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Cucina Urbana

Certificate of Excellence
$$
Italian, Pizza, Wine Bar
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505 Laurel St, San Diego, CA 92101-1634 (5th Avenue)
+1 619-239-2222
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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, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff
Good for: Business meetings, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Special occasions, Large groups
Description: CUCINA urbana is a California inspired Italian Kitchen and Wine Shop. Owner...
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

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 581 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 378
    Excellent
  • 137
    Very good
  • 51
    Average
  • 12
    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
Great Italian

Had late dinner reservation. Waiter was great and helped us with wine selection. Nice cheese selection, too. All salads were enjoys. Main courses were delicious. Would definitely return. A must try in San Diego

4 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days ago
Ilana S
,
Voorhees, New Jersey
via mobile
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581 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More
Voorhees, New Jersey
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Had late dinner reservation. Waiter was great and helped us with wine selection. Nice cheese selection, too. All salads were enjoys. Main courses were delicious. Would definitely return. A must try in San Diego

Helpful?
Thank Ilana S
Level Contributor
33 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

We got a last minute reservation, so we sat in the atrium. It was fine, the table was a bit wobbly. The decor was upscale lots of Edison light bulbs, soft lighting. The service was good. Food was unique and very good. Try the stuffed squash blossoms!!

Helpful?
Thank Joan H
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
117 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

Cucina Urbana has the most delightful Italian dishes served by a professional team of servers. The Chopped Salad is very tasty and both the Bolognese and Campanelle are very tasty. The staff keep your drinks filled and check back often. This was our first visit and we were very pleased. It is a hopping, busy place that deserves your business!... More 

Helpful?
Thank BTPI
San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
202 reviews
116 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Such a great surprise to go to a restaurant with excellent service (the bartender Conner was excellent), super food and great cocktails and wine. We had 3 great dishes-the vasi of chicken pate, the gnudi with brown butter and the homemade rabbit ravioli - oh and the seasonal dessert--all of it fantastic. You don't know me person reading this but... More 

Helpful?
Thank jennifer s
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
120 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Italian joint near Balboa Park. Went on a Friday night and it was very busy. If you have to wait, there is a bar there with a good drink selection. The bar can be crowded and difficult to find a seat. As some reviewers have alluded to, it is rather noisy so if you want an intimate feel, this is... More 

Helpful?
Thank catchyjingle
Level Contributor
80 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This restaurant has a very good location . It's next to Balboa Park, several blocks from the center of downtown San Diego. You can walk along the bridge over a canyon and spend the rest of the day in the Park. My friends and I met there after not seeing each other for a long time , hoping to catch... More 

Helpful?
Thank Marshaici
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

Cucina Urbana is my go to for a delicious meal, great service, and a great place for date night. My wife and I try to try new places to eat, but we always come back to Cucina Urbana. My wife LOVES the puttanesca, and rarely stray from it. This last visit, I had the bolognese, at the recommendation of our... More 

Helpful?
Thank jetrox
Level Contributor
26 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2016

The reviews on TA did not lead us astray. This dish was absolutely incredible. The wait staff was just ok (not especially kind or attentive), but the food totally made up for that.

Helpful?
Thank Blake L
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2016

The entrees taste wonderful, just as we expected. However, the reason why I give such a high rate is all for the Focaccia with rosemary honey bud. It's the best bakery I ever had in States. Do not miss it.

Helpful?
Thank Abel_Wang
Level Contributor
77 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2016

This was an excellent dining experience. This place is very popular so make reservations far in advance. Four of us dined here in December 2015. I had the Pork chop. It was about a full 1 1/4 thick with the bone-in. It must have been brined because it was extremely moist but grilled wonderfully on the outside. It was not... More 

Helpful?
Thank KEVIN L

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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, Pizza, Wine Bar

Restaurant Characteristics

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Good for: Business meetings, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Special occasions, 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

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Cucina Urbana and other visitors
1 question
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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?