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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, Mediterranean

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

4.5

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.4

service

4.6

ambience

4.7

value

4.2

Noise

Moderate

92% would recommend it to a friend

Great for Outdoor Dining (116)
Pre/post Theatre (115)
Good for a Date (112)
See All
Special Occasion (95)
Romantic (86)
Good for Anniversaries (85)
Scenic View (70)
Good for Birthdays (66)
Great for Lunch (61)
Casual (56)
Creative Cuisine (51)
Quiet Conversation (51)
Fit for Foodies (46)
Neighborhood Gem (45)
Fun (43)
Worth the Drive (39)
Cozy (36)
Sunday Lunch (36)
Good for Groups (32)
Authentic (31)
Business Meals (31)
Handcrafted Cocktails (24)
Healthy (24)
Happy Hour (22)
Bar Seating (21)
Great for Brunch (20)
People Watching (20)
Notable Wine List (19)
Local Ingredients (18)
Good Vegetarian Options (17)
Gluten Free Options (15)
Afternoon Coffee (14)
Comfort Food (14)
Seasonal (13)
Late-night Find (10)
Tasting Menu (10)
Vibrant Bar Scene (10)
Live Music (9)
Quick Bite (9)
Afternoon Tea (8)
Kid-friendly (8)
Hot Spot (7)
Disabled Access (6)
Tapas (4)
Vegan (4)
Paleo Friendly (3)
Great Beer (2)
Spicy (2)
Live Sports (1)
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4741 reviews
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 (Birmingham)·Dined 2 days ago

Food is great. $101.00 for 2 main courses only, 1 beer, 1 non alcoholic drink, 1 dessert and 2 decaf coffees...I think if the service matched the quality of the food it might be worth it. Disappointed with the service. The waiter did not even acknowledge it was for a birthday even though it was on the reservation. The Hostess knew and acknwledged my wife’s birthday on the way in and the way out. Putting a candle on the pear crumble would have made it a special dinner and not just any other day.

Tags: Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (New York Area)·Dined 2 days ago

We went prior to attending a musical at The Old Globe. Food was delicious, service excellent and most convenient.

Tags: Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Good for a Date, Good Vegetarian Options, Bar Seating, Vibrant Bar Scene, People Watching, Happy Hour, Pre/post Theatre, Notable Wine List, Good for Birthdays, Worth the Drive, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Special Occasion, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined 3 days ago

The black bean soup was delicious as well the one portabella mushroom salad. The service was great at the beginning but then it took a while to get our check. The skewers could have a little more meat and another shrimp. Drinks were good.

Tags: Casual, Fun, People Watching
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined 5 days ago

Love it when a restaurant offers two dishes together as well as separately, like the salmon and short ribs—no more making the hard choice!

Tags: Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining, Quiet Conversation, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined 6 days ago

This is one of my favorite restaurants, both for dining and Happy Hour. The ambience and service are outstanding.

Tags: Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date, Good for Anniversaries, Quiet Conversation
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Francisco)·Dined 6 days ago

After being disappointed by numerous San Diego (some Cohn) restaurants we used to frequent (7+ years ago when we moved away) upon our return, we were very impressed with the quality of the everything ordered, the service and the experience as a whole at the Prado after attending a show with our daughter at the Globe. We ordered the mussels as an appetizer-the white wine base was delicious, I ordered the pork chop and my husband ordered the short ribs as entrees -both were cooked to perfection and melt in your mouth good. Additionally, I was impressed with the level of consideration of the male server with my toddler and his genuine attentiveness throughout the meal. We are so pleased that the Prado has maintained the same level of quality in our absence and can be one of our regular spots -especially after shows in Balboa Park.

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

 
·Dined on November 18, 2017

I had a date with my 4 year old daughter before we saw the Grinch. The food was good and my daughter had a good time. I felt the server was hard to track down and somewhat forgot about us. This was especially troubling since we were in a time crunch to see the play next door.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience4
service3
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 17, 2017

The special occasion was celebrating my 90th birthday. My wife advised the hostess of the event. No complimentary desert was served nor a birthday acknowledgement at the end of the meal. Very disappointed and will not celebrate my 100th birthday at the Prado

Tags: Sunday Lunch, Quiet Conversation, Casual, Great for Outdoor Dining, Great for Lunch, Healthy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 16, 2017

I had a birthday lunch of the Paella, with an Old Fashioned. My wife enjoyed the Mahi Mahi tacos and a Paloma, and we had the Kobe beef sushi. Everything was so so so delicious! The view from our outdoor seating was wonderful, watching the planes go by on a beautiful sunny San Diego skyline.

