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Cucina Urbana

Certificate of Excellence
$$
Italian, Organic, Pizza, 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 - 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: 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 474 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 306
    Excellent
  • 113
    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
Solid Italian Fare with a Flair

The always-reliable Eater 38 for San Diego brought me to Cucina Urbana. We went to the Laurel St. location for lunch after the morning drive down from the OC. For food, we got the following items: •Lamb sausage + honey ricotta pizza – gaeta olive, fontina, baby chard •Lasagna al forno – beef... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed May 27, 2015
GastronomicPortions
,
San Francisco, California
Good for:
  • Bar scene
  • Special occasions
  • Large groups
  • Local cuisine
  • Entertaining clients
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474 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, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2015 NEW

The always-reliable Eater 38 for San Diego brought me to Cucina Urbana. We went to the Laurel St. location for lunch after the morning drive down from the OC. For food, we got the following items: •Lamb sausage + honey ricotta pizza – gaeta olive, fontina, baby chard •Lasagna al forno – beef + pork + tomato + bèsciamella •Giant... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2015 NEW

Met another couple to have dinner then on to an event at Balboa Park. Cucina Urbana is located just outside of the park 1/2 block from the bridge entrance. (great location). We enjoyed the squash blossoms, as well as the squid appetizers. The squid is my new favorite. Make sure to try their happy hour special drinks. We had the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Arlington, Virginia
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2015 NEW

Wonderful dinner. Loved that the wine was not marked up, only a corkage fee. Food was deliciously fresh. Friendly vibe.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
70 restaurant reviews
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2015 NEW

Very eclectic restaurant with excellent real Italian dishes and wine. Had the rigatoni Bolognese which came with little scoops of ricotta cheese. Was a very meaty dish. Also had a side of meatballs and their mini focaccia bread. This place fills up fast, definitely make a reservation. Heard that Mick Jagger ate in the Del Mar location, the night before... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
San Diego, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2015 NEW

I feel this restaurant is a little over hyped. Food quality is good but not great. There are better Italian restaurants in San Diego. Some dishes were on the saltier side as well. Ambiance is really great though for special occasions and service is really great. But we wish food could be better

Was this review helpful? Yes
San diego
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2015

Great wine selection and inventive italian food. Try the blackberry tiramisu and also recommend the pappardelle. The restaurant offers reasonable wine service. you pay 8 dollars over the store price for the wine so you are getting a great deal. Reservations are highly recommended since the restaurant fills up fast.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
328 reviews 328 reviews
210 restaurant reviews
490 helpful votes 490 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2015

We entertained a colleague for dinner and found the food very uneven. We began with apps - zucchini blossoms, octopus, and fries - and they were very good. Each of us ordered a pizza - lamb sausage, mushroom, and pancetta - and they were disappointing. Dessert was two pistachio gelatos and a sampler. The flavours were fine, but the texture... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Jersey UK
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2015

My husband and I really loved the buzz of this restaurant, we visited on a Monday night and were pleased that we had booked. We couldn’t fault the food or service at all and would absolutely return if we go back to San Diego.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2015

Enjoyed ourselves, great atmosphere, service, food , was in sandiego for vacation and drove by so stopped and ate there , glad we did!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2015

Went with a group of friends and we ordered several appetizers and courses to share and everything was tasty! My favorites were the truffle fries and stuffed eggplant. The short rib pasta was also delicious!

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, Pizza & Pasta, Wine Bar

Restaurant Characteristics

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