For Updated List go to June 24 blog
BALBOA PARK CUISINE-- Seems like everytime I wandered into a restaurant in Balboa Park it was just closing. Yes, I could get up earlier but then we wouldn’t have this handy list. This blog combined with San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles intern Anthony Tangredi, who compiled this handy list, including the hours these epicurean notables are open.
The Prado at Balboa Park
1549 El Prado
Plaza de Panama, Balboa Park, indoor, outdoor.
Comment: Easy one of the best park restaurants in the nation, The Prado, is an award-winning, full-service restaurant located in the House of Hospitality. It offers charming indoor and outdoor dining. The décor reflects the history of the Balboa Park and includes whimsical accessories inspired by the Park museum collections. The diverse Latin-Italian fusion cuisine includes an array of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and imaginative entrées. The lounge combines a lighter menu with a wide variety of margaritas, sangria, beer, wine and other beverages. Reservations are accepted and recommended.
Hours: Lunch: M-F, 11:30 am to 3 pm; Sat & Sun lunch 11 am to 3 pm. Dinner: Tues. thru Sun beginning at 5:30 pm. Closed Monday evenings.
19th Hole Café at Balboa Park Golf Complex
2600 Golf Course Drive
(South Park) Indoor, outdoor season weather permitting.
Hours: 6 am until dusk, daily.
Comment: This venerable café for the golf set at Balboa Park’s Muni golf course is a favorite with neighbors as well as the golf set. Open really early and sticks around for lunch. Nice downtown view from the window tables.
Sculpture Court Café (San Diego Museum of Art)
1450 El Prado
Plaza de Panama, Balboa Park, indoor, but open air bring a sweater.
619-702-6373 for info or reservations, www.giuseppecatering.com/sdma.html
Hours: Open for lunch & dinner Tues thru Sun from 11 am to 8 pm in the summer, and Tues thru Sun 11 am to 4 pm year round. Happy Hour is available Tues thru Sat from 3 pm to 6 pm with discounted specials. Closed Mondays
Comment: The museum has partnered with Guiseppe Catering to open a European style café in the Sculpture Court, offering sit down service, as well as Grab & Go counter with prepared sandwiches, salads, desserts, and beverages. Items offered include artisan pizzas, Panini, artisanal cheese plates served with seasonal fruites, truffle honey, marcona almonds and fresh baguette. Try a cured salami board with grape chutney, grain mustard, cornichons and faccacia, or many other fresh dishes. The cafe also features an espresso bar, beer, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages and fresh baked desserts.
The Tea Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden
2215 Pan American Plaza
Adjacent to Spreckels Organ Pavillion, Balboa Park, indoor outdoor seating.
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily (winter hours).
Comment: Serves traditional Japanese green tea, herbal and specialty teas as well as sushi made fresh daily, Japanese noodles, rice, miso soup, salads and snacks. Enjoy the magnificent views from inside the Tea Pavilion or from the outdoor courtyard and deck. Unique imported food, beverages and gifts, as well as imported bulk teas, are available for purchase. The Tea Pavilion is open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, later during the summer months. For information please call (619) 231-0048.
Albert’s Restaurant, (Inside San Diego Zoo)
2920 Zoo Drive
Balboa Park. Zoo admission required to access restaurant.
619-685-3200, reservations taken. Indoor/outdoor seating, www.sandiegozoo.org
Hours: 11 am to 3 pm Mon thru Fri; 11 am to 3:30 pm Sat and Sun
Comment: Unique garden setting restaurant offers a wide range of entrees including pasta, steak, seafood, pizza, salad, and sandwiches, as well as a children's menu. This full-service eatery and bar is located amidst a tropical garden. Albert's is open year-round for lunch and serves dinner during the summer's "Nighttime Zoo" experience. The restaurant is named after a famous zoo resident, Albert the Gorilla, who died in 1979.
There are ten food venues inside the Zoo, including Tree Top Café.
Lady Carolyn’s Pub
1363 Old Globe Way,
Balboa Park, Outdoor seating only
619-231-1941 x2751, www.oldglobe.org
Hours: Pub opens at 7 p.m. Tues-Fri, and at 1 p.m. Sat and Sun. Closing hours depend on theatre show.
Comment: Serves hearty soups in a sourdough bread tureen; a cool, crisp salad; or a warm fruit crumble. Sip an icy juice squeeze, a rich cappuccino, a robust Merlot, or a steaming Irish coffee. Memo to the Bard: When will there be a classic English tea room opened here for high tea?
Home Plate Café (Hall of Champions Sports Museum)
2131 Pan American Plaza
Balboa Park, Indoor & outdoor seating
Hours: Open daily 10 am to 4 pm
Comment: A full-service delicatessen offering a variety of soups, salads and sandwiches named for some of San Diego's greatest athletes. You can sit in our cool and comfortable indoor dining area or on our outdoor benches and even phone-in orders "to-go" if you're in a rush. If you need a sports news fix, your favorite satellite sports channel is beamed to televisions within the cafe. Beer and wine service is also available.
1700 Village Place
(next door to Spanish Village). Outdoor seating.
619- 702-2428, www.balboapark.org
Hours: 9 am to 4 pm daily.
Comment: Serves pizza, hotdogs, hamburgers, and other fast food items which are made on site. Sit at the tile-decorated tables under the shady umbrellas and enjoy casual dining and people watching.
Galileo’s Cafe (Reuben H. Fleet Science Center)
1875 El Prado, www.balboapark.org
Balboa Park (next to big fountain adjacent Park Blvd.
Hours: Open daily at 9:30 am Opens daily at 9:30 a.m. Closing hours depend on theater show schedule, but the cafe is generally open in the evenings Wednesday thru Sat.
Comment: Offers a healthful alternative to traditional fast food. Our menu includes soups, sandwiches, and pastries as well as specialty wood-fired pizzas and salads from Pizza Nova. Located off of the east rotunda in the the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center with tables outside next to the fountain.
Flight Path Grill (Aerospace Museum)
2001 Pan American Plaza
Balboa Park, http://www.sandiegoairandspace.org/visit/flightpathgrill.phpVillag
Hours: 11 am to 4 pm daily
Comment: New at the San Diego Air & Space Museum is an outdoor restaurant featuring hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, salad and more! Enjoy your meal at a picnic table or covered cabana. Museum admission ticket needed to access café.
Credits: This restaurant listing was researched by San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles Intern Anthony Tangredi, a Senior at St. Augustine High School, San Diego.
Images: Top: Alex Joy, co-owner Paume Café & Grill by Holden DeMayo; (lower). The Prado menu image courtesy of Cohn Restaurants. Please Note: the menu date for restaurant week.