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Nearby points of interest

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About The Prado at Balboa Park

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.
Continental 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.

1549 El Prado
San Diego, CA 92101
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, Californian

Hours of Operation:
Lunch:
Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 3:00pm
Saturday - Sunday: 11:00am - 3:00pm
Dinner:
Sunday, Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 9:30pm
*No Dinner Service on Mondays*

Cross Street:
6th Avenue

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(619) 557-9441 ext. 203

Website:
http://www.cohnrestaurants.com/theprado

Entertainment:
Our Lounge offers live musical entertainment from 8:00pm - 10:00pm every Tuesday- Saturday evenings.

Catering:
Prado Catering
The Prado also offers full service catering at various museums and other locations within Balboa Park. Please contact our catering department for additional information.

Experience our Award-Winning Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner Menus
Professional Staff-Synchronized Service.
Full length table linens, gold chiavari chairs and porcelain china.

Parking Details:
Valet offered Tuesday through Friday 5:00pm onwards. Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am onwards. Public parking lots available in Balboa Park.

Public Transit:
Visit Balboa Park using the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), with easy access from the downtown and Mission Valley areas.

Review the times for route Routes 120 (Fashion Valley), Route 7 (Smart Corner) and Rapid 215 are the main bus routes through Balboa Park

Executive Chef:
Jonathan Hale

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Entertainment, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Special Events & Promotions:
Private Banquet Rooms

Offering the perfect backdrop for parties, meetings and special events, The Prado features 22,000 square feet of meeting space indoors and out to accommodate groups up to 2,500 guests. An on-site professional staff blends the expertise of special event planning with the flair for the unusual, which makes for a unique party experience.

For more information and additional photos/virtual tour, visit www.balboaparkweddings.com. For immediate assistance, please call our Sales and Catering Team at 619-557-9441 x501.

Private Dining

The Prado, located in the historic House of Hospitality in the center of San Diego’s famous Balboa Park is known for its world-class California cuisine, unparalleled ambiance and excellent service. From intimate gatherings to grand affairs, the Prado has it all to make your event unforgettable!

The Prado at Balboa Park Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.6

ambience

4.7

value

4.3

Noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Special Occasion (84)
Good for Anniversaries (75)
Great for Outdoor Dining (74)
See All
Good for a Date (74)
Pre/post Theatre (60)
Good for Birthdays (58)
Romantic (58)
Great for Lunch (51)
Scenic View (41)
Quiet Conversation (40)
Casual (40)
Creative Cuisine (37)
Worth the Drive (35)
Cozy (34)
Neighborhood Gem (30)
Fun (30)
Happy Hour (29)
Good for Groups (27)
Sunday Lunch (26)
Business Meals (25)
Fit for Foodies (25)
Handcrafted Cocktails (23)
Authentic (20)
Local Ingredients (16)
Great for Brunch (15)
Healthy (15)
People Watching (15)
Bar Seating (14)
Comfort Food (12)
Notable Wine List (11)
Seasonal (11)
Tasting Menu (11)
Hot Spot (8)
Afternoon Coffee (7)
Disabled Access (7)
Quick Bite (7)
Afternoon Tea (6)
Kid-friendly (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Vibrant Bar Scene (6)
Late-night Find (4)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Live Music (3)
Live Sports (2)
Organic (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Tapas (2)
Spicy (1)
Vegan (1)
Waterfront (1)
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4872 reviews
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 (Austin)·Dined 18 hours ago

Taylor was awesome

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined 3 days ago

Lovely table outside facing the wishing well was perfect. Our servant was happy and attentive. The food arrived on time and tasted great

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Las Vegas)·Dined 3 days ago

Great food at Prado. Lots of choices in both food and cocktails. Service a bit slow but always crowded. Still recommend if you are in Balboa Park

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
·Dined 4 days ago

Sit outside under the twinkle lights and enjoy the company.

Tags: Romantic, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined 4 days ago

My wife and I greatly enjoy The Prado, because of the quality service, delicious food, and beautiful environment. The Tuesday Date Night special for $47.95 per couple is a great value. The mustard crusted pork chop on that menu is unique and delicious. Our server Michael made our date night very special - he was attentive, funny, and very helpful.

Tags: Fun, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined 6 days ago

Service was fantastic! Food was just ok and priced high. Cocktails were ok in flavor but lacked potency. Overall it’s good for tourists but the food quality won’t invite me back anytime soon.

Tags: Special Occasion, Scenic View
1 person found this review helpful.
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined 6 days ago

Food was delicious and our server was very attentive and friendly.

Tags: Casual, Romantic, Good for Birthdays
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
·Dined 6 days ago

Excellent food and service. Inside is relatively loud. Outside dining is quiet and the heat lamps keep it comfortable in the cooler months. Nice decor and lighting.

Tags: Special Occasion, Worth the Drive, Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience1
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined 7 days ago

Everything was wonderful. My only issue was that the food a little warm, like it had been prepared a long time ago. It didn’t feel fresh. It was a completely outstanding experience outside of that.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 10, 2018

Dinner before a play at The Old Globe. A nice evening, we will be going back.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 10, 2018

Great meal, Great service, and Great desert. Reservation are a must, we were seated on time. Love this place.

