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inspired by ancient methods, spices & botanicals - ARTIFACT at Mingei, San Diego, CA

ARTIFACT at Mingei

4.7
4.7
328 Reviews
$31 to $50
International
ARTIFACT is a full-service restaurant featuring craft cooking inspired by ancient methods, spices and botanicals located inside the beautiful Mingei Museum at Balboa Park . Offering indoor, outdoor courtyard, and bar seating for lunch Tuesday-Saturday.

Crafted by Tim Kolanko, Executive Chef, Urban Kitchen Group, and Jeff Armstrong, ARTIFACT’s Chef de Cuisine, will be a nod to Mingei’s changing international exhibitions in an environment filled with functional, innovative art and design by Jennifer Luce, Founder and Principal of LUCE et studio, who led the design and renovation project.
ARTIFACT and CRAFT CAFE at Mingei-the latest additions to restaurateur Tracy Borkum and Executive Chef Tim Kolanko’s CUCINA family of restaurants. An Urban Kitchen Group Concept. CUCINA urbana, enoteca, sorella, UKG Catering, Urban Kitchen at The Ready Shell at Jacobs Park
Follow the journey on social media @Dine.Mingei

Make a reservation

2 people

9:30 PM


Booked 9 times today
Experiences are available.

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    International, Asian, Mediterranean

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Tue–Sun 11:30 am–2:30 pm

  • Phone number

    (619) 704-7523

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Tim Kolanko + Jeff Armstrong

  • Catering

    Whether an intimate dinner party, wedding, company meeting, birthday bash or holiday celebration, Urban Kitchen Catering offers complete full service catering – from menus to tabletop design, all tailored to meet your every need. https://www.urbankitchengroup.com/catering/<br />

  • Private party facilities

    Located in the heart of San Diego’s historic Balboa Park, Mingei International Museum celebrates human creativity through folk art, craft and design. Its newly transformed building, designed by architect Jennifer Luce of LUCE et studio, provides both outdoor and indoor spaces, adaptable for large or small-scale events.mingei.org/visit/event-rentals

  • Neighborhood

    Downtown / Gaslamp

  • Parking details

    None

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Vegan, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Experiences

  • experience the cuisine of normandy

    $85.00 per person

    Jan 19, 2023 only
    experience the cuisine of normandy / the cultural region of northern france boasting an abundance of fresh seafood, delicious meat and poultry, the four famous norman cheeses, join ARTIFACT and Chef Jeff Armstrong for our inspired take on the cuisine of Normandy. full menu available at artifactatmingei.com / no modifications may be made to the menu / full table participation required

What 328 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

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

4.7
4.7 based on recent ratings
  • 4.6Food
  • 4.7Service
  • 4.7Ambience
  • 4.3Value

NoiseModerate

Sort by

Filters

  1. GB

    GloriaB

    San Diego

    13 reviews

    4.0

    13 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall4food5service4ambience5
    Everyone enjoyed their lunches! My Thai curry was excellent, lots of sauce and tender veggies and chicken.
  2. d

    debbieb

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delighted to have this restaurant in Balboa Park! Had lunch there yesterday. Gorgeous artsy indoors, lovely patio. The service was perfect-- friendly but not too much, always there but not hover-y, great guidance with menu. The food was absolutely delicious. Had the potato samosa, huge serving. No room for the yummy bibb salad we ordered. No problem, had it for dinner. We sat on patio (have heaters), inside are lots of hard surfaces, might be a little noisy. Will DEFINITELY eat there again, even if not seeing something at Old Globe.
  3. J

    John

    San Diego

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Very good lamb kibbe and pear and beet salad. Excellent service too.
  4. y

    yolandah

    San Diego

    31 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    31 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    Family time ! David and Ashley were both wonderful servers ! Joyfully Yolanda
  5. JT

    JacquiT

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We ate on the patio and it was excellent . Highly recommend .
  6. CD

    CDene

    Naples

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    My third experience for lunch at ARTIFACT and I have loved the fabulous food each time. This third time I took my gourmet food loving son and he told me he would like to return.
  7. CS

    CurtS

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on November 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful menu. We try to time lunch here every time were in the park. This time we indulged in the Cheese Cake. WOW!
  8. D

