The Prado at Balboa Park

4.7
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5982 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Californian
Just minutes from downtown San Diego, the convention center, and Mission Valley. The Prado at Balboa Park is located in one of the parks most beautiful buildings.
Under chef Jonathon Hale's creative direction the Prado Restaurant has won honors as San Diego's Best New Restaurant, has been named one of America's top 10 restaurants by Gourmet Magazine, received the coveted "four star" award by the California Restaurant writers association.
Cailifornia cuisine paired with truly excellent service, unique ambiance, hand crafted decor and outdoor/indoor dining year round are just some of the reason's why we've won "most romantic" and "best special occasion" restaurant.
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What 5982 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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FE
San Diego
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall2food1service4ambience5

El Prado has certainly gone downhill. We have been coming here for many years, and we were quite disappointed. The food was marginal, at best.

VK
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience5

Our waiter, Patrick, was wonderful, and he is consistently so, he is one of the reasons we love going to the Prado. On this particular visit, the Jidori chicken was wonderful, my sweetie's gnocchi dish, not so much. The Prado's Kobe beef sushi is worth the trip all by itself, and it is always wonderful. We ordered the risotto dish, which we have previously enjoyed, but this time it ha changed, and it wasn't good at all. Our drink order was perfect, the service fabulous, and the setting is lovely too. Although we had a uneven experience, with great service, but mixed enjoyment of the food, we will still return, we just won't order the gnocchi or the risotto again. The Kobe beef sushi and Patrick's great service will always keep us loyal to the Prado!

MB
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great location, food, service and value. I highly recommend.

CP
San Diego
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience4

The food is excellent, the servers very nice and accommodating, just make sure that you aren’t in a rush as it takes quite a while for the food to be served. We have been going to The Prado for many years and have never been disappointed with our meal.

R
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Birthday dinner was so enjoyable at the Prado, a favorite place to go for a special meal.

R
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food4service4ambience5

One of the prettiest spots in the city, set in the great venue of the park. Good and interesting food and beverages, well presented, casual with an elegant, lively and artistic edge. A terrific choice as a place to bring visitors.

R
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fun venue in Balboa Park. Good food. Not cheap. Difficult parking. Excellent service.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food4service4ambience5

We attended a play at the old Globe following dinner. Perfect Pre theater venue . Cocktails outside on the patio followed by dinner inside old Spanish decor.

L
Orange County
37 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food4service5ambience5

We have been to the Prado many times, and it is always excellent. Good food, good service, and nice ambiance particularly on the patio. Very convenient to the Old Globe theaters.

B
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food4service1ambience5

Lovely setting and tasty food only marred by a 20 minute wait for a server as those seated after me were greeted and orders taken. Finally had to ask busboy who had been most attentive if I even had a waiter.

f
San Diego
18 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Prado is our special celebration restaurant. The food, ambience, and service are always excellent! The Tuesday date night menu is a great value! The mustard encrusted pork prime rib is so very delicious. Devon, our server, gave us very attentive service which added to our delightful evening at the Prado!

LB
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

GREAT Pre theater dinner option. Service was superb and food was tasty as always.

JV
Hawaii
3 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The setting is unbeatable! Enjoyed watching the hummingbirds until my food arrived. Food is delicious and my server was great.

W
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall3food2service4ambience4

I do not eat cilantro. I hate the tase of cilantro. If cilantro is in the meal it is inedible. In this restaurant almost every dish had cilantro, making it hard to find a choice. The menu is wonderful, but
20% of patrons cannot eat cilantro. I feel that the chef doesn't care about the people who can't eat cilantro. It's unlikely I will return because, for me, the menu wise extremely limited. There should be more dishes available without cilantro.

B
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall4food5service5ambience5

I always enjoy the Prado, as did my out of town guests. there was a delay of 10 minutes past our reservation time.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing experience overall! It was my husband’s birthday and Scott our server was specially attentive with us. Food was delicious, I had the Paella and fully recommend it. This will be my go-to place for another special occasion, definitely!

RC
1 review
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall4food3service4ambience4

This restaurant has been a favorite for years. Most of the time the food is quite good. But not always. The NY steak was completely overwhelmed by the "J1" sauce doused over the top. This was my first time having beef at The Prado and I would not recommend unless 1) you like sauce more than meat or 2) you do what I should have done and asked for the sauce on the side. The broccoli was pretty tough and overcooked (maybe to try and soften it somewhat.

