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Cucina Urbana

Certificate of Excellence
$$
Italian, Pizza & Pasta, Organic, Wine Bar
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505 Laurel St, San Diego, CA 92101-1634 (5th Avenue)
+1 619-239-2222
Website
Today
5:00 pm - 11:55 pm
Closed now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun 4:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Mon 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tue - Thu 11:30 am - 2:00 pm
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 5:00 pm - 11:55 pm
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Description: CUCINA urbana is a California inspired Italian Kitchen and Wine Shop...
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
read more
Good for:
Casual Dining
Bar scene
Large groups
Local cuisine
Special occasions
Entertaining clients

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 434 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 281
    Excellent
  • 104
    Very good
  • 37
    Average
  • 9
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    4.5 of 5 stars
Most recent review
Just lovely!

We dined in for lunch. Ingredients were fresh, seasonal, menu diverse, yet not overwhelming, delightful flavour combinations to delight the taste buds. A little light on vegetarian options, but staff are more than willing to make adjustments to meet veggie needs. Service was prompt and friendly, I... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 5, 2015
Merunisha P
,
Shanghai, China
Good for:
  • Casual Dining
  • Bar scene
  • Large groups
  • Local cuisine
  • Special occasions
  • Entertaining clients
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Reservations
  • Late Night
Add Photo Write a Review

434 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Shanghai, China
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2015 NEW

We dined in for lunch. Ingredients were fresh, seasonal, menu diverse, yet not overwhelming, delightful flavour combinations to delight the taste buds. A little light on vegetarian options, but staff are more than willing to make adjustments to meet veggie needs. Service was prompt and friendly, I would go there again. For those visiting .san Diego, parking can be a... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2015 NEW

I give this place 5 stars for food. Everything was fresh and cooked to perfection. Lovely speak easy style Interior. Menu is very diverse and pastas are very tasty. Service was slow but waiter was very charming. Side dishes are a must Brussels sprouts, cream polenta, pizza. Excellent

Was this review helpful? Yes
Riverside, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015

We had the garlic fries & margherita pizza. Both tasted great! You can always tell a good Italian restaurant with this pizza because it's so simple so it has to be made great. We weren't disappointed. Looking forward to trying other items on the menu next time we visit San Diego.

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Diego, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2015 via mobile

Visited Cucina Urbana for the second time, this time during restaurant week, my friends and I were very pleased with the attention and the great service. Hostess was super nice and lead us to the bar for a few minutes while our table was getting ready, It was a Saturday night restaurant was busy!! We got our table and our... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Tulsa, OK
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2015

Hard to get into and a bit crowded with hipsters, it's worth the hassle. Great food and fabulous unique cocktails.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

We booked a table for dinner on Valentine's Day. The had a preset menu of three courses. The three areas of the menu were appetizers, entree, and dessert. Within each area of the menu there were 2-4 selections you had to choose from. Since there were two of us we chose different options for each course so we could not... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Falls Church, VA
Top Contributor
202 reviews 202 reviews
138 restaurant reviews
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2015

This is my must “go to” and eat restaurant when visiting San Diego. Make your reservation now – it is that popular. Simply put, this is simple Italian food, cooked to perfection and it does not get much better than Cucina Urbana. Everything is prepared on site, fresh and delicious with panache in its presentation. Don’t miss the stuffed fried... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2015

This is a very popular and always crowded restaurant. Best to make reservation. Great selection of cocktails and extensive wine list. Service is great and food is excellent. Have visited multiple times and never had a bad meal. Great zucchini blossom, chicken liver pate, grilled octopus, meatballs.......

Was this review helpful? Yes
Los Angeles
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2015

We had dinner here on a Tuesday night. We arrived early and had drinks at the bar. Cocktails were delicious.. Bartenders were fun to chat with. The crowd is lively. You enter a "happy" environment. Our table was ready on time. Service was friendly, responsive, and prompt. Food was delicious. Everything ordered met or exceeded expectations.The grilled octopus appetizer stands... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2015

Amazing place . Great food, excellent service, great ambiance. We had gone as a group of 10+ and preordered for a fixed menu. My favorites were the pizzas, wild mushroom cavatelli, short rib pappardelle and the tiramisu. Oh my god that tiramisu! A must have.

Was this review helpful? Yes

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Restaurant Details

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

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 10 - 30
  • Cuisine: Italian, Pizza & Pasta, Organic, Wine Bar

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Good for: Bar scene, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients

Description

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
Open Hours
Sunday
4:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Monday
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tuesday
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Wednesday
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Thursday
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
5:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Friday
5:00 pm - 11:55 pm
Saturday
5:00 pm - 11:55 pm

Questions & Answers

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?