We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

CUCINA urbana

Certificate of Excellence
Wine Bar, Italian, Gluten Free
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
505 Laurel St, San Diego, CA 92101-1634 (5th Avenue)
+1 619-239-2222
11:30 am - 11:59 pm
Closed 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
Add Photo Write a Review

649 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 609: English reviews
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

We went there for my daughters 21st birthday. They offer excellent service. My daughter enjoyed her vegan entree. The food was to my family's liking. It was a memorable experience for all of us and we would definitely go back! 😀

Thank Drmygirl
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
168 reviews
73 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2016

We have had dinner before here but never lunch. What a lovely treat it was. My husband and I both had the beet and avocado salad (small portions, but delicious) and I also had a cup of the soup of the day, which was a Tuscon bean, veggie style. The soup was served with a small grilled cheese sandwich. And... More 

Thank Sa-i44
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
74 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2016

Nice modern style Italian in San Diego. Plates are more tapas size, gives you more variety to choose from. We had the house made ravioli with rabbit sausage, really an excellent plate with tons of flavor. We also had the calamari dish, which was grilled first then chilled and it was cooked very well. The accompaniments in the dish could... More 

Thank MjLivingston
San Diego, California, United States
Level Contributor
21 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2016

Back to Cucina Urbana, my old stand by, my cheers, and my seat in the atrium near the hostess station so that I could aggravate the staff. I got there a little early was greeted by the hostess and had a glass of wine at the bar until they began seating. The bartender suggested I try the Remole, an Italian... More 

Thank Scott A
San Diego, CA
Level Contributor
83 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2016

Family of four dined on a Saturday evening. Though we arrived 15 minutes earlier than our reserved time we were seated immediately without issue. As this was fairly soon after opening, not sure we would always be so lucky. Service was prompt and the waiter, although he attempted some upsells, was not pushy about it. Water glasses were not allowed... More 

Thank unicorn123
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2016

Pasta that suprised me. The design of the room makes it both space and cosy at the same time. Taxi distance from the hotel but worth it.

Thank bgbrev
Level Contributor
80 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2016

Friend and I had dinner and theatre. Nice. Food and service at Cucina Urbana was very satisfying. Nice room. Very good food. Great service. Good pour on the drinks and wine. Not so noisy, so we had a good conversation.

Thank ROG13
Level Contributor
205 reviews
123 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2016 via mobile

We had an exceptional dinner last evening! Everything from the appetizer to dessert was absolutely amazing. I found the staff extremely attentive and polite. Our average cost for dinner with drinks was $70.00 per person. Well worth it!

Thank Nancy-Annette C
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2016

This restaurant meets its' reputation. We had lunch for Mothers' Day which consisted of seafood, pasta and beef. All were excellent in presentation and flavor. Service was good with an abundance of wait staff. The Bloody Mary's were very spicy but good, great wine list. A little loud if you are looking for a romantic evening but otherwise a very... More 

Thank susan s
Mercer Island, WA
Level Contributor
36 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2016 via mobile

Popped in here last evening without a reservation after reading good reviews, it was busy on a Thursday night but we found nice seating at the bar. Our waitress Priscilla was great, but bar waiter Bob really knew his stuff, giving our neighbor guests a detailed description of every item and how it was all prepared. They specialize in making... More 

Thank elsietall

Travelers who viewed CUCINA urbana also viewed


Been to CUCINA urbana? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Improve this listing

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
Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine, Bar scene, Special occasions
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
Ask a question
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?