Considering this most recent experience with The Prado, I am going to be inclined to look for other alternatives when dining near Balboa Park.

R
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on February 7, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our dinners were beautifully prepared and delicious and the service was outstanding!

RL
Houston
4 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was fresh and natural. Well prepared and hot upon arrival.

And one of the best margaritas I've had.

BI
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great restaurant for dinner before the theatre. Food is really good!

ES
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had a birthday dinner and then off to a play at the Old Globe.
It was a perfect night!
Thank you

r
San Diego
20 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our best experience there of many good visits over the years--perhaps because it wasn't too busy. Regardless, we had the usual great food, attentive service with the bonus of a quiet ambience without the typical bustle. Enjoyed it very much.

w
San Diego
27 reviews
Dined on February 4, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Ties night date night menu is awesome and so reasonable!

OT
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2020
Overall3food2service5ambience4

The food is unimaginative. The staff is wonderful. The setting is convenient if you find yourself in Balboa Park. Definitely not a memorable dining experience.

C
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a pleasure to come to the Prado. The food and service is always great. It's a bit loud inside but we always sit on the patio, which provides a lovely view.

SZ
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall4food4service5ambience3

The service was on point! The food was good; we had the spinach and pear salad, it was perfectly dressed and delicious. I had a vegan version of the Thai salmon which was flavorful and my date had the paella without the chorizo and said it was good. The decor was strange and every section of the restaurant had a different feel but not as in a new theme just a different set of furnishings and wall hangings. Our evaluation was that it was a good meal in a nice and quiet restaurant with excellent service!

CS
1 review
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Excellent dining option, especially outside on the patio at night. They changed their Jidori Chicken flavor which is a bummer but otherwise the food is always superb.

LK
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on January 31, 2020
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I love the Prado, especially the outdoor seating.

I ordered the fish taco and was disappointed. A lot of fish, not enough flavor; more salsa would have been helpful.

The Praditorita Margarita was excellent.

P
San Diego
64 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience4

With a delightful ambience in Balboa Park, it is a great place to eat before a play or while touring the museums. The menu is good with a selection that will please everyone. There is a full bar for drinks along with a wine list. The food was very good and nicely presented. It has been a consistently good restaurant for many years.

OT
Phoenix
3 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always incredible! Great food, great service!

JK
Kansas City
171 reviews
Dined on January 29, 2020
Overall4food4service3ambience5

Good food, but their special offers make ordering complicated. You can't get 1/2 price wine offered on Wednesdays if you want to order off the theatre menu (which really is not much of a savings). That annoyance took the pleasant edge off of the dining experience. They did work with us allowing us to have separate checks, but it made it just seem like a big hassle. KEEP IT SIMPLE!

BN
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2020
Overall4food4service4ambience3

I’ve been here a few times with my wife for date night. We will continue to come back because the food is good and so is the service.

RR
San Diego
11 reviews
Dined on January 28, 2020
Overall4food3service5ambience5

The Prado has a wonderful atmosphere and excellent service. However, the food this last visit was only fair. The pork chop had a strange texture to it, like it had been smoke cured, so it tasted like a thick piece of ham. The mashed potatoes were totally flavorless so they remained on the plate. A bit disappointing given the price range.

s
Washington DC
85 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

What a great moderately priced restaurant in the heart of Balboa Park. Beautiful surroundings, excellent everything.

Y
Orlando
1 review
Dined on January 27, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Prado is the Gem of Balboa park dining. The patio dining overlooks one of the many beautiful grottos of the park. Cocktails are top notch and the food is always delectable. And here’s one of the most amazing parts...the Location is accessible from The San Diego airport in under 15 minutes! Stop for a Prado break after arrival or before departure. Totally worth it.

X
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall2food1service3ambience2

Our server was nice

RR
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The whole meal experience was great! The best part was our waiter, Scot. Made the evening all the more enjoyable.

E
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very nice dinner for the closing day of restaurant week. Everyone had a different dish from the menu and were quite happy with the choices. Also timing was good to make a 7pm theatre time. Great job

PM
San Diego
26 reviews
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The Prado is always a treat to experience!

SM
San Diego
1 review
Dined on January 25, 2020
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We had an amazing meal, and the service made the experience even better. The staff were all very welcoming and accommodating. You really can't beat the ambiance out on the patio, either. Beautiful meal and experience!

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