Terra American Bistro

4.6
1455 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Terra American Bistro began in Hillcrest May 1998 and has since moved to the East College District of Rolando. Chef/Owner and Cookbook Author Jeff Rossman supports local food purveyors and sources all ingredients carefully, with a commitment to buy all products that are cultivated sustainably and humanely. Terra specialties include Steamed Carlsbad Black Mussels, Chipotle Marinated Skirt Steak, Pumpkin Raviolis and Lobster Macaroni ‘n Cheese. This neighborhood Bistro serves up farm to table fare and offers the perfect combination of sophistication and casual elegance. The team’s ambition at Terra is to create a relaxed and casual atmosphere to enjoy great food, local craft beer & wine.
What 1455 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.3
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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L
San Diego
20 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Group of 12. Were seated at wooden farm table. Ordered from new meat+3 menu. Food was delicious and priced moderately. A good value indeed. Servings were ample. Superb service by Nick

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BG
St. Louis
6 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, reasonable prices, cute place, great parking.

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c
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is one of our favorite restaurants! I had the meat loaf and my husband enjoyed the salmon: both were amazing! Our server, Nick, made it a great night, attentive but not intrusive. Water glasses stayed full! And dessert was delicious!

Terra American Bistro
Responded 3 days ago

Outstanding! So glad you liked our new vibe and menu.

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M
San Diego
5 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The blackened covina melted in my mouth! I also loved the corn pudding. Lovely meal before a concert.

Terra American Bistro
Responded on April 5, 2019

Thanks for choosing Terra.

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DC
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

I have been to Terra's numerous times. The food is always excellent. the service on point. I highly recommend. It is not in the nicest part of town, but I suppose that helps keep the prices reasonable.

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RR
1 review
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Gem of the hood. Blows Farm to Table and Bo Beu away by a mile. Food is tastier than Brigantine too.

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JB
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We LOVE Terra Bistro!! The food is fabulous as is the ambiance! The wait staff is wonderful!!!
It’s our favorite restaurant! We’ve never had a bad experience at Tera Bistro!

Terra American Bistro
Responded on March 23, 2019

We love our customers and giving them great dining experiences. Thank you for the review!

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EL
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, every time! Bread pudding is the best!

Terra American Bistro
Responded on March 23, 2019

Thank you! We are pretty proud of our bread pudding.

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g
San Diego
6 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terra is always a favorite of our families. Everything is delicious. Mike was our server and he was excellent.

Terra American Bistro
Responded on March 19, 2019

Thank you for the feedback.

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JD
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Terra American Bistro is always a delight. Though their menu is seasonal and often changes I always find tasty, comforting, healthy options. Their wine and beer selection along with their full bar and homemade infused liquors are the perfect compliment to every meal. Also, their desserts are delicious. If you are looking for a high-quality meal that doesn't break the bank then Terra American Bistro is the restaurant for you.

Terra American Bistro
Responded on March 19, 2019

Thanks for the shout out.

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l
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on March 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was scrumptious . We wanted delicious food leaning toward the healthy side. The fruit substitute for potatoes was perfect. Service was very friendly but not overweening. We would go back in a heart beat and I have already suggested it to a friend .

Terra American Bistro
Responded on March 13, 2019

Nice to hear! Thank you for the great review.

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MB
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Second time at Terra, second time finding hair in food. Otherwise a good experience

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MJ
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Had a great time! Food was amazing and service was great. Our visit was a Friday evening, so naturally it was very busy. Staff was all around great. The only thing I would ask to improve would be more frequent check-ins by the servers, and to not serve the plates so hot. We were warned by the servers that the dishes were hot, but one of our children accidentally touched their plate and were slightly burned. Easy to fix. We will definitely be back.

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OT
San Diego
110 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wednesday dinner and the venue had specials, regular menu and an option to pick a protein and combine it with 3 sides for a great price. We tried the brisket and the baked chicken then choose from a half dozen sides to make a perfect meal.

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NJ
San Diego
42 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terra is a wonderful restaurant. The food is always excellent, and the service terrific! If you love good food, this is the place!

