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.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.

“Great atmosphere, great service!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of CUCINA urbana

CUCINA urbana
Reserve with OpenTable
CUCINA urbana is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #16 of 4,645 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Wine Bar, Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Bar scene, Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Television, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: 5th Avenue
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
Moorpark, CA
Level Contributor
25 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere, great service!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 19, 2013

So first comment- make a reservation and make it early. We had to go 5 days out to get a time that would work for us. The atmosphere is very fun and the staff was excellent. Couldn't have asked for a more attentive staff.

The food was excellent! I would go back right now and eat it all again if I wasn't still stuffed! We went during restaurant week so we didn't have the entire menu to choose from, but from what we saw almost the entire menu was represented in the choices available.

One of the greatest things about these guys is the wine list and pricing. They have a retail wine shop and sell wine for dinner at the retail pricing instead of the usual 200%+ markup at most restaurants. While great pricing, its a little dangerous if you like wine since they have a nice list to choose from and you just might need to bring some home...

In regards to the service, we had one small issue due to the policy set up for restaurant week, all that needs to be said is we brought it up and they took care of it and then some, no issue at all. I would highly recommend trying this place, just remember to make a reservation and bring lots of room for food! oh, and the donut hole dessert is to die for.

happy eating!!!

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank 05RK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

705 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    459
    172
    57
    13
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ventura, California
Level Contributor
85 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Will not return”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2013

An interesting menu and great wine list. It is quite difficult to get a reservation. It is far too large and noisy. Impossible to hold a conversation with your dinner partner. We will not return.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank 933JudyD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Woodlands, Texas
Level Contributor
191 reviews
87 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“Shocking discovery.....”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2013

As an vino aficionado, one of the first thing I view is the wine list. A number of wines came in at $15 and $17. Was this per glass? Nope, per bottle. The Cucina sells its wine retail...shockingly refreshing.
Now, the food. Outstanding. The fried squash blossoms, the pork belly appetizer, whole cooked fish, zepplies with blueberry sauces. All of these were excellent. Enjoy the wine...as it should be!

  • Visited September 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank steveberry2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
38 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Flavors as appealing as the menu”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2013

We had an early dinner before a play in Balboa Park, so we sampled a few small dishes and a "foraged mushroom" pizza. Everything was delicious! Next time we'll stay longer and explore more of their creative menu.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Chris874
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
28 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Taste of italy”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2013 via mobile

Good food good wine some beer. Fresh. Pasta fast service. A busy place with a good looking crowd. 1 of our favorite places. We always sit at the bar

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank clarky53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed CUCINA urbana also viewed

 

Been to CUCINA urbana? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

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

Claim Your Listing