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Nice Lunch Near Balboa Park - SD

Im looking for a nice restaurant to host a lunch for about 15 people near Balboa Park. Does anyone have any suggestions?


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  1. Laurel (I think there have been some recent positive reviews.) My other suggestion, for the view, not sure about the food as it's been a while, is Mr. A's - if it's still there. Also if you're willing to go about a mile or two north there is a lot of stuff in Hillcrest.

    1. Not sure if the Prado (located in Balboa Park) is open for lunch, but if they are that would be a good choice. I've heard good things about the lunch at Park Manor Suites, on 6th, but haven't been myself.

      1. Someone mentioned Laurel, but I don't think they do lunch. If the weather is fine, and if your budget can stand it, Bertrand at Mr. A's offers excellent food and a killer view. Finally, while some whose views I respect don't care for it, I like the Prado very much for lunch -- but then, to me, a great lunch is a delicious soup, a first-rate salad, and a nice bottle of chilled white.
        . . . jim strain in san diego.

        1. If you like Italian, you will LOVE Gemellis at 5th & Laurel. Right by the Laureal entrance to the park. Best Italian in the city...honest.

          1. Anyone have any other suggestions? Prado is booked and Laurel doesnt serve lunch. This is a luncheon following a graduation...any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


            1 Reply
            1. re: carln

              If you're willing to drive to downtown, Cafe Cerise puts on a good lunch (weekdays only). They should be able to accommodate 15 ppl. no problem.

            2. Well, if you didn't like the Gemelli's suggestion, which is perfectly situated for your event, you may have to opt for Hillcrest, downtown, or somewhere down by the Bay. You may want to try Terra http://www.terrasd.com/
              or the Parkhouse Eatery http://www.parkhouseeatery.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: phee

                Actually tried Laurel and Gemelli's but neither are open for lunch on a sunday.

              2. Sunday is tough, because most places in that neighborhood will still be serving brunch at that time and will be quite crowded. I take it that a picnic in the park won't cut it? Waters' catering company actually runs the cafe at the SDMA, in the sculpture garden - maybe they can do something for you?

                If that doesn't work, I think Parkhouse Eatery is a good idea - they take reservations for brunch, or maybe Vagabond in South Park - they serve lunch on Sundays.



                1. Terra Restaurant is very close to Balboa Park (near the intersection of University & Vermont, across the street from Trader Joe's, ample parking for Hillcrest).


                  Their brunch has a nice range of breakfast and lunch dishes and it won't break the bank. In fact, their champagne brunch - under $10 - is one of the best kept secrets in S.D. They been slow on the Sunday's I've been there; I don't think a party of 15 would be difficult for them to accommodate. And I've always received excellent service whether the dining room was full or not.