Terra American Bistro
Responded on March 13, 2019

Thank you for taking timeto review us.

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolutely amazing! We left a jacket at our table and the host went so far to find us in the parking lot as we left to make sure it was returned to us.

Terra American Bistro
Responded on March 8, 2019

Happy to help.

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M
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the seafood gumbo! Wonderful dinner with great service! Thanks Nick!

Terra American Bistro
Responded on March 13, 2019

Martha, thank you for the kind words.

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PP
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love the new menu that offers an entre and you can pick the extras. Great food!

Terra American Bistro
Responded on March 19, 2019

We are pleased to hear you love our new menu. It is a keeper.

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OT
San Diego
15 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My wife is recovering from an accident, so this dinner was our first time out for pleasure in months. Terra has been in our rotation ever since Jeff relocated to this location, but this was our first time since he introduced the "Meat and Three" format. We started with the peppery calamari which is always delicious. Then we both opted for a Meat and Three dinner. She had meatloaf with Mac & Cheese and a double order of mashed potatoes. I had the local fish (sheep's head that night) with chimichurri sauce, jalapeño cornbread pudding, mashed spuds and fried broccoli. For dessert we shared the banana bread pudding. The meatloaf was probably the best I've ever tasted in a restaurant and better than the vast majority of home cooks could've done. My fish was mild and perfectly cooked. I very much liked the cornbread pudding, which reminded me of Bud Deslatte's muffins, but had a different texture that paired well with my entree. I also tasted the mac and cheese which arrived in a mini cast-iron skillet, and it was very, very good. Take it all around, it was a terrific meal and a great start to our being able to get out again.

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SB
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great meals and staff! The brisket was fantastic.

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MC
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Previous visit was nice, so we came back for a second meal. It was not very busy, but the chicken dish came bloody, as it was undercooked... Not a huge deal, but the waiter tried to BS us, saying it was still bloody because it was organic chicken. We had to send it back. Then dessert showed up unevenly warmed, with cold spots in it.

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L
San Diego
7 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 3

Too noisy
Salad all lettuce for $10
Nice waiter
Wish it more quaint and quiet
After a long week at work this the last restaurant to relax in

Terra American Bistro
Responded on February 26, 2019

Thank you for your feedback. Looks like you dined with us on Friday which is an extremely busy night. I would love to know what salad you ordered so I can see what occured. We use fresh farm ingredients and all of our salads should come with more than just lettuce.

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KG
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

This is the second time we have been disappointed with our meal and it’s price. Things are slipping here. Used this be a favorite.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Meal at Terra once again, Jeff outdid himself with a Valentines Day Masterpiece.

Terra American Bistro
Responded on February 15, 2019

Thanks for the love and choosing Terra.

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TV
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We went on Valentine's. The menu choices were outstanding. Understandably packed so had to wait for our seats. The wait staff hustled but never made you feel rushed. As always, the food was creative and outstanding.

Terra American Bistro
Responded on February 17, 2019

Sounds like you had a great Valentine's. Thank you for the review.

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OT
San Diego
111 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

This was our first visit to Terra American and we tried the fixed menu on Valentine's Day. The food was very good, the service a bit slow due to the crowd, it seemed the dinning room staff had not been increased in expectation of a repeating full house all evening. The wine list was acceptable and the fixed 3 course menu had excellent choices priced at a good value. The desert course was superb. To be picky, the lobster bisque was excellent in flavor but a bit thin, one filet entree was ordered medium but arrived medium well. Overall an enjoyable date night and we will return to try the regular menu.

Terra American Bistro
Responded on February 22, 2019

Thank you for your feedback.

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OT
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Valentine’s Day was made special with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. Christine, as my wife puts it, is the bestest! I fully agree. The special fondue was a treat to start. I could have eaten much more of it. The little flower vases and table cloths were a nice touch to make the ambience special. A wonderful dinner. Good job Terra!

Terra American Bistro
Responded on February 17, 2019

We are happy to enhance your Valentine's Day. Thank you for choosing Terra.

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CS
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Our Valentine's dinner was delicious! We had earliest seating which I highly recommend for no waiting on holidays with their special fixed menu.

