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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
4:30 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, 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 463 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 298
    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
Great Food, Wine and Service!

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... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed April 12, 2015
RCTIII
,
San Diego, California
Good for:
  • Entertaining clients
  • Large groups
  • Local cuisine
  • Special occasions
  • Bar scene
Add Photo Write a Review

463 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
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
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

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
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2015

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
258 reviews 258 reviews
143 restaurant reviews
167 helpful votes 167 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
16 helpful votes 16 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 

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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: Entertaining clients, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Bar scene

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?