About CUCINA urbana
San Diego, CA 92101
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 ($9 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.
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
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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.
Street parking & Valet available
CUCINAurbana offers nightly shuttles to and from the Old Globe Theatre.
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
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
CUCINA urbana Ratings and Reviews
Had a fabulous dinner at Cucina Urbana. ...
Had a fabulous dinner at Cucina Urbana. Delicious beet salad, seafood pasta, and absolutely divine chocolate crumble(?) dessert!!! Entree was rather small compared to most Italian restaurants but was very tasty. Chianti wine by the glass was also very good. Excellent, friendly waitress whose dining suggestions were great! Lots of happy people packed the restaurant. Decor is very warm & attractive too. Highly recommend making a reservation.
We visited from out of town and selected ...
We visited from out of town and selected Cucina Urbana based upon other reviews. We are so glad we did! The ambience is hip casual, service is outstanding, and the food was awesome. The menu is creative and quality was excellent. We are wine collectors and always look for BYOB restaurants. Cucina has a very nice wine inventory at retail store prices, so you select your bottle and pay a $9 corkage fee to drink it there. Or if you buy 2 bottles, corkage is waived. This is so much better than paying the 100+% markup like most restaurants. Don't miss the burnt brussel sprouts!
The food was outstanding. The pizza had ...
The food was outstanding. The pizza had a crisp yet chewy crust, restrained cheese, and a flavorful topping. The tagliatelle Bolognese was perfectly al dente, with just the right amount of delicious meat sauce. Portion sizes were ample but not over-sized. A nice selection of reasonably priced wines and beers. Service was friendly but inept. Our main courses arrived moments after our appetizers, and had to be sent back to be kept warm. Next time we'll order the main course after the appetizers are served. The room is attractive and comfortable, but very noisy.
We were just visiting for the night and ...
We were just visiting for the night and didn't really know the area very well so we decided to make our reservations through Open Table. The reviews from this site did not do me wrong, then again it never does. This was place was definitely worth every penny we paid. Our server Kevin was so friendly, made great recommendations on entrees and starters (we opted to go for his top two choices in entrees and on his starters suggestion as well). He also made a couple of recommendations on a wine which we ended up getting the bottle. The ambience was casual yet romantic. This place was a hit for us and when we get a chance, we will definitely be coming back.
We were very much looking forward to our ...
We were very much looking forward to our dinner as we love Cucina Urbana but we were extemely disappointed when we arrived on time for our reservation which we had booked a week in advance and did not get seated for 50 minutes -- literally. Our reservation was at 830 and we did not get seated until 920 which is outrageous. Not to mention, when we arrived, they said it would be about 5 minutes. So 5 minutes came and went, 15 minutes, we went to the bar got multiple drinks, and they did not even acknowledge the situation. When we inquired as to what was happening, they acted as if we were inconveniencing them by asking. Isn't the entire point of making a reservation to be seated and not wait that long? Finally we were seated at 920, they said we realize you must be hungry and we will bring you some snacks, and they literally brought a plate of bread for the 7 of us and that was it.
The waitress was good and the food was great as always but honestly, 50 minutes late with a rude hostesses is unbelievable. In a time where choices are abundant and customer service is everything, I would be outraged to know this was happening bc this is clearly not how to get people
Every year we have our national meeting ...
Every year we have our national meeting near this restaurant and this is my third year coming back, although this time I went two nights in a row it's so incredibly good. I lived in SF and now northern Los Angeles and this has got to be by far one of the most consistent amazing restaurants I've been too. Wine menu and pricing like I've never seen and some of the best wines. I remembered the bar tender from three years ago who was still there. Unbelievabley passionate and knowledgeable about the food and wine. The night before I sat at a table and the waitress was fabulous.
Wish we had one where I live.... shortnrib paperdelle, beet salad, pizzas, Brussels sprouts and veal chop are all A+ ratings!
It was my 40th birthday dinner and I lef ...
It was my 40th birthday dinner and I left a bit disappointed given the reputation this spot has in Bankers Hill. I'd been to CU before, but for happy hour, and was generally happy with my food and service. Tonight, however, was a let down. The service was fair -- could be that our server was sat too many times close together and had a difficult table that needed extra help with ordering. But the timing of everything was just off. For example, our appetizer came out before our drinks, the latter of which felt like it took awhile. My pasta also seemed old, a little dry and hard even though it was covered in sauce. Thankfully the short rib and mushrooms were tasty making up for the pasta. Given the number of places in SD, I probably won't go back for a long time. I hope this was just an anomaly given Cucina Urbana's great reputation.
Ambiance was inviting and eclectically I ...
Ambiance was inviting and eclectically Italian farmhouse and brought my wife and son back to when we lived in Sicily. Service was friendly and willing to please and fairly attentive. Food was delicious. so much so that when it was noticed that there was no Salt & Pepper on the table, it was welcomed because there was absolutely no need for any additional seasoning. Except for the risotto - extremely too salt-ridden - so much so that it left an after-taste. Even so, we've dined Italian throughout san Diego - and Cucina Urbana is definitely our new place for Italian!
I've wanted to go to Cucina Urbana for a ...
