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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
Open 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: Dinner, Lunch, 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 464 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 299
    Excellent
  • 113
    Very good
  • 39
    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
As Guy would say this is

What a delightful dining establishment! We had a great attentive server, and this makes a difference, believe me! The place was bustling at 6 pm on a Thursday! Parking is at a premium so arrive early...my wife said she had the

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 4, 2015
Carlo M
Good for:
  • Bar scene
  • Special occasions
  • Local cuisine
  • Entertaining clients
  • Large groups
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464 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2015 NEW

What a delightful dining establishment! We had a great attentive server, and this makes a difference, believe me! The place was bustling at 6 pm on a Thursday! Parking is at a premium so arrive early...my wife said she had the

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
San Diego, California
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2015 NEW

The menu for this restaurant has a lot of variation without being enormous and overwhelming. My girlfriends and I ordered mostly appetizers and a couple of pizzas. Brussel sprouts, truffle fries, chicken patê, margarita pizza, and a spicy pizza. The four of us were stuffed by the end of the meal. The ambiance is romantic, as the lighting was just... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2015 NEW via mobile

We decided to eat here a few days ago because of the great reviews and ended up dissapointed. Pros: the burrata appetizer was nice! The fries were also good. The interior of the restaurant was interesting. My lemonade was super sour but I didn't mind it. Cons: the pizza sauce was sweet so it made the pizza taste sweet. They... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2015 NEW

Two of us ended here last night after trying two other places that had limited menu... Happy that we found it😊zucchini, chicken lemonata, pappardelle... Try this place it is the best in SD

Was this review helpful? Yes
Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2015

I have in this Italian restaurant during a conference and the food was outstanding. We ate calamari, pasta, pizza and chicken (sorry but I forgot the types) and it was really one of the best. The design and atmosphere was excellent as well. The service was a bit slow but the place was busy.

Was this review helpful? Yes
CA
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2015

As you step down into this sub-underground restaurant the contemporary and trendy atmosphere is the first thing you notice. There is a great energy throughout the establishment and you feel like you are somewhere trendy, yet comfortable. The food was amazing and we plan on going back soon. Menu breakdown: - Stuffed fried squash blossoms - this is a special... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
san francisco
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2015

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

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

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

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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, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Entertaining clients, 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?