Tags: Casual, Quick Bite, Great for Brunch, Notable Wine List, Healthy, Good for Groups, Fit for Foodies, Sunday Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 14, 2017

The Prado was amazing. Scott was excellent in terms of service and making excellent recommendations. He knows his clients and is able to connect with them. He was able to connect with me and was able to “figure out” what I did as a professional. All servers should be like him. Thank you Scott?

Tags: Scenic View, Afternoon Coffee
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 13, 2017

Went there with 3 other ladies for lunch. Sat inside because it was a little cool that day but love the outside too. We were celebrating a birthday and the waitress was very nice and brought a birthday dessert. Food was very good-a salad, steak sandwich and cheese and ham sandwich. All very good. As was the tomato basil homemade soup. As long as you can walk from the parking lot this is a great place.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 13, 2017

Wonderful experience as always. My girlfriend and I love this place, it is historic, and the service is impeccable.

Tags: Special Occasion, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 12, 2017

Robin, our server was excellent. Food was scrumptious and beautiful presentation!

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 10, 2017

I have been to the Prado at Balboa Park multiple times and my waiter was Scott. He is personable and knowledgable about the menu. I was just great luck that he was my waiter again yesterday. I will visit the Prado at Balboa Park again...Thank You for a great luncheon experience!

Tags: Great for Outdoor Dining, Tasting Menu, Worth the Drive, Scenic View, Local Ingredients, Authentic, Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Cozy, Kid-friendly, Romantic, Good for a Date, Great for Lunch, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Great for Brunch, Good for Groups, Disabled Access, Business Meals, Sunday Lunch
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 9, 2017

Excellent restaurant in beautiful Balboa Park.
A mexican upscale theme and menu with many other options including lovely garden dining, weather permitting. Love the chicken tortilla soup as a starter. Drinks good and reasonable.

Tags: Romantic, Cozy, Casual, Good Vegetarian Options, Pre/post Theatre
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 8, 2017

Murphy's law on this visit. Everything that could have gone wrong, did. We arrived at our reservation time and our table wasn't ready so we went to the bar. We had excellent service at the bar. Once our table was ready, about 20 minutes later, we were moved to the dining room. We sat at the table for 16 minutes before flagging down a table busser and asking him who our server was. Another 5 minutes later, a woman came to our table and apologized for the "confusion." We ordered. She brought our drinks quickly after, with food quick to follow. The manager came to apologize and offer us a free dessert. Thoughtful, however, it was quickly shadowed by the fact that our food was not good. The chicken was a weird grayish color and tasted about as good as it looked. The risotto was soggy and tasted cheap. We didn't finish the food, didn't take them up on the dessert, but they were nice enough to take one of the entrees off the bill. All in all the service was fine after the wait, but that coupled with the terrible food - after which one of us actually got sick from - makes this an unforgettable, in a bad way, visit. I will never eat at the Prado restaurant again. It's a shame.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Pre/post Theatre, Casual, Romantic, Quiet Conversation
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food1
ambience3
service3
value2

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 8, 2017

Once again another very good meal. Tuesday night appatiser, wine and entree specials are great value and tasty

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 8, 2017

The Prado was an unexpected surprise. Food was exceptional, service was top notch, and the value was fantastic. We had an incredible meal and time celebrating my 71st birthday. Try Tuesday’s which are date night and you won’t be disappointed.

Tags: Happy Hour, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 8, 2017

Good food and good service, but not worth the price. Small menu, not much of a selection. The ambiance was nice and cozy, but was pretty loud inside. Glad to say that I have eaten there, but would not spend the money again.

Tags: Healthy, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience3
service4
value2

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 7, 2017

We were there to celebrate a birthday. Neither of us had been there before. We were seated outside by the fountain. It was lovely & really added to the dining experience. The food was good & the presentation was beautiful. We would both dine here again.

