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.
All 4,100 San Diego Restaurants

Cucina Urbana

505 Laurel St, San Diego, CA 92101-1634
+1 619-239-2222
Improve this listing
Reserve with OpenTable
Ranked #34 of 4,100 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $10 - $30
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
Cuisines: Italian, Pizza & Pasta, Organic, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: 5th Avenue
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
Write a Review

417 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2014 NEW

We visited the restaurant during restaurant week and ordered one of the semi-set menus. We didn't have a reservation but got one of the shared tables. Service was very good. They have a great selection of beers and the food was great, except for the desserts that were average.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Oxford, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2014

So I will be honest, the food is fantastic. Absolutely delicious. Unfortunately, when my husband and I arrived for our 7:15pm reservation at 7:15pm the two hostesses barley acknowledged us and waved us off to a corner. We were told us they would get us seated at 7:15. I could see it was clearly very busy and everyone was running... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
san diego
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

Very nice interior...hip setting. the menu has some interesting elements, although their margarita is their in -house version, and not to my liking at all: very bitter. sent back after the first sip.

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Diego, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

One of the best Italian restaurants in US. Has a wine cellar where you can pick the bottle and pay corkage. Also order a cheese plate before your main dish.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Hope Valley
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2014

The food is good and I will not take that away from them. I am not a fan of huge portions but I found it offensive how expensive it is for the portion size. The ambiance is nice and upbeat. Make sure you have reservations otherwise you may be seated at a "community table". Parking may be difficult if you... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
La Mesa, California, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2014

A must visit in Banker's Hill. Cucina is a fantastic lunch rendezvous with a great menu of Italian inspired entrees and woodfired pizzas. And, dinner is even better. Great evening bar scene, lots of bar and pizza bar seating, however, it fills up by 6:30, so make reservations or plan on waiting. You can buy a bottle of wine in... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2014

I really enjoyed this restaurant. The decor and vibe are great! It was very comfortable, warm, inviting. The food was great, too! We tried on of their little mason jar spread, which was delicious. We also tried a pizza (the mission fig) and an order of truffle fries. My friend said they were the best fries she had ever had!... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2014

This is a fun place that you should try at least once. It's not too pricey and it has a fun atmosphere. Make sure to have a reservation in advance. They are always very busy. Try their mini donuts with the jam for desert if its still on the menu.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Hudson, Ohio, United States
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2014

This is the second time at Cucina Urbana and again it did not disappoint. I love bringing people to a place they have never been before. My 3 business guest could not talk more highly of Cucina. The staff ,the ambiance, the setting in Banker's Hill and importantly the Wine program. Polenta is a must have starter and you pretty... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2014 via mobile

Loved the food here. The beet and blood orange salad was AMAZING a wonderful confluence of flavors. Yum! The mussels with chorizo was also fabulous. The fig bread in the bread basket was awesome! Pasta carbonara very good too. Angel hair pasta puttanesca was delicious. The polenta with ragu, a popular dish but I didn't love it, I found it... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Cucina Urbana also viewed


Been to Cucina Urbana? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Cucina Urbana

Address: 505 Laurel St, San Diego, CA 92101-1634
Phone Number: +1 619-239-2222
Location: United States  >  California (CA)  >  San Diego
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
Average Prices: USD 10 - 30
Cuisine: Italian, Pizza & Pasta, Organic, Wine Bar

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing

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?