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The Watering Hole- San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Escondido, CA

The Watering Hole- San Diego Zoo Safari Park

4.4
4.4
1174 Reviews
$30 and under
Gastro Pub
  • Great for scenic views
  • Great for outdoor dining
  • Charming
Located in the San Diego Safari Park
OpenTable Diners Choice 2022 Award for Best Ambiance

Enjoy an incredible view of the African Plains at the Safari Park's newest gathering spot: The Watering Hole restaurant and bar. Watch rhinos and giraffes as you dine on menu items including tasty sandwiches and fresh salads, or relax with a refreshing beverage from the full-service bar with a wide selection of craft beers, wine, and mixed drinks.

18% Gratuity charge to be added to checks for parties of 7 or more

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 23 times today

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Gastro Pub, African, Fusion / Eclectic
  • Hours of operation
    Mon–Fri 11:00 am–3:00 pm Sat, Sun 10:30 am–3:00 pm
  • Phone number
    (760) 796-5654 ext. 5397
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Neighborhood
    Escondido
  • Cross street
    San Pasqual Valley Rd
  • Parking details
    None
  • Additional
    Banquet, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Indoor Fireplace, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wine

What 1,174 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.4
4.4 based on recent ratings
  • 4Food
  • 4.3Service
  • 4.8Ambience
  • 4.1Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • North San Diego

    Best Ambiance

  • North San Diego

    Great for scenic views

1,174 Reviews
  1. CathyF

    Orange County

    5 reviews

    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Nothing nicer on hot summer day than sitting under shade and watching rhinos, giraffes and other animals on the plain. Pulled pork sandwich, pita appetizers and macOS very good. Caesar salad used iceberg lettuce and was skimpy on dressing and croutons. Server Alberto was a sweetheart.
    The Watering Hole- San Diego Zoo Safari ParkResponded 2 days ago
    Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience, we will pass your salad feedback on to the Chef, and we will make sure to recognize Alberto for providing you the world-class service we strive for. Your visit directly supports our wildlife conservation, we were delighted to serve you and look forward to inspiring you again soon. Thank you - The Watering Hole

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  2. OpenTable Diner

    Hawaii

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 5
    Service slow and disinterested. Took 15 min to get drinks. Food slow too. However, sandwiches were good . View was incredible which makes it 3 stars overall

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  3. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Good food, quick service. Highly recommend for any safari visitors.

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  4. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Likely this venue offers the most unique and wonderful view of any location in San Diego if not all of California. You could easily believe you were actually in Africa gazing over rolling grasslands over which giraffes, zebras, rhinoceros and many more animals are roaming. The menu is more than adequate for a delicious lunch. My wife and I shared a dish and an appetizer .. that was just right for us. We'll be back soon. Be sure to get reservations early on weekends.

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  5. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Awesome ambiance! Great place to rest and take in the view. One of the better food places at the park.
    The Watering Hole- San Diego Zoo Safari ParkResponded 2 days ago
    We are delighted to hear about your experience and are so glad to hear that you were able to make such phenomenal memories. Your support helps us in our continued effort to make a world where all life thrives. We look forward to serving you again soon and sincerely thank you for your feedback and support. - Thank you, The Watering Hole.

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  6. JWdog

    Greensboro

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 8, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Great break from the heat. Great appetizers. Good value with incredible views of the animals. Wish they hadn’t gotten rid of the charcuterie. Would have leveled up the experience.
    The Watering Hole- San Diego Zoo Safari ParkResponded 5 days ago
    Thank you for your visit and kind review, JWDog. Your support makes a world of difference for wildlife and we're delighted for the opportunity to serve you. We have shared your love of the charcuterie board with the Chef as well. Thank you!

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  7. Scotty

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 8, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great place to have a meal while at the park. Staff is excellent. Location is good, just wish the tables located on the artificial turf nearest the best views had umbrellas so people would use them. On hot sunny summer days they sit mostly empty. Also the Safari Park app map had no info on how to make a reservation. When you click the "The Watering Hole" icon on the map (while in the park), then click details, it says nothing about needing reservations, how to make reservations, hours of operation, etc. We asked 2 park employees who didn't know, but a third at a shop called someone and we found out to make a reservation you need to use Opentable app. This info could easily be added to the restaurant's "details" page, along with the hours of operation. Otherwise it was a very good experience.
    The Watering Hole- San Diego Zoo Safari ParkResponded on July 9, 2024
    Thank you for your support and feedback, we will look into how to improve our communication throughout the Park. Your visit directly supports our vision to create a world where all life thrives and we are thankful for the opportunity to serve you.

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  8. SusieS

    London

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 6, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Worth it for the view but the food could definitely be better.
    The Watering Hole- San Diego Zoo Safari ParkResponded on July 9, 2024
    Thank you for providing us this feedback, we're sorry to hear that your meal was less than ideal. Our vision is to create world-class culinary experiences, and your feedback will help us move in that direction. We have responded privately, as we would love to discuss this further with you.

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  9. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 5, 2024

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 1
    4. Ambience 3
    The views are the only positive thing about our experience. We waited at least 15 min before we were greeted from our server, and tables sat after us were greeted before us. We should have left then, but the reprieve from the heat was what kept us waiting. Our server finally greeted us and took our order, haphazardly and rushed. We waited about another 30 min for our actual food and when it came out it was all wrong. We had to cancel our appetizer because it never arrived. Our entrees were all incorrect when they finally reached our table. The food was sub par for the price, you basically were paying for the view and the food taste is overpriced amusement park food. We were severely disappointed in this experience as it was something we were looking forward to do. It’s very unfortunate this is the review I am leaving.
    The Watering Hole- San Diego Zoo Safari ParkResponded on July 9, 2024
    Thank you for providing us this feedback, I'm sorry to hear that your service was less than ideal. Our vision is to create world-class experiences through service, and your feedback will help us move in that direction. We have responded privately, as we would love to discuss this further with you.

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  10. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 3, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We’ve been coming here for years! Celebrated my grandson’s 2nd BD...there were 6 in our party . Everyone loved it! The temperature was in the mid to high 80”s and the misters were full on with a nice breeze. Very comfortable with an excellent view! Bartender and waiter were mindful and attentive with ideas when I wanted an unsweetened cocktail. My daughter-in-law ordered the margarita flight ...excellent:) My son enjoyed the sweet Serengetti Sunset (a favorite). The view of the open outback and animals and grassy area can’t be beat. Lunch - sandwiches of chicken and pork, iceberg wedge, kids chicken, lemonade, the giant pretzel and nachos with chicken---ended up with plenty of leftovers to enjoy later!!!
    The Watering Hole- San Diego Zoo Safari ParkResponded on July 9, 2024
    We're so glad you were able to make such great memories at the Watering Hole, we're delighted to hear that we were able to be a part of your grandson's celebrations. We hope to see you again soon!

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FAQs

The Watering Hole- San Diego Zoo Safari Park is rated 4.4 stars by 1174 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 23 times today
Google Map for The Watering Hole- San Diego Zoo Safari Park

15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd, Escondido, CA 92027-7017

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Cross street
    San Pasqual Valley Rd
  • Neighborhood
    Escondido
  • Hours of operation
    Mon–Fri 11:00 am–3:00 pm Sat, Sun 10:30 am–3:00 pm
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Gastro Pub, African, Fusion / Eclectic
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Parking details
    None
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Additional
    Banquet, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Indoor Fireplace, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, View, Weekend Brunch, Wine
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