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 6, 2017

Best service, great fish Tacos. Waitress brought out carrot sticks so that gluten-free diner could enjoy the humus.
Folks were waiting 20 minutes for a table but with a lunch reservation we were seated right away.

Tags: Good for a Date, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 6, 2017

Reliably delicious food. Though the menu is limited (it never seems to change)everything we have had is very good. Special note: The appetizers could be enough for a lunch main meal!

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre, Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Houston)·Dined on November 6, 2017

We got there when the doors opened at 11:30. We were able to sit outside in the back patio Courtyard underneath the market umbrellas. The view is beautiful the ambience is charming and the food was large portions the price was very reasonable our server was very nice and it is located within Balboa Park

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food4
ambience4
service4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 5, 2017

Really nice restaurant. Great location, good food. The drinks could take a little love.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Good for Birthdays, Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining, Good for a Date
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 5, 2017

very nice place. great for a nice quiet dinner, service was excellent as was the food

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined on November 5, 2017

The service was great and the food was even better, it was the wife's and my first time there and we both loved it. A very nice place for any special occasion.

Tags: Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Cozy
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 2, 2017

Overall, pretty good, but definitely overpriced.

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food4
ambience4
service3
value2

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 2, 2017

Everything was great! There was a discrepancy w the bill I’m still waiting to get resolved.

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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 2, 2017

The Prado knocked the ball out of the field, again. This place has never failed to deliver on great service and amazing food. A definitely must try if you've ever wondered about it.

Tags: Live Music, Great for Outdoor Dining, Tasting Menu, Bar Seating, Romantic, Special Occasion, Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Casual, Good for Groups, Scenic View, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Good for a Date, Pre/post Theatre, Disabled Access
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 1, 2017

Parking in Balboa Park is difficult. Service was good, but not great. My chicken sandwich was not fully cooked in the center. Pasta salad was dull. I've eaten at the Prado many, many times and I think it has gone downhill since my last visit. What happened???

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food3
ambience5
service4
value3

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on October 30, 2017

Very much enjoyed our meal, food was very good. Service was exceptional and the place is gorgeous!

Tags: Special Occasion, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

 
 (Minneapolis)·Dined on October 30, 2017

Food was just OK. Calamari drenched in sweet stuff; martini too sweet. Service and ambiance excellent, albeit a bit slow for the appetizer and main courses to arrive (be sure you have lots to talk about!) Would go again for lunch, but too pricey for dinner.

Tags: Good for a Date
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food3
ambience5
service5
value3

 
·Dined on October 29, 2017

Outstanding service. Steven went above and beyond. Will definitely visit again.

Tags: Seasonal, Quiet Conversation, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on October 28, 2017

Our waitress was phenomenal, food was phenomenal, especially the steamed muscles ❤❤❤ drinks were phenomenal... In other words, everything was f-ing perfect, beautiful and... Well perfect. 😍
P.s. you can basically go in jeans and a t-shirt, or go all decked out fancy (which is what my husband and I did since it's our 1 year anniversary) and not feel out of place at all.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 27, 2017

Always enjoy the ambience and consistently good food and service.

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 27, 2017

Met with friends that I had not seen for 40 years. We drank about 2 gallons of tea before even opening the menu. The server was very polite and did not seem to mind. After ordering the food came quickly and was great. The ambiance one the patio was pure perfection!!

Tags: Cozy, Good for Groups, Creative Cuisine
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food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Denver)·Dined on October 26, 2017

Always fabulous. We have been here many times and it is always a highlight of our trip to Dan Diego. Always make a reservation as they are busy. Food is always great and service super nice.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Great for Lunch, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Seattle)·Dined on October 25, 2017

Date night (Tuesday) menu was great value with wine included and regular large portions. The service was top notch. Only disappointment was outside dining area was not opened due to high heat during the day (we were there at night).

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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (Washington DC)·Dined on October 24, 2017

The food was very creative and Simply awesome! Visiting from Baltimore and we would travel here again just for this restaurant.

Tags: Fun, Authentic, Hot Spot, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Creative Cuisine, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (New Orleans)·Dined on October 24, 2017

Ate here twice this week first for dinner was really delish so went back with another friend for lunch again yummy and such a pretty place!

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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