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“Great wine bar with excellent food” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of CUCINA urbana

CUCINA urbana
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Ranked #17 of 4,698 Restaurants in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$ 10 - US$ 30
Cuisines: Wine Bar, Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Groups, Business meetings, Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Bar Scene, Romantic
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, 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
Lompoc
Level Contributor
14 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great wine bar with excellent food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2012

Excellent wine selection with many bottles at reasonable prices. There was a great variety of food. The pastas were delicious with lots of variety in sauces; the ravioli with a cream sauce was wonderful. The non-meat-eater in our group enjoyed a salmon with herb sauce. Our meat-eater had great pork chops. Great desserts too! The place is large and gets noisy after 6:00 pm. Get there early for a quieter experience.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank MariaPenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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726 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great Food!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2012

Enjoyed this restaurant very much. All the food was very fresh and organic. Waiters were good about suggesting different items based on your likes. Very busy and noisy. Parking on the street for free after 6 if you search for it! We used tripadvisor for this suggestion as we love Italian food and were not disappointed!

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank tmich396
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“THE HOTSPOT”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2012

This was a fantasticly unexpected experience, the place was busy all night...the food was outstanding as was the service...this was a terrrific find for us as we wer staying near by...

  • Visited March 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank 60763MarkS77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
El Cajon, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Favorite San Diego Restaurant”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 March 2012

We live in the San Diego area, and this is my very favorite restaurant in town. The food is always amazing, it is reasonably priced and the atmosphere is great. Check the website for daily deals, like half price pizzas or no corkage. Service is always very good, and you can take a post dinner walk through Balboa Park. Be sure to make a reservation!

  • Visited February 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
71 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Urban cusine at its best!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2012

Great vibe, great decor.
Menu was creative, sensitive, organic and thinking outside of the box.
We had three dishes, starter was hearty, uniquely presented on a rectangular shape wooden cutting board, hot polenta and ragu; baby beets salad was deliciously different; perfectly cooked risotto with pancetta and peas was amazing.
They also have a well stock wine cellar where you can buy a bottle of wine at retail price with a minimal corking fee.
Great experience should not be missed if you visit San Diego.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank davenid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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