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Restaurants for All Ages

What are the Best Balboa Park Restaurants?

When visiting San Diego, planning out your itinerary is crucial. There is an endless list of activities, attractions, shops and restaurants to enjoy, making each minute of your vacation count. At the Pacific Inn in downtown San Diego, we’re familiar with the area and always suggest that our guests visit a Balboa Park restaurant. This way they can kill two birds with one stone: explore one of the largest urban parks in the United States and enjoy one of the top restaurants in San Diego.

Fine Dining inside the Urban Park

If you were to ask a local for a recommendation for a Balboa Park restaurant, we can guess that almost everyone would say the Prado at Balboa Park. Part of the elite Cohen brother family of restaurants (known throughout San Diego for their unique menu offerings, fresh food and quality products), the Prado has become a popular place to relax after enjoying the beauty of Balboa Park. For lunch enjoy salads, sandwiches and burgers, as well as specialty cocktails and at dinner select from a variety of entrees including duck, short ribs, jidori chicken, seabass, lobster and more. The Prado also has a great happy hour menu with discounted well drinks, margaritas, wines, beers and small bites making it an ideal stop during a day at the beautiful outdoor complex.

Casual & Affordable Places to Eat

The Prado is one of the only full service restaurants in Balboa Park, however there are great cafes where you can stop and enjoy lunch. The Sculpture Court Café is located next to Balboa Park and is open from 11am to 3pm. Their menu features a variety of options including salads, handcrafted pizzas, cold sandwiches and grilled plates. There are also a handful of plates to share as well as wines, cocktails, and craft beers perfect for dining on the patio.

Another Balboa Park restaurant is Babycakes which markets itself as casual dining in the park. While visitors sometimes think that restaurants in more touristy locations such as Balboa Park only serve mediocre, often overpriced food, Babycakes seeks to prove otherwise. Great for families and those looking for a classic meal, this Balboa Park Restaurant serves delicious salads, soups, paninis, and sliders, all at affordable prices. So if you’re looking for a place to dine after you’ve worked up an appetite from touring the museums and art galleries of Balboa Park, stop by Babycakes anywhere between 10am and 3pm.

If you have the time, there are also many restaurants near Balboa Park including in the popular downtown district. However, if you are looking to avoid some of the crowds, try dining in Banker’s Hill, an often overlooked district that is evolving into a foodie haven. For other restaurant or activity recommendations, contact the Pacific Inn and speak with a Reservation Manger about our discounted San Diego hotel by Balboa Park. Don’t forget to ask about our great hotel rates and current hotel specials and discounts.

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