About CUCINA urbana

505 Laurel Street
San Diego, CA 92101
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Welcome to CUCINA urbana, a casual Italian American Neighborhood Kitchen and Wine Shop located in the heart of Bankers Hill. The menu highlights the cuisines of various Italian regions with a distinct California ‘farm to table’ flair for which the Urban Kitchen Group has become known. Chef Joe Magnanelli is excited to share his Italian heritage and create dishes that are fresh, simple and seasonal. Items include: antipasti, artisan pizza, pasta and piatti. Enjoy wine by the glass or visit the wine shop and select a bottle from over 100 selections at retail price ($8 corkage fee applies). The space features contemporary elements and vintage artifacts creating the feel of a modern Italian kitchen combined with the history and comfort of an old rustic country farmhouse.

Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Italian, American, Mediterranean

Hours of Operation:
Lunch | Tuesday – Friday | 11:30am – 2pm
Afternoon Snacks | Tuesday – Friday | 2pm – 5pm*
Dinner | Sunday + Monday | 5pm – 9pm
Dinner | Tuesday – Thursday | 5pm – 10pm
Dinner | Friday + Saturday | 5pm – 10:30pm
Bar Only | Friday + Saturday | 10:30pm – midnight | pizzas + vasi*

*Walk In seating only, no reservations

Cross Street:
5th Avenue

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(619) 239-2222

Website:
http://www.urbankitchengroup.com/cucina-urbana-bankers-hill/

Catering:
URBAN KITCHEN CATERING provides four star, stunning events with menus unique to your occasion. For more information check the URBAN KITCHEN CATERING link on our website www.urbankitchengroup.com or call Alison at 619.239.2222 extension 2. Or if interested in restaurant buyout opportunities, please contact Tiffany Tassano at 619.239.2222 extension 4.

Parking Details:
Street parking & Valet available

Public Transit:
CUCINAurbana offers nightly shuttles to and from the Old Globe Theatre.

Executive Chef:
Joe Magnanelli

Additional:
Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Special Events & Promotions:
EVERY DAY 5-6pm Monday + Saturday | 3-6pm Tuesday-Friday | 4:30-6pm Sunday enjoy our food and drink specials.

drink | house red or white wine $7 | moretti draft $4 | seasonal sangria $6 | well drinks $6
food | burnt brussels sprout $3.75 | parmesan fries $3.5 | margerita pizza $7

Restaurant Photos

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CUCINA urbana
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Squash Blossoms
Beet Salad
Pork Belly With Egg
Giant Meatball
Mediterranean Mussels
1/2 sandwich & cup of soup
Chicken Liver Pâté
Charred Octopus With Fava Beans
Semifreddo
Moscatel
Bucatini
Roasted Bone-In New York Strip
Cucina Burger
Aquazul
Lavender Lemonade
Fries
Chocolate Nutella Zeppole
Chicken Meatball Parmigiano Hero
Chocolate Espresso Budino
Truffle Parmesan Fries
Pepperoni And Fennel Sausage Pizza
Beef Stroganoff
Farro And Brussels Sprouts Leaf Salad
Mussels in White Wine Sauce
Mussles
Bread Service
Brussels Sprouts
Fig And Arugula Pizza
Ricotta gnudi
Fennel Sausage And Taleggio Cheese, Forester Mushrooms
Proscuitto Caprese
Short Rib Parpadelle
Ricotta Stuffed and Fried Squash Blossoms, Cherry Tomato
Bittersweet Chocolate Budino
The Aquazul
Grilled Octopus
Mission Fig And Arugula Pizza
Tequila Mule
suckling pig
Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Papperdelle With Braised Shortribs
Shrimp Puttanesca
Early Corn Angioletti
Modern Man Cocktail
Bbq Octopus
Foraged Mushroom Pizza
Truffled Parmesan French Fries
Chocolate Budino
Moscow Mule
Short Rib Pappardelle
Sheep’s Ricotta Gnudi with Brown Butter and Sage
Rosemary Bread With Sauce
Ragu with Polenta
lasagna
Baby Octopus
Lacinato Kale And Romaine Caesar Salad
Red Sangria
Stuff Fried Squash Blossoms
Jidori Chicken
flourless chocolate cake
Antipasta Sampler
Fregolatta
Burrata And Prosciutto Salad
Garlic Truffle Fries
Short Rib Papardelle
Big Meatball
Fig And Garganzola Pizza
Mussels In A Lemon Butter Sauce
Veal Piccatta
Chicken Jidori
Mediterranean Branzino With A Lemon Dill Sauce
Parsnip Ravioli With Short Ribs
Arugula Pear Pizza
Pear and Gorgonzola Pizza
Brussel sprouts
Burrata Jar
Pesto Ravioli
Short Rib Peppardelle
Bay Scallops
veal piccata
Duck Conserva Cavatelli
Veal Saltimbocca With Lentils
Tiramisu In A Jar
Italian Screw
Rigatoni Bolognese
Charcuterie and Cheese Platters
Pork Chop
Cocktails