Tags: Business Meals, Good for Anniversaries, Seasonal, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Philadelphia)·Dined on February 10, 2018

We really enjoy Prado and often eat there before performances at the Old Globe. This time we dined outside with entrees of duck breast and tasty pork chop. Delicious. Good drinks as well. Prado provides one of the best overall dining values in San Diego.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on February 8, 2018

Great atmosphere and delicious food. Lovely to sit outside in early evening.

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 8, 2018

The Prado has always been our go to spot for pre Old Globe dining.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre
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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (Denver)·Dined on February 8, 2018

Very good food, wonderful ambiance and service. I was once again put off by the statement on the menu that the Prado has added a 3% surcharge to offset the raise in the minimum wage. Please! I find this offensive, as servers around the country get ridiculously low wages and we, the customers, are expected to make up for it in the form of tips. It’s a terrible system. If I had remembered this from our last visit, I might not have come again.

Tags: Special Occasion, Quiet Conversation, Great for Outdoor Dining, Scenic View
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 7, 2018

We love the Tuesday Date Night special. Great for pre-theatre

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Cozy, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 7, 2018

Great most enjoyable as usual. Especially Tuesday date night.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Casual, Afternoon Coffee, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Great for Lunch, Disabled Access, Sunday Lunch, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on February 6, 2018

Service wasn’t great. Food was very good. Menu is very limited

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 6, 2018

A beautiful setting, indoors or outdoors, a nice menu and great service. We have celebrated many special occasions here and have never been disappointed. A special treat is their Tuesday Date Night. Can't wait to go back.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food4
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 5, 2018

Disgusting!
Ordered bloody Mary. So spiced- I sent it back. Undrinkable.
They put something in it which is disgusting.
Soup not bad
Chicken blt lousy!
And it takes forever to get your food
Tourist trap full of people in nice environment who will
Not go back again.
Eat before you go to Balboa Park

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food1
ambience5
service3
value1

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 5, 2018

We had a nice evening

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 5, 2018

A nice restaurant with good food and a friendly staff. It is most convenient for theater goers.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 4, 2018

It is always a little frantic at the Prado restaurant. We arrived 10 minutes early and they suggested we wait for our reservation time even though there were tables available - no room in the bar area and outside was chilly; not a nice place to wait.

Tags: Happy Hour, Quick Bite, Great for Brunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (Chicago)·Dined on February 3, 2018

We live in San Diego and come to Balboa Park often, and this is by far our favorite place for lunch and dinner near the park. We find the food, service, and ambiance all to be top notch. Note that he dining room is closed daily from 3-5, but the limited food menu in the bar has some nice items as well as happy hour specials Tuesday-Friday. The restaurant and bar are closed on Monday nights. Finally, don't think that this restaurant is for tourists--it's a great place in its own right and happens to be in an area of fabulous attractions.

Tags: Disabled Access, Great for Lunch, Scenic View, Bar Seating, Neighborhood Gem, Cozy, Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining, Happy Hour
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Our waitress was wonderful. We were celebrating my daughters adoption day and she made it get special. Food was outstanding.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Sunday Lunch, Live Sports, Live Music, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Denver)·Dined on February 2, 2018

My first trip to San Diego started at Balboa Park, where we enjoyed many of the gardens and theaters to inspect. My daughter had recommended the Restaurant, El Prado, and we made a reservation prior to eating there. the interior of the restaurant was so warm and welcoming, and our waitress was an amazing employee. My wife's family was from Cordoba, Spain, and so we felt very much at home with their menu, and I was delighted to enjoy such a delicious seafood paella on my first visit! I can't wait to return there to eat on our next visit.
Sincerely,
Rose and Bill Neese

Tags: Authentic, Worth the Drive, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on February 1, 2018

My wife of 35 years passed away last year and I have sad enough to not go out at all in the last 6 months as well as not going out for the last 3 years without my wife. At the turn of the year, with the support of family and friends, I decided to slowly move on with my life. An acquaintance of mine suggested going to the Zoo as she had passes and she suggested I go with her for a walk through the park as well. I thought lunch would be good so I made reservation through Open Table. It very easy to take care of so lunch it was.

I have been in food service as a cook, chef, and owner for 45 years, since I was 15 years old so I have some experience and a whole lot of knowledge. The food was excellent. There was no weakness or flaw in the quality of the food , the timing of delivery to the table as well as the presentation of the food. I was very happy with everything on the table. I may not be formally trained and certified but I know quite a bit about food, and that meal was one of the best I have had in my life.

The service, I believe her name was Wendy, was spotless and perfect. I remember only one instance in my life when the service matched Wendy' and that was back in 1988. Wendy, was very pleasant, welcoming and completely efficient and impressed me as well as my lich companion. I will never forget this meal and will be back again within a month, for sure. This was a "anxiety expected " episode for me that completely went the other way and made it memorable.

Thank you very much for the day.