    Dolly

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Good variety on menu and unique flavors in food. Had wheat noodles, samosa, shrimp dish, marinated beef with friend -delicious. Enjoyed dining inside Mingei.
  9. L

    Lewis

    San Diego

    56 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    56 reviews

    Dined on November 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    A beautiful new restaurant. Food is quite unique and tasty.
  10. h

    hshw

    San Francisco

    10 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on November 19, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Brilliant!
  11. PH

    PatH

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I neglected to say good-bye and thank you to Mark, who checked us in. He was so gracious & attentive as were all the staff...but a special salute to Mark!
  12. CW

    CynthiaW

    Palm Springs

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our reservations were 1130. Everything was over the top wonderful.
  13. PW

    PatriciaW

    San Diego

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on November 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It is always a pleasure to dine at Artifact. Service and food are exceptional
  14. t

    tlb9

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The waitress was completely knowledgeable about the menu & offered helpful information for each question we asked. The food & drinks were all beautifully presented and delicious. It’s one of our favorite restaurants.
  15. KS

    KarenS

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Don't be deterred by the exotic descriptions on the menu. Our two choices, a vegetarian dumpling and the buckwheat noodle salad were fantastic. We will be back for more.
  16. E

    Emjay

    San Diego

    27 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Consistently FABULOUS. Love the food, love the vibe. Staff is wonderfully nice and efficient.
  17. GS

    GlennS

    San Diego

    12 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on November 13, 2022

    overall4food4service2ambience5
    This is a very fun space, inside the museum and great for quiet people watching. The food was generally quite good. I wasn’t especially fond of my buckwheat noodle dish, but the pea and potato Samosa was fabulous, as were the pork tacos and several other dishes among our group. The service was slow at times, but they tried hard and were very accommodating. This is great place to eat to anchor a day in Balboa Park. But beware that within view of your dinner is a very great craft gift shop, which might add to the cost of the dinner! :-)
  18. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 12, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Outstanding service… waiter
  19. SP

    SusanP

    San Diego

    18 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on November 11, 2022

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Artisan fare, unusual menu which we enjoyed. Don't come looking for any familiar favorites. Love the venue and the service was attentive.
  20. VP

    VivienP

    Seattle

    10 reviews

    2.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on November 11, 2022

    overall2food1service4ambience3
    My high expectations were definitely not met. Contemporary ambiance with a beautiful wood bar and better than average service. Very friendly staff. But the food was not good. Small portions of very strangely cooked classics like ceviche and green curry. We disliked all three dishes and left spending over $136. The cocktails were a mixed bag, the wine good. We love the Mingei International Museum; but are so disappointed that there restaurant was so very bad. We will not be eating there again.
  21. ML

    MLNado

    San Diego

    73 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    73 reviews

    Dined on November 11, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience5
    Nice restaurant. Will return. Service was great. Cocktails ok. Food good
  22. KK

    KarenK

    Hawaii

    17 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    17 reviews

    Dined on November 10, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The menu is unique. The samosa is very tasty with potatoes and peas gaining flavor from the mango chutney and curry. Everyone is very friendly and efficient. Outdoor ambience is delightful.
  23. P

    Penny

    San Diego

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on November 9, 2022

    overall5food3service5ambience5
    We loved it except: Martinis that were served were VERY small Chopsticks were needed
  24. KC

    KellyC

    San Diego

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on November 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Beautiful and classy setting, unique food and great service.
  25. K

    Knut

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 6, 2022

    overall1food2service1ambience5
    Claims to be a high end restaurant attached to a very nice museum however, the wait staff must have all garnered their experience at dive bars. Fire them all and I'll revisit!
  26. SH

    SHAH

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 6, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Need more vegetarian and vegan main entree items on menu.
  27. MB

    MissB

    San Diego

    43 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    43 reviews

    Dined on November 5, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience4
    We celebrated my husband's birthday at Artifact last night with four friends. The food was delicious and interesting. The service was excellent. Great drinks. Everyone enjoyed the night. It's not just a dinner....it's an experience.
  28. DH

    DianaH

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on November 5, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The food was delicious and thoughtfully prepared. The atmosphere is beautiful and typically it is a peaceful location. Wait staff was very attentive. We will return.
  29. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on November 4, 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience4
    Went with 5 others for lunch. Presentation excellent - that's where they put alot of their energy. Food... well we eat alot of Asian food in SD &:LA so it was definately satisfactory. We are going to take in a dinner soon to see if food is more imaginative in taste than presentation. Definately worth it if you are unfamiliar with standard Asian fare.
  30. MH