Terra American Bistro
Responded on February 17, 2019

What a fun way to celebrate! Thanks for choosing Terra.

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p
San Diego
58 reviews
Dined on February 13, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Hadn't been there in many years. Food was great, service was fine and they even brought a small cake for our 83 year old guest and she loved it, as well as the food!

Terra American Bistro
Responded on February 17, 2019

Glad to have you back!

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BD
San Diego
16 reviews
Dined on February 5, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Comfortable environment to enjoy the varied and delicious menu items.

Terra American Bistro
Responded on February 8, 2019

We appreciated the review.

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C
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This place had an amazing menu. The food ALL tasted so good and the people who work there where very very friendly and competent. We will go again and again for sure!

Terra American Bistro
Responded on February 5, 2019

Awesome to hear! See you soon.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Best brunch in the area. Try the Memphis style chicken and waffles if you like a little spice.

Terra American Bistro
Responded on February 4, 2019

Awesome to read and thanks for the shout out!

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J
San Diego
1 review
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

I have been dining at Terra for years, since the time they were in Hillcrest. Their food is creatively crafted and prepared and always delicious. My only negative comment is that the service was not to their standards. Three of us were celebrating a birthday and two drinks were brought out, followed by the 3rd a few minutes later. We didn't feel like we should toast until all three of us had our drink. The same thing happened again when the food was brought out, and it was enough time, that we started eating so ours wouldn't get cold. the potatoes on the side of the chorizo skillet, already had.

Please bring all the food and drinks out at the same time.

Terra American Bistro
Responded on February 5, 2019

Thanks for being a loyal customer and for the feedback. I will speak with the team.

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OT
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and cocktails! Recommend the bourbon lemonade 👍👍. All of the food was delicious and service was great.

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Y
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Outstanding restaurant food. Everything my husband and I ate (vegan dish for me, meatloaf and 3 side items for husband) was fresh, flavorful, and finely made. The waiter, Aaron was super friendly, professional and helpful (suggested items). The owner Mama Terra introduced herself and her husband. Very nice people. Overall, I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who likes fresh product, in a nice gentle environment with a small hometown feeling.

Terra American Bistro
Responded on February 4, 2019

Foodie- Thank you for your feeedback and review. We are happy to hear you enjoyed our fresh flavors and service. Hope to see you back soon.

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AC
San Diego
3 reviews
Dined on January 30, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Would like more vegetarian options besides just the bowls or sides

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EC
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had fabulous food and great service! Downside was bartender talks extremely loud so you can hear her throughout the restaurant, kind of killed a romantic mood. Also there was a very obnoxious man who was having a temper tantrum about it being "restaurant week". Tried to ignore both n concentrate on food and service.

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CB
San Diego
4 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

I wanted to love this place ... I have one of Chef Jeff's cookbooks, and love the recipes. The food was very good; the ambience was upscale coffee shop; the value and creativity of the Restaurant Week Menu was outstanding. The service was kind of downscale, except for the actual server. The grilled salmon was divine, and the Thyme Tomato Marmalade on the Chopped Salad was noteworthy. Loved getting to choose 3 sides (somehow, one of mine got switched with one of my boyfriend's, and one of mine was nothing either of us ordered, but not a big deal, didn't mention). Mashed potatoes were mashed potatoes; Jalapeno cornbread was unique, and the brussels sprouts were very good. Also tasted the sauteed greens before passing them off, and the glazed carrots, and both were very good.

Terra American Bistro
Responded on January 30, 2019

Thanks for the feedback. Next time please mention the incorrect order to your server. Every customer deserves the best.

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e
San Diego
10 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the best gems in East county. I've been eating at Terra since it was in Hillcrest. Jeff is an amazing chef and owner. This last meal (see photo) was during restaurant week. Delicious.

Terra American Bistro
Responded on February 4, 2019

Love that you have been following and changing with us from the beginning. Thanks for the kind review.

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MH
1 review
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Superb food. A lovely surprise. Great choices for the restaurant week.

Terra American Bistro
Responded on January 30, 2019

We appreciate the kind review. Thanks for choosing Terra. Hope to see you back soon.

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