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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

Pre/post Theatre (117)
Great for Outdoor Dining (116)
Good for a Date (112)
See All
Special Occasion (91)
Romantic (86)
Good for Anniversaries (83)
Scenic View (74)
Good for Birthdays (65)
Great for Lunch (60)
Casual (56)
Creative Cuisine (51)
Fit for Foodies (49)
Quiet Conversation (49)
Neighborhood Gem (48)
Fun (43)
Worth the Drive (40)
Cozy (38)
Sunday Lunch (35)
Authentic (33)
Good for Groups (32)
Business Meals (31)
Handcrafted Cocktails (25)
Healthy (25)
Happy Hour (24)
Bar Seating (21)
Great for Brunch (20)
People Watching (19)
Good Vegetarian Options (18)
Local Ingredients (18)
Gluten Free Options (17)
Comfort Food (15)
Notable Wine List (15)
Afternoon Coffee (14)
Seasonal (13)
Tasting Menu (12)
Kid-friendly (10)
Late-night Find (9)
Live Music (9)
Vibrant Bar Scene (9)
Afternoon Tea (8)
Disabled Access (8)
Quick Bite (8)
Hot Spot (6)
Tapas (5)
Paleo Friendly (4)
Vegan (4)
Great Beer (3)
Spicy (2)
Live Sports (1)
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4733 reviews
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 (San Diego)·Dined 2 days ago

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

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined 5 days ago

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 6 days ago

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 6 days ago

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

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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.

Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
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

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 23, 2017

Fabulous, good food, great service, lovely ambiance, out Balboa Park fav for sure!

Tags: Cozy, Neighborhood Gem, Comfort Food, Healthy, Good for Anniversaries, Good Vegetarian Options, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients, Fun, Good for a Date, Great for Outdoor Dining
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 23, 2017

Lovely patio dinner. The salmon and wine were amazing!

Tags: Scenic View, Romantic, Happy Hour, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (New England)·Dined on October 23, 2017

Whoever wrote that the food is always disappointing, but the location great was right on. Hostesses, as mentioned previously, are great and deserve praise. Downhill after that. Waiter took cocktail order and removed wine list and wine glasses. Had to request return of both. Bread was only little, dry flatbreads with small ramekin of almost tasteless hummus. Potsticker app was 6 small dim sum like dumplings containing a small quantity of lobster and shrimp sitting on a vast lawn of cabbage slaw with slivers of pineapple so small you could barely discern it. Sea bass entree was a small square (about 3.5 x 3.5 x 1 inches) of fish, very firm and overcooked for my taste, on a very nice succotash of corn and multiple veggies. I'm not a big eater, and I left hungry. Cappuccino, which took a long time to get, had overfrothed, bubbly dishwater foam.
The major insult to me is a 3% surcharge, mentioned but not explained, in small text at the bottom of the menu. When I asked, the waiter said it was for the Cohn (management) company. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? One might conclude that Cohn is trying to milk this wonderful city park location for all it's worth, while skimping on product.
Enjoy the park, then go to a really good restaurant.

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food3
ambience3
service3

vip
 (Palm Springs)·Dined on October 22, 2017

Server Robbin is outstanding. She offers outstanding recommendations on items you might enjoy. Has never gone wrong. Food is great. Service is top notch.

Tags: Quiet Conversation, Special Occasion, Romantic, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 21, 2017

I hate to write this, but quality at this restaurant has gone downhill. The service was excellent, but the food was pretty bad. Our waiter recommended the short rib, so I got the short-rib/salmon combo. I have a potato allergy, so I substituted vegetables. First, vegetables are an extra $2, which is ridiculous because this dinner is already around $30. Next, the short ribs were awful - they reminded me of beef jerky. I could not even eat them. The salmon was pretty good. But the portion was so small I had to go home and eat again. I am talking tiny, not "small" for America. I weigh 100 lbs, I don't eat much. The portion of salmon and short-rib COMBINED would fit inside one of your palms. That's how small.

The cocktail menu lists each ingredient for their drinks - but be careful, they add simple syrup (liquid sugar) to every drink so it is super sweet. I told the waiter my cucumber martini was too sweet and he brought me a glass of club soda (instead or remaking it without sugar). Apparently he thinks martinis have club soda, I have no idea.

Additionally, I told them it was our anniversary and they didn't do anything. I don't expect every place to do something, but other similar high-end restaurants have.

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food1
ambience5
service5
value1

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 21, 2017

The Prado is consistently good and sometimes great. Fun atmosphere, beautifully designed . The waitstaff is superb. Always love going there before the theater, for a celebration or an office party. It's a fabulous venue. My only criticism would be that the menu is changed every so often for the locals to enjoy.

Tags: Good for a Date, Great for Brunch, Great for Outdoor Dining, Comfort Food, Romantic, Quick Bite, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Vegan, Good for Anniversaries, Sunday Lunch
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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on October 18, 2017

I enjoy the Prado, but we chose to sit outdoors and were seated in a sunny spot (too warm). There was an entire section closed at the time that would have been preferable (we did mention it, but we’re told we’d have to wait for the section to open up).

Tags: Pre/post Theatre
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food4
ambience3
service4
value5

 
·Dined on October 18, 2017

My wife and I had a great evening dinner out side. The view and lighting were great as Well as the amazing food.

Tags: Romantic, Good for a Date
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

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