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Thursday, January 14, 2016


If you're an 800-pound lowlands gorilla, who happens to run a restaurant, of course you'd build your fine dining establishment up in a big tree and you can charge patrons a fee for dining there.  Any complaints?
Dining at Albert’s Restaurant in San Diego is not quite like any other fine dining establishment in the world.  First of all, it’s not everyday a restaurateur has the moxie to charge the dining public a fee just to enter his establishment.  And, that fee is on top of the tab once you order off the full service menu. 

And, equally unique is thousands of diners since 1992 when Albert’s opened don’t mind at all. 

Wait, there’s more that makes this award-winning** restaurant one-of-kind:  Albert’s is in fact, a tree house restaurant located at tree top level and surrounded by a lush tropical garden. 

So who is Albert and how does he get away with charging patrons to dine at his eatery?  First of all, we’re just getting your attention.  To dine at Albert’s you have to pay a regular Zoo admission because it’s located inside the 100 acre San Diego Zoo located in the heart of Balboa Park.

Named after Albert, who became one of the Zoo's most popular full-time residents, the full-service eatery and bar offers a wide range of entrees including pasta, steak, seafood, pizza, salad, and sandwiches, as well as a children's menu. 

Dine indoors or outdoors with tree top views of the surrounding tropical gardens in the tony Gorilla Tropics neighborhood. 

Lunch only daily and Sunday brunch during non-summer months.

Albert, left with two nursery mates.
Photo courtesy of Albert's family
photo album
Albert was a handsome silverback western lowland gorilla. Born in Africa, Albert arrived at the Zoo in August 1949 at about four months of age. He and two baby female lowland gorillas were hand raised in the Zoo’s nursery.
As Albert reached maturity, he was moved to a new open-air gorilla grotto, located where this restaurant now stands.

In 1965, Albert fathered Alvila, the first western lowland gorilla conceived and born at the San Diego Zoo and only the 7th gorilla born in any zoo.
During his years here, Albert endeared himself to an international audience through his majestic stature, mischievous behavior, and gentle demeanor.

Albert died peacefully on October 18, 1978; however, his spirit continues through the conservation efforts of San Diego Zoo Global, the ambiance of his namesake restaurant, and in his grandchildren and great-grandchildren living at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Albert’s Restaurant
2920 Zoo Drive (inside the Zoo)
619. 685-3200
Regular hours:
Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Sunday Brunch, 10 a.m. to Noon

**Albert’s Restaurant is high dining, according to local dining critics like Open Table, who named it Winner of its 2015 Diners’ Choice awards.

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