"The guy from Hawaii"

Tags: Casual, Romantic, Special Occasion, Great for Lunch, Afternoon Coffee, Worth the Drive, Afternoon Tea
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 31, 2018

Everytime my wife and I dine at Prado we feel like we are in our own oasis, the server takes good care of us and food are exceptional.

Tags: Cozy, Quiet Conversation, Notable Wine List, Scenic View, Good for a Date, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 31, 2018

Tuesday date night menu was a killer deal! Love those short ribs and finally someone else is making carrot mashed potatoes, yay! The pineapple peach crumble was a nice, refreshing and comfortably manageable dessert for 2 as well as a lovely finish to a really nice meal. Service here always makes you feel like you're visiting family, a real plus.

Tags: Romantic, Cozy, Fun, Fit for Foodies, Casual, Good for Birthdays, Comfort Food, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 28, 2018

We were there for Restaurant Week dinner before an Old Globe performance - everything was delicious, fantastic!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Gluten Free Options
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 28, 2018

As usual great food and great service! It's very beautiful rather you sit inside or on the patio. We enjoy the crusted pork chop and the mussels the best. We also really enjoy the hummus and flatbread crackers that they serve as soon as you sit down. And unlike most restaurants we actually enjoy their coffee with dessert. Very good coffee here.

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food5
ambience5
service5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Birthday dinner for my boyfriend. Requested Stephen as our waiter, the guy is the BEST! Remembers our favorite drinks and brings them out ASAP. Lovely atmosphere on the outdoor patio. Patty, the manager, has a great crew and is also very attentive. Only suggestion is some new entrees would be nice, mix up the menu a little.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Had an excellent experience! Food, service, ambiance... perfect1

Tags: Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Romantic, Special Occasion, Good for a Date, Sunday Lunch, Good for Birthdays, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Cleveland)·Dined on January 27, 2018

The food, service and value were all well above average. The noise level was a bit high for our taste but we visited on a busy Saturday evening. Nice setting in middle of Balboa Park.

Tags: Special Occasion
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 27, 2018

We've eaten at the Prado several times over the years, and with tickets to a show at the Old Globe, it's an obvious choice. The Prado usually provides solid and interesting food and beverage offerings, but sometimes stumbles on execution. This visit was no different.

We started with cocktails - my wife ordered the featured "Cuban Old Fashioned", and I opted for a traditional Rye version as it's my go-to drink. Our fault for ordering two things that looked the same I suppose, but they were delivered "swapped". Normally probably not a big deal but my wife as a curious problem drinking even the smallest amount of whiskey, so we had to sort it out with a bit of A-B testing to make sure she got the correct drink. Not a huge deal, but a bit of an awkward start.

We split an appetizer (Lobster pot-stickers) which was excellent, then moved on to the seabass for her and the "seared" duck-breast for myself, with a glass of wine for each. Her seabass was excellent, full stop. My duck came on a bed of very innovative quinoa "fried rice" which was tasty, but the breast itself was *far* past the advertised temperature of "seared" - a grey center with hints of pink is usually characterized as "medium" or "medium-well" - hardly the optimum temperature for duck.

The seasoning and cracklins of the duck were tasty, and as I mentioned we had theater tickets, so I opted not to send the plate back, but I did call the discrepancy to the attention of our server. A brief apology was made, but no other remedy was offered. Portions of both entrees were adequate but not generous.

Finally, we split the tres leches cake for dessert, along with one of the less-expensive glasses of port. The cake, ice-cream, and hard meringue were all very tasty.

Total damage for one appetizer, two entrees, one dessert, two cocktails and three glasses of wine was about $175 after a nominal tip - fair given the location and fine-dining touches, but not a screaming value, either.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fun
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food4
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (Salt Lake City)·Dined on January 27, 2018

Great experience at the Prado! Was in town for 40th birthday get together with my sisters. We were there during restaurant week so the price was amazing. Food was good, service was excellent, atmosphere was cozy. The volume level of the room was great because just outside the room the music was loud but inside it was great for conversation. Server went out of his way to make sure we were happy. Would definitely go back!

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Casual, Quiet Conversation, Pre/post Theatre, Cozy
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food4
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Another memorable dinner at this establishment. The food was excellent. Some of us took advantage of the Restaurant Week menu which was a nice selection of choices as well as very reasonably priced. Our server was attentive and professional.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Lunch, Happy Hour, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Reservations for honored on time, only downfall is you have to walk a while to go the bathroom

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Enjoyed the black bean soup and the calamari fries on the Restaurant Week lunch menu. Definitely a good value. The Calamari fries are the best in town. Spouse also had the delicious black bean soup and the steak sandwich. THe steak was perfectly cooked and the portion size was large (but we ate it all anyway!). It was really good. The atmosphere on the patio is inviting, the service is always good, and we've never been disappointed with the food. (Actually, quite a few years ago, there was a lobster pot pie on the menu that was to die for. Sadly, it's no longer an option.)

Tags: Great for Lunch, Business Meals, Romantic, Happy Hour, Creative Cuisine, Scenic View
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Las Vegas)·Dined on January 25, 2018

Great casual lunch with a good friend

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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