    MichaelH

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 4, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience3
    Greta appetizers and entrees Desserts need improvement Ambiance is IKEA-like. With some modifications, this could be greatly improved Also, a little noisy inside
  31. T

    Trini

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on November 2, 2022

    overall4food3service4ambience4
    Kendra was an excellent waitress! The food presentation was lovely, and the restaurant is a welcome addition to Balboa Park.
  32. AC

    AnnC

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This was my second time at Artifact. The food is great. All three of us loved our meals. Service is professional, prompt and friendly. I will be back again.
  33. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    1 review

    vip
    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful food, great staff - Mark, David, Lisbeth - all outstanding. Can’t wIt to return!!
  34. KW

    KathrynW

    San Diego

    5 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on October 29, 2022

    overall4food4service2ambience3
    Overall experience was good, but I am opposed to restaurants adding their own 4.9% cost of living fee to the check. Just raise the prices like every other business. In addition an automatic 20% service charge was also added for our party of 4. Overall, left a bad taste and discourages us to frequent again. Gratuity should be a choice and in this case was very slow.
  35. JS

    JessicaS

    San Diego

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on October 29, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious 4 course meal every 3 Fridays of the month. Hands down one of the most exciting dining experiences I’ve had in a long time. Come hungry with an open mind to trying new flavors from around the world!
  36. SL

    ShariL

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on October 29, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    The “interpretation” of Indian cuisine was too far off traditional Indian food. It was disappointing. Most of the food was good bit missing the intensity of flavor you find in Indian food. And I am not talking about spicy. I don’t care for spicy but I love flavor complexity. The first two course were very good. The goat was bland. We recognize that a lot of work and research and planning went into the dinner. This is my second special international dinner. The first, Moroccan, was better. Good luck! We want Artifact to thrive!
  37. JM

    JonathanM

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Helpful waiters, delicious food preparation and artfully presented selections. My fourth visit. A great addition to the food options at Balboa Park.
  38. JM

    JoMarie

    San Diego

    60 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    60 reviews

    Dined on October 25, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The buckwheat noodle salad was delicious and a glass of Malbec went well. A favorite restaurant!
  39. 4

    4janreviews

    San Diego

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on October 23, 2022

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Toured the upstairs museum which was charming. Lunch in the Cafe, which was charming and spacious and comfortable. Great service. Food eclectic and very tasty and fast. We all said we would come back.
  40. SW

    SusanW

    San Diego

    5 reviews

    3.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on October 16, 2022

    overall3food3service3ambience4
    I had looked forward to lunch at this venue for some time. I was disappointed in the service, serving size, and high prices. The $17 salad was really minimal so I requested bread. The only option was to purchase an order of flat bread, which was tasty, but fairly high priced. We were given a taste of the wine we were asking about, which was a nice gesture.

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
  • Physical distancing

    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking

FAQs

ARTIFACT at Mingei offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (619) 704-7523.

ARTIFACT at Mingei is rated 4.7 stars by 328 OpenTable diners.

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

Make a reservation

2 people

9:30 PM


Booked 9 times today
Experiences are available.
Google Map for ARTIFACT at Mingei

1493 El Prado, San Diego, CA 92101

Additional information

  • Neighborhood

    Downtown / Gaslamp

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch Tue–Sun 11:30 am–2:30 pm

  • Cuisines

    International, Asian, Mediterranean

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    None

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Tim Kolanko + Jeff Armstrong

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Vegan, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (619) 704-7523

  • Catering

    Whether an intimate dinner party, wedding, company meeting, birthday bash or holiday celebration, Urban Kitchen Catering offers complete full service catering – from menus to tabletop design, all tailored to meet your every need. https://www.urbankitchengroup.com/catering/<br />

  • Private party facilities

    Located in the heart of San Diego’s historic Balboa Park, Mingei International Museum celebrates human creativity through folk art, craft and design. Its newly transformed building, designed by architect Jennifer Luce of LUCE et studio, provides both outdoor and indoor spaces, adaptable for large or small-scale events.mingei.org/visit/event-rentals

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