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CUCINA urbana

Certificate of Excellence
€€ - €€€
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505 Laurel St, San Diego, CA 92101-1634 (5th Avenue)
+1 619-239-2222
11:30 - 23:59
Closed now
All hours
Sun 16:30 - 21:00
Mon 17:00 - 21:00
Tue - Thu 11:30 - 22:00
Fri - Sat 11:30 - 23:59
More Info
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693 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 646: English reviews
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We've been going to Cucina Urbana since our son first attended SDSU--a favorite right from the start. As you descend the staircase, you feel special and the feeling of being in the thick of it is enticing! The food is unique, yet familiar, from pastas to pizzas, appetizers in little jars to comfy desserts that top off every satisfying experience.... More 

Thank Deborah G
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
110 reviews
56 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

The food here is just great. Was here with a group in October and the staff was excellent and attentive. Groups (10+) I feel are always a challenge and Cucina exceeded in making sure that ALL of us were taken care of!

Thank Springman51d
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The food never fails at Cucina, I only discovered this restaurant recently, a couple of months ago and im already a regular! Its very pretty on the inside, old wood, modern art, cool lighting, chalkboards. I love love love the Chopped Salad and the Lemon Bianca pizza when I decide to treat myself, best restaurant.

Thank carolineann888
Leigh-on Sea, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Whilst organising a global scale Product Launch in San Diego last month, I was tasked, at short notice, to find a dinner venue to cater for c.70 guests which was (a) centrally located, (b) high quality, (c) smart casual affair, (d) exclusive buyout... with about 1 week to go I was not feeling confident when I started by search. An... More 

Thank NikiJohnson
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Good food, good atmosphere. Great place for any kind of occasion. Don't forget to make reservations.

Thank Lan t
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Fresh homemade everything, great vibe, friendly hospitable staff - recipe for success. Squash blossoms and pappardelle for me, octopus and ravioli for the wife, pizzas for the kids. Everything was delicious and memorable. It's the kind of place where you can focus on your companions without fretting over your meal choices...everything is dialed in. Sit back, relax, eat, drink, and... More 

Thank Mj1721
Level Contributor
37 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 October 2016 via mobile

Our waiter had excellent wine and food pairings. You can buy wines from around the world and enjoy at your table. Excellent pizza and pastas.

Thank Taylor P
Playas Del Coco, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
26 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2016

Introduced to this restaurant by the concert master Ms. Henderson who plays at the Globe Theater. Apparently many of the musicians frequent this restaurant after a concert and before. It is right before the entry to Balboa Park. The menu offers such a variety. Had the artichoke pizza, brussel sprouts and the salads are incredible. Service super. Should be top... More 

Thank 2013LindaCR
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
379 reviews
258 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 October 2016

Sadly the traffic from La Jolla delayed us getting here so dinner was truncated. What we had was really really good but when you rush, you don't really receive the full benefit. My friends started with margaritas but with little time to savour a drink or appetizers, I jumped right into the pappardelle. It was Fabulous. Pappardelle with short rib... More 

Thank unhappytraveller123
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2016

Squash Blossoms are a must order for appetizer. Pastas are all house made and change periodically. Pizzas are phenomenal. Giant meatball is delicious. Happy Hour always is on point. Servers are excellent as are the bartenders. Unique decor ties it all together. It can get busy, so get a reservation or pull up at one of the communal tables.

Thank Michael W

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
US$10 - US$30
Wine Bar, Italian, Gluten Free Options
Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Restaurant features
Takeout, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Television, Free Wifi, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Street Parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover
Dining Style
Casual Dining
Good for
Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Bar Scene, Groups, Romantic
Open Hours
16:30 - 21:00
17:00 - 21:00
11:30 - 22:00
11:30 - 22:00
11:30 - 22:00
11:30 - 23:59
11:30 - 23:59
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 505 Laurel St, San Diego, CA 92101-1634
    (5th Avenue)
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  San Diego
  • Phone Number: +1 619-239-2222
CUCINA urbana is a California inspired Italian Kitchen and Wine Shop. Owner Tracy Borkum's flair for combining great ambience, award-winning cuisine and unparalleled service are once again starring components in this Urban Kitchen Group creation. The restaurant is being heralded as the leader in the new regime of affordable dining in San Diego and has been the subject of praise from numerous local and national publications.

The restaurant's interior evokes a modern kitchen combined with the history and comfort of an old rustic country farmhouse. A touch of home, splash of bohemia and many objects new and old attract the eye. A focus on raw, sustainable material and reclaimed local material is found throughout. Discarded fence boards recovered from San Diego county wrap columns, walls, service stations and the back bar.

Chef Joe Magnanelli's menu offers affordable selections of vasi + antipasti + boards + insalate + pizza + pasta + piatti + dolce.

His whimsical expression of Italian classics coupled with the use of the freshest local produce, and organic and sustainable products comprise a diverse menu with all items at or below $20. Whether dining traditionally or 'family style', guests have become hooked on favorites such as stuffed fried squash blossoms, ricotta gnudi, braised black cod and veal piccata.

Wines of 'The Americas,' including California, Washington, Oregon, Argentina, Chile and Italy are among the major wine-producing regions offered in CUCINA urbana's retail priced Wine Shop. Guests are invited to visit the restaurant's retail area to select a bottle for lunch or dinner (a corkage fee of $8 applies) or purchase wine to go.

Additionally, CU plays host to a monthly 'Winemakers Series,' where guests are invited to enjoy hors d'oeuvres, taste a variety of wines and mingle with a winemaker in a casual, informal setting.

- Strong commitment to seasonality + sustainability
- organic + local product used whenever possible
- wines from the Americas and Italy - sold at retail pricing
- special discounts for cases of wine to go!
- Local artisan beers + italian favorites
- housemade infused liquors + specialty cocktails

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of CUCINA urbana and other visitors
1 question
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Questions? Get answers from CUCINA urbana staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?