The Prado at Balboa Park

4.6
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5780 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 5780 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.6
service
4.7
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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DL
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
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.

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

I am a regular at The Prado -- love everything and great place to eat before or after The Old Globe performances.

HS
Houston
27 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

The food was not as good as the last time we were there (approx a year ago). It was so loud we couldn’t hear each other speak and we were put in a smaller section of the restaurant so that was surprising. Service was good but don’t think we will be rushing back.

J
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My friends and I go to the Prado to celebrate events like birthdays. It never disappoints.

E
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 4

I have eaten at The Prado many times. I like the place very much. This time was an exception. I was there for lunch on September 13 with a friend I did not know very well.

I ordered iced tea, black bean soup and Caesar Salad. The iced tea never came. I was served tortilla soup which was good, but not what I had ordered. Some of the lettuce on the Caesar Salad was wilted and there was almost no dressing on the salad. I specifically did not complain because I was with a person I had just met through a mutual friend. I did not want to embarrass the server (or me) in front of this new person. So I was quiet. I believe the server was at fault for not delivering the iced tea and for ordering the wrong kind of soup. The bill showed tortilla soup. The chef (cook) certainly should not have used wilted lettuce or just barely put a little dressing of the salad. So two of the employees combined to make my lunch not what I expected.

I am certain I will be at The Prado again in the foreseeable future with family members. I trust I will receive what I ordered and that it will be properly prepared.

g
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

All around wonderful. Mojitos are not their forte. Waiter was kind to bring me a glass of wine on the house.

OT
Central Coast
3 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!

u
San Diego
33 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Very good meal. Excellent service.

D
Washington DC
10 reviews
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful experience for dinner! We sat on the patio which was beautiful. Our server was very attentive and fully explained the menu and wine special. The food was superb. I had pork chops and my friend sea bass. Everything was excellent. I appreciate that rather than bread before the meal we had a type of cracker and hummus. So good and not as filling as bread. The lime and avocado pie for dessert was just enough sweet to complete the meal. The pie definitely tastes like lime, the avocado gives it a very smooth texture. Good coffee too!! We were going to a play at the Old Globe Theater and our server ensured that we had plenty of time to eat and walk to the theater without hurrying us. I look forward to going back.

OT
London
1 review
Dined on September 10, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 4

Really not tasty food. Variety is too little. Service is very average for the place of this kind. Not recommended.

OT
San Francisco
47 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We make a point of ending our visits to San Diego with a dinner at Prado. Beautiful restaurant, especially the patio. The food is always delicious with some surprises (Lime Avocado pie) that are well worth experimenting with. Service is outstanding. Very friendly, and attentive. A wonderful place for a special date or occasion

NP
San Diego
31 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Beautiful ambiance and excellent service, A great start to an evening at the Old Globe or any time. The beet salad was delicious. Sea bass was overcooked but still good, and served piping hot. Limited gluten free desert items but they comped me my berries and cream rather than charge for them. The waiter was attentive, we weren't rushed, and everything was lovely. Beware that the bench seating is a full 8+ inches lower than the chairs opposite, so unless you have one tall and one small diner, one of you will be looking up the other person's nostril's all evening. We asked to be moved to a table with all chairs.

PK
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always excellent food and professional staff. The atmosphere is fun and romantic. Always an enjoyable experience.

GC
Charleston
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was outstanding and the food was very artistically prepared. We had a calimari appetizer and duck breast main course wonderfully prepared different than I have had in the past. Great flavors and highly recommend The Prado.

KD
Palm Springs
17 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a warm evening, but the patio was cool and shady. We ordered the paella, which was excellent. This restaurant never disappoints.

R
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Lovely service

DH
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Every time we go to the Prado the service and the food is excellent. We go there before going to the Old Globe and it makes for a very memorable evening. The Margarita (Pradorita) is the best I have had in the county. It is the perfect mix of sweet and sour. Just the way I like it. Each of the dishes we have had are unique in some way. In particular the risotto if a fantastic combination of flavors, especially the preserved lemon. The interactions with the servers have always been memorable.

B
San Diego
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Everything was very good except the main course was not served hot.

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

My Birthday

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

Food is always excellent. Staff is extremely knowledgeable on the wine list. I also appreciate that the wine list has many great selections at reasonable prices.

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

Excellent service and the food was outstanding. We had not been to the restaurant for some time and it seems to improve every time.

MM
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 3

Although we had a reservation, we were not served for 45 minutes. The first 2 meals came 5 minutes before the second meals. Our guest ordered shrimp on paella, but was brought salmon. It had taken so long we just let it go. The trio of skewers was cold and the salad had way too much dressing. I have enjoyed lunch there a number of times, but yesterday was a real disappointment.

