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Cucina Urbana

Certificate of Excellence
$$
Italian, Organic, Pizza, Pasta, Wine Bar
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505 Laurel St, San Diego, CA 92101-1634 (5th Avenue)
+1 619-239-2222
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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: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
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
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 532 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 349
    Excellent
  • 128
    Very good
  • 41
    Average
  • 11
    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
Very lovely Italian Restaurant Near Balboa Park

Ever since Cucina Urbana opened I have been wanting to check out this place. I was not disappointed. We had a great table near the pizza oven with a view of the main dining room. We had a most tender grilled octopus & a jar of melty Burrata cheese & roasted head of garlic, then moved onto a plate... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed September 2, 2015
James S
,
San Diego, California
Good for:
  • Special occasions
  • Large groups
  • Bar scene
  • Doing business
  • Local cuisine
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532 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
50 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2015 NEW

Ever since Cucina Urbana opened I have been wanting to check out this place. I was not disappointed. We had a great table near the pizza oven with a view of the main dining room. We had a most tender grilled octopus & a jar of melty Burrata cheese & roasted head of garlic, then moved onto a plate of... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Ballston Spa, New York
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2015 NEW

There are so many great choices in San Diego, but this place is worth checking out. Get away from the conference center and take a short cab ride.. I had Italian the day before, so I had a hankering for a burger. I've had a lot of great burgers, but this gormet burger was insaney good! If we ever make... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Braselton, Georgia, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2015 NEW

This place was great. The ambiance and food were top notch and classy. The staff was nice, accommodating and helpful (though the waiter did take his dear sweet time). But the kicker was how nonpretentious they were. Me and my wife were there from out of town so we did not know how nice it was. So we were in... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
109 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2015 NEW via mobile

I stopped in for drinks and a light meal with a friend on a weeknight. The service was friendly and the food was really good. The focus on quality, local ingredients is easy to see and the Italian influence works well here. This is a very cool restaurant. The atmosphere is lively, the decor is contemporary and stylish, and the... More 

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Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2015

After experiencing a lot of american restaurants with large meals, too much butter and fat I was finally able to enjoy a high quality Italian restaurant with a European atmosphere. The food was excellent, and the restaurant was very busy. I recommend you to make a reservation before you arrive. The prices are in mid level, about 20$ for a... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Tacoma, WA
Level Contributor
116 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2015

A 5 minute Uber ride from downtown and away from the donkey's down in the Gaslamp. Walked right in and had a couple of seats at the bar so we took them. Couldn't have worked out better...the bartenders were both cool and gave us great advice on drinks, entree's and places to get some good Mexican food. The squash blossoms... More 

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Spring Valley, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2015 credit card Amex Card Member Review

We had a large party to celebrate my granddaughter's birthday. The service we received was top notch. All the food we ordered was very good, with the exception of a shrimp and pasta dish, which the party felt was mediocre. We also ordered a second appetizer after receiving the first and it wasn't delivered until the main courses were delivered.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2015

I must say this is my favorite place in San Diego !!! The athmosfere is so inviting and service is the Best... But the food... OMG !!!! You will love it !!! I asure it will be your favorite too. The Menu is awsome and different. Make reservations because it's a popular place !!!!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Level Contributor
45 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2015

Pizza to die for it's delicious The pasta and the pizzas are all above expectation and wait staff are helpful, friendly, know how to have a laugh and just make you want to keep returning.

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Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2015

Great service, great food, great and reasonable wine list. Can't wait to go back on my next visit. Try the Agnolotti.

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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, Organic, Pizza, Pasta, Wine Bar

Restaurant Characteristics

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

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?