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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
11:30 am - 2:00 pm
5:00 pm - 10:00 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, Late Night, 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 458 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 294
    Excellent
  • 113
    Very good
  • 38
    Average
  • 10
    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
trendy, delicious, great service

very busy, excellent food, music is a little loud, service was excellent. we did not have reservations but they found us a table anyway, very nice

4 of 5 starsReviewed April 25, 2015
byte_nibble
,
san francisco
Good for:
  • Special occasions
  • Local cuisine
  • Entertaining clients
  • Bar scene
  • Large groups
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458 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 francisco
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2015 NEW

very busy, excellent food, music is a little loud, service was excellent. we did not have reservations but they found us a table anyway, very nice

Was this review helpful? Yes
Dallas, Texas
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
106 restaurant reviews
155 helpful votes 155 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015 NEW

My husband and I ate here because of all the great reviews on tripadvisor. We expected much better for a $150 plus meal. The octopus appetizer was tough and chewy. We both ordered lamb shank which was impossible to get of the bone. It did not fall off the bone like a previous review. We have had good lamb shank... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Washington Etats Unis
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2015 NEW

We went on a Friday at 6:00 looking for a vegan dinner and ended up here. Very eclectic trendy kinda vibe with high energy. Not much in way of vegan but chose the pizza and appetizers and they were excellent. It was too loud for my wife and I but would be a great atmosphere for a group or meeting... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Lisbon, Portugal
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2015

Really Good food, but don't go there with kids as they are not prepared to deal with them. No places to change the nappies and the receptionist was quite inflexible in finding us a better table instead of the high tables next to the entrance, which were quite difficult to stay with a 3 and a 5 year old kids

Was this review helpful? Yes
Edmonds, Washington
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2015 via mobile

Lamb shank ordered by hubby was fall-off-the-bone tender and delicious. As a vegan I had a challenge - opted for some sides, one of which was vegetarian. The presentation was excellent. We had also ordered their 2 special appetizers - they too were very well presented and yummy. Happy we found this restaurant!

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2015

Having been to Cucina Urbana a few times, I was confident of my choice for a business dinner with a colleague from Europe. Kevin, who has been my waiter on previous visits, greeted us, suggested the perfect wine (Papillon, by Dave Phinney) to complement the lamb shank served over polenta. Great food, wine and thanks to Kevin, a great evening... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2015

Great restaurant, good atmosphere, decent prices. The personnel is really nice :) I liked this place, the evening was nice Thank you

Was this review helpful? Yes
Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
357 reviews 357 reviews
300 restaurant reviews
134 helpful votes 134 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2015

It's a little loud and busy but still is cozy. My husband picked a bottle of wine from the restaurant's wine store and it was served at the table for only $8. above shelf price. (that is very VERY good) We enjoyed delicious crusty breads and a wonderful cheese and meat board. I enjoyed my whole fish dinner and my... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2015

We were looking for a great place to eat on vacation in San Diego. We were recommended to Cucina Urbana and it was amazing!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Lead, South Dakota
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2015

my group,including a CIA chef who has cooked for Mario Batali and Emeril, was expecting magnificence and Cucina surpassed this. reasonably priced including a low 8 dollar corkage fee for our 2 bottles of Morlet. 16 courses, 5 hours and perfect consistency. best octupus ever...

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, Organic, Pizza & Pasta, Wine Bar

Restaurant Characteristics

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

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?