I've wanted to go to Cucina Urbana for a few years and when my friends came into town looking to meet us for dinner I immediately booked us our table. I was surprised by how open the place is, expecting it to be a basement venue and all. The floor to ceiling windows bring the outside in and it didn't feel like it was closed in at all. There was a fair amount of noise in the place, but we were able to converse without a problem, and being that we're all retired folks that's saying a lot. The food was excellent - I had the Mediterranean Sea Bass, which was delish - plus the waiter, when I said I was not fond of spinach, quickly suggested substituting the burned Brussels sprouts, which were wonderful. I'd go back in a heartbeat.
On vacation. This was recommended to us ...
On vacation. This was recommended to us and did not disappoint! We had the pappardelle with braised short ribs and the arugula and tomato salad. Salad was super fresh and the short rib was moist and beefy and tender. Great cocktails too.
If you are staying near Balboa Park in S ...
If you are staying near Balboa Park in SanDiego, this is a great choice. Reserve early and often. Great ambiance and food. Have a drink at the bar across the street before your dinnner. Friendly and reasonable - both places.
We've dined here several times in the pa ...
We've dined here several times in the past few years. Each time was great and we kept coming back. This evening was an exception. We were sat like cattle, right on top of the surrounding tables, along a wall when most of the restaurant was empty. No spacing out of the tables as they arrived, just piled them on top of each other. When we asked about it the hostess told us "we're busy and this will have to do". The server was nice and attentive. But the food was the main problem here. The polenta board was great. But the entrees were less than stellar. I had the risotto and it was soupy and the rice was both undercooked and overcooked at the same time. When I asked the server about it, she asked the chef and he said "it's supposed to be that way". It was unpleasant to say the least. My husband's pizza was less than stellar as well, slightly bland and soggy by the time we got it. Nothing was hot, only luke warm. All in all, we'll likely give it another shot next visit. But it has definitely gone down hill since we first visited.
Terrific ambience! Friendly staff. While ...
Terrific ambience! Friendly staff. While great for date night it has 'make your own pizza ' for kids which is awesome. Stuffed squash blossom is great as is pappardelle dish. Wine list very affordable. We will eat here every trip to San Diego!!
Second time at cucina Urbana and absolut ...
Second time at cucina Urbana and absolutely LOVED it. Food was fantastic as were the cocktails and the overall ambiance. Prices are not over the top for the quality that you get and main courses are shareable for those that are cost conscious.
Veal Milanese different than expected - ...
Veal Milanese different than expected - could have used more greens and didn't need to be so big. The bread is great. The chicken liver is great. I hate always having to ask for pepper. I don't understand why servers don't automatically offer it. Makes them appear lazy. Lead server was fantastic. Wish I had asked about fish special. Our favorite SD restaurant all the same!
First time visit to CUCINA urbana. Nice ...
First time visit to CUCINA urbana. Nice room and decor. Ordered cocktails/wine, then got water, then got bread, then ordered food, then got cocktails/wine, then got ordered food. Not super efficient.
Very good buratta salad plate. Ordered seabass, pork chop and a pizza. Seabass average, pork chop good and pizza one of those "artsy" types. One desert was a B+.
Although nothing really poor, no one in our party walked out saying this was really a great meal.
I had eaten here 3 or 4 times before and ...
I had eaten here 3 or 4 times before and picked this place for a small group of friends. It seemed REALLY noisy this time and the service was quite slow. I was kind of disappointed over the other times we'd been there.
Our "go to" spot for a wonderful dinner ...
Our "go to" spot for a wonderful dinner before going to the Old Globe. Food is great, service is professional and there's a shuttle van to the theater. Daily specials are delicious and priced right too. Try the vasi appetizer for sure!
Everything about this place is amazing. ...
Everything about this place is amazing. We were in San Diego for a couple of days on vacation and this place kept coming up on lists. It definitely exceeded our expectations. The ambiance and decoration is so charming! We shared the giant meatball which was so delicious and a must. I got the bucatini pasta and my friend got the mushroom pizza. Both were very good, especially the pizza. One of the best Italian food I've had in a while.
3.5 stars in my book! I have been here s ...
3.5 stars in my book!
I have been here several times. Some of their dishes are delicious and some are overpriced and forgettable. Their Polenta Board is so delicious and even better if you ask for bread to accompany the dish. Delicious "giant meatball" and pizzas... especially the fennel sausage and pepperoni.
Their pasta dishes are consistently tasty although unfortunately small portions for the price. $22-$25 ish.
Their beet salad is served with a creme feta cheese which takes away from the purity of the hearty beets. Their sea bass is too fishy and too salty...def not worth $25.
Their service is ok...some servers are warmer and welcoming especially Kevin...He's the best and has been there for a while! While other servers we've had are Impersonal and uninviting which diminishes the dining experience, especially when they rarely come to your table to check on you.
Overall if you are not in any rush, sit at the bar areas and order the tastier and more reasonable items on the menu then it's a nice experience.
*On a side note ...A comparable restaurant in which we recently discovered is Solare in Liberty Station. Pasta seemed more freshly made, more reasonable and more substantial portions at Solare which was refreshing.
Please sign in to record your input. Thanks!
Report this review as inappropriate?
If you believe this review should be removed from OpenTable, please let us know and someone will investigate.