The Prado at Balboa Park

4.5
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5821 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Californian

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Pre/post Theatre
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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Specials

Thanksgiving Dinner Special Menus & Offers

Happy Thanksgiving! The Prado at Balboa Park is accepting reservations on Thanksgiving serving our special 3-course menu at $54.95/person. All reservations will have a 2 hour time limit. For outdoor dining, in the event of bad weather please note there will be no seating indoors available.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

What 5821 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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KM
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 5service 5ambience 3

I really enjoyed the food however not the romantic setting I was hoping for. People really seem to vary from formal wear to yoga pants. I would opt for lunch with a friend in jeans over a date night.

LI
San Diego
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We often dine here before the theater at the Old Globe. From the host seating us to our lovely waitress they were mindful of our time.
The food is fresh high quality and beautifully prepared and served.
The outside table with a view of the tree tops & organ pavilion in Balboa Park were the perfect setting to enjoy our dinner.
I highly recommend The Prado at Balboa Park.

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

The Prada is always a great place to eat but especially before attending a show at the Old Globe. Service is fast when we mentioned we were going to a show but not rushed. Food was dead usual.

OT
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

Only complaint was the portion was on the small side. Otherwise an expensive but satisfactory experience.

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

Boyfriend’s 50th birthday. As always. An amazing experience. Very attentive service and excellent food. Will definitely return.

l
Los Angeles
13 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Pre-theatre, enjoyed Happy Hour margaritas and spicy shrimp. Then moved into beautiful dining room and had excellent Tuesday night 2 for $49 special (2 salads, 2 entrees and a bottle of wine.). Unexpectedly good quality. Got us out in time for theatre at Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. Will definitely return soon.

RA
San Diego
54 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Great for before theater. Great start to evening. Everything was prepared just as we requested. Waiter listened .
We always think of Prada when going to Old Globe

BT
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Nice atmosphere dining outside. So much food. All four in our party enjoyed their plates. Great were the Cobb salad with shrimp, Portabella salad, and the Steak Panini good flavor but needed a knife and fork for the beef. Rubano sandwich was okay, a little more sauce would have been great. We all loved the fries which came with the steak panini and Rubano sandwich ( not mentioned on the menu). Overall excellent. We will be back soon.

CC
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great venue for dining post touring Balboa Park and Museums - or pre-festivities in the evening (like a musical at The Old Globe Theater). Less noise in the outside courtyard - and beautiful scenery on a pretty day. Menu has many great choices - and the staff is great!!! Highly recommend!

JF
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

The service wasn’t great and the food was only ok. For the price I won’t recommend it.

LT
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a lovely dinner with 4 friends, celebrating a birthday and having a meal prior to our Old Globe show. Our server was helpful and friendly and the food was fantastic. Thanks!

F
San Diego
97 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

The Prado has finally changed the menu a bit, so there were new choices. For two of the choices, substitutions were not accepted. For example, I did not want coconut in the seafood dish, but the server told me that the chef would not omit the coconut.

What I did choose was very nice and I enjoyed sitting at my favorite table.

OT
San Diego
8 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

Mediocre food. Great setting

DB
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 5

Such a wonderful location,the food could be better and the service could be better and yet we return
Location -- location -- location says it all.

RC
San Diego
13 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

My daughter is a vegetarian.
She had soup, salad, and a side of mashed potatoes.
Would like to see some vegetarian options on the entree menu
I ,myself , enjoyed the filet and shrimp
Great weather sitting on the patio
Awesome desserts
Thanks !

DG
San Diego
61 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday celebration. Food was excellent and our server, Scott, was.professional, knowledgeable & friendly

j
Palm Springs
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant is one of our favorites.
We always have had a great experience.
If you have not gone you must.

Joe G

o
Atlanta
22 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Food was just average, service was slow, and prices were not cheap, though not unreasonable for San Diego

KM
Phoenix
8 reviews
Dined on October 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic! Our server Scott was awesome and the food was amazing! Well done!

KC
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on October 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took a friend that had never experienced the Prado, she was "wow'ed" by the time we were heading out to the theatre. Lucky enough to have a nice warm night and obtain a railing table overlooking the plaza area below the restaurant, so extra points on the ambiance. Appetizers were excellent, Sea Bass was perfect, desserts were incredible. I could almost state that follow on visits could be this perfect but I would say they have been fairly consistent over the years (great place to dine when you'll be attending the monthly astronomy lecture at the Fleet). Highly recommended for those special times you want to create a memory.

OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dinner pre show for the old globe

RP
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Took advantage of the Tuesday night couple’s special. Great meal and great deal!

LD
Naples
55 reviews
Dined on September 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food. Great staff. Ambiance in Balboa Park can’t be beat. Lovely gardens. Before theatre dinner for perfect location and entertaining.

A
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 5

The overall value of the Prado is lacking. The food was OK, if it was $12-$15 per dish I would have thought it was acceptable, but the $30+ they want for each dish was not a good value. The ambiance is wonderful and probably the only thing that keeps this restaurant going. Here are some notes regarding the dishes we ordered:
- The calamari was our favorite dish - it was very tasty and the slaw that was served with it was delicious
- The lobster and shrimp potstickers were good, but we could not taste any lobster-only shrimp. Also the amount of slaw that was served with the potstickers was ridiculous. You could feed a small family with the amount of slaw that came with it.
- The flavor of the paella was not good, nor were the mussels fresh-you could smell them. Its not that they were bad, but they did not taste fresh. The overall flavor of the paella was not good either.
- We also had the sea bass dish that was just OK. I have made better sea bass at home. I believe additional pancetta in the succotash would have helped the flavor. The fish was plain with no flavor and was slightly dry.
- The creme brulee was sour.
- The flan was good.

H
Charleston
33 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Cool place, good food, unique atmosphere/location. Give it a try!

OT
1 review
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 2ambience 2

The food and service were so bad!! I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

NN
San Diego
33 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

A very pleasant experience. Quality of food better than many other venues at about 1/2 the cost. Very well done. One of our new favorite places.

MJ
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

There were four of us. One person liked his meal. Three of us were very disappointed. We won’t return.

SH
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Can't beat the location in Balboa Park. My salad was excellent and my husband enjoyed his calamari. The rest of the meal was average.

JS
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Prado is an exceptional restaurant that offers excellent service and food. We went during Restaurant Week and enjoyed one of their offerings. They are quick to get food on the table which we appreciate...they also cater to people who are attending plays to ensure they make their event. Our waiter was terrific-made great recommendations and checked on us several times. We also took advantage of a wine deal that allowed us to buy 3 bottles of wine for a very reasonable price. Overall a great experience...as always!

L
San Diego
63 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 5

I usually love this restaurant but this was not a good experience. The service was exceedingly poor. Three tables arriving after we were seated were served before us and when we questioned our server she replied, “The manager is bringing your meal” with no explanation from either her or the manager as to why this was so. We then waited another 20 minutes when we were finished with our meal before our check was given. True, it was restaurant week, but there were four servers on the patio and it was not completely reserved. Food was pretty lackluster for what I’m used to at this restaurant. Overall, was a bad day at the Prado. However, I will come back because they usually do a better job of serving and producing good food.

T
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful time at The Prado restaurant.
I recommend you ask for a table at the Patio, is really very nice!
Food and service are great!

MC
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We visit our San Diego family twice a year and we go directly from the airport to El Prado. So fresh, so creative, such a beautiful location. It's instant California. Remembering to make reservations eliminates the only possible glitch.

JB
1 review
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Everything was just okay. In the past, we loved it and at least one person would have a stunning dish. This time, the portions seemed smaller, the flavors uninspired, the food not hot... Like I said, I t was okay, but not worthy of a positive recommendation or even returning. Maybe it was because it was Restaurant Week and extra busy, but that shouldn’t be an excuse.

RA
Sacramento
15 reviews
Dined on September 24, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Nice location, food was very good. Our waitress had to be reminded to bring our drinks AND our dessert

MF
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on September 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service. Great ambiance. Great food. What else can you ask for?

OT
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service and a friendly staff. The food was on point as well. Great place to take a date.

j
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

we took a friend for a special dinner and were not disappointed. I loved the ambiance and we were given a table outside that was reasonably quiet. we stayed until the end of the night and appreciated the feeling of comfort as we lingered.

R
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had daughters birthday dinner there and we had such a nice time on the patio. Beautiful end of summer evening.

DL
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We sat indoors and the music was way too loud. We are hard of hearing and we had to shout. Outside would have been better but one of us has extreme sun sensitivity. I would highly recommend outside. However, for young people who can hear, the noise level inside is fine. It is not anywhere near as loud as so many restaurants these days. Loved the food, the ambiance, walking in the rose garden afterwards--we have eaten here for probably four decades for special occasions and we love The Prado.

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