CUCINA urbana Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.6

ambience

4.5

noise

Moderate

95% would recommend it to a friend

Loved For

Hot Spot
San Diego
Most Booked
San Diego
Hot Spot
San Diego
3 More
Notable Wine List
San Diego
Italian
San Diego
Most Booked
San Diego
Best Restaurants in Banker's Hill ›

fit for foodies (180)
neighborhood gem (147)
notable wine list (127)
See All
special occasion (123)
hot spot (119)
good for groups (101)
vibrant bar scene (92)
romantic (77)
great for lunch (52)
late-night find (31)
kid-friendly (15)
great for brunch (7)
great for outdoor dining (4)
scenic view (2)
Sort By:
Newest
3315 reviews
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food5
ambience5
service5

Beautiful and great atmosphere, the wait ...

Dined 4 days ago

Beautiful and great atmosphere, the waiter was excellent and kind and the food extraordinary.

food2
ambience2
service3
value4

This restaurant has great reviews so wan ...

Dined 5 days ago

This restaurant has great reviews so wanted to try - food good but not anything spectacular. Good value for the cost. Great wine list. Very loud.

Tags: hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Short rib pappardelle was delicious!! Th ...

Dined 6 days ago

Short rib pappardelle was delicious!! The decor and presentation was very rustic chic, and the prices matched the portions and quality. My daughter has a blast making her own pizza, which was a nice menu offering for kids. The happy hour menu is nice if you're looking for small bites or starters for an early meal. Try the crunchy brussels! Two minor hiccups- Drink service was slow and a lot of the specialty cocktails had floral notes; mine was tasty, but my husband didn't care for the ones recommended by the server. Overall we had a great dinner and we will return when in San Diego again!

Tags: great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food4
ambience5
service5
value4

I love it! Would be nice if the food qua ...

Dined 7 days ago

I love it! Would be nice if the food quantity is a little bigger though.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Our Special occasion was made more speci ...

Dined 7 days ago

Our Special occasion was made more special at Cucina Urbana. thanks for the great food, excellent service and happy times Cheers!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Food was wonderful & so was the service! ...

Dined 7 days ago

Food was wonderful & so was the service! Will definitely be back!

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
food4
ambience5
service5
value5

We enjoyed our reservations a Coasterra. ...

Dined on June 22, 2016

We enjoyed our reservations a Coasterra. We had reservations for 7:30 and at that time the parking lot was completely full, but because we had a handicapped person with us, we were able to get parking. We walked in and our table was ready even though people were waiting to be seated. Our waiter was wonderful and even brought us out some very HOT sauce. There was a little wait for our dinners, but we were told ahead of time that would be the case. No problem. We would go back again, but probably for lunch instead of dinner.

Tags: great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN SAN DIEGO!! Great ...

Dined on June 22, 2016

FAVORITE RESTAURANT IN SAN DIEGO!! Great customer service!

Tags: great for lunch
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Everyone was friendly the minute you ste ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

Everyone was friendly the minute you step into the door. They were welcoming and very helpful when it came to service. The waitress explained the menu thoroughly in which we were very pleased with our choices. The polenta and veal dish she recommended was by far the best one we tased. Our glasses of water were never empty and the gentlemen who served us always had a smile on his face. The environment was very relaxed and the staff was very accommodating in regards to my little one. Thank you for a wonderful dining experience. My husband had an amazing father's day thanks to you guys!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Great food, Amazing service, lovely rest ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

Great food, Amazing service, lovely restaurant. The only thing that bugged me was the long wait for the food. The people at the next table sat down at least 15 mins after us and got their food at least 15 mins before us. Other than that it was a lovely experience.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

one of our go to restaurants in San Dieg ...

Dined on June 19, 2016

one of our go to restaurants in San Diego...never disappoints...service was great...we tried polenta board for 1st time and it was awesome

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food3
ambience2
service4
value4

Not elegant or refined--a "hot" spot and ...

Dined on June 18, 2016

Not elegant or refined--a "hot" spot and all that entails. The food was pretty good, but overall the place seems a little vulgar. We won't go again; it's not our scene.

