 59 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.2based on recent ratings
4.3
food
4.1
service
4.2
ambience
3.9
value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
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OT
Nashville
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food2service3ambience3

Don’t get the beet salad, it’s more like a bowl of beets - no salad. Service wasn’t very attentive.

j
San Diego
21 reviews
Dined on November 6, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Limited menu for a vegan. Nice atmosphere in the UTC mall. Good spot for shopping snack but not a special trip

JW
San Diego
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience5

Rack of lamb was excellent, tender and flavorful!! My husband enjoyed his chicken pot pie but he thought his portion was too small. Excellent value on the kids meals!

IF
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Our server was really nice and attentive!
Food was great, steak Caesar was really good.

CW
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Delicious . Everything was perfect and our waiter Larry was fantastic. We had a great time and the food was wonderful.

SW
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on October 18, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Our service was excellent and really made the difference of making our experience even better than expected. Our special thanks to Larry! The lamb burger was perfect!! Interesting location in the middle of the mall and seating is a bit tight but you soon forget where you are as the ambiance they designed is private and very fun.

n
San Diego
73 reviews
Dined on October 16, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Good lunch menu. Loved my shrimp salad.
Very attentive server.

TS
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Queenstown Bistro is a gem in the center of UTC. We really enjoyed it - great varied menu, wonderful wine by the glass. We will certainly return!

M
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

We went in for Saturday brunch. Three of the four meal were okay. The breakfast burrito was awful and portions were smallish. The French toast won the breakfast competition.

The server was very sweet but wholly incompetent. She dropped a tray of water destined for the table behind us. She brought us a pot of coffee 15 minutes after we ordered it. The pot held only enough for 2 cups when there were four of us. We had to ask multiple times for cream.

My companion ordered steak and eggs. She didn’t ask how he wanted them cooked. After realizing this we called her over to clarify the order. She said something like “that’s funny. The cook asked me how you wanted them cooked and I said I don’t know!” Apparently, she had no intention of asking the patron who was going to eat the meal. There was a delay of about 5 minutes between service of the first two meals and the second two, making it a bit uncomfortable (eat or wait).

Overall, we would have had a better experience at Denny’s for less money.

JM
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall2food2service2ambience2

We had an open table reservation but were seated at a large high top table with stools -- no backs to the seat. They were pretty uncomfortable and definitely didn't make me want to stay very long so we eliminated any plans for appetizers or drinks. I had expected that with a reservation we would have been given one of the two-person tables with chairs (reserving the less desirable seats for walk-ins). The music was 70s era, beyond loud; it was more like "blaring". I wasn't sure why they were blasting this music when there was live music (a guitarist singing ballads) literally right outside the restaurant. His music was awesome, but we couldn't hear it. The food was ok and the service was ok, but I wouldn't return.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 18, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Place! Our server remembered our names from a month ago. New favorite place!

AB
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall4food3service5ambience4

The service was good. The food was hit or miss. Some things were excellent other things were way too salty. Birthday dessert was amazing. Drinks were just Ok.

T
San Diego
18 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall2food2service1ambience4

Bad service. Period. I was with a friend so I did not complain but how hard is it to remake a salad? Also, servers were on the phone, disappeared and overall did not serve - when the restaurant was half empty. The food was just ok so this restaurant probably earns a DNR (do not repeat).

OT
Orange County
1 review
Dined on September 9, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Server was nice and accommodated my dietary restrictions

VS
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience5

The food was delicious. Great ambience. Good service

l
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall3food4service3ambience3

I love the food and Joe the waitperson. One annoyance is that I had a reservation and asked for an open booth but they hesitated and then said that it was reserved. It really wasn't as the occupied booth next to it had a Scrabble reserved tray on it and the other did not. They went on to say they like to save it for larger parties but it went unused the whole time my companion and I ate there. They have a bit of a problem with too many tables that are either too sunny or not very private. Second quibble was that i sampled 4 craft tasters and did not like any so decided to have a bottle beer and they were out supposedly because the liquor guy was on vacation--doesn't someone sub for him or doesn't he stock up on provisions before his departure? The first time I went my burger was overcooked and I avoided the place, but then I went back and as long as you specify medium this place actually cooks it that way. Burgers and salads are great--especially beet salad. wish they had more items from parent restaurant and more umbrellas or better way to provide shade--you know how hot it has been and this place is totally al fresco.

JoAnn

C
San Diego
38 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Cool, unique place at UTC - we'll definitely be back. A bit pricey, but that's to be expected at UTC. Our server was excellent and the food was good.

CS
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall3food4service4ambience2

The food and wait service were good. What wasn't good was the seating set-up and the reservations. I made a reservation a week in advance for a birthday celebration. When we arrived, we were seated at one of the communal high tables. I asked if we could have one of the 4-top tables instead. They said they were all occupied at the moment. Shouldn't one of them have been reserved for our party? Isn't that the point of making a reservation? Poor service on the part of the hostess.