CP
1 review
Dined on September 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love the Prado! Whenever we see a play, we make reservations at the Prado. We didn’t get it this time but the Date Night Dinner is a great value. We were an odd number and we din’t want our friend who was solo to feel cheated. But next time... I’m all in. My pork chop was melt in your mouth tender. The market salad was as pretty to look at as it was good to eat. Never been disappointed when we eat at the Prado. I do wish my all time favor dinner were still there; skirts on fire were to die for! But that dinner entre left with Debra Scott. Lovely evening. It was my husband ‘s birthday celebration dinner but no mention was made of it even though I indicated that was the reason for going there. (Dinner and a play.) Oh well, no real issue.

SD
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 5

Great Ambience beautiful restaurant. Service was slow, food was mediocre and tasteless. I had the chicken and feel I could have cooked it with more flavor. Come for the experience of a balboa park restaurant but be prepared for bad, slow service and just ok food.

OT
Austin
4 reviews
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Such a wonderful place for memories!

OT
1 review
Dined on August 30, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Food was excellent, just took a long time. We were seated for 45 minutes before the salads came.

TS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

I had a catarpillar in my salad!!! Waitress joked "it's organic" . They took salad price of the bill but ... not even appology.
Food was Ok. Nothing special.

OT
Salt Lake City
2 reviews
Dined on August 29, 2019
Overall 4food 2service 4ambience 4

We loved the garden setting. Services very good and professional. I have dined here many times and always enjoyed the food, however, the food was way below par this time. Fish was poorly cooked and not flavorful. Pork chops were also flavorless and not cooked properly. Very disappointed.

TB
Palm Springs
59 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

What a delight. We arrived early to have a cocktail in the lounge but it was packed. No problem ... We we're seating in the lovely dining room and our evening commenced. Wonderful service (thank you, Devon), excellent wine advice (Devon again) and a most delicious meal of sea bass accompanied by a fresh succotash. By far my best meal in San Diego.

m
Seattle
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

Everything was great except the very limited options for dinner for vegetarians.

OT
San Diego
94 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Two of us enjoyed short ribs and pork chop from the Date Night menu which is a fine bargain. The other two ordered the pan fried seabass and seafood linguini. Everyone was happy with what they ordered. We were going to the theater, so the prompt service was appreciated.

KO
San Diego
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was superb. Food as delicious as we expected it to be. We had a very enjoyable, low key meal and evening. Look forward to repeating it soon.

b
Las Vegas
49 reviews
Dined on August 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

The management has resolved the training issues they had with in the last year with the bar staff. The wait staff in the restaurant has always been very good and this visit was no exception.

DB
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, professional service, terrific ambience. A San Diego gen.

MD
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I came here with my boyfriend for his birthday, and he loved the experience! Excellent service and food. Our waitress Brianna was attentive and we had a wonderful dinner before we went out to watch a play over at the Old Globe Theater. We had reservations here at 6pm, and we showed up 17 mins late, and they still had the table for us. It was a lovely corner and we had a bit of privacy by a column. He ordered the Filet and Shrimp and I had the Salmon and Ribeye. They were excellent! For his birthday, he had the vanilla mascarpone flan which was positively delightful. Would love to come out here again!

b
New England
4 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We spent a lovely evening at Prado....
The ambiance is so romantic and comfortable.
The lighting , live music and lush surroundings,
makes for a special night !
We would like to note our server, in the lounge
had perfect timing without ever interrupting.
He set a very relaxed yet professional tone.

Patrick our server for dinner was super knowledgeable about the menu ! He was right
on in recommending a few outstanding choices.

We felt really appreciated and taken care for the
entire evening.

Our first dinner at Prado , we shall return !

DH
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We enjoyed the Filet and Shrimp, everything tasted yummy! Service was fantastic!

SD
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 4

Great location but parking is tough, food is okay not spectacular, good service!

OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

You cannot beat the ambiance. I absolutely loved the bar area. Great drinks and hummus with flat bread. The outside area is beautiful. The servers were very busy, since the restaurant was full. I was happy to experience the Prado. The ambiance is outstanding. The food is ok, not bad, not great, just ok. I cannot say the food was memorable, but the ambiance was. And I guess that is what you pay for.

KM
San Diego
62 reviews
Dined on August 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great! Couldn't ask for anything better. Scott our server was excellent. Food was quite good. Shrimp cob, and steak pannini. I would have liked alittle stronger margarita but it was OK. Would get the Pradoita( sp?) next time, better value, comes with shaker, get 2 drinks for price of 1 and from what I tasted, it was good. I had the watermelon margarita..

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