Tags: hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food4
ambience4
service3
value3

We made reservations but seated in an un ...

vip
Dined on June 16, 2016

We made reservations but seated in an undesirable area. No one came over to wait on us for a long time until the manager noticed us sitting there. She the attended to our needs and service flowed smoothly thereafter.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Really nice place. We went there for our ...

Dined on June 15, 2016

Really nice place. We went there for our anniversary and they made it a special night for us. Started us off with complimentary champagne and at the end of our meal they complimented us with dessert that wasn't even on the menu. My wife couldn't stop talking about the night and how good the place was. Service was really good.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service4
value5

Usually superb service but it was very s ...

Dined on June 15, 2016

Usually superb service but it was very slow in the kitchen....

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Fantastic menu selection, happy hour pri ...

Dined on June 14, 2016

Fantastic menu selection, happy hour prices that apply to dinning tables, and excellent service are all pluses which complement the excellent meals that the four of us had.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Fantastic service. Excellent food. And g ...

Dined on June 13, 2016

Fantastic service. Excellent food. And great wine selection. A true neighborhood jewel!

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Rarely does one get such attentive, know ...

Dined on June 13, 2016

Rarely does one get such attentive, knowledgeable service. We were eating at Cucina Urbana before going to a Old Globe performance. Our waiter kept that in mind throughout our meal and keep our ordering and food on a great schedule. We were even asked if we wanted to take their shuttle to and from the Old Globe. How did I not6 know that before. The food was fantastic as were drinks and wine. Since we were first dined at Cucina Urbana and Cucina Enoteca they are a favorite. But the stellar night we had last Sunday topped the cake. Bravo!

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service5

Kevin did his usual superb job of enligh ...

vip
Dined on June 12, 2016

Kevin did his usual superb job of enlightening us about new menu items, clarifying ingredients, suggesting new wines, overseeing the service, and tempting us (unsuccessfully) with desserts. If you haven't tried Cucina Urbana, you're missing a lot.

food5
ambience5
service5
value4

Our server was amazing!

vip
Dined on June 11, 2016

Besides having a fussy baby we had a really picky eater so the waitress that served us on Friday night should get a raise!

Tags: good for groups
food1
ambience1
service1
value1

Dining at Cucina Urbana

Dined on June 10, 2016

We always enjoy the small plates here and the excellent service!

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Our table was ready when we arrived. Si ...

Dined on June 9, 2016

Our table was ready when we arrived. Since this was our first nite in San Diego we wanted to make it memorable. Our waiter was very knowlegable on the menu and drinks. He answered all our questions and made some excellent suggestions. We had fish, pasta and steak. There sauce is very tasty. It was a little loud in the restaurant but that was made up for with fine food, drinks and desserts. There were 3 of us and with the tip our bill was just under $300.00.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Back to Cucina Urbana, my old stand by, ...

vip
Dined on June 9, 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 Super Tuscan, Sangiovese actually, that was their happy hour special. I liked it, bold and earthy. I was seated as requested and my long time server Antonio was right there for me. He asked if I was going to the theater and if I was riding their shuttle and when it was departing . I sipped on my wine and finally order their Wednesday happy hour special the polenta board with chef’s ragu, which this evening was a creamy mascarpone polenta with chives and the ragu was cinnamon braised lamb shoulder with carrots and leeks in a veal sugo (sauce) and, oh yes, another glass or Remole. Outstanding as usual and the presentation I actually videoed.

Tags: great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

SD hot spot

Dined on June 8, 2016

This is my favorite restaurant in San Diego! The short ribs are to die for.

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
food3
ambience4
service5
value3

OK restaurant

Dined on June 7, 2016

The portions were generous considering they were the happy hour specials. Our main course was a bit on the salty side. I had to drink plenty of water to wash out the salty taste. Service was good and the food came out fast. It's worth a try, but I probably won't come back.

food3
ambience5
service5
value3

Not bad

Dined on June 5, 2016

Went here to carb load for a big race. The food was tasty but portions weren't big compared to the price paid. The sangria was delicious but also overpriced in my opinion. Had the squash blossoms for app and the artichoke pizza. Both were pretty good.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

Consistently good.

Dined on June 4, 2016

Great service, delicious food, fun atmosphere. Consistent.

Tags: fit for foodies, special occasion, late-night find, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

This is my favorite restaurant in San Deigo

Dined on June 4, 2016

This restaurant has the best food in San Diego, amazing service, and a fantastic wine list not to mention the wine room where you can select an amazing bottle for cheap.

