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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
Website
Today
5:00 pm - 9:00 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 446 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 289
    Excellent
  • 108
    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
Superb food, drink and atmosphere

Cucina Urbana opened during the great recession to provde a fine dining exprine at a value price point. The restaurant took off and has not slowed down, even as the economy has recovered and competition ha picked up. The menu mixes appetizers, small plates, and enters, many of which can be up... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 29, 2015
Kevin H
,
San Diego, California, United States
Good for:
  • Casual Dining
  • Bar scene
  • Large groups
  • Local cuisine
  • Special occasions
  • Entertaining clients
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Reservations
  • Late Night
Add Photo Write a Review

446 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, California, United States
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2015 NEW

Cucina Urbana opened during the great recession to provde a fine dining exprine at a value price point. The restaurant took off and has not slowed down, even as the economy has recovered and competition ha picked up. The menu mixes appetizers, small plates, and enters, many of which can be up sized for family-styl dining the wine list is... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2015 NEW

We selected this restaurant after researching it on trip advisor. The decor of the restaurant is eclectic and funky, very cool. The waitress was very helpful selecting wine from their large wine selection. The menu had various parts and the waitress walked us thru it and gave us time to figure out what we wanted. We ended up having a... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
257 reviews 257 reviews
142 restaurant reviews
166 helpful votes 166 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2015

We went for my husband's birthday. Very nice. It's spacious place with wine racks all around labeled with the type wine (in a fun way) and available for sale (very favorable prices). You can grab a bottle and they just charge a small corkage fee. Or they have many different wines by the glass. Excellent food and service. We can't... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2015

We discovered this restaurant on a recent visit to San Diego. With many restaurants to choose from, we didn't l know where to begin, so we checked a website where a restaurant reviewer posted his opinion and results. We came upon this restaurant, and were extremely pleased. As you know, we are not big eaters, but after the harbor tour... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Centennial, Colorado
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2015

We came into Cucina Urbaba on a Saturday night with no reservations. They graciously seated us at their community table, which was wonderful to meet others and share food experiences! We started with the stuffed squash blossoms and they were great! I believe that everything on the menu was outstanding! We had the salmon and lemon chicken, and they were... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Sacramento, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2015

My wife and I enjoyed our dinner very much. I had the sausage crusted veal and it was really good. Ambiance is perfect for a romantic night out. We also shared the Chilean sea bass, which was an exceptional compliment to the white Chilean wine we were enjoying.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Arlington, Virginia
Top Contributor
176 reviews 176 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2015

Food - very interesting, eclectic, and tasty (we shared a brussels sprout pizza - complex flavors and delicious). Attitude of staff - a bit snooty. Hostesses had a bit of an attitude. We sat at the "community table" - note to staff - funky lights hanging low above that table are dusty and need a wipe down. Server was nice.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2015

Very nice atmosphere -- you can talk! You can really talk! And Italian food was just terrific. Delightful place. Pasta home made.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Mankato, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2015

If you are looking for something traditional this place is not for you. The menu is full of items that are an adventure and we had the waitress make recommendations and explain things to us. I had the Short Rib Pappardelle which was like having an elevated version of mom's pot roast and veggies over pasta. I enjoyed it, as... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Union City, California, Usa
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2015

The food at Cucina is hard to describe. It is so complex and wonderful, I just don't know if I can do it justice. The decor is shabby chic, and approachable. The staff is genuinely friendly, and super helpful. As I checked the menu upon my return home, I realized they must change the menu with some frequency. The items... More 

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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: 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?