Also, several of the 4-top tables weren't really tables at all. They were coffee tables with chairs on either side. How uncomfortable would it be to eat a meal sitting in a chair hunched over a coffee table? Whose bright idea was that? They looked like something out of a Buzzfeed listicle of "stupid things hipster restaurants do." The food was good and our waiter was nice but the restaurant itself was kinda stupid.

FM
Salt Lake City
1 review
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Loved it... server was great!
Will definitely go back again

t
Hawaii
3 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Not what we really expected.
Is located in the middle of a very busy shopping center with many people around
The food was OK. My wife's salmon plate came uncooked and she was waiting for her food while
we were eating

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall3food3service2ambience4

This restaurant is adorable, just wish it lived up to expectations! Food was ok, but service was extremely slow. We were halfway through our appetizers before our drinks even arrived. Overall it was an ok dining experience.

DS
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on August 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great little outdoor cafe-type restaurant in the middle of UTC mall. Good food and beer selection, but no liquor - if that's your thing. Dog-friendly, also!

s
San Diego
28 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Unique food choices and friendly service!

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SH
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Great location right in middle of UTC.
#1 for people watching
Provides shade too and very European feel.
Interesting menu.
Good for brunch.
Live music kicked off nearby but not too loud at all.
Great service. Clean. Fresh.
All outdoors - some booths available with cover

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2019
Overall3food4service1ambience4

Food was very good. Service was very bad. Friendly waiters, but did not follow through on any requests we made. Simple things such as drink refills or bread with a salad took forever and multiple requests.

TF
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2019
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Great menu options and good food. Can't wait to go back and try more items.

BR
San Diego
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Pleasantly surprised that making a reservation gave us the best table at the restaurant. Additionally all seating is outside under a cover with a lovely decor. The atmosphere was very nice. The food - albeit a bit expensive at $17 for a burger bit given it was grass fed beef it wasn't unexpected.They also had a very nice $7 dollar kids meal making the cost a bit more palatable!! Plus the ambience made it worth the cost we would eat there again!!!

MR
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I am obsessed with this place !!! Food is so good and the owner and staff very personable and friendly.

EM
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Larry was the best server!!!! The food and drinks were really good and this place has such a nice vibe. Kid friendly too!

p
San Diego
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great service from the boss man with his cool '70s playlist going ... nice spot to people watch right in the middle of UTC and reasonable prices on good food. Checks a lot of boxes.

OT
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on June 4, 2019
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Menu selection was a bit tight. Overall ok. For some reason I remember the little Italy menu to be more robust

AA
San Diego
19 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

Great happy hour

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

Great service and great food. Friendly staff

KH
Orange County
1 review
Dined on May 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Server was fantastic, he was so attentive and helpful. We had a group of gals, just got there at the end of happy hour and were able to order a few things off that menu. He suggested items (wine and food) for later which we got and it was all amazing. Highly recommend! A hidden gem.

BH
San Diego
12 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2019
Overall3food4service2ambience5

Food was delicious! However don’t go after Mother’s Day our waitress was tired and a bit grumpy. I ask her what wine will pair with the rack of lamb, she said a red wine. Well I say I know but which one? She said I don’t know, had a busy mother’s day and everyone was drinking whatever they want, if I made a recommendation they didn’t like the wine choice. Overall it was very good. The atmosphere, decor and the food will bring me back. But I won’t go the day after a holiday.

OT
1 review
Dined on May 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service and food here is always wonderful!

C
1 review
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Top notch experience at Queenstown Bistro this past Saturday evening. Cleveland Jim was our sever and he was phenomenal! Great service, great food, and amazing ambiance! You completely forget you are at a mall. We will definitely be back!

m
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a nice surprise! Right in the middle of UTC, Queenstown Bistro is a small oasis of restaurant that serves tasty food and has a very cool vibe. The menu had something for my health conscious wife and great sandwiches (burger and chicken) for us guys. Had appetizer that was well prepared and presented and the main courses were delicious. Both sandwiches were cooked excellent, loved the homemade sauces for potato wedges and wife's salad with salmon was superb. Service was excellent and attentive. Bar selections looked great and the beer selection was good. Prices were reasonable for sit down place. If you want to escape the fast food mayhem at UTC try Queenstown, you won't be disappointed.

B
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 29, 2019
Overall1food1service1ambience2

It’s a cute little place, but it needs new owners and/or management. Our server did not check back with us after delivering our first drink. So as a result, there was no choice but to leave. We (and other people) had to actually go to the bar to pay. We won’t be going back.

SC
San Diego
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I love this place. Excellent, friendly service that makes you feel at home. And the food is always delicious, especially the ahi sandwich. Thanks, QB!