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
food4
ambience4
service4
value4

Great food and service!

Dined on June 4, 2016

I continue to be impressed with each dining experience ! the last four times I have eaten here it was for a friend's birthday celebration. I requested a table in the atrium area as it is more intimate and cozy. Each time I requested an atrium table my request was fulfilled. I truly appreciated the accommodation!!! the food, ambience, service and atmosphere were fabulous!!! I will continue to dine in this neighborhood gem! thank you for providing great food and accomodations for every bday occasion!!

Tags: good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
food5
ambience4
service2
value4

Good Food. Inconsistent Service

Dined on June 1, 2016

I come here for lunch about once a week and enjoy the food which is always well-prepared. Very good wine list as well. The restaurant is best at lunch if you want to have a comfortable conversation. In the evening, it is on the noisy side and energetic. My only issue is with the inconsistent service. More often than not, it is slow, even if the restaurant is not very busy. Some days it is fine, other days not so much. If you are on a tight schedule, I would not recommend. However, if you have time to enjoy some good food in a neighborhood type of restaurant, this is the place.

Tags: fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
food5
ambience5
service5

Excellent experience, as always. The foo ...

Dined on June 1, 2016

Excellent experience, as always. The food was delectable and the service was professional and top-notch. The gentleman who was our server (I unfortunately forget his name, Kevin perhaps?) has taken excellent care of our group on previous visits and this evening was no different. One of the best servers I've experienced, not just in San Diego, but nationwide. This was our first visit during the week, as all previous excursions had been on busy weekend nights. The noise level was definitely reflective of a slower evening's service and was appreciated as our group was able to converse without the need to raise our voices above the chatter, although we very well may have unknowingly, after all we are Italian East Coast transplants, sometimes we can't help it! From start to finish, another excellent visit. It's the dependability and consistency of a top quality dining experience that has kept Cucina Urbana at the top of our list of favorite San Diego restaurants.

food5
ambience5
service5

Service was top notch even though I aske ...

vip
Dined on May 29, 2016

Service was top notch even though I asked for some special requests. The food was off the chart! I had the spaghetti and my wife had the rabbit ravioli. The wine choices were very! nice also. A super two thumbs up. Ask for Jonathan! Great waiter.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Attentive professional friendly service, ...

Dined on May 28, 2016

Attentive professional friendly service, book ahead or wait for bar. Either way great night out combining vibrant ambiance, nuanced menu preserving ingredient authenticity. Squash blossoms and Squid took the accolades from two discerning diners.

Tags: fit for foodies, good for groups
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Phenomenal in every way!

Dined on May 28, 2016

We came here for the first time to celebrate my boyfriend's 40th birthday, based on the recommendations of several friends who had eaten here before. We were not disappointed! The ambiance was warm and charming. The service was attentive, but not smothering. Every dish we ordered was skillfully crafted and full of amazing flavor. After dinner, our server (I think his name was Kevin) brought out a special dessert and a champagne toast to celebrate the occasion. It was the perfect end to a perfect meal!

Tags: fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
food3
ambience4
service4
value3

Interesting menu

Dined on May 27, 2016

Interesting menu, though the execution wasn't great. I was happy with the fried zucchini flower (not easy to find in US in general). The pappardelle with short ribs were good, but missing some seasoning.

Tags: fit for foodies, hot spot
food4
ambience4
service4
value3

Excellent food and service. Pasta that suprised me

Dined on May 27, 2016

Fancy interior that makes the room space and cosy in a smart way. The pasta was extraordinary as well as the grilled octopus .

Tags: great for outdoor dining
food5
ambience5
service5

The food was delicious as usual. Our ser ...

vip
Dined on May 27, 2016

The food was delicious as usual. Our server David was top notch. We love this place!

food4
ambience4
service4
value5

The ambiance is great! Food was delici ...

Dined on May 25, 2016

The ambiance is great! Food was delicious and server was awesome.

food5
ambience5
service5
value5

Perfect place to dine before enjoying th ...

vip
Dined on May 25, 2016

Perfect place to dine before enjoying the theatre....and a lovey walk across the park afterwards. Both the food and the service are outstanding!

Tags: fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
food5
ambience5
service4

The vasi was delicious as always. Our pa ...

Dined on May 22, 2016

The vasi was delicious as always. Our pasta wasn't to my taste but it was well made. Dessert that we ordered was delicious. We were also celebrating a birthday and the complimentary dessert was amazing! I wish they had it on the normal dessert menu.

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