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CUCINA urbana

Certificate of Excellence
Wine Bar, Italian, Gluten Free
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505 Laurel St, San Diego, CA 92101-1634 (5th Avenue)
+1 619-239-2222
11:30 am - 11:59 pm
Open now
All hours
Sun 4:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Mon 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tue - Thu 11:30 am - 10:00 pm
Fri - Sat 11:30 am - 11:59 pm
More Info
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649 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 609: English reviews
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Had dinner here with the family while visiting from SF. The waiter was incredible. I think his name was Bobby (?). The food was delicious. We had everything from Octopus to pizza. You can't go wrong with anything you try there. We were there on a Wednesday night and it was quite busy. Afterwards we ended up at Extraordinary Desserts... More 

Thank L R
San Diego
Level Contributor
30 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

Great for casual dining but pricey. There are options of sitting at the bar or the community tables. We enjoyed the frites and several bottles of wine with several of our friends. Main courses were all over the place for our group but I had the short rib!! wonderful

Thank BobbyD6363
Johnson City, Tennessee
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

This was by far the best meal we had during our five days in San Diego! The atmosphere, food, wines and service were flawless. Our party shared the Stuffed Fried Squash Blossums, which were fantastic. My wife and sister-in-law ordered the Rigatoni with bolognese and ricotta. They enjoyed it so much that they joked about ordering it again for dessert.... More 

Thank 37601David_B
Thun, Switzerland
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Absolutely awesome!! GREAT, attentive service from the moment you get in till you leave. Delicious food, superb wines ( loved the Russian River chardonnay!) Cool decoration! 5 out of 5! The best in USA ( West Coast) so far!DONT MISS IT!! You get to go there ! DONT HESITATE!!

Thank Venkito
Clovis, California
Level Contributor
303 reviews
183 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

I love their burnt Brussel sprouts and sauce with a kick. New eggplant appetizer is a homerun. But the grilled bronzino, completely boned is the best fish I have had in over a year, anywhere in the world. The agnolotti was also quite good. Great wait staff, good wine list, nice desserts.

Thank golfkat
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Great atmosphere. Sat at bar by kitchen and chef took care of us. Calamari is unbelievable. All pasta dishes we had were wonderful.

Thank rsantravel
las vegas
Level Contributor
44 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Food did not blow me away, service was nice, ambience beautiful but not worth the price to me. I ordered grilled octopus to start, then blackened cod and burnt brussel sprouts as entre. Octopus was divine with tomatoes, hummus, and whole garbanzo beans with herbs but my cod entre was small and just okay. I make better broiled brussel sprouts... More 

Thank vegasmomma
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We had dinner last night on our stop over after the San Diego zoo visit. A very vibrant restaurant serving very vibrant Italian food. My favourite was the agnolotti with queeni scallops and butarga with lemon. The menu is very thought about and definitely a big hit as is seen in the restaurant as it was packed. Really good service... More 

Thank Mohit B
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
67 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We were greeted immediately by the chef and was told in great detail about their specials and noteworthy menu items. The octopus appetizer was truly awesome as was their ragu special with polenta and pork. Service from start to finish was impeccable, definitely give this restaurant a try if an Italian food fan!

Thank Nrbeget
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
37 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Our waiter spoke English as a second language, so when my husband shared individual dietary concerns he went to get another waiter. This second gentleman attended well to my husband's concerns in addition to making sure both of us received gluten-free pasta and vegetarian ingredients. Our dinners were wonderful. By the way, we also enjoyed gluten-free crackers with a tasty... More 

Thank Karen Ferguson T

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 stars
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
    4.5 of 5 stars
Average prices
$10 - $30
Wine Bar, Italian, Gluten Free
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Restaurant features
Takeout, Parking Available, Valet Parking, Television, Free Wifi, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Street Parking, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Highchairs Available, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining Style
Casual Dining
Good for
Large groups, Romantic, Bar scene, Special occasions, Local cuisine
Open Hours
4:30 pm - 9:00 pm
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
11:30 am - 10:00 pm
11:30 am - 11:59 pm
11:30 am - 11:59 pm
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
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

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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Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?