We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Carmela Cucina Italiana

Certificate of Excellence
$$
Map
Satellite
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
823 Grand Ave., San Marcos, CA 92078
760-471-2131
Website
Improve this listing
Today
4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tue - Thu 4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tue - Fri 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Fri - Sat 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 70 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 47
    Excellent
  • 12
    Very good
  • 6
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 2
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 stars
Best Italian in the area!

Good for dinner, and lunch with friends. Only place I know that still includes soup AND salad with the dinner entree... and the salad is a really nice one. We buy the salad dressing and take it home. Soups are very fresh and made in-house. Everything is good. I like the veal dishes, but... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 10, 2015
waterwoman1
,
san marcos
Add Photo Write a Review

70 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Your overall rating of this restaurant
Roll over, then click to rate
  Click to rate
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Carlsbad, CA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2015

We ate on the patio - which is not very clean - dead leaves haven't been cleaned up for a long time. We had a party of 7. Waiter seemed in a rush and after he told us the soup of the day was split pea and then brought out chicken noodle he didn't say anything until someone asked why... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
san marcos
Level Contributor
78 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2015

Good for dinner, and lunch with friends. Only place I know that still includes soup AND salad with the dinner entree... and the salad is a really nice one. We buy the salad dressing and take it home. Soups are very fresh and made in-house. Everything is good. I like the veal dishes, but request a different pasta since i... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Marcos, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2015

This is a cute local Italian restaurant with an old-school kind of feel. The servers were very polite and attentive and the food was really tasty (I got the Canneloni). The food seemed a little pricey until we realized that bread & butter, soup, salad, and your main dish are all included for that price! We came here on a... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Marcos, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2015

This is our favorite restaurant in San Marcos and the one where we love For drinks and appetizers at the bar. Carmela is the quintessential host. Their signature is the freshest ingredients and one of the few restaurants anywhere thai include homemade soup, salad and frsh bread with your meal. We love the big comfy booths in the "fireplace" room... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2015

Carmela's is our place to go when we want great, authentic, non-chain Italian cuisine. We have seen the owners every time we have been in, and have never been disappointed. Great food!

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Diego
Level Contributor
52 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2015

This is one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants! They have a nice cocktail menu and wine list... great traditional Italian dishes, and really great desserts. Atmosphere wise, it's a bit old school/traditional - reminds me of the neighborhood corner Italian restaurants we used to go to growing up. My favorite dish at Carmela's is the spinach manicotti with rosa sauce.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Vista, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2015

Great service, delicious authentic dishes and the atmosphere is charming! Soup, salad and bread served with every meal..I purchased the Italian salad dressing, will never buy store bought again, this is the real deal!

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Marcos, California
Level Contributor
171 reviews
120 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2015

This is a real local, traditional Italian restaurant. The staff was friendly and welcoming. Dinner entrees include soup, salad and fresh bread. The soup tonight was chicken escarole -- it was really excellent. I had the mussels in a sherry marinara sauce, served over linguini. I'd never had this sauce before and was pleased. My dinner companion had the chicken... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2015

It's the perfect hidden gem, where I have never doubted that the experience and the meal will be first class. The Lunch Specials are innovative without trying to over reach. The atmosphere is relaxed, the service is just seamless. Dinners featuring delicate sauces or hearty classics prove Carmela's seasoned expertise in the kitchen. I've hosted several larger events and we... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2015

It's such a treat to get a taste of Italy without leaving home. Carmela and her husband are wonderful hosts. The staff is great and the food is total comfort food. I have never been disappointed. The ambiance is low key.

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Carmela Cucina Italiana also viewed

 

Been to Carmela Cucina Italiana? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 823 Grand Ave., San Marcos, CA 92078
  • Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  San Marcos
  • Phone Number: 760-471-2131

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 15
  • Price Range: $ $
  • Cuisine: Italian
Open Hours
Sunday
3:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tuesday
4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Wednesday
4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Thursday
4:00 pm - 9:00 pm
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Friday
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
4:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Saturday
4:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Carmela Cucina Italiana and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
Questions? Get answers from Carmela